You can shop till you drop at the big-box stores, stand in lines at the malls and order cookie-cutter items online to purchase gifts for everyone on your shopping list, but you won't find the unique items or get the unique experience of attending the 28th Annual Springmaid Beach Resort's Arts & Crafts Festival.
This holiday tradition has grown into a major event for shoppers who prefer one-of-a-kind gifts for even the hardest to please loved ones on their shopping lists – and, of course, stuff for themselves. It's hard to cover the four-story convention center without finding something – usually a lot of somethings – to take home.
Featuring more than 200 vendors, including some of the top arts and crafts dealers on the East Coast, this festival offers a wide range of wares. From wood carvings and paintings to glasswork and jewelry, the Springmaid Beach Arts & Crafts Festival has become popular throughout the region, attracting savvy shoppers and bargain hunters.
Vendors display their goods and the artists and craftsmen are often on hand to answer questions about their creations. Limited edition artwork and hand-carved sculptures are among the many diverse items for sale. The folksy atmosphere is a refreshing change from the modern holiday shopping experience of chain stores and stampeding shoppers.
Every booth has things you won't find anywhere else, so you don't have to worry about those embarrassing moments when you give a loved one a gift they already own, or worse, when they unwrap the same present from someone else. The broad array of items allows you to find gifts that fit the distinct personalities of the people on your shopping list.
A sample stroll through the aisles might feature oil paintings of seascapes, next to a booth selling homemade jams and jellies, next to hand-made birdhouses, next to blown-glass vases. A variety of chocolates and candies are also popular gift ideas. There are also several food booths available in the plaza for lunch with an ocean view.
Springmaid Beach is located on the southernmost end of Ocean Boulevard, next to Springmaid Pier and adjoining Myrtle Beach State Park. Free admission and parking are available on a first come first served basis but traffic can get a little heavy on the dead end property so you may have to hike and haul your purchases a short distance.
Or you can get curb service if you happen to have a non-shopper in your group (i.e. grumpy husbands), who have plenty to keep them busy in the Springmaid neighborhood. Take a stroll down the beach or out to the end of Springmaid Pier, visit the Burroughs & Chapin Arts Museum across the street, or chow down on some delicious ribs at Damon’s Oceanfront Grill just a short walk away.
The Springmaid Beach Arts & Crafts Festival gets under way at Friday, Dec. 5, running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.