Myrtle Beach - sun, sea, sand and kitsch
Sep 01, 2008
Nov 19, 2008
Where I stayed
Anderson Ocean Club
Myrtle Beach: coastal resort and tourist destination of millions of Americans every year. A fabulous apartment (or "condo") with sea view, a pristine stretch of sandy beach, stunning sunshine and a sea so warm that even Laura could have bobbed about in it all day. Sadly, that was all the charm that Myrtle Beach had to offer. Beyond these undeniably fabulous plus points, we were forced to conclude that the resort as a whole was uninspiring and soul-less. The beachfront boulevard that went on for many, many miles was lined with hotels, but little else. No charming eateries, lively bars or even tacky tourist shops or arcades. All this was located in a much more "convenient" place - convenient, that is, if you are very attached to your car. A few blocks back from the beach and just a couple of blocks apart, there were two wide, dual carriageways, each lined with every chain restaurant, motel and shop that you can think of. And if this does not offer all that you are looking for, you can head for one of the major tourist traps, like the "Broadway at the Beach" complex where you can choose any of the several thousand parking spaces, preferably as close as possible to the attraction that you have come to enjoy: the crazy golf, the aquarium, the Imax cinema, the restaurant in the shape of a pirate ship or the one in the shape of a pyramid, or the endless trail of "shops" that sell comedy t-shirts, sunglasses or fudge. Of course, we cheated entirely by parking in one corner of this massive park of kitsch and walked a loop around the entire complex - without moving the car and without catching the taxi-boat across the fake lake around which all of the "attractions" have been constructed. The next day, we defied traditional American life even more by walking to this pleasure centre from our hotel (a full mile and a bit!) in order to catch a film at the cinema there. Then, just to really show ourselves up as Europeans, we walked back! Anyway, our stay at Myrtle Beach was both entertaining and relaxing, the beach being by far the greatest attraction.