Traditionally, Thanksgiving has meant a gathering at one unlucky family member's home and a full day of cooking for a 30-minute feast, followed by a full day of cleaning. Not exactly what most people would consider a holiday, especially if you're the one doing all the cooking and cleaning.
That's one of the many reasons families have started to take a more relaxing approach to the holiday with a visit to Myrtle Beach. Not only is the weather still warm well into November, but there's a whole lot of fun and festivities taking place during the four-day weekend. Here's a list of five things to do in Myrtle Beach on Thanksgiving:
Black Friday: The new holiday that follows Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year, and Myrtle Beach is a great place to spend it. All the shopping complexes, malls and outlet stores that are built to accommodate heavy summer crowds are much less busy during the offseason and present visitors with a great opportunity to knock out all of their Christmas shopping in one trip. Guests have discovered that they can come to Myrtle Beach for a family Thanksgiving, spend the next day shopping, and still save money by taking advantage of all the sales. You may go back with a full vehicle, but at least you will go home with an empty shopping list and with some great family memories.
Bluegrass Festival: One of Myrtle Beach's longest-running traditions and best-kept secrets is the South Carolina State Bluegrass Festival, which is celebrating its 45th annual showcase No. 27-29. Families and fans of the traditional music genre come to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center to hear such famous pickers and crooners as Ralph Stanley, Rhonda Vincent, Doyle Lawson and Gene Watson, all of whom are performing at this year's event. Single-day tickets and all-weekend passes are available, and there isn't a bad seat in the house.
Food: For some, Thanksgiving is all about the food: Turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. But you don't have to spend the holiday over a hot stove to enjoy these traditional favorites. The Grand Strand has a long list of restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Among the many open on Thanksgiving are Bistro 90, Bliss, Brentwood House, California Dreaming, Carolina Roadhouse, Chestnut Hill, Cypress Room, Gulfstream Cafe, Hard Rock Cafe, House of Blues, Ruth Chris, Saltwater Cafe and Waterscapes, just to name a few. Let someone else do the cooking and the dishes while you relax and chow down on excellent cuisine.
Football: Watching football is as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey. There's just something about watching people fight over the pigskin that makes the holiday complete, and the NFL and NCAA make sure there's lots of games on TV over Thanksgiving weekend. But visitors also have a good chance of catching a live game thanks to the No. 1-ranked and defending state champion Myrtle Beach High Seahawks. They have won three state titles over the past six years and there's a good chance they will still be playing at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium deep into November.
Turkey Trot: After packing on a few pounds at your Thanksgiving feast, burn off a few at the 8th annual Grand Strand Turkey Trot. Featuring 1-mile, 5K and 8K courses, this event gives runners the chance to get out for a good time and exercise at the Market Common shopping district. A post-race party features lots of food, drinks and live music, along with vendors and holiday shopping in Valor Park. To register, click here.