The Grand Strand has thousands of things to do and see, more than you could ever do in a one-week vacation. But there are a few things you absolutely have to do to get the full Myrtle Beach experience. Here are 10 things you must do while you're in town:
* Attractions: There are too many good ones to name, but guests at Long Bay already have free tickets to some of the best, such as Ripley's Aquarium, WonderWorks and Wild Water & Wheels. Pick one of the many Sun Fun Bonus attractions that sounds the most fun to you, or hit as many as you can.
* Beach: OK, so this one seems obvious, but you might be surprised at the number of people who come to “Myrtle” while overlooking the “Beach.” Spend the day splashing in the waves and relaxing in the sand, or go for a romantic stroll at night. Best of all, it's free.
* Broadway at the Beach: Myrtle Beach's most popular attraction has it all – attractions, shopping, dining and nightlife. Broadway is a great place for the whole family because of the diversity of things to do, from amusement rides to movie theaters.
* Family Kingdom: This downtown amusement park offers a fun night for the kids and a stroll down memory lane for adults. After the closing of The Pavilion, Family Kingdom became the last remaining amusement park on the oceanfront, and it continues to deliver wild rides and good times.
* Golf: Whether you are a scratch golfer or a regular hack, you can find the perfect course for you on the Grand Strand. Featuring more than 100 courses within a 60-mile radius, Myrtle Beach has top-flight championship links as well as dozens of putt-putt courses. Ask the Long Bay golf department for help finding courses and booking tee times.
* Murrells Inlet Marshwalk: This tiny fishing village, located about 20 miles south of Myrtle Beach, is nicknamed “The Seafood Capital of South Carolina,” and it lives up to that title. Fishing boats deliver fresh catches directly to the kitchen doors of this small strip of restaurants. The only hard part is choosing which place to have dinner.
* Myrtle Beach Boardwalk: If you haven't been to the downtown district since the grand opening of the new 1.2-mile boardwalk you might not recognize it. The scenic oceanfront walkway and promenade has triggered a rebirth of downtown Myrtle Beach. The area is now home to free fireworks and concerts during the summer months as well as year-round festivals.
* Parasailing: When else will you ever have the opportunity to soar high above the ocean like a seagull? Although it looks more dangerous than it really is, parasailing is a great way for those who sit on the sidelines to step out of their comfort zones and try something adventurous. Be sure to get a photo for evidence.
* Seafood buffet: Even if you are trying to watch you eat, you have to give your body a break one night and indulge in one of Myrtle Beach's most famous traditions – the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. Have a light breakfast and lunch so you can chow down on fresh local seafood at one of the many smorgasbords in town, and save room for dessert.
* SkyWheel: If you only ride one ride while you are in Myrtle Beach, make it the big one. The 190-foot SkyWheel offers a panoramic view of downtown Myrtle Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, all from the comfort of a climate-controlled gondola. Bring a camera to capture the moment.