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While plenty of visitors get to see the Grand Strand from the Myrtle Beach area’s famous beaches, and many even soak in some from-the-water views while pursuing some fun and sun in the Atlantic Ocean, there’s a lesser-seen side of the Grand Strand that also offers a range of beautiful waterfront scenery for vacationers who venture there — and it’s found along the Intracoastal Waterway. Running parallel to the Atlantic Ocean’s coastline, generally about a mile or so inland from shore, the Intracoastal Waterway offers a range of reasons to explore its waters — and with a wealth of local cruise, boat rental and charter operators offering their services in the area, you don’t have to have your own boat in tow to explore it.
During your next Grand Strand getaway, consider these reasons to take in a sightseeing float along the Intracoastal Waterway:
Wildlife: Especially for bird, fish and reptile lovers, an Intracoastal Waterway cruise can serve as a real treat filled with opportunities to see spectacular coastal creatures out in their native environment. Sightings of birds like osprey, heron, ducks and egrets are common on waterway cruises, particularly among attentive cruise-goers, as are sightings of water-loving wildlife like turtles and alligators.
Waterside mansions: Some of the region’s most impressive homes are found not just along the Atlantic coastline, but also along the shores of the Intracoastal Waterway. Fans of architecture — not to mention those who like to daydream about where they might live if they hit the lottery — can find plenty of residences along the Intracoastal Waterway to drool over.
The Landing at the Boathouse: Located right on the Intracoastal Waterway just south of the Highway 501 Bridge, this dockside restaurant/bar brings in the crowds for both its food/drink offerings and its waterside musical performances, which attract guests who arrive by land and water to catch some of the best local, regional and national acts on its outdoor stage. The menu here includes an impressive array of apps, salads, burgers, sandwiches, fried seafood and grilled meats. And the restaurant/bar also a great place to enjoy a cocktail on the water as the sun sets. Learn more at landingmb.com.
Barefoot Landing: Set around a 27-acre lake and situated along the Intracoastal Waterway, the Barefoot Landing shopping, dining and entertainment complex has a little bit of everything for vacationers looking to have some fun. It’s home to nearly 50 retail shops, 25-plus restaurants, bars and snack shops, and a range of other entertaining attractions. Bonus: Cruise by at the right time on Monday nights in the spring and summer, and you might be treated to a free fireworks show during your Intracoastal voyage.
Little River: Nestled along the Intracoastal Waterway just south of the North Carolina-South Carolina border, this quaint fishing village is known for its fresh seafood, wealth of fishing charters, beautiful live oaks and refreshingly laid-back pace of life. If you’re at the helm of the boat you’re cruising on, it’s a great place to stop for a dockside bite to eat. And if you and your crew are feeling lucky, it’s also the launching point for the Big M Casino cruises, where passengers can play Vegas-style games like blackjack, roulette, poker, craps, slots and more.
After a day on the area’s inland waters, set sail back to North Beach Plantation to soak in the resort’s comfortable accommodations and luxurious amenities while resting up for another day of Grand Strand exploration. Book your Myrtle Beach area getaway today, and start making your plans to cruise your way into some lasting memories along the Carolina coast.