Myrtle Beach Area News & Events

Oceanfront Merchants Association Gears Up for Country Music Fest

This year’s Valentine’s Day is host to some big events here on the Grand Strand. While the Myrtle Beach Marathon may be known nationally as the biggest draw of the weekend, the 2014 Boardwalk Country Music Kickoff, hosted by the Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Merchants Association (OMA), definitely will not disappoint those who are still standing on Saturday afternoon.

The 2014 Boardwalk Country Music Kickoff takes place from 2:00-8:00 PM Saturday, February 15th at Plyler Park on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Enjoy this celebration absolutely free, and check out live bands including Josh Brannon Band, Tyler Hammond Band, and Eastbound. Grab some great food and drink, make a stop at the Seaside Beer Garden, and take home some gifts for friends and family as most of the local oceanfront businesses will be running special promotions.

The Myrtle Beach OMA is a non-profit, grass-roots organization dedicated to promoting and protecting Myrtle Beach, and keeping the area family friendly. The group was formed in 2006 after the closing of the Pavilion amusement park. The main goal of the OMA is to promote the downtown area as a seaside vacation and entertainment destination by showcasing the exciting attractions, gift shops, restaurants, arcades, and other businesses, as well as sponsoring concerts, fireworks, and festivals in the area. Events planned for this year include the Country Music Kickoff, a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, weekly kids carnivals, and a weekly concert series.

Plyler Park is situated just south of the Myrtle Beach Skywheel where 10th Avenue South meets North Ocean Boulevard, near the north end of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. The park is named for Justin Whitaker Plyler, a Myrtle Beach resident who had high hopes for the area. He owned and operated several Myrtle Beach businesses, including the famous Gay Dolphin Gift Cove, and is credited with helping Myrtle Beach become one of the most celebrated, reasonably priced family tourist destinations in the country. Plyler Park hosts a full calendar of free and family-friendly events, including the always popular “Hot Summer Nights Concert Series”. The 1.2 mile Boardwalk and Promenade was constructed in May 2010 and has attracted millions to the area.

The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, which spans 14th Avenue North to the pier at 2nd Avenue South, has won numerous awards, including the “Shining Example Award” from the Southeast Tourism Society, and was given the number three ranking in National Geographic’s “Top 10 Boardwalks in America”.

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Ten Unique Ideas For An Unforgettable Valentine’s Day In Myrtle Beach

Spending Valentine’s Day with someone special in Myrtle Beach? There are certainly a plethora of options for showing your love and appreciation in the Grand Strand. From a ride on the Skywheel to a romantic dinner at a great local restaurant, or special events at Ripley’s Aquarium or the Myrtle Beach State Park, the beach can be host to a memorable V-day for every type of couple. Here are our top ten “non-traditional” ways to spend a Myrtle Beach Valentine’s Day.

1. Paint The Perfect Picture

Couples with an artistic side can celebrate Valentine’s Day at Wine and Design (5900 N. Kings Hwy) and take home a masterpiece painted as a couple. Each individual will paint half of a painting to match up with their partner’s work to create a whole painting. Carrabba’s Italian Restaurant will provide a delicious meal and one glass of wine per person. Feel free to bring another bottle (or two). Tickets are $75 per person and space is limited.

2. Treat Her Like A Princess

The Barefoot Princess Riverboat (Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach) is offering a dinner cruise with dancing and live entertainment. Tickets are $46 for adults or $35 for children ages 2-12. Roses and wine can be added for an additional charge. Boarding is from 5:15-5:45 p.m. and departure is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Reservations are required.

3. Dine With The Fishes

The Ripley’s Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach offers another version of an aquatic evening with the Splash of Love dinner. The basic package includes an incredible four-course dinner, admission to the aquarium, one long stemmed rose and a drink from the bar. You can add upgrades like a box of chocolates and a visit from strolling musicians. This event actually takes place the Thursday night before, just in case you already have plans for Friday night.

4. Learn A New Mating Call

For the outdoorsy types, Myrtle Beach State Park is offering an interesting take on Valentine’s Day. Sip warm beverages on the pier while watching the full moon rise over the ocean, then head to a campfire at one of the shelters for a lesson on the many ways that animals woo their mates. Valentine’s themed refreshments will be provided. Space for the event is limited and registration is required by Tuesday, February 11. It’s for adults only, so you know it should be interesting

5. Segway To The Beach

Take a Segway tour of Myrtle Beach State Park and see the natural beauty of the beach. Or, rent a couple for the day and cruise the Market Common area and sample the delicious restaurants and shop the local establishments.

6. Go For A Spin

Enjoy a ride on the Myrtle Beach Skywheel, the almost 200 foot, glass enclosed, climate controlled Ferris Wheel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. VIP flights are also available, and after dusk millions of LED’s light up the area in a spectacular light show.

7. Flights Of Fancy

Take a helicopter ride with Helicopter Adventures – their Fly4Fun ride is only $20 per person, and will give you a great but short (2 mile) flight and if you like it, you can purchase other flights including the Grand Strand Adventure (approximately 55 miles).

8. Boardwalk Empire

Take a scenic excursion down the boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, or a stroll down the Marshwalk in Murrells Inlet. The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is much longer, spanning almost 14 city blocks, and features many shops and restaurants surrounded with beautiful landscaping (and an ocean). The Murrells Inlet Marshwalk is smaller, but is home to an array of live music, great restaurants, and the freshest seafood in the area. Either walk could be a great way to spend a beautiful Valentine’s Day in Myrtle Beach.

9. Enjoy The Natural Beauty Of South Carolina

Visit Brookgreen Gardens (voted one of the top 10 Best Public Gardens in the U.S. by TripAdvisor) and enjoy the art, historical sites, breathtaking gardens and native animals.

10. Simply Relax

This one is a little more traditional, but you should never underestimate the romantic power of a luxurious spa day. As a Valentine’s Day special, the Awakening Spa is offering a “Couple’s Retreat” that includes a relaxing mineral bath, a one hour customized massage for each, followed by a warm, aromatic infrared sauna treatment. Sit back, relax, and enjoy champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.

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Everything you need to know about Myrtle Beach Marathon 2014

Flash back to 1998. Armageddon is the number one movie. Google is just getting off the ground. The Lunar Prospector spacecraft finds evidence of frozen water on the moon. What do these events have in common? They were all overshadowed by the first ever Myrtle Beach Marathon, which featured Olympic gold medalist Gwen Torrence and about 2,400 other participants. Over the past 14 years the Myrtle Beach Marathon has grown to include approximately 12,000 runners and a weekend full of special events that support various causes.

Myrtle Beach Marathon Raises Funding And Support

Since the birth of the marathon, providing assistance to charities has been a prime goal of the participants. The marathon was founded by Myrtle Beach residents who participated in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Team in Training,” and this charity has been supported since the first event in 1998. More events have been added over the years as a means to support additional charities.

A unique cause supported by this marathon is The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.), a nonprofit wildlife conservation group that houses rare and endangered species. Many of these animals come out for the festivities, not just on race day but over the entire course of the three day event. For those who won’t run but have come along to show support for a friend or family member, this is your chance to see rare species of animals you may have only seen on television.

Over the last sixteen years, the Myrtle Beach Marathon has helped raise over $3 million for organizations like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, T.I.G.E.R.S., South Carolina schools and the American Red Cross.

Myrtle Beach Marathon 2014 Weekend Events

The Myrtle Beach Marathon race weekend begins Thursday night, February 13th, with the Runner’s Expo at 5:00 p.m. at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Race information and packets will be available for pickup, and booths from vendors and sponsors will be displayed in the exhibition area. In case you miss it that evening, the Myrtle Beach Convention Center opens back up at 11:00 a.m. Friday morning and is open to the public at no charge.

The opening run for the marathon weekend is the Ripley’s Family Fun Run. This one mile run starts and ends at Ripley’s Aquarium at 5:30 p.m. Friday, February 14th. Times are not recorded for this family friendly event, which runs around Broadway at the Beach. Later that evening, the Neon Night 5k also starts at Ripley’s Aquarium at 7:00 p.m., and finishes up at Pelican’s Field near 21st Avenue North.

The main event(s) begin at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday with both of the half and full marathons, as well as the Marathon Team Relay. About 3000 people will participate in the full marathon, 5000 in the half marathon, and 300 teams of up to five runners will run the marathon as a relay race.

After the race, parties will be held at the House of Blues (Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach) and Ripley’s Aquarium. Tickets for the House of Blues party must be picked up at the Expo prior to the race, while Ripley’s will allow entry with a race bib. Both will have free refreshments while the House of Blues party is restricted to those over 21, and will have live entertainment.

Myrtle Beach Marathon Accommodations

For anyone looking for accommodations, Oceana Resorts is proud to feature several properties as Myrtle Beach Marathon Host Hotels including Patricia Grand, BEST WESTERN PLUS Carolinian Oceanfront Inn and Suites, and Camelot by the Sea. These three oceanfront properties are offering an exciting package including meals and transportation exclusively for Myrtle Beach Marathon participants.

Whether you plan on being part of the festivities or not, a word to the wise: check out the race map for road closures that may affect your weekend plans. This event brings thousands of people to the area, so be prepared to be patient!

Learn more about Oceana Resorts’ Myrtle Beach Marathon Package. »

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Atlantic Breeze Ocean Resort Receives Appearance Award

General Manager and Director of Maintenance accepting Beauty Award on behalf of Atlantic Breeze Ocean Resort in North Myrtle Beach

In January, Atlantic Breeze Ocean Resort received the Appearance Award from the City of North Myrtle Beach. This award is part of the “Keep North Myrtle Beach Beautiful” program. The program is community based and seeks to educate and empower the community to improve the environment. The goal is to enhance the quality of life and community pride through beautification, litter prevention, and recycling. Each month, a local business is selected for contributing to this community goal. Atlantic Breeze Ocean Resort was chosen for January due to its hard work and dedication to maintaining a beautiful oceanfront resort and property.

Atlantic Breeze Ocean Resort in North Myrtle Beach accepts Beauty Award

“We strive daily to provide a clean and appealing product for our homeowners and guests alike,” states Lee Lear, Atlantic Breeze Ocean Resort General Manager. “It is a nice accolade to be given such an award from the city in recognition for the hard work that our landscaping department does on a daily basis. They perform tasks that are noticed or expected but not necessarily praised for the exceptional quality of workmanship.”

Congratulations to the staff at Atlantic Breeze!

Learn more about Atlantic Breeze Ocean Resort in North Myrtle Beach. »

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North Myrtle Beach Shag Dancing at Its Best

On January 24th and 25th, the Spanish Galleon in North Myrtle Beach will play host to the 31st annual National Shag Dance Championship preliminaries. Since 1984, the competition has showcased the talents of some of the best shag dancers in the United States. Starting at 8pm both Friday and Saturday night, the preliminaries will host shaggers in various divisions such as non-pro, junior, senior, pro and masters. After the preliminaries, a finals round will take place March 6-8, 2014 also at the Spanish Galleon in North Myrtle Beach.

If you’re not familiar with the shag, it’s known as the state dance of South Carolina. Performed primarily to “beach music”, shag is a staple in North Myrtle Beach. With its hub only a couple of miles from Oceana Resorts’ own Bay Watch Resort & Conference Center and Atlantic Breeze Ocean Resort, shag dance is a local and visitor favorite since the 1940’s. The “Carolina Shag” is a descendant of the “Carolina Jitterbug”. A six count step partner dance, the shag is much like six count swing.

So, plan to attend the National Shag Dance Championship preliminaries! While you’re here, squeeze in a shag dance lesson or two at Fat Harold’s Beach Club on Main Street. Or, even rub shoulders with the pros themselves at local hotspots like OD Arcade & Lounge or Duck’s Beach Club.

Put on those shagging shoes, but save a one dance for us!

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Great Eats In Myrtle Beach During Restaurant Week

January is one of the most delicious months in Myrtle Beach thanks to the South Carolina Restaurant Week. If you’ve never heard of Restaurant Week (it’s actually 11 days), it is an annual celebration that takes place in five cities throughout South Carolina from January 9th – 19th, 2014. Some of Myrtle Beach’s most popular restaurants are participating by offering special menus that are not available at any other time. Read on to learn more about three of our favorite participating restaurants.

Castano’s Italian Steakhouse

Castano’s is an Italian restaurant in North Myrtle Beach at Barefoot Landing. The owners and the staff are some of the nicest people you will ever meet! Their offering for restaurant week is a three course meal for $30 per person. The first course is a choice of she crab soup or mixed baby greens with candied almonds, fire roasted tomatoes, herbed goat cheese, crispy onions, mandarin oranges, and a house made vinaigrette. The main course is your choice of a 6 oz petite filet mignon with roasted fingerling potatoes and chef’s vegetable of the day; rosemary encrusted lamb loin with pistachio, mint risotto and rosemary red wine demi-glace; or potato horseradish encrusted salmon with fresh herb and Asiago risotto cake and horseradish crème fraiche. For dessert, choose between white chocolate bread pudding with Grand Marnier, sun dried cranberries, or a Lemoncello ricotta cheesecake. For our guests staying in North Myrtle Beach, we highly recommend this establishment.

Aspen Grille

Another one of our favorites, Aspen Grille, has not yet released their menu, but that’s not going to stop us from beating down their doors in anticipation. Their warm goat cheese crostini appetizer is incredible, as are the jumbo lump crab cakes and the shrimp and grits. We can’t wait to see what they are offering for their restaurant week special. Aspen Grille is located slightly north of our downtown Oceana Resorts properties, on Kings Highway.

Croissants Bistro

Croissants Bistro and Bakery is located right in the heart of downtown Myrtle Beach, and is another one of our favorite local restaurants. They too have yet to release their restaurant week menu, but you can be sure we will be there to check it out. They are famous for their amazing she crab soup and other great southern foods. And, their brunch (available Saturday and Sunday) features many traditional items with a southern twist. Don’t forget to take some cupcakes home afterward – we recommend the red velvet!

More information about this event, as well as participating restaurants, prices, and contact information is available at

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Mini Marathon Returns to Myrtle Beach

The Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon has returned for its third consecutive year. With a new race route, the event will have a surfing them, including surfboard finisher medals, surf style bands, and a post race beach party. The new race route features over 5 miles of oceanfront running. Join 4,000 fellow runners in a 13.1 mile challenge.

Held the weekend of October 19th & 20th, the mini marathon is quickly becoming an annual staple along the Grand Strand.

The race weekend also includes the Eukanuba Coastal 5k and the Doggie Dash (benefitting the Grand Strand Humane Society); along with a 2-day Health & Fitness Expo.

For additional information on this event, Click Here.

Oceana Resorts is proud to host race participants at its downtown Myrtle Beach properties. Click here to learn more about our race weekend rates and packages. Free transportation to the starting line of the race is provided from the Patricia Grand, BEST WESTERN PLUS Carolinian Oceanfront Inn and Suites, Camelot by the Sea, and Ocean Park Resort.

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Myrtle Beach Hosts Oktoberfest Events

Myrtle Beach will hold two separate Oktoberfest events this October. The 6th Annual Oktoberfest at Market Common will take place Friday the 4th through Sunday the 6th in the popular Valor Park. Live German music will be performed on Saturday and Sunday during the event. Featuring more than 20 vendors, the event will be host to a plethora of German food and a huge selection of Oktoberfest beer. There will also be kid-friendly activities including a pumpkin patch for pumpkin decorating, face painting, inflatables and more. For more information on this event, click here.

The following weekend, the Oceanfront Merchants Association will host Oktoberfest in downtown Myrtle Beach, October 12th from Noon to 11pm. Headlining the downtown concert/festival will be Cowboy Mouth. Other musical acts will include Drivin ‘n’ Cryin, American Aquarium, Passafire, Ballyhoo, Who Shot JR?, Broken Strings, and Channellheimers Oompah Band. Along with musical entertainment, event attendees will be able to sample authentic German beer, other beer and wine, street performers, etc. There will also be an alcohol-free kids zone. For more information on this event, click here.

Oceana Resorts offers accommodations convenient to these events at Ocean Park Resort, Camelot by the Sea, Best Western Carolinian Oceanfront Inn & Suites, Anderson Ocean Club and Patricia Grand Resort.

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Gaitherfest Comes to Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach will welcome the 8th Annual Gaitherfest, with Bill and Gloria Gaither and their Homecoming Friends, October 11 – 12, 2013. Held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, Gaitherfest is a 2-day, three-concert gospel music event. The event features the Gaither Vocal Band and many more popular gospel artists. Tickets are $100 for adults and $35 for children (with a handling fee of $5.00 per ticket). For more information about the event, visit or call 1-800-406-4224.

This event is happening one mile from four of Oceana’s oceanfront properties. Patricia Grand Resort, Anderson Ocean Club & Spa, BEST WESTERN PLUS Carolinian Oceanfront Inn and Suites, and Camelot by the Sea are all just minutes away from the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

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Oceana Resorts Recognized by TripAdvisor and Bring Fido

Recently, Oceana Resorts’ properties were recognized for their excellent guest service and overall operational achievements.

All nine of Oceana ResortsMyrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach resorts were provided the “Certificate of Excellence” by TripAdvisor for 2013. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

Along with national recognition from TripAdvisor, Oceana Resorts’ own Ocean Park Resort has also received a well-deserved accolade from By maintaining an “Excellent” rating of 4 out of 5 bones (or higher) by customers on the site, Ocean Park Resort has been awarded a Fido’s Favorite Award for 2013. Fewer than 10% of all pet-friendly hotels receive this honor. To learn more about Ocean Park Resort, visit

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