Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Where I've Been; Myrtle Beach SC
It might be a little early, but I'm in the mood for the beach! Last year I went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina... twice.
The first time I took on the challenge of a 3 day 2 night camping trip, by myself, with the kids and both dogs. My husband was in Chicago for work and I didn't want to just sit around the house. I browsed around for campgrounds which were all relatively expensive. Most of what I found were actually more like RV resorts than campgrounds. I finally found the Myrtle Beach State Park and it was amazing! Not only was it at least $30 cheaper than any other site, it was also bigger and more beautiful. The state park is a great place for family camping. They have a camp store that keeps regular business hours and came in very handy when a raccoon stole our marshmallows on the first night. They also have two playgrounds located just off the beach, which was not crowded at all. Since dogs can't go onto the beach until after 5, we would go to the beach early in the morning and leave the dogs at camp for just a couple of hours. Then we would come back to the tent, get the dogs and hang out on the playground until the after noon, then it was back to the beach for a nice walk with the dogs. There were, of course, a few moments when I thought to myself "why the hell did I think this was a good idea?", but those moments were rare. After a day full of fun and sun, the kids would easily fall asleep and they slept hard. Also, the park rangers were fantastic. They knew I was alone and came by to check on me often. One of them even helped me when I was having some trouble with one of my lanterns. I also received help from some college campers next door. They actually taught me a better way to build a fire (another thing I was having trouble with). The kids kept telling me "this is the best camping trip ever!" and I was so glad that we did it.
I was so glad, in fact, that a month later I went back! This time the whole family was together and we took some friends. This time we opted for the KOA vs the state park. We wanted to stay in a cabin and since the state park doesn't allow dogs in their cabins it was out. But no big deal, the KOA was awesome. The cabin was really small (basically a wooden tent) but it was air conditioned and was a good place to leave the dogs during the day when we were at the beach. The KOA is not for those who want to "rough it". They have tons of amenities! A dog park, 3 playgrounds, a splash park, and a badass bounce pillow. The last two items were a huge hit with the adults... oh, and the kids liked it too. The KOA is closer to the strip so the beach was much more crowded than at the state park, but the plus side is that there are lots of restaurants and activities close by.
I really loved it at Myrtle Beach. Since moving to North Carolina, going to the ocean had been on my list and I definitely made that happen last year. Plus, I got to experience two different sections. Tent camping with kids was great, but I also enjoyed the conveniances that the KOA offered.