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North Beach Plantation has so many great amenities on site and so many top attractions in the North Myrtle Beach neighborhood that a trip to a different city may be the farthest thing on your mind. But if you are looking to get away for a day during your vacation, here are five hot spots that are well worth the drive:
Bald Head Island, NC: In only one hour - a 40-minute drive and a 20-minute ferry ride - you can be on a scenic and historic island in the Atlantic Ocean. Located just north of the state line off the coast of Southport, NC, Bald Head Island offers a great escape to a unique getaway. Arrive in the port, which features a few small shops and restaurants and Old Baldy, the lighthouse that alerts ships to the shallows of Cape Fear. Although vacation homes and a golf course have been built on the island, undeveloped beaches and natural landscapes provide postcard-perfect photo ops. Rent a golf cart and explore the far side of the island. Just make sure you catch the last ferry out or you might be sleeping on the beach.
Calabash, NC: Located just north of the Carolina border, about a 10-minute from North Myrtle Beach, Calabash proudly proclaims itself the "Seafood Capital of the World." It's hard to argue when you count the number of seafood restaurants in the small fishing village, perhaps the highest per capita in the country. The waterfront sees a large number of fishing vessels unloading their daily catches at the docks, and the downtown area serves it up Calabash-style - lightly battered and deep fried. Calabash also offers some great shopping opportunities as well. If golf is your game, be sure to bring your clubs. Brunswick Plantation, The Pearl East and West Courses, Sandpiper Bay and Sea Trail Golf Resort are among the dozen courses located in Calabash.
Little River, SC: The neighboring town to the north prides itself as a drinking town with a fishing problem, or vice versa. Situated on the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway, this small fishing village knows how to throw a party. The World Famous Blue Crab Festival in the spring and the Little River Shrimp & Jazz Festival in the fall are two of the highlight events of the year on the Grand Strand. But there's always something to do down on Mineola Drive along the waterfront, where restaurants serve seafood fresh from the ocean. Also check out La Belle Amie Vineyard for a tour of the winery and a tasting session.
Murrells Inlet, SC: Just because you are staying on the north end doesn't mean you can't visit the south end of the Strand. In fact, Highway 31 makes it possible to bypass the traffic in Myrtle Beach and be in Murrells Inlet in about 30 minutes. This historic fishing village features tidal creeks and swamps that feed the inlet and marinas filled with fishing boats that supply the many award-winning restaurants with fresh seafood right off the docks. Visit Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park for a natural Lowcountry experience, and explore the former rice and indigo plantations of neighboring Litchfield Beach and Pawleys Island. Be sure to stop for dinner at the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk, where a dozen waterfront restaurants serve some of the best seafood you will find anywhere on the Strand..
Wilmington, NC: Take a one-hour drive and go back 300 years in history to one of the South’s oldest settlements. Located on the banks of the Cape Fear River, this historic town has a beautiful downtown district filled with shops, restaurants and attractions. Climb aboard the USS North Carolina and explore the World War II-era battleship, shop at the Cotton Exchange in the old warehouse district, and enjoy dinner at one of the many seafood restaurants along the riverfront. Tours of the city and the Cape Fear River are available, or simply park and walk the streets of the downtown district.