The sun is sizzling here in beautiful South Carolina, but with some careful planning you can be sure to keep your Myrtle Beach vacation cool. Here's what I (longtime local and expert on all things Myrtle Beach) like to do when the going gets hot around town:

1. Spend a day at the waterpark. Myrtle Waves waterpark, Family Kingdom's Water Park, and Wild, Water & Wheels offer ways to keep the whole family entertained without getting overheated. Splash away in the wave pool or take a ride down thrilling waterslide. Plus, TripAdvisor just rated Wild, Water & Wheels as one of the top ten waterparks in the nation!

2. Ice cream on the boardwalk. What better way to cool down than with a hand-dipped ice cream cone enjoyed ocean side? Even if you have to eat it fast, it's well worth the time to check out our nationally-ranked boardwalk and some of the many eateries (several offering delicious frozen treats) that occupy downtown Myrtle Beach. Been there, done that? Where was your favorite place to snack?

3. Get to know the sea life at Ripley's Aquarium. I can spend hours making friends with fins at this aquarium located at Broadway at the Beach when it's hot out. From hands-on horseshoe crab and stingray exhibits to the sharks and jellyfish, Ripley's Aquarium offers visitors a world they don't often get to see up close and personal, let alone touch!

4. Go to the movies. But take your cinematic experience to the next level in Myrtle Beach, where you can check out the IMAX 3D Theatre at Broadway at the Beach. From exploring the prehistoric world of dinosaurs to diving deep into the ocean, Myrtle Beach's IMAX 3D Theatre shows movies on an enormous screen with crystal clear, 3D images and unparalleled sound quality. You won't be disappointed...

5. Take in a little bit of history. With our Southern hospitality and often underexplored heritage, you'll have a wonderful time checking out some of the area historical homes and museums. Hobcaw Barony and Hopsewee Plantation are certainly worth a stop, and the Horry County Museum helps make a hot afternoon cool with indoor monthly exhibits by local artists in addition to its historical and regional exhibits. Did you know Myrtle Beach began as a vacation destination for lumber workers visiting from nearby Conway, South Carolina?