mulberry toiletry bag Myrtle Beach musts for budget travellers
Myrtle Beach has long been a favourite destination of Canadian travellers looking for a budget friendly escape no matter the season.Nearly one million Canadian tourists arrive in the coastal South Carolina city each year to enjoy its legendary golf, kilometres of beach and can shopping. Such a large percentage of its visitors come from the Great White North that the city introduced the Can Am Days festival 52 years ago. Public events, music and deals for Canadian travellers from local hotels and businesses mark the occasion our own Maple Leaf flag is even hung around the city. The 53rd annual event will take place from March 10 to 18, 2014.No matter if you planning a Myrtle Beach trip for spring, summer or fall, though; this affordable anytime destination is ideal for young families, retirees and guys and girls getaways.Here are six musts for any Canadian travelling to Myrtle Beach on a budget.STAY IN AN OCEANFRONT HOTELThere are more than 90,000 accommodation units in Myrtle Beach available at all price points and all locations on the Grand Strand, from independently owned oceanfront hotels to big chains like Hilton. The added benefit of staying along the nearly 100 km long beach is easy access to the sand for a super affordable, fun beach day, with many hotels just steps from the beach. Book a hotel with an in room kitchen to save on eating out and prepare your family own meals for a vacation that even easier on the budget.My mom and I were hosted by the Embassy Suites during our visit, a recently renovated hotel by Hilton on the sprawling Kingston Plantation, a gorgeous resort that houses the hotel, a condo and vacation rental homes. We loved the space our two room suite offered, the incredible views of the always wavy Atlantic Ocean from our balcony and the ease of getting to the beach from the lobby.The hotel provides a complimentary buffet breakfast to all guests, stocked with favourites like pancakes and bacon and local specialties like biscuits, thick white gravy and grits. My only complaint about the property is that it doesn provide free Internet and WiFi access to guests. Burroughs Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum is a hidden gem located near the airport that makes a fantastic diversion for travellers on a budget. The museum does not charge entrance, but visitors can leave a donation if they choose.A lovely variety of visual arts are on display at the house turned museum, from the intricately woven tapestries of Jon Eric Riis to the colourful, close ups of sea glass by photographer Celia Pearson. An exhibit of more than 50 paintings by southern artists, including celebrated Lowcountry artist Jonathan Green, is on display on the second level of the museum, showcasing the talents of local artists and the area Gullah roots.In the evening,
plan to see Las Vegas quality live entertainment, without paying the Las Vegas ticket price. Check out One The New Show at the Alabama Theatre (established in 1993 by southern rock band Alabama) or The Carolina Opry. Both top rated TripAdvisor attractions are high energy variety shows that mix stand up comedy, dancing and singing in genres ranging from country to rock to Motown. Numbers from musicals like ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘Wicked’ are also impressively performed in full costume.Former ‘Star Search’ male vocalist of the year Greg Rowles hosts the show at Alabama Theatre, while the Carolina Opry counts reality TV stars LaToya London of ‘American Idol’ and clog dancers All That of ‘America Got Talent’ among their performers. Other shows ready to heat up your Myrtle Beach nights include celebrity impersonator extravaganza Legends in Concert, 60s and 70s themed Good Vibrations and the Carolina Opry Light Laser Show. What many travellers may not know is that it is also the miniature golf capital of the world. Dozens of mini putt courses, most with extravagant d and themes ranging from dinosaur adventures to pirates, are located in the coastal city and make an affordable, fun for any skill level afternoon outing.GO SHOPPINGFind a deal or two on clothes, housewares, shoes, fragrances and more at Myrtle Beach outlet and factory shopping malls.We stopped by Tanger Outlets off North Myrtle Beach Highway 17 to check out the deals at stores like Gap Factory Store, J. Crew Factory, Michael Kors and more. Tanger Outlets houses more than 50 stores, offering discounts or deals on some of the most popular brands in fashion today. I was able to pick up some very cute boots for just $35 (winter is coming, afterall) and my mom found a great deal on pants at the Old Navy Outlet.Planning to shop a little more? Myrtle Beach hosts several other must visit shopping destinations that offer both stores and restaurants for a complete day out. Consider Broadway at the Beach (Claire Victoria Secret), Barefoot Landing (Sunglass Hut, Roxbury Boutique) or Coastal Grand Mall (Aeropostale, Bath Body Works).STROLL THE BOARDWALKMyrtle Beach opened their revitalized boardwalk and promenade in 2010, creating a stunning 1.9 km long walking path along the Atlantic Ocean with three distinct areas perfect for a free beachside stroll in the evening.Watch the waves of the Atlantic lap against the sand on the South Promenade Section and take in the landscape and vegetation of the natural beach dunes on the North Dunes Walkway section. Or, people watch, window shop at kitschy tourist shops and hop on the new 60 metre tall SkyWheel observation wheel for amazing views of downtown Myrtle Beach along the bustling Central Wooden Boardwalk section.SPLURGE AT THE SPAIf you need a break from the greens and the beach, make a visit to one of Myrtle Beach spas your vacation splurge. My mom and I were treated to signature 70 minute massages at Cinzia Spa at the gorgeous new North Beach Plantation resort. The signature massage has a price tag of $180, but the service and luxury Cinzia Spa offers really makes this a good value.I especially loved the warming soyaffin a natural, more moisturizing alternate to paraffin mitts that kept my hands toasty during my massage and left them ultra soft after. I have never experienced this pampering extra during other massages,
making the Cinzia signature treatment all the more unique.NEED TO KNOWYou will need to rent a car for your vacation as attractions are spread out across Myrtle Beach and neighbouring North Myrtle Beach. All major rental car companies operate out of the just opened Myrtle Beach International Airport.