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Holiday Guide Holiday 2020


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Myrtle Beach Family F O R T H E H O L I DAY S

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H O L I D AY S H O W S & E N T E R TA I N M E N T

MYRTLE BEACH AT T R AC T I O N S

SPECIAL H O L I D AY E V E N T S

PUBLISHED BY THE GROUP TRAVEL LEADER INC. 301 East High Street Lexington, Kentucky 40507 (888) 253-0455 | www.grouptravelleader.com 2

There’s a special sparkle that falls over the Grand Strand in November and December. It’s not snow — the coastal climate is too warm for that. Instead, it’s a brand of holiday spirit unique to Myrtle Beach. Groups visit the Myrtle Beach area year-round for great shows, attractions and shopping, not to mention 60 miles of beautiful beaches and the bounty of the Atlantic Ocean. During the holiday season, each of those features takes on a special cheer, and annual events give visitors an opportunity to experience a coastal Christmas. Plan to take your group to Myrtle Beach during the holidays to see the destination at its best. Each of the area’s professional shows combines its signature entertainment elements with special holiday themes that will get your travelers in the spirit. Attractions along the coast also add holiday touches to their offerings. Shopping is a big part of the Christmas tradition, and Myrtle Beach has abundant places to get your retail fix. Many of the malls and shopping complexes in the area have special offers, promotions and programs for the holidays. And don’t forget to make time to visit some of the special exhibits and events that take place throughout November and December, putting a distinctive Myrtle Beach touch on the holiday celebration. Peruse the pages of this magazine to get some inspiration for a holiday visit. To make plans for your group’s trip to Myrtle Beach, contact Sandy Haines, group tour sales manager at the Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, at sandy.haines@visitmyrtlebeach.com or 800-488-8998.

SANDY HAINES GROUP TOUR SALES MANAGER


GROUP TOUR SALES MANAGER


Christmas C L A S S I C S

BY MOLLY PHILLIPS

T

he holidays are a time when worn imaginations often find new life, whether through watching a Christmas pageant, reading a favorite childhood storybook, huddling up with hot chocolate to take in a classic holiday movie or just pausing to listen to carolers in a snow-covered street. It’s that sliver of time at the end of a long year we look forward to, to be inspired, to be uplifted and, maybe just for a moment, to believe in magic again. Myrtle Beach offers holiday travelers myriad opportunities to experience that moment of transcendence and wonder and to enter into the joy of Christmas through the art of music and theater. November and December were once months when Grand Strand stages were shuttered and tourists were scarce. But over the past several decades, the winter holiday season has become one of the cultural pinnacles of Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area. Performances from world-renowned actors, musicians, athletes and dancers, all set against elaborate holiday backdrops unrivaled by most other stages in the country, can be found at theaters across the region every night of the week. Groups visiting Myrtle Beach during the holiday season can see Motown classics performed in a historic setting at the GTS Theatre or be immersed in a pirate’s adventure like that in a theme park while dining at Pirates Voyage. Travelers can watch champion figure skaters dazzle in holiday attire in “Christmas on Ice” or catch impersonators of favorite contemporary pop stars crooning holiday hits at Legends in Concert. With accessible pricing, group rates and kid-approved shows, there’s no reason not to infuse a winter trip to the shore with culture, cheer, glitter and sparkle — and just maybe, a little magic.

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CA ROLINA OPRY CHRISTM AS SPECI A L

The Carolina Opry opened its doors in 1986 with big hair, big dreams and even bigger business upside. The mix of first-rate entertainment, typically found only in much larger cities, combined with one of the South’s most iconic vacation destinations was a recipe for success. That same year, the Opry hosted its first Christmas Special. Credited with being the catalyst of the entire seasonal market of the region, the new Christmas programming drew tour buses from hours away and dozens of families from Southern states nearby. What were typically the area’s “ghost town” days of winter came alive with tourists clamoring to get a seat at the Opry. New York may have had the Rockettes, but the South now had The Christmas Special. Nicknamed “The Christmas Show of the South,” the 35th season in 2020 promises to be full of more cheer and glitter than ever. Featuring lead singer and legendary performer Moses Braxton and comedian Kym “Bogie” Shurbutt, as well as additional to-be-announced acts, the show will have matinees and evening performances every Monday through Saturday in November and December with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and December 26. Several dates are also available in the first week of January. T H E C A R O L I N A O P R Y.C O M

2020 MYRTLE BEACH HOLIDAY PLANNING GUIDE Courtesy Alabama Theatre


Myrtle Beach

venues celebrate THE SEASON

VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM

THIS YEAR BRINGS THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CAROLINA OPRY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.

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Courtesy Carolina Opry


L EGEN DS I N CONCERT

Born at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino in 1983, Legends in Concert has become the global leader in tribute performances to iconic pop legends. The Myrtle Beach location, nestled among the fine dining and shopping of the Broadway at the Beach entertainment district, has become a staple in the city’s theatrical scene over the years. Talented performers pay homage to everyone from Aretha Franklin to Brittany Spears, Johnny Cash and dozens of other American musical heroes. Each show features five different acts, showcasing a mix of musical performances for all generations. During the holidays, Legends in Concert pulls out all the stops, putting a festive spin on each performance and showcasing holiday tunes made famous by the likes of Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen and Dolly Parton, among others. There is nothing like hearing your favorite holiday hits live in concert. What better way to introduce younger family members to talented giants gone by while still letting them rock out to today’s anthems, all in one memorable evening. Discover why guests consistently give the performances five-star reviews. L E G E N D S I N C O N C E R T.C O M

A L A BA M A T H E AT R E

The Alabama Theatre in Barefoot Landing is the perennial home of “The South’s Grandest Christmas Show,” a production that blends the heartwarming familiarity of classic holiday music with pop hits from today. The show is worth seeing almost for the set alone; each year, the impressive stage is smothered with sparkling, flickering, snow-clad decor that would likely outshine Santa’s North Pole village. Some of the best singers and dancers in the country, clad in dazzling costumes, perform in this montage of Christmas classics while live musicians provide a vivid score from the stage. In recent years, the production has also included comedy from Ricky Mokel, who appears onstage in different hilarious costumes each year; seasons past have included Ornie the Ornament and other aptly named characters. The special effects, ambiance and music will transport you beyond your seat and into a Christmas wonderland of color and excitement. A L A B A M A -T H E AT R E .C O M

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Courtesy Legends In Concert

Courtesy Alabama Theatre

“THE SOUTH’S GRANDEST CHRISTMAS SHOW” AT ALABAMA THEATRE

A DOLLY PARTON TRIBUTE ARTIST AT LEGENDS IN CONCERT

M EDI E VA L T I M ES

For fans of recent TV phenomena “Game of Thrones,” “Arthur” and “Vikings,” an evening out at Medieval Times is not to be missed. Where else can one dine on a four-course meal and enjoy an ice-cold beverage while casually watching knights joust for the hand of a Spanish queen? Trained equestrians, stuntmen, and actors and actresses “battle” before your eyes over the course of a two-hour show, complete with a live Royal Falconry demonstration. The Royal Falconer also educates guests on the art of medieval falconry, which predates even the Middle Ages, and falcons are available to be viewed before and after the show. Though the fighting is staged — and no actors or animals are harmed— Medieval Times goes above and beyond to create a historically accurate and riveting experience for its guests, using models of real weapons used by Spanish knights and soldiers. During the holiday season, the show comes alive in festive colors of red, green and holiday decor, and special evenings feature additional programming, such as story time for children and other holiday-themed segments. M E D I E V A LT I M E S .C O M

2020 MYRTLE BEACH HOLIDAY PLANNING GUIDE


Shopping

Broadway at the Beach Broadway at the Beach is one of the most popular destinations in the Myrtle Beach area. Visitors are sure to enjoy the wide range of diversions available, such as shopping, local cuisine, exciting attractions and lively entertainment. For a thrilling adventure, guests can zip across the lake at WonderWorks, the “amusement park for the mind,� or stroll through the 350-acre outdoor mall to peruse over 70 stores. During the holidays, admire the festive holiday decor and special events.

BROADWAYATTHEBEACH.COM

Courtesy Broadway At The Beach

VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM

7 Courtesy Gilmore Entertainment


PI R AT ES VOYAGE

Pirates may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Christmas, but anyone who has been to Myrtle Beach during the holidays knows that Pirates Voyage is a can’t-miss attraction to fit into any November or December getaway to the Grand Strand. This dinner-and-a-show venue hosts year-round productions of “swashbuckling” excitement, complete with real pirate ships, sea lions, tropical birds and a 15-foot-deep aquatic stage. During Christmastime, the tropical set transforms into a holiday wonderland, and audience members join Captain Scrooge on an adventure as he takes a Dickens-inspired journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas. Every show is accompanied by a four-course meal that showcases Southern cuisine — complete with roasted chicken, barbecued pork and apple pie. Dinner is served throughout the course of the show by a cast of pirate characters that add to the feeling of immersion in the magical world of parrots and peg legs. Vegetarian and gluten-free meal options are available upon request. Group rates are also available for “crews” of 20 or more people, and the venue can accommodate groups of as many as 940, making it a great option for church groups, school trips, corporate meetings and even family reunions. P I R AT E S V O YA G E .C O M

GTS T H E AT R E

Billed as an “intimate cabaret theater,” the GTS Theatre is known for first-class entertainment in a family-style setting, allowing for audience interaction with the onstage performers. During the holiday season, the theater’s regular programming of tributes to Southern greats such as Elvis, Whitney Houston, Motown bands and more gets a festive face-lift and extra dose of Christmas charm. The marquee productions of the holiday season include a Motown Christmas tribute and “Christmas in Dixie Redneck Style.” The Motown Christmas tribute brings guests on a musical journey through the legendary music created in Detroit in the ’60s and ’70s. A recounting of the bringing down of racial and social barriers in the postsegregation era, the Motown music story is one of hope, unity and inspiration, perfectly suited for the holiday season. Singing along while classic holiday hits made famous by the likes of Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and the Jackson 5 are performed onstage is highly encouraged. The two-hour performance is suitable for families, and tickets for students and children are well under $20, making it a fun outing for school groups, multigenerational families and anyone else who appreciates classic hits and holiday cheer. The second show, “Christmas in Dixie Redneck Style,” delivers lots of laughs. Follow a country family through its holiday foibles and fun in a show sprinkled with Christmas tunes, magical feats, ventriloquists, impersonations and more.

Courtesy Pirates Voyage

G T S T H E AT R E .C O M

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A NATIVITY SCENE AT PIRATES VOYAGE

2020 MYRTLE BEACH HOLIDAY PLANNING GUIDE


GTS THEATRE

The Asher Theatre bills itself as a place where guests can expect to “experience the uncommon.” Aside from its year-round entertainment offerings, which are wide-ranging and include, among others, comedians, tribute bands and full-fledged musicals, the venue is also home to the All Good Things retail store. The store offers unique goods that benefit underserved communities all over the world, just one of the ways the venue seeks to engage the local community in a larger purpose and give back. Groups can indulge in popcorn, beer, soda and snacks while being entertained by an all-star cast of performers. Guests consistently rave that the level of talent onstage at the Asher is on par with that of some of America’s largest musical cities. During the Christmas season, the theater comes alive with “The Spirit and Soul of Christmas,” a dazzling holiday musical with a distinct Southern flavor of soul, rhythm and blues, and gospel. Performances of this special production take place every weekend in November and December and sell out fast, so advance booking is highly encouraged. A S H E R T H E AT R E .C O M

Courtesy GTS Theatre

A SH ER T H E AT R E

‘CH R IST M A S ON ICE’

A chillingly beautiful spectacle for the whole family, “Christmas on Ice” is the Myrtle Beach holiday pop-up that will have you sliding into fun. World-class figure skaters, many of whom have competed at the top levels nationally and internationally, combine with an all-star cast of singers and dancers to bring you a holiday musical in a beautiful winter setting. In Myrtle Beach’s Fantasy Harbour District, the show takes place in a 30,000-square-foot, climate-controlled tent, with no bad seats in the house. A palpable and circuslike excitement penetrates the atmosphere inside, where guests are transported into a winter wonderland of Christmas trees, ice, elves and larger-than-life holiday cheer. Group discounts are available for groups of 15 or more, and concessions are available on-site, including entertainment favorites such as ice cream, snacks and soft drinks. I C E S H O W M B .CO M

COASTAL NETWORK COOPERATIVE & MYRTLE BEACH CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU PRESENTS

Nov. 10, 2020 one day event only.

THE 18TH ANNUAL

• FREE ADMISSION • ENTERTAINMENT • GIVEAWAYS

Fa n ta S e a

• GRAND PRIZE SHOPPING SPREE TANGER OUTLET • 2 HOUR SHOW WITH AWARD WINNING ENTERTAINMENT

FOR INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT SANDY HAINES:

VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM

Sandy.Haines@visitmyrtlebeach.com 9 843-916-7248


B E Y O N D

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Beach

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BY MOLLY PHILLIPS

here’s much more than sea and sand to enjoy on a trip to Myrtle Beach. This perennially popular vacation destination has some of the most inventive and intriguing attractions and cultural institutions in the South. Groups visiting the beach can find an aquarium, a science museum, a historic plantation, a sculpture garden and more. During the holidays, many of Myrtle Beach’s best attractions plan special programming and events to help visitors enjoy the season.

RIPLEY ’S AQUA RIU M

Ripley’s Aquarium prides itself on providing animal experiences unlike any other. Featuring live shows, interactive activities and a thriving collection of marine animals, this 85,000-square-foot aquarium is South Carolina’s most visited attraction. During the holiday season, instead of a sleigh ride, guests can take a side-by-side swim with stingrays; the species joining them will include the spotted eagle ray and the cownose ray. In the Dangerous Reef Tunnel, families can have a sleepover with the sharks after a night full of dive shows and other after-hours activities. There’s even an option to spend the night on New Year’s Eve and have a midnight toast with newfound shark friends. Just as exciting is the Pearl Harbor exhibit, one of the aquarium’s most recent additions, where the interactive gallery provides families with information about the world-altering event of 1941 in Hawaii. During the holidays, the aquarium’s annual Festival of Trees showcases more than 50 decorated Christmas trees. Ripley’s has several other attractions in Myrtle Beach. For a mind-

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bending activity, guests can get lost in Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze filled with illusory reflections, LED lights and tricky twists and turns. And at Ripley’s 5-D Moving Theater, guests can “ride the movie,” with interactive motion features and other special effects. R I P L E YA Q U A R I U M S .C O M / M Y R T L E B E A C H

HOPSE W EE PL A N TAT ION

In the 1700s, Thomas Lynch Jr., one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was born at South Carolina’s Hopsewee Plantation. Today, groups can tour the elegant plantation home, where overhanging oak trees, river vistas and 18th-century furniture transport guests to Lynch’s era. Frank and Raejean Beattie, the current owners, live at the property but happily share their home with guests regularly. The tour allows visitors to explore the home’s downstairs and upstairs, as well as two original slave cabins. Guests learn about the plantation’s storied past and the families that once lived on the plantation. Those looking for an enriching, creative activity can even take a sweetgrass-basket-weaving workshop, where they’ll learn the techniques West African slaves used to create strong baskets at the plantation. Once essential for the efficiency of rice plantations, they are now admired for their craftsmanship. One of South Carolina’s top tearooms, the River Oak Cottage Tea Room is the manor’s newest development. The tearoom’s large menu features gourmet recipes crafted by Raejean Beattie herself and inspired by the lowcountry region’s Southern charm. Groups can enjoy the sweet and savory treats — like spicy crab cakes, sweet potato casserole and honey almond creme brulee — in a warm and welcoming atmosphere of Southern hospitality. H O P S E W E E .C O M

2020 MYRTLE BEACH HOLIDAY PLANNING GUIDE Courtesy Alabama Theatre


‘Tis the season for these

AT T R AC T I O N S

VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM

DANCING ELVES CELEBRATE THE CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING AT BROADWAY AT THE BEACH.

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Courtesy Broadway at the Beach


W O N D E R W O R K S O N L I N E .C O M

Courtesy Hopsewee Plantation

WON DERWOR K S

WonderWorks is a 50,000-square-foot amusement park with an imaginative self-proclaimed backstory. According to the myth, the park was once a top-secret laboratory that, because of a scientific experiment gone wrong, was whisked away to Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach all the way from the Bermuda Triangle. This tale is supported by the park’s physical structure, which resembles an upside-down building with dangling palm trees clinging to the previously grounded foundation. With over 100 hands-on activities, WonderWorks specializes in “edutainment,” blending education with entertainment and exploring subjects such as space, art, light, sound, physics and weather. Some of the stimulating exhibits include natural disasters where visitors can play with 100,000 volts of electricity through a mesh, steel armor glove, and physical challenges where guests can lie on a bed of 3,500 nails and test the application of force. Future artists can let their creativity run wild in the Imagination Lab with the Wonder Brite activities and digital artistic stations. WonderWorks offers additional thrilling physical activities, such as a glow-in-the-dark indoor ropes challenge course that features three stories, 28 obstacles and 36-foot-high bridges, swinging beams and lily pads. More of a team-based challenge, the laser tag combat zone encourages players to out-game their opponents using the black-lit maze as their interactive arena. Outdoors, visitors can soar through the air above water on the 50-foot-high zip line.

HOPSEWEE PLANTATION

Courtesy WonderWorks

DU PL I N W I N ERY

WONDERWORKS

At the Duplin Winery, guests can enjoy a sweeter holiday season by tasting wine from one of the oldest and largest wineries in the South. The Duplin Winery began making wine back in the early 1970s. At first, the winemakers used mainly muscadine grapes, which were considered a “wonder crop” at the time. Today, the winery sells over 500,000 cases of wine a year and has won several awards. Among their award-winning wines are Hatteras Red, Scuppernong and Magnolia, which was recently highlighted in Martha Stewart Living. For the holiday season, the Duplin Winery offers special wine accessories and seasonal wines that make excellent gifts for friends and family. The store is also outfitted with festive decorations. Additionally, the winery hosts an annual Down Home Country Christmas Holiday Dinner Theater show. Audience members can enjoy local flavors, including Duplin’s wines and gourmet muscadine dressings. Guests that purchase tickets for the event will receive a tour and a wine tasting, a one-night stay at the local Holiday Inn Express and a complimentary bottle of wine delivered to their room. D U P L I N W I N E R Y.C O M

RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM

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Courtesy Duplin Winery

Courtesy Ripley’s Aquarium

DUPLIN WINERY’S MYRTLE BEACH TASTING ROOM

2020 MYRTLE BEACH HOLIDAY PLANNING GUIDE


Shopping

Barefoot Landing At Barefoot Landing, guests can unwind from the stress of the holiday season in a beautiful waterfront setting. Stretched along the Intracoastal Waterway, this complex features 50-plus shops, 10 restaurants and eight exciting attractions, not to mention stunning views of a 27-acre lake. Shoppers can browse brands such as Chico’s and Sand and Sun, or try local Southern cuisine from Blueberry’s Grill or the River City Cafe. Starting at the end of November, Barefoot Landing hosts the annual Lighting of the Landing, with a treelighting ceremony, live music, a Santa visit and a spectacular fireworks display.

BFLANDING.COM

VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM

Courtesy Barefoot Landing

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INSIDE THE AZTEC THEATER AT THE SIMPSONS IN 4D

Courtesy The Simpsons in 4D

SI M PSONS I N 4D

Travelers can now spend some time in Springfield during their holiday trip to Myrtle Beach, thanks to the new Simpsons in 4D. This attraction features real-life build-outs of the show’s famous Aztec Theater and Kwik-E-Mart. In the Aztec Theater, visitors see “The Simpsons” like never before with special effects, motion seats and exclusive episodes made just for the theater. There’s also a cutting-edge motion ride created by SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment, FoxNext Destinations and Gracie Films. Lined up outside the theater are some of the show’s beloved characters welcoming guests inside. Behind the doors, there are episodes of the show being played on screens, and visitors can take a fun photo with Marge and Homer on the red carpet. Though all tickets include a Hollywood-inspired digital photo with all “The Simpsons” family characters, the Total Experience ticket provides guests with additional items, like a Lard Lad Donut and a souvenir cup filled with Buzz Cola or their preferred Squishee flavor. After the movie, the Kwik-E-Mart offers visitors the opportunity to purchase popular products seen on the show, such as Duff Beer, Lard Lad Donuts, Heat Lamp Dogs, Squishee Slushies and Buzz Cola, as well as “The Simpsons” merchandise. The Simpsons in 4D’s authentic detail, advanced technology and immersive quality makes this attraction a one-of-a-kind adventure travelers won’t want to miss.

NIGHTS OF 1,000 CANDLES AT BROOKGREEN GARDENS

Courtesy Brookgreen Gardens

THE SIMPSONS IN 4D’S KWIK-E-MART

Courtesy The Simpsons in 4D

B R O A D W AYAT T H E B E A C H .C O M / L I S T I N G / T H E-S I M P S O N S-I N -4D

BROOKGR EEN GA R DENS

Founded in 1931 by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, Brookgreen Gardens is a cultural hub for locals. This lush retreat offers a harmonious blend of art, nature and history. Visitors can discover wildlife and sculptures, native plants and botanical displays during their visit to Brookgreen. In the botanical garden, guests will find 250-year-old oak trees and thriving flora and fauna, as well as a garden room, a kitchen garden and a terrace garden full of perennials, roses and more. Brookgreen Gardens also has the largest and most comprehensive collection of American figurative sculptures in the country, with more than 2,000 works, and indoor galleries displaying paintings, etchings and other types of artwork. Animal lovers won’t want to miss out on the garden’s Lowcountry Zoo, which features native animals living in the swamps, woods and waters of the area. One of the few establishments in South Carolina accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Brookgreen Gardens takes pride in helping animals that would not have survived in the wild. Guests can explore the zoo, with the opportunity to watch the animals’ natural behaviors and learn about them during a 50-minute tour. During the holidays, Brookgreen Gardens hosts Nights of 1,000 Candles, where guests can experience the garden coming to life with over 2,700 hand-lit candles and myriad dazzling lights. Visitors enjoy the festive sounds of holiday music and singing carolers while sipping warm drinks such as cocoa, cider and wine. Named “Best Christmas Lights in South Carolina” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, this event would be sure to make anyone’s holiday season sparkle even brighter. B R O O K G R E E N .O R G

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2020 MYRTLE BEACH HOLIDAY PLANNING GUIDE


Shopping

Coastal Grand Mall

The second-largest mall in South Carolina, the Coastal Grand Mall is suitable for everyone’s shopping desires. With a million square feet, this shopping mall offers more than 140 stores, among them Zales, Children’s Place, Loft, Simply Southern, Express, Foot Locker and Victoria’s Secret. After a day full of shopping, visitors can refuel at one of the many restaurants, like the Texas Roadhouse Grill or Red Lobster.

COASTALGR AND.COM

Myrtle Beach Mall For a more intimate shopping experience, the Myrtle Beach Mall is ideal. Shoppers can enjoy a small-yet-charming atmosphere while browsing stores such as Bass Pro Shops, JCPenney, Mason and Magnolia, and Wolfcreek Gallery, among others. Fun attractions include the Animal Riders and the AMC movie theater.

MYM ALLMYRTLEBEACH.COM


S A V E

T H E

Date

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BY MOLLY PHILLIPS

ith craft bazaars, period reenactments, decor competitions and even a maritime Christmas parade, there is no shortage of entertaining diversions during a winter trip to the Grand Strand’s shores. Several events are so unique and memorable that they deserve a spot in any group’s Christmastime trip to Myrtle Beach. These festivities will enchant, delight and make visitors fall even more in love with the South’s favorite beach town.

ORIGINA L BENJA MIN’S CA L A BASH SEA FOOD GINGERBREA D L A N E COMPETITION

The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood has been an icon in Myrtle Beach for more than 30 years, serving fresh-caught seafood from the Atlantic Ocean and the brackish inland waters of the Intracoastal Waterway. The restaurant features lighthouse-inspired architecture and nautical decor and serves lightly battered, deep-fried seafood known regionally as Calabash. The Original Benjamin’s takes its art forms seriously. At the restaurant, one can find dozens of model ships on display that have been handcrafted or meticulously restored by the restaurant’s master shipwright, Jimmy Frost. The collection includes sailboats, famous ocean liners and naval war ships. During the holiday season, however, it’s a different art form that draws crowds: gingerbread homes. The Original Benjamin’s Gingerbread Lane competition is a spectacle not to be missed, and participants have come from states away to enter their creations in the lineup. Over the years,

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the contest has seen everything from houseboats to lighthouses to White House replicas and beyond. Some participants have been entering the competition year after year for over a decade. Groups that want to see the gingerbread houses can visit anytime from the Saturday before Thanksgiving to January 1. O R I G I N A L B E N J A M I N S .C O M

I N T R ACOA STA L CH R IST M A S R EGAT TA

On the Saturday following Thanksgiving, a colorful parade of holidaydecorated vessels ushers the season into the Carolinas’ Grand Strand of beaches. Known as the Intracoastal Christmas Regatta, the spectacle begins parading at dusk from Tilghman’s point to Dock Holiday’s Marina and is best viewed from the deck of one of the area’s riverside restaurants. Many have regatta-themed holiday specials available during the parade. Boat owners take great pride in decking out their vessels year after year for the maritime march, often selecting themes to guide the decorations. Boats have appeared as tropical islands, Vegas show stages, Santa’s sleighs and much more. Typically, the event also features a charitable component, and attendees help raise support for a designated yearly cause, such as the local Humane Society or Christmas toys for underprivileged children. L I T T L E R I V E R C H A M B E R .O R G

2020 MYRTLE BEACH HOLIDAY PLANNING GUIDE Courtesy Alabama Theatre


Holidays

are eventful in MYRTLE BEACH

VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM

THE GRAND STRAND’S BEST PERFORMERS PUT ON A SPECIAL SHOW FOR TOUR GROUPS AT THE ANNUAL HOLIDAY FANTASEA EVENT.

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Courtesy Myrtle Beach CNC


Courtesy Original Benjamin’s GINGERBREAD LANE COMPETITION AT ORIGINAL BENJAMIN’S CALABASH SEAFOOD

DICK ENS SHOW A N D F EST I VA LS

Part farmers market, part craft fair, part festival, the Dickens Christmas Show and festivals draw crowds of more than 20,000 from across the Southeast every year. Visitors come to shop, dine, take in the sights and catch a good whiff of Christmas spirit. This award-winning event takes over the Myrtle Beach Convention Center the second weekend in November every year, filling the 100,000-square-foot space with vendors clad in Victorian-era costumes and selling everything from gourmet popcorn to handcrafted jewelry and art. Adding to the Victorian ambiance are musicians who stroll throughout the crowds, a historical Santa Claus, tea leaf readers and more. Punctuating the bazaar of goods and goodies are various “festivals” that showcase the creativity of local artisans to benefit nonprofit groups. In 2020, expect the Festival of Trees, Tables, Wreaths, Worlds and — new since 2019 — Stockings. Each festival is a designated area of the market where elaborately decorated holiday items, such as trees, are displayed. Often decorated in themes, the items are available for purchase via silent auction. All proceeds go to the designated nonprofit sponsor of that festival. Tiny Tim, from the festival’s namesake inspiration, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” would certainly approve. D I C K E N S C H R I S T M A S S H O W.C O M

MYRTLE BEACH OCEANFRONT

All You Want for Christmas. SHOPPING AT DICKENS CHRISTMAS SHOW AND FESTIVALS

1801 South Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 www.Hampton.com • (877)-946-6400

HOLIDAY PACKAGES AVAILABLE! 18

61353-Hampton Myrtle Beach Holiday Guide 2019.indd 1

10/8/19 10:49 AM

A VICTORIAN SANTA CLAUS

2020 MYRTLE BEACH HOLIDAY PLANNING GUIDE

Photos courtesy Dickens Christmas Show and Festivals

• Top ranked by TripAdvisor.com • Convenient to Market Common, Broadway at the Beach, Christmas theater shows • Heated indoor pools, hot tubs, fitness center • Complimentary “On the House” continental breakfast


Shopping

Market Common Also known as Myrtle Beach’s Uptown Downtown, Market Common is where travelers come to shop, eat and play. Featuring over 30 niche stores and boutiques, including Orvis, Francesca’s, Centro Shoes, Pottery Barn and Tommy Bahama, Market Common offers shopping options for everyone. Visitors can enjoy diverse cuisine, from American and Italian to Chinese and Tex-Mex. For a fun night out, discover 810 Billiards and Bowling, the Seacoast Artists Gallery and Grand 14 Cinema, dubbed “the most comfortable movie theater in Myrtle Beach.” Regardless of visitors’ preferred activities, there’s something for everyone to love at Market Common, from exciting entertainment venues to one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants.

MARKETCOMMONMB.COM

Courtesy Market Common

ITEM 170 SEAFOOD BUFFET

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Pasta Station – Hibachi Grill – Kids Buffet

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Only 3 miles from Alabama Theater & 7 miles from Broadway At The Beach VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM

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HOL I DAY FA N TA SE A

Presented annually by the Coastal Network Cooperative in partnership with the Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Holiday FantaSea is a complimentary production available for group tours that book trips to Myrtle Beach during the beginning of the holiday season. This two-hour show, with award-winning singers and dancers from the local area, happens on the first two Tuesdays of November in order to inspire groups to get a head start on the winter travel season and book their tours to the area early. In addition to enjoying a riveting onstage performance, guests can get in on the fun through dozens of giveaways that happen live at the event, including gift cards to Tanger Outlets and local restaurants. It’s also a chance for guests to preview other attractions in the Myrtle Beach area, as representatives from Ripley’s Aquarium, Medieval Times and others are present to offer groups more information on current happenings at these venues. Tickets can be reserved through the hotel managers that book groups’ tours. Though Holiday FantaSea was started as a way to give back to tour operators and groups, it has become an all-around win not only for the groups and the convention and visitors bureau, but also for local businesses. V I S I T M Y R T L E B E A C H .C O M

Courtesy SC Bluegrass Festival

Courtesy Myrtle Beach CNC

HOLIDAY FANTASEA

SOUTH CAROLINA BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL

SOU T H CA ROL I NA STAT E BLU EGR A SS F EST I VA L

When it comes to bluegrass, no one does it better than the Adams family. Adams Bluegrass Festivals, founded nearly 50 years ago by Norman Adams, brings a talented lineup of artists and family-friendly celebrations of the historic genre to cities across the South. Every winter, Myrtle Beach steps into the spotlight on this rotation for the Carolina State Bluegrass Festival. In 2020, the Myrtle Beach Convention Center will host the 51st annual festival, which kicks off on Thanksgiving Day and continues on through the weekend. Featuring top talent from around the world within the bluegrass category, the festival is enjoyed by fans of all ages, and children under 7 years of age receive free admission. Dancing to fiddles, banjos and guitars is a great way to burn off energy from all that Thanksgiving pie. Notable talent of years past includes the Lonesome River Band, the Crowe Brothers, the Little Ray and Lizzy Show, Jeff Parker and Co., and Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. Keep an eye on adamsbluegrass.com for what’s sure to be a star-studded 2020 lineup. A D A M S B L U E G R A S S .C O M

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2020 MYRTLE BEACH HOLIDAY PLANNING GUIDE


Shopping

Tanger Outlets Calling all fashion lovers! At Tanger Outlets, the mission has always been to provide shoppers with the latest in fashion trends for the best prices. Visitors can find savings on popular brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Wilson’s Leather, Ann Taylor, Carter’s and Calvin Klein. Visitors can take advantage of the lifetime TangerClub memberships for a small one-time fee to receive exclusive discounts, complimentary items, gift cards and other benefits. Groups can even get coupon books with additional deals and discounts.

TANGEROUTLET.COM /MYRTLEBEACH17 Courtesy Tanger Outlets

WITH MYRTLE BEACH SEASIDE RESORTS Let our knowledgeable and experienced group sales staff help put ®

together your perfect group package plans, no matter what the season! • Oceanfront locations

• Buffet breakfast available

• Affordable customized packages

• Special group menus

• Complimentary motorcoach parking • Free wireless internet • Baggage handling

• Corporate events, meetings, and holiday parties

Call to Book: 1-844-443-7020 or visit myrtlebeachseasideresorts.com Prince Resort 3500 N. Ocean Blvd. | North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM

Avista Resort

Grande Shores Resort

300 N. Ocean Blvd. | North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582 201 77th Ave North | Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

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R I V ERTOW N CH R IST M A S CEL EBR AT ION

The Rivertown Christmas Celebration is like stepping through time into the scene of a classic Christmas movie. In the quaint town of Conway, local shop owners, city officials, musicians and restaurateurs come together to transform their downtown into a magical Christmas village during the first two weeks of December. Kicking off with a tree-lighting ceremony that culminates with Santa’s arrival at City Hall, the event runs every night through the middle of December from 6 to 8. Visitors can take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the picturesque downtown, enjoy live music performed inside and outside local boutiques and art galleries, and try to spot one of the famed “living window displays” on the second Thursday of the month, when shop owners compete to see who can produce the most magnificently staged live window scene.

Courtesy Doubletree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront

Courtesy Rivertown Christmas Celebration

RIVERTOWN CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION

DOUBLETREE RESORT BY HILTON MYRTLE BEACH OCEANFRONT, HOME OF THE WINTER ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW

C O N W AYA L I V E .C O M

A RTS F EST I VA LS

Myrtle Beach is filled with artistic expression. The Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild has been providing a platform for local artisans to sell their work for more than half a century. Guests who visit during the first half of November may be able to catch the 48th annual arts festival put on by the guild, called Art in the Park, held in the Valor Park area of Market Common. While the art fair showcases dozens of talented local artisans and makers, it also draws vendors from across the country that come to showcase their myriad talent and wares. Find traditional oil-on-canvas paintings, wire sculptures, homemade jewelry, woodcarvings and more. It’s a good way to support the arts and small businesses while finding one-of-a-kind holiday gifts. W A C G .O R G

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W I N T ER A RTS A N D CR A F TS SHOW

Slightly later in the season, typically the first weekend of December, you can find similar artisan offerings against a more upscale backdrop. The Winter Arts and Craft Show is coming up on its 34th year in Myrtle Beach and is now hosted at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront, a hotel well known by Myrtle Beach summer vacationers. Visitors can browse through artisan goods and discover sweet treats and delicious eats, all just a few yards from the beach. Depending on the weather, a crisp walk outside on the shore after an afternoon of shopping and snacking might be the perfect end to a cheery holiday outing. The DoubleTree Resort will announce dates and times on its website.

2020 MYRTLE BEACH HOLIDAY PLANNING GUIDE


M Y R T L E

B E A C H

Holiday Guide Restaurant Listings Angelo’s Steak & Pasta

Hard Rock Cafe

Home of “The Greatest Steaks in the Universe” and the Grand Stand’s finest allyou-can-eat Italian buffet. All of our food is authentic family Italian recipes with our own personal touch. Individual dining rooms for large groups are available.

After a day of exploring, step inside the uniquely stylish NEW! Hard Rock Cafe, where you’ll find plenty of seating for your group. Our cuisine is All-American and features a wide variety of burgers, steaks and seafood along with fresh salads and delicious comfort foods such as Twisted Mac & Cheese with Chicken.

2311 S. KINGS HIGHWAY 843-626-2800

WWW.ANGELOSTEAKANDPASTA.COM

1318 CELEBRITY CIRCLE 843-946-0007

WWW.HARDROCK.COM/CAFES/MYRTLE-BEACH

Croissants Bistro and Bakery

3751 ROBERT GRISSON PARKWAY & 8014 NORTH KINGS HIGHWAY 843-448-2253

With 2 locations, Croissants incorporates fresh, local ingredients into each menu item, creating unsurpassed quality with each bite. From custom dining options and catering, to cakes and bakery items, we look forward to meeting your groups’ specific needs and budget.

Hook & Barrell

8014 NORTH KINGS HIGHWAY 843-839-5888

Conveniently located on the corner of Kings Hwy & 82nd Avenue N, Hook & Barrel focuses on fresh seafood with an emphasis on sustainability. From custom dining options and catering to cakes and bakery items, we invite your group to experience the difference “fresh” really makes. WWW.HOOKANDBARRELRESTAURANT.COM

WWW.CROISSANTS.NET

Dave & Buster’s 1322 CELEBRITY CIRCLE 843-945-3500

House of Blues

4640 HIGHWAY 17 SOUTH 843-913-3708

Dave & Buster’s can show your tour group the best mix of food, drinks, games and fun. We offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner packages that include a meal, unlimited beverages and Power Card for game play in our Million Dollar Midway. Whether your group is 20 or 500, our team is here to help.

House of Blues Myrtle Beach is a premier restaurant and entertainment venue located in Barefoot Landing with the ambiance of an old Southern Delta Juke Joint. With indoor and outdoor space, we offer a rich setting for corporate events, meetings and private parties. For any type of special event, our House can be yours.

WWW.DAVEANDBUSTERS.COM

WWW.HOUSEOFBLUES.COM

Giant Crab Seafood Restaurant

9597 NORTH KINGS HIGHWAY 843-839-2292

Giant Crab offers over 170 items with a steam bar, Italian pasta station, fresh seafood, carving station with steaks cooked to order, soup, salad, Lowcountry favorites, Hibachi grill, dessert and kids bars. We offer competitive group rates, motorcoach parking and a meet and greet program. WWW.GIANTCRAB.COM

Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s North Myrtle Beach at Barefoot Landing 4954 HWY 17 SOUTH 843-968-7453

Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s is all about FUN, FOOD & FAMILY! Live music nightly, sandy beach, fountain for youth, allergy menu, gift shop and more. Located at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach. WWW.LULUBUFFETT.COM

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen at Broadway at the Beach 1202 CELEBRITY CIRCLE 843-945-1072

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen offers guests classic Deen Family recipes, such as SouthernStyle entrees, delicious side dishes, and mouthwatering desserts in a family-style setting. Serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner, the fullservice, 300-seat dining area upstairs provides the perfect spot to enjoy a meal with your group. WWW.PAULADEENSFAMILYKITCHEN.COM

Pier House Restaurant at 2nd Avenue Pier 110 N.OCEAN BOULEVARD 843-445-PIER (7437)

A day on the pier or in the surf can really work up an appetite.Fortunately, great food is just steps away! Our menu features a fantastic breakfast, fresh salads, savory sandwiches, fabulous seafood and delicious steaks. Large windows give diners the million-dollar view they deserve. WWW.SECONDAVENUEPIER.COM

The Claw House

4097 HIGHWAY 17 BUSINESS MURRELLS INLET 843-651-4415

The Claw House is a New England style lobster house with a touch of southern flare, featuring hard shell lobster from the cold waters of the North Atlantic. The Claw House also offers an oyster bar, seafood market, 20 draft beers, an aquarium and the best views Murrells Inlet has to offer. WWW.THECLAWHOUSE.COM

The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood 9593 NORTH KINGS HIGHWAY 843-288-8687

The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood is a must see when visiting Myrtle Beach. It is the largest seafood buffet featuring 170 of the most delicious seafood, steak, sides and desserts. Don’t miss our Model Ship Builders Workshop and our children’s nautical area. WWW.ORIGINALBENJAMINS.COM

Riptydz Oceanfront Grille & Rooftop Bar 1210 N. OCEAN BOULEVARD 843-945-1204

Riptydz has something for everyone – part oceanfront restaurant, part beach bar – all with sweeping views of the beach overlooking the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Riptydz has over 500 seats and 3 bars. We offer a carefully crafted eclectic menu featuring fresh local seafood and steaks unlike anything else on the Boardwalk. WWW.RIPTYDZ.COM

Thoroughbreds Restaurant

9706 NORTH KINGS HIGHWAY 843-497-2636

Since opening in 1988, Thoroughbreds has become known as the best overall restaurant in Myrtle Beach. With six unique dining rooms, multiple menus, and ample parking, it’s easy to see why Thoroughbreds leads the Grand Strand in private group dining. Book your group function today. WWW.TBMYRTLE.COM

Wicked Tuna

MURRELLS INLET MARSHWALK 4123 U.S. HIGHWAY 17 BUSINESS MURRELLS INLET 843-651-9987

On Murrells Inlet’s Marshwalk, Wicked Tuna is home to breathtaking views. Our obsession with fresh fish, artful sushi, prime beef and bold flavors provides an experience for your event that is truly exceptional. We accommodate groups from 25-600. WWW.THEWICKEDTUNA.COM

VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM

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Season

of C E L E B R AT I O N

• • • • • • •

Fresh Itineraries Diverse Accommodations Live Entertainment History & Nature Coastal Carolina Cuisine Incredible Shopping Southern Hospitality

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Profile for The Group Travel Leader, Inc.

2020 Myrtle Beach Holiday Guide  

Groups visit the Myrtle Beach area year-round for great shows, attractions and shopping, not to mention 60 miles of beautiful beaches and th...

2020 Myrtle Beach Holiday Guide  

Groups visit the Myrtle Beach area year-round for great shows, attractions and shopping, not to mention 60 miles of beautiful beaches and th...