What to Pack for Your Myrtle Beach Fall Vacation

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Packing for a summer vacation in Myrtle Beach is easy: Swimsuit, check. Flip-flops, check. T-shirts and shorts, check, check. And with high temperatures in the 90s during the summer months, it's pretty hard to be underdressed no matter where you go.

But it's a different deal in the fall, which features a wider variety of weather than the predictably hot and humid summertime. September sees warm and sunny days without the humidity, and autumn gradually slips into significantly cooler in late November.

So exactly when you decide to visit Myrtle Beach in the fall can go a long way to determining exactly what and how much you need to pack for your autumn retreat. Here's a list a tips for things you might want to add to your suitcase for an excellent fall getaway:

* Clothing and accessories: If you're coming in September, it's safe to pack the same types of clothing you would bring during the summer, except maybe throw in a windbreaker for those breezy night walks on the beach or for sitting outside on your oceanfront balcony. In October, it's time to add some jeans and long-sleeve shirts for evening wear, although the day times are still fine for short sleeves and shorts barring a cold snap. November sees a wide swing in temperatures, from highs in the 70s and 80s to lows in the 40s and 50s, so play it safe and pack for both possibilities. Late fall also involves two items you can get away without in the summer – socks and closed-toed shoes – but they are musts for keeping your toes dry and toasty. Otherwise, a light and heavy jacket will keep you prepared for any kind of weather.

* Beach gear: The new law that prohibits beach tents on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront is not in effect during the fall months, so guests can bring their own beach cabanas without fear of a fine. The tents can be retrofitted for fall to include side flaps to block the wind when it gets cooler, but no sun and no ocean breeze sort of defeats the purpose of laying out on the beach in the first place. Bringing some sort of beach furniture is advised since the lifeguard stands and beach chair rental services are not on duty in the fall months. Smaller crowds on the beach also means there's more room for games, such as corn hole and bocce ball, so be sure to bring along a little entertainment. Some board games for those indoor November nights may come in handy too.

* Dogs: As soon as the calendar strikes September in Myrtle Beach, you can almost hear the annoying song “Who Let the Dogs Out?” Banned from the beaches between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the summer months, dogs are allowed back on the beach any time of day as long as they are attached to an owner with a leash of at least 6 feet in length. Some hotels relax their no-pet policies during the offseason, so bringing your four-legged friend on vacation is a lot more convenient in the fall.

* Etc.: Don’t forget to grab a few odds and ends for fall, like a nice warm blanket to snuggle up under for sitting on the balcony at night and listening to the waves crash below. It’s never a bad idea to bring a book to the beach, but especially when the weather is a bit more iffy. A thermos for enjoying that morning coffee on a cool morning is a good idea, and you might want to toss your golf clubs in the trunk just in case you get the perfect day for a round or two.

(posted 9/12/14)