Wednesday, October 7, 2015

48 WAYS MYRTLE BEACH WILL CAPTURE YOUR SENSES


The South Carolina flag in real life Myrtle Beach (squint and you will see the crescent moon on the right hand side)

 


 



Art Deco style abounds throughout downtown Myrtle Beach, including this hotel. To do your own Art Deco tour head to Ocean boulevard.

 

The sun sets on the white sand beach in downtown Myrtle Beach.

 

The Myrtle Beach boardwalk and promenade is the ideal place for a quiet stroll during the day or evening.Check out the gift shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment attractions that line the boardwalk, just meters from the beach.

 

Dinner of rack of lamb with herbed parisienne gnocchi, roasted asparagus, Provencal vegetables, shallot mint jus at Cyprus Room at Island Vista Resort. The dining room looks upon the ocean, so expect great views.

 

The calm salt marshes of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge (the departing point for the ride to Bulls Island). Many water activities depart from here including kayaks, boats, and fishing tours. 


Captain Wil Christenson (right) and first mate Nick Johnson (left) of Coastal Expeditions
On the short ferry  ride over, the crew spoke about the natural environment of the area, and pointed out birds, and even dolphins. Their excitement about the treasure trove of ecological finds on the island and their humour was greatly appreciated.

 

Exploring The Boneyard (Boneyard Beach) at Bulls Island with Coastal Expeditions . The sculptural curves of salt water and weathered trees bordered by brush and palmetto palms makes for a spectacular ambiance. Over time, the sea has encroached on the forest leaving this otherworldly landscape. We spotted horseshoe crab shells, sand dollars and turtle eggs on the beach.


 As a barrier island, the landscape on Bulls Island is remarkable with shoreline, salt marsh, and forest. There are also picnic tables, a cabin and lighthouse on the island.  "Street" signs at various points help keep visitors from getting lost. 

 

Kayaking along the salt marshes with Black River outdoors. While paddling along the calm water, CSL spotted oyster beds, birds and jumping fish galore. The highlight however, was getting a glimpse of an American bald eagle. Seeing one guest engulf her feet in the plough mud (pronounced pluff mud) was remarkable.


No trip to South Carolina would be complete without a visit to the Carolina Opry- with a thoroughly entertaining show of dance, song and humorous sketches, this was one of the highlights in Myrtle beach.


Thoroughbreds restaurant in Myrtle beach, at golden hour.

 

With a horseracing bent throughout the restaurant, CSL ordered a warming boullaibasse from the 'seabiscuit' portion of the menu at Thoroughbreds from creative chef John Thomas Tapper II .


A birds eye view of Myrtle Beach from The Myrtle Beach Sky Wheel
The long stretch of sand is perfect for relaxing strolls, sunbathing or wading into the water.

 

Sea Captain's House restaurant in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has won more awards than any other restaurant in Myrtle Beach. The ultra busy restaurant serves up classic seafood dishes in a 1930s cottage overlooking the ocean. CSL tried the Captain's Seafood Muddle, a hearty soup with
Sauteed Shrimp, Scallops, Fish, Clams, Mussels, Bacon, Potatoes and Celery in a Saffron Tomato Broth, and succulent lobster tail with a side of hush puppies. A must-try is the she-crab soup.

 

Sous Chef John Campbell outside Sea Captain's House restaurant


Current owners of Hopsewee Plantation Raejean and Frank Beattie. Built circa 1740, 40 years before the American Revolutionary War, Hopsewee Plantation was a major rice plantation and the birthplace of Thomas Lynch, Jr., one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

 

Afternoon tea delights at River Oak Cottage Tea Room (served Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm) at Hopsewee Plantation


Heidi Vukov, owner of Croissants Bistro and Bakery. Reminiscent of a French cafe, the establishment is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No wonder Vukov's catch phrase here is 'Bonjour y'all' (also the name of her beautiful, recently published cookbook).


Brunch delights including chicken salad on fresh croissant, quiche du jour and crab cake sandwich at Croissants Bistro and Bakery. Brunch here also features a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar.


 

An absolutely lovely and creamy shrimp and grits and cappucino at Croissants Bistro and Bakery. 
Beside the scrumptious cakes, cookies and breads the restaurant also offers fabulous sit-down fare. Not to miss? The affogato featuring house made gelato - scrumptious.



Hobcaw Barony - a 16,000 acre former rice plantation on Waccamaw Neck, was once the home of  wealthy financier Bernard Baruch, whose daughter Belle, was an accomplished equestrian. It has hosted notable guests including Winston Churchill, and president Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


The Kaminski House in Georgetown County

 

A view from the “Browns Ferry Vessel” inside the Rice Museum in Georgetown County.

 The sand dunes of Huntington Beach State Park


A fisherman at Huntington Beach State Park 


 

 Atalaya Castle was the winter home of industrialist and philanthropist Archer M. Huntington and his wife, the sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, located in Huntington Beach State Park. When we visited, a member of the Friends of Huntington Beach State Park which helps preserve the history and wildlife of the park through volunteer work, was eager to answer questions and gave us more insight into this historical attraction. (How could Mrs. Huntington see the beach from her kitchen in the early 20th century? All the plants you see now have grown up since then)


Golden sunset at Marina Inn at Grande Dunes

 

Executive Chef at Marina Inn at Grande Dunes, Julien Lancrerot.


Appetizers at Waterscapes restaurant at Marina Inn at Grande Dunes (Maryland crab cake, Maine lobster cake, and buttermilk fried green tomato).

 The Marina Inn at Grande Dunes features a bustling pool, marina and conference centre. Nearby access to the intercoastal waterway, golf course and shopping centres, make this an ideal location.


Executive chef and owner of Aspen Grille, Curry Martin, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University Culinary School in Charleston, South Carolina.

 

 Aspen Grille, serves 'fresh Carolina Cuisine' with authentic Southern hospitality.  CSL tried the local pan seared flounder and shrimp with roasted potatoes, okra, corn & tomato ragout.


Boats docked at Murrells Inlet

 



Enthusiastic, and knowledgeable Park Ranger, Ann Malys Wilson shows off a fresh catch at the 
Myrtle Beach State Park pier.

 
A local fisherman cleans a small fish on the pier at Myrtle Beach State Park. Look below the pier at the right time and you may even spot a shark or two. Locals will tell you "they don't trouble people."

 

The lavish and stunning Brookgreen Gardens, a sculpture garden and wildlife preserve, located just south of Murrells Inlet.


Stunning flowers, and bronze statues galore at Brookgreen Gardens, many the work of  Anna Hyatt Huntington.


A picture of the South - live oak trees in  Live Oak Allee at Brookgreen Gardens, including 60,000 caladiums.

 

This little lizard at Brookgreen Gardens seems to answer to the artists' work.


Lunchtime at Brookgreen Gardens- including Southern staples- cheesy grits, fried green tomatoes and crab dip.

 

The delightfully energetic and charismatic George Clark- a legend at Cafe Amalfi at The Hilton Myrtle Beach

 Delicious, fresh and a touch spicy - seafood pasta made in house by Chef Sean Villanueva at Cafe Amalfi.


A lovely sunset cruise and dinner aboard Barefoot Princess- with the most incredible sunset.

A team from CSL just returned from  Myrtle Beach South Carolina.  A quick direct flight from Toronto (under 2 hours), the warmth of Myrtle beach will bring you back time and time again.  

Food lover?  Being a coastal city, Myrtle Beach benefits from plenty of fresh seafood- seen on the menus at most restaurants. 

Want classic good old fashioned fun? Entertainment is everywhere- from Legends in concert to Wonderworks - the science based attraction, The Carolina Opry, or ride the sky wheel in downtown Myrtle beach, even taste wine from Duplin winery.  

Outdoors your thing?  Myrtle beach and surrounding area offer some of the most breathtaking views of salt marshes, gardens, and beaches anywhere in the state.

The relaxed pace, Southern hospitality and warm smiles make Myrtle beach a true gem.

Read more in the Winter 2015/16 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.
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