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Planning the perfect Valentine's Day Date is easy if you're staying at North Beach Plantation, where you can have a romantic couples retreat without leaving the resort.
Spend the day with a relaxing couples massage at The Cinzia Spa, enjoy a romantic dinner at 21 Main, and retire to your elegantly decorated room with an ocean view. It's the ideal Valentine's Day experience without the headaches of battling the crowds.
But if you do want to venture off the property to add to your Valentine's Day weekend, there are several events and activities you can add to your perfect date. Here's a list of things to do on the Grand Strand to complete your Valentine's Day celebration:
* Alabama Theatre: If dinner and a show is your idea of a perfect date, you're in luck. Located in nearby Barefoot Landing is this charming 2,000-seat theater that is named after the country music super group that got its start on the Grand Strand. The shows and concerts tend to be more country, which is the case Saturday night as bluegrass fiddler/violinist Shoji Tabuchi takes the stage to amaze crowds with his magical musical performance. Friday and Sunday nights the Alabama Theatre runs its award-winning show "One," featuring off-Broadway-style dancing, singing and comedy.
* House of Blues: Located just across Highway 17 from North Beach Plantation in the Barefoot Landing complex is the House of Blues, a popular place for a date even when it's not Valentine's Day. The HOB has three entertainment options on Saturday night: The main concert hall hosts KISS Army, a tribute band that kicks out KISS covers all night; the dining hall features the Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre; and Crossroads Bar & Grill has live local and regional acts on stage. If you prefer not to fight the crowds on Valentine's night, hit the HOB Sunday morning for the popular Sunday Gospel Brunch, featuring inspirational, soulful singing and great country cooking.
* MyrtleBeach.com Marathon: You don't have to run 26.2 miles to enjoy this 18th annual event, which has turned into major race on the national circuit. The Saturday morning party has grown along with it, as folks congregate along the race route to cheer on the runners. The post-race gathering at the start/finish line is a festive affair with live music, food and drinks and some inspirational athletes completing the course. Whole all the sweating and panting might not seem romantic, there's always a special moment or two when some lucky runners are greeted at the finish line with a wedding proposal, a gesture that is sure to occur since the race is on Valentine's Day.
* Ocean Drive: What could be more romantic than shagging on the Boulevard in the Ocean Drive section of North Myrtle Beach. Home of the popular dance craze that originated along these beaches in the mid-1950s, the shag is still alive and kicking on Saturday nights, especially Valentine's Day. Within dancing distance of the corner of Ocean Drive and Main Street are several popular shag clubs, including Fat Harold's, OD Pavilion and the Spanish Galleon. Couples hit the dance floor and perform some amazing spins and turns. If you're not a shagger, a friendly local is always willing to help.
* Surfriders' Oyster Roast: Oysters are believed to be an aphrodisiac, perfect for a Valentine's weekend snack. With President's Day creating a three-day weekend for many visitors, that makes this Sunday afternoon event very doable and very worthwhile. The second annual event features oysters streamed the South Carolina way, or a hot grill under a wet burlap sack soaked with saltwater. Visitors can enjoy all-you-can-eat oysters for $15, as well as cold beer and other refreshments. Live music will play at the Broadway at the Beach venue and a Bloody Mary Contest will be held. Be sure to bring an oyster knife or buy one at the event for a small fee.