One of the highlights of the holiday season is looking at all the Christmas lights, a spectacle made even more spectacular when experienced in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Guests at Cottages at North Beach Plantation can take in the Christmas colors and aquatic-themed decorations on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, just steps from your home away from home for the holidays. After a fun day of relaxing and playing at the resort, pack up the family and make an entire evening out of it at these holiday-light hot spots:
* A Very Broadway Christmas: Located south of the Cottages is Broadway at the Beach that puts out a beautiful array of lights and displays for the holidays. Enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment while you stroll through the massive complex and see all the storefronts and the lakefront aglow in colors. Broadway at the Beach officially flips the switch on the holidays on Dec. 2 with a Christmas parade and fireworks display, but the decorations stay up all season with live entertainment and other festivities planned throughout.
* Holidays on the Boardwalk: Celebrate the season in true Myrtle Beach style in the downtown district, which is making the holidays last six weeks long with its annual Holiday on the Boardwalk festival. Held Nov. 24 through New Year’s Day, this traditional seaside display features lights running all along the 1.2-mile Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, with the main display situated in the center of the action at Plyler Park. Enjoy the Festival of Lights, the Polar Express Train Ride, the Tree Lighting Ceremony (Nov. 28), the Santa Paws Doggie Parade (Dec. 5), Christmas caroling and live music, photo ops with Santa and other costumed characters, camel rides, and more.
* The Great Christmas Light Show: The new North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex is magically transformed into a winter wonderland from Nov. 24 to Dec. 31, with more than 2 million lights and 500 different displays spread throughout the complex. Patrons can drive through and see the major exhibits, or park and stroll through the walking trails to Santa's Village, where you can enjoy hot chocolate and treats, train rides, ice skating, a petting zoo, and more. Keep your camera ready, because you might even encounter the jolly ol' elf himself.
* Nearby Towns: The Grand Strand is lined with small beach towns that offer a more traditional Christmas lights and decorations experience. Hop in the car and head south to Surfside Beach, Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, or head to historic Conway, Little River or North Myrtle Beach for a hometown holiday feel. The Market Common on the south end of Myrtle Beach and Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach also have nice exhibits you can catch during a shopping trip or a night out on the town.
* Neighborhoods: Sometimes the best light displays are hidden away in neighborhoods that can be hard for visitors to find, but there are a few local communities that go all out to out-do each other with their lawn displays. From The Cottages, head south on Ocean Boulevard to The Dunes, Ocean Forest and Pine Lakes neighborhoods, and keep your eyes peeled for some scenic homemade displays.
After a fun-filled evening viewing all of the Christmas displays, head back to your cozy cottage and enjoy family time on your holiday vacation