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AAA Horizons....


As the "captial" of a 60-mile stretch of sand knows as the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach is a year-round destination that welcomes more than 13 million visitors a year.

The coast and weather have played a big part in the South Carolina city’s success--with lures like abundant world-class golf (more than 100 courses), star-studded entertainment, super shopping, and creative cuisine also playing feature roles.

Golf is the steadfast driving force in Myrtle Beach--more than four million rounds are played annually. From oceanfront holes to moss-draped fairways, designers like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Greg Norman have left their signatures.

The grand game also influences 19th hole activities such as restaurants like Greg Norman’s Australian Grille and Murray Bros. CaddyShack (“Eat, Drink and be Murray”), world-class dayspas (like one for men called He‘s Not Here), and lots of shopping (including two huge Martin‘s PGA Tour Superstore locations).

Anyone can putt away in Myrtle Beach, considered the miniature golf capital of the world. More than 50 courses featuring man-eating dinosaurs, lava-spewing volcanoes, pirate ships, and more.

With growth rivaling golf, the theater and entertainment scene is reaching for the stars. Many modern showplaces feature music, dance, comedy, dinner shows, special seasonal offerings, and many celebrity concerts.

The entertainment scene continues to grow with the addition this spring of Hard Rock Park, the world’s first rock ‘n’ roll theme park. The $400 million entertainment extravaganza will feature a multi-purpose live music amphitheater with state-of-the-art sound, roller coasters, children’s play areas, restaurants, cafés, and retail stores.

Other options include The Alabama Theatre (a regular show, plus lots of concerts); The Carolina Opry Presented by Calvin Gilmore (the best in Carolinas music and more); Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede & Dinner Show (including 32 horses); House of Blues (big name concerts and regular shows like the Sunday Gospel Brunch); Legends in Concert (Elvis is in the house); Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament (a night of knights); and Le Grande Cirque at The Palace Theatre (more than 50 world-class acrobats, jugglers, and performers take center stage).

There are lots of other entertaining options for all ages. The almost endless possibilities include Pavilion Nostalgia Park (a classic attraction that‘s now part of famed Broadway at the Beach); Family Kingdom Amusement Park; NASCAR SpeedPark; Myrtle Waves; IMAX 3D; and several Ripley’s attractions.

From boutiques to factory outlets to sprawling mixed-use shopping and entertainment complexes, you don’t have to save shopping for a rainy day in Myrtle Beach. The possibilities include Barefoot Landing (more than 100 shops, 15 waterside restaurants, and several attractions); Broadway at the Beach (350 acres of shopping, dining, and entertainment); two Tanger Outlet Centers; quaint Pawleys Island Hammock Shops to the south; and several huge malls (Coastal Grand Mall is a local favorite). This spring will see the addition of The Market Common, with mixed retail, dining, entertainment, and urban living options.

With more than 1,800 full-service restaurants in the area, visitors never go hungry. Seafood is seen on many menus and restaurant-lined Murrells Inlet is known as “The Seafood Capital of the World.” Those with an appetite for other cuisines will find barbecue, home-style southern cooking, virtually all international fare, and a booming restaurant platter that ranges from behemoth buffets to a burgeoning upscale dining scene.