Beach and Spoke Vacations

Beach and Spoke Vacations - Groups today are always looking for more options and less regimentation. They want to do their own thing, but want to have plenty of choices of things to do. And of course everyone enjoys waking up to the sound of the surf or watching the sun rise or set over the sparkling water. Lets look at some popular beach destinations that offer an array of options for your travelers.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, S.C., for example offers plenty to do. In addition to its wellknown Grand Strand and many theatres, there are many local options. Tour the low country in a 14-passenger safari jeep. Enjoy a cruise on the Suncruz Casino Boat. Pirates and Ghosts along the Coast includes the historic communities of Murrells Inlet, Huntington Beach and Pawleys Island, all of which have histories that predate the Revolutionary War. Pine Trees, Cotton, Tobacco and Now Y’all visits Horry and Marion Counties to learn how the lumber, cotton and tobacco industries each once flourished in this area that is now fueled by tourism. Other options include coastline cruises, city tours, golf or a basket-weaving workshop. Pickups and drop-offs are provided for individuals within your group for any of these.

A favorite side trip from here is to nearby Florence. Its War Between the States Museum includes artifacts and memorabilia from 1850-1900, including items from the Florence Stockade, a Union prison camp. Florence National Cemetery has veterans from five wars buried in this thirty-acre shrine, known as South Carolinas Little Arlington. The Dooley Planetarium at Francis Marion University features a 33-foot dome with 2300 stars projected. The Florence Railroad Museum includes a restored caboose and box car filled with railroad memorabilia.

Or consider Georgetown. The Hopsewee Plantation is the birthplace of Thomas Lynch Jr. a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Its grounds feature two original slave cabins and a beautiful view of the Santee River.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island, S.C., and the nearby communities of Beaufort, Bluffton and Daufuskie Island offer wonderful beaches, along with rich history and culture. The Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island offers a great way to become familiar with this history and culture. In addition to its indoor and outdoor exhibits, the museum offers 11 different tours and cruises to highlight the areas African American, Native American and Civil War history, along with the areas diverse ecology. The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina features visual and performing arts, including theatre, music and dance. There are also a number of sightseeing cruises available from the marinas, to watch dolphins or eagles, pull crab pots, view oyster beds or just watch the sunset.

The historic town of Bluffton features a variety of art galleries and shops in its downtown area. The charming and historic town of Beaufort offers the Arsenal, historic churches and dozens of historic homes dating back to the early 1700s.

While Hilton Head Island and the surrounding communities offer days of options, its proximity to Savannah and Charleston also make it attractive. Charleston is 75 miles away and Savannah is only 45 miles away, making each very feasible for a side-trip. An interesting option for Savannah would be to go by boat, a trip that is touted as being faster than driving.

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach offers 35 miles of beaches and 121 navigable miles of waterways. Its historic Boardwalk stretches for three miles and bustles with bicyclists and walkers who enjoy the many outdoor cafes and three oceanfront stages. The Virginia Aquarium here is one of the countrys finest with 70,000-plus gallons of aquariums, live animal exhibits and over 300 exhibits. The fishing is great year-round, with rich waters for both inshore and offshore fishing. In the winter boats go whale watching for humpback and fin whales and in the summer they are replaced by bottlenose dolphins.

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