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Romantic Weekend: Myrtle Beach

Libby Wiersema Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 38 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.
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Sunshine, surf and sand—in any setting, the three of these hint at opportunities for making memories with someone you love. When that setting is the Myrtle Beach area, those memories won’t be limited to an intimate walk along a stretch of coastline. Of course, couples visiting the area shouldn’t dismiss the allure of leaving two pairs of footsteps in the sand or building sandcastles together on the shore. But romance here goes beyond the obvious, so pack your bags and prepare to enjoy a weekend of love, fun and discovery along South Carolina’s magical Grand Strand. 


Friday afternoon: Check-in

Myrtle Beach might be known as a family destination, but it’s just as accommodating to couples seeking some special together time. The AAA Four-Diamond Marina Inn at Grande Dunes offers intimate lodging in their luxurious Deluxe King Suites. Relax on your private balcony while taking in panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway, soak in the Jacuzzi tub and, in cooler weather, snuggle up in comfy robes in front of the fireplace. Other amenities include shuttle access to the property’s private beach, a gorgeous infinity pool with outdoor bar, onsite fine dining and spa availability. 


If you prefer closer beach access, consider North Beach Plantation in North Myrtle Beach. The stunning architecture of this resort is the first clue that you’ve landed someplace special for your romantic getaway. Choose from an array of beautiful accommodations, including condos with ocean views and cozy cottages. A stunning Caribbean-themed pool area is the heart of the property, with several pools, hot tubs, private cabanas and a swim-up bar. Don’t forget to reserve your couples’ massage at North Beach’s elegant Cinzia Spa for the ultimate pampering.


Friday night

Because you’re just settling in, tonight you’ll want to stay onsite for a relaxing dinner and drinks. At the Marina Inn, begin with a cocktail at Reflections Lounge in the lobby before heading to the dining room at Waterscapes, where you’ll be treated to expertly prepared steaks, fresh seafood and dishes featuring Certified South Carolina Fresh ingredients. Order a luscious dessert—perhaps warm bread pudding or chocolate mousse cake—and ask to have it delivered to your room with a bottle of bubbly. Cap off your evening snuggling in front of the cozy fireplace or relaxing together in the Jacuzzi. 


At North Beach Plantation, your destination is 21 Main, where you can enjoy a signature cocktail at the bar before being shown to your table. While the steaks and seafood are stellar, don’t pass up the lobster bisque, considered by many diners to be the best on the Grand Strand. Leave room for a decadent dessert—the creme brulee and chocolate torte are exceptional—then finish your evening with a romantic night stroll on the beach. 


Tip: It’s always a good idea to make dinner reservations in advance of your visit, especially during the high season. 


Saturday morning

It’s a beautiful day on the South Carolina coast! That knock at the door is your requested breakfast in bed, delivered right on time to your room at Marina Inn. Watch boats cruise the Intracoastal Waterway as you drink one more cup of coffee on your private balcony. At North Beach Plantation, break your fast with the buffet at the Seaside Café located in the property’s main tower. 


Options for how to spend time in the Myrtle Beach area are numerous. Of course, the most popular pastime is lounging on the beach or at the pool—and there’s nothing wrong with that! Hit any local grocery store for picnic provisions or don a cover-up and walk to one of several beach eateries when the hunger monster strikes. Your stay at Marina Inn includes a shuttle ride to its private beach, where towels, chairs and umbrellas are provided. There's also a kiosk where you can order sandwiches, snacks and drinks—no need to leave the beach behind!


Tip: Each beach along the Grand Strand has its own set of rules regarding shade devices, alcohol and more, so be sure to ask the front desk hotel staff for details. 


If you’re up for a little exploration, set out for Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet. The ethereal, park-like setting is home to a stunning outdoor sculpture exhibit established in the 1930s by industrialist Archer Huntington and his sculptor wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington. Drink in all the beauty with a leisurely stroll through the grounds where you'll find botanical gardens, nature trails, historical points of interest and more. There are three on-site dining options, each offering lovely views and tasty lunch and snack options. For another great lunch idea, drive to Murrells Inlet, home to the area’s best seafood restaurants, each featuring fresh-catch, local shrimp, fish and other delicious fare. Taking a walk along the MarshWalk is a must, so make a point to do just that. The atmosphere is always festive with live music and water views. Afterward, head back to your hotel for a little quiet time to rejuvenate for your evening. 


Saturday evening

Night is on the horizon and that means you’re poised for another twosome interlude. Grand Strand sunsets are spectacular, especially when viewed from a romantic vantage point. If you love the water, embark on a couples’ sunset sail to mark the beginning of a memorable evening. Enchanted Sailing Charters can help you plan the sail of your dreams. Or saddle up to experience the serenity of the sunset. Inlet Point Plantation offers horseback rides for couples, timing it just right for you to salute the setting sun on a secluded beach. Of course, you’ll want to make arrangements far in advance for these options. Both make for amazing proposal settings, too. 


The stars are out and you've worked up an appetite for a superb dining experience. Among the many great choices are two area traditions. If you’re craving sophisticated dining with Southern flair, Aspen Grille is your destination. The quiet, low-lit atmosphere invites you to linger and is just right for good conversation. For those desiring a bit of amore in the air, cozy up at Villa Romana where an accordion player will serenade you as you savor Old World Italian dishes.  


Dinner is in the books, but the Myrtle Beach night is always young. This means a visit to Broadway at the Beach is in order. This award-winning shopping and entertainment complex is nightlife central, with an array of fun venues offering everything from high-energy dancing to live music to comedy shows. It’s also a pleasant place to simply stroll, with an appealing network of boardwalks and a layout of novelty shops, amusements and restaurants. (Do grab an ice cream cone while you’re walking!) In season, fireworks over the lake is a must for visitors and a festive way to end your last night in Myrtle Beach.


Sunday - one last hurrah

It might be departure day, but don’t be gloomy. There’s still more to do before you’re homeward bound. After breakfast at Johnny D’s, where you can dine on buttery Belgian waffles, benedicts and an exciting array of omelets (the spicy avocado with ghost pepper cheese and chipotle sauce is a real eye-opener!), it’s time to visit the heart of Myrtle Beach for a morning excursion on the boardwalk. 


Tip: Use the restaurant’s online check-in feature to ensure a table is waiting for you.


Bask in the peaceful sounds of the surf and low-flying gulls. Kick off your shoes and do a little shelling in the receding tide, if you like. Take a detour through the iconic Gay Dolphin Gift Cove, a mind-boggling maze of souvenirs and novelties that make perfect gifts for the folks back home or mementos to remember your trip. 


Just steps away is the grandest of all Myrtle Beach finales: the SkyWheel. Get your tickets and prepare to see the Grand Strand from the best vantage point of all: an enclosed, climate-controlled gondola on a nearly 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel. Have your camera ready to capture the panoramic views from 20 stories up. Take your love to thrilling new heights with the VIP option, which gets you and your sweetie a double ride in a glass-bottomed gondola outfitted with Ferrari leather seats. (Ready to pop the big question? You won’t find a more spectacular setting.) You’ll also be presented with a commemorative photograph of the two of you, which will serve as a sweet reminder of your Myrtle Beach romantic weekend long after you return home. 

Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 38 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.