Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach

Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach

The 60 miles (97km) of white sand stretching along South Carolina's coastline, from Little River to Georgetown in the south, is known as The Grand Strand. Peppered with beach resorts and seaside communities, the main hub of activity is centred at Myrtle Beach. However, all along The Grand Strand visitors can enjoy the sea, sun and surf, as well as excellent seafood, shopping malls, amusement parks and numerous family-orientated activities, shipwreck diving, museums, and over 100 championship golf courses.

Myrtle Beach lies at the centre of the Grand Strand, a glitzy stretch of uninterrupted commercial development that has transformed the city into a mega entertainment centre and family resort. Beach towels and brightly coloured beach wear cover the sand in summer and the population swells with vacationers seeking fun and thrills offered by the Myrtle Beach Pavilion Amusement Park, with funfairs, waterslides, arcades and shopping. Myrtle Beach State Park offers nature trails, camping, fishing and swimming when the bright lights and non-stop entertainment wear thin.

At the southern end of the Grand Strand lies Georgetown with a pretty historic district and a restored waterfront that buzzes with activity. During colonial times it boasted a rich plantation culture and was the centre of America's rice empire.

Information & Facts


Myrtle Beach and adjacent coast enjoys a mild climate, with hot summers tempered by ocean breezes, and winters with temperatures that stay cool and comfortable. The influence of the warm currents of the gulf stream just offshore ensures that this holiday strip is warm enough for fun in the sun most of the year. It does rain suddenly, and heavily, particularly during summer, but the sandy soil allows for quick drainage and even the emerald green golf courses are ready for action again as soon as the showers let up.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

The Sea Islands make up more than half of the South Carolina coastline, separated from the mainland by estuaries and marshes. These islands are home to black communities descended from slaves, who were brought to the Carolina's during the 18th century. When they were freed by the Union army in 1865, the slaves were granted land here. They are known as Gullah people, having maintained their dialect of an English-based tongue heavily influenced by several different African languages, and much of their culture has also been preserved. During the colonial period, at the height of the rice culture, slaves from West African rice kingdoms were in high demand among the plantation owners, teaching their masters how to plant, grow and cook rice, and those with basket-weaving skills were highly prized. Today traces of their heritage survives in the handmade sweet-grass baskets, the food and in the songs performed by groups like the Sea Island Singers who sing plantation melodies at concerts in Charleston and Beaufort. St Helena is the least spoiled of the islands with beautiful landscapes and is home to small shrimp and oyster fishing communities. The Penn Center is the unofficial Gullah headquarters, preserving their unique culture and creating opportunities for the previously disadvantaged Gullahs. There is also a school started for freed slaves by a black Massachusetts teacher, and a museum displaying pictures and an assortment of old farming and fishing tools.

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