Ginger Templeton is mom to a hilarious (I’m talking comedian-in-the-making) 5 year old and a cancer-surviving superhero 7-going on 27-year old. After her daughter’s battle with an aggressive form of leukemia (AML), they decided to make the most of every minute. Their family’s motto: Until further notice, celebrate everything! This means lots of trips. They try to incorporate educational experiences as much as possible, but their ultimate goal is to celebrate life and celebrate family!
In the fall when most families are going apple picking or to the mountains to see the colors change, I’d rather head back to the beach! This is my family’s second year traveling to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the fall and it is quickly becoming our favorite cool weather destination. Fall at the beach is beautiful. I can’t imagine anything more pleasant than wearing a sweater and sipping a cup of coffee as I walk along the beach on a crisp fall morning. Then, by afternoon, it is warm and sunny enough for the kids to splash in the surf.
This year, we stayed at the Dunes Village Resort and began our trip to the resort’s amazing waterpark. With two lazy rivers, multiple pools and hot tubs, and 4 not-so-scary water slides, we could almost skip the beach. The water is heated in the outside lazy river and pools, so even with chilly weather, we had a blast. My children are impervious to the cold, so I planted myself firmly in the hot tub while they enjoyed the nearby water slides. It was a win-win.
Since our first day was cool and cloudy, we spent the afternoon touring area attractions. Magiquest, a live-action game where kids of all ages use wands to navigate through magical quests for enchanted runes, was, by far, the family favorite. The quests were simple enough for my 5 year old to enjoy, but addicting enough for more than a few parents to lose themselves in the magic, practically sprinting from quest to quest! After Magiquest, we went looking for miniature golf. Myrtle Beach has some of the most fun adventure golf courses I’ve seen. What could be better than putting across Captain Hook’s boat? For the record, I won. My son and daughter had a blast and kept asking when we’d be going back.
The next day, the weather was warming up, so we shed our sweaters and headed to the beach in swimsuits. I thought the water would be too cold for the kids, but they dove right in. The surf was gentle and the beach was peppered with other families but not crowded. It was lovely. After the beach, we headed to North Myrtle (just a few miles up the road) for the Barefoot Princess Riverboat lunch cruise. We enjoyed boxed lunches, a little “riverboat” style entertainment, and the lovely sites of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
I’m not ashamed to admit that we played another round of mini-golf after the Riverboat Cruise. This time, we were the only family on the 18 hole course at Jungle Safari Mini Golf. You couldn’t ask for that in the middle of summer, but on a lovely fall trip, there was no waiting. The man running the golf course even offered to let us play another round at no charge. Like this man, the people of Myrtle Beach are genuinely friendly. You feel like you are a welcome guest in their homes.
We made several trips back to the beach and the resort’s water park before ending our trip at Broadway on the Beach. There we shopped, played, and ate candy marshmallow Halloween ghosts. I am so happy I decided to pull the kids out of school for a fall trek to the beach. It was a rare vacation where we returned home feeling rested and relaxed. If your fall travel plans allow a trip to the beach, head for Myrtle. I guarantee it will be a wonderful getaway!
* Disclosure: The author’s accommodations at the Village Dunes resort, passes to Magiquest and miniature golf, and the Barefoot Princess Riverboat Cruise were provided by the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, but the opinions expressed in this review are her own.