I have been going with my extended family to a magical corner of Garden City Beach, SC for twenty-eight years. Since having children of my own I have been tagging on a few extra days in Myrtle Beach for some small familial bonding and for a mini taste of the notorious MB hustle and bustle. I have been on the hunt for a hipper, more local side to Myrtle Beach however, and this summer we came pretty close to nailing it.
We stayed at the Island Vista Resort, which being tucked onto a residential street has a much less crowded beach. If you looked in the other direction towards the hotel strip it was people to people. Ew. This, on the other hand, ahhh.
I adored taking long walks with my mind in the clouds, my nose in the salty air, and my feet in the sand.
I have traveled all over the world and our tenth floor ocean view balcony may rival any other hotel balcony I have had.
The view of the ocean was expansive—as far as the eye could see– and was perfect for sipping a cold beer, playing Legos, or for late night trysts…Ha ha!
My boys were quite literally jumping up and down when they saw the three bedrooms and bathrooms and we could all nestle in for popcorn and the Bachelorette finale with no haggling over couch space.
Despite needing to rise early to find a spot at the pool, we spent great days challenging each other to swimming contests and fighting over a tube which had straggled over from the lazy river.
I even snuck five minutes alone in a beach chair.
The weather was perfect so we didn’t spend too much time in the indoor lazy river, but it would be perfect for a rainy or cooler day.
The kids loved the unlimited DVDS and we liked the ease of the onsite breakfast. Order the huevos rancheros if you go ;). Even though there was a full kitchen, we wanted to get out and explore.
I loved being away from the ridiculous amounts of Wings, miniature golf courses, and giant seafood buffets and yet a super short drive away so that we could have our requisite stroll on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk for some unparalleled people watching.
And what little boys wouldn’t want to challenge their parents to miniature golf? The Mutiny Bay course was not over crowded, perfect for little kids and have a fabulous pirate fight that was worth the drive. Yelp definitely lead us in the right direction on the restaurant front.
The Atlas Tap House was a hip, little find right next to the Boardwalk. We ordered the kids some mini hotdogs while we sampled a couple of beers from their extensive list and all the boys-baby included-could have spent hours playing the lawn games in their courtyard.
Although it is beyond touristy and crowded to the seams, I Love Sugar had fantastic gelato and made the perfect family friendly nightcap.
To escape the midday MB heat, we hit up the Pier House Restaurant and its racing air conditioning and amazing views to enjoy a quick lunch with obligatory hush puppies.
After lunch we spent an hour leaning over the side of the pier watching weathered fisherman hungry for a bite and even saw a few tempted sharks, which made for wonderful tall tales for my sons.
Driving down the busy highway, my husband spotted the Liberty Tap Room, which turned out to be a perfect place for a family dinner.
I convinced Andy to sit outside though it was hot out and he has a love affair with air condition, even he had to agree that their patio was airy and cool. I, on the other hand, impressed only myself with my answers to their bar trivia game.
I loved the Spinach Strawberry Salad topped with shrimp, which complimented Liberty’s own Witte beer perfectly.
I have to say I think I arrived at the airport sadder than ever to leave—as Myrtle Beach was a perfect end to a great South Carolina vacation—Twenty eight years and counting…. See you next year MB!
Where to Stay: Island Vista Resort (Be sure to reserve an ocean view room!)
Play Miniature golf: Mutiny Bay
Drink a craft beer and play lawn games: Atlas Tap House
Enjoy a big cup of gelato: I love Sugar
Have a prefect family dinner: Liberty Tap Room
Take in an excellent view with your lunch: Pier House Restaurant
People Watch: Myrtle Beach Boardwalk