With 60 miles of breathtaking beachfront, an international airport, affordable accommodations and a modern convention center with 250,000-square-feet of meeting space and an upscale adjoining hotel, the Myrtle Beach area is an ideal destination to host meetings and group gatherings.
Within the Myrtle Beach area’s 14 distinct communities, meeting planners, tour operators, promoters, travel agents and wholesalers will be sure to find a meeting facility, accommodations and attractions to accompany the interests of all attendees. More than 30 of the area’s hotels and resorts offer functional meeting facilities for groups ranging in size from 10 to 2,000.
For larger groups, the Myrtle Beach Convention Center boasts 250,000-square-feet of flexible meeting space. Ranging in spaces from a 100,800-square-foot, column-free exhibition hall to 20 breakout meeting rooms and a 17,000-square-foot ballroom, the Convention Center can accommodate the needs of most groups. The conveniently located space also offers technology such as wireless internet, cable, telecommunications, video conferencing and an Integrated Services Digital Network.
“The Myrtle Beach area hosts hundreds of meetings and conventions each year,” said Karen Riordan, President and CEO, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. “The Grand Strand offers a wide array of meeting spaces and accommodations along with world-class golf, dining, entertainment and attractions to round out a meeting or group event.”
When professionals can finally afford some downtime from their meetings, the Myrtle Beach area’s ideal climate, wide sandy beaches and more than 100 golf courses are the perfect relaxing and serene backdrop.
For those traveling from out of town, the Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) makes it easy for travelers around the country to reach the Grand Strand. Carriers that service Myrtle Beach directly include: Allegiant Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Elite Airways, Frontier Airlines, Porter Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines and WestJet. MYR also offers travelers plenty of food and shopping options, such as Nacho Hippo, Caribou Coffee, Steak n’ Shake and Hudson News. Flying to and from the Grand Strand has never been easier or more convenient.
One of the advantages of hosting a meeting in the Myrtle Beach area is the attractive array of lodging options available to groups. The Grand Strand’s total tally of guest accommodations is 157,000, which includes hotel rooms, condos, beach cottages, golf villas and more.
The majority of hotels are located on the oceanfront or with ocean views, and are also within one mile of the convention center. But one thing to remember when considering Myrtle Beach as a meeting locale is that the area includes 60 miles of coastline, with excellent lodging properties and meeting facilities from one end to the other, including waterfront accommodations along the Intracoastal Waterway. Planners can choose from all-inclusive resorts, oceanfront high-rises, luxurious condos, tree-shaded golf villas – even plantations!
Beyond the beach and golf, the destination’s biggest draw is its plethora of “there’s so much to do!” options. It’s a refrain heard time and time again that keeps visitors coming back year after year. From amusements parks to live theaters, this is great news for meeting planners, who know that after-hours activities are nearly as important as the meetings themselves.
A Little Bit of Everything
Two terrific starting points are Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing, best described as multi-faceted entertainment complexes (for those who find shopping, dining, nightlife and attractions entertaining – and who doesn’t?). Located in Myrtle Beach, Broadway at the Beach is one of the largest complexes of its kind in the Southeast. Visitors can make the rounds at over 100 specialty shops, 10 nightclubs and 20 restaurants. Barefoot Landing, which lies along the Intracoastal Waterway in North Myrtle Beach, offers equally enticing entertainment options. Barefoot blends the beauty of nature with miles of boardwalk, 100-plus specialty shops and 15 waterfront restaurants.
Warm-weather months usher in an entire season of outdoor and entertaining activities, including Myrtle Beach Watersports and playtime at Family Kingdom Amusement Park & Splashes Oceanfront Water Park.
Many people also find pleasure in exploring the destination’s landscape and learning about the Myrtle Beach area’s history and culture. One of the best ways to do this is through a narrated tour, which along the Grand Strand can be in a jeep, pontoon boat, riverboat or motorcoach. Among the fascinating places to explore are antebellum plantations, the 17,500-acre wildlife refuge Hobcaw Barony, the area’s two spectacular oceanfront state parks, and world-renowned Brookgreen Gardens. Brookgreen is home to more than 1,400 works by 300 of the greatest names in American sculpture, past and present, with a backdrop for these magnificent works is 50-plus acres of beautiful Lowcountry gardens.
Whether it’s browsing through chic boutiques, sniffing out brand-name bargains at an outlet store or picking up souvenirs, nearly everyone wants time to shop. Hot shopping spots along the Grand Strand include the upscale shopping complex The Market Common, the area’s two expansive Tanger Outlet Centers, the aforementioned Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing; and scores of charming Lowcountry shops and more.
One of the pleasures of traveling is having the opportunity to sample different cuisines. Along the Grand Strand, that pleasure can be doubled – many times over – thanks to an abundance of fine restaurants.
Since Myrtle Beach spans 60 miles of coastline, it’s no surprise that seafood is one of the main entrées. Near the state’s northern border is a cache of Calabash-style restaurants, where the seafood is lightly battered, deep-fried and piled high for hearty appetites. This popular style of seafood also has made its way onto menus farther down the Strand. In Murrells Inlet, nicknamed “the seafood capital of South Carolina,” diners can feast on succulent seafood fresh from the boats while enjoying a spectacular view of the inlet.
One of the most exciting places in the world to play golf is the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina, which is home to more than 60 spectacular, championship courses. Grand Strand courses bear the signatures of some of the best golfers and course designers in the business, among them Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, and Greg Norman. All have taken great pains to protect the natural habitat and wildlife indigenous to the area while creating layouts that are both beautiful and technically challenging. Golfers can tee off beneath moss-draped live oaks and towering long-leaf pines; play alongside the Intracoastal Waterway, Waccamaw River or Atlantic Ocean; catch a glimpse of an antebellum plantation, or a resident alligator. And for you sports history buffs out there, the Myrtle Beach area also can brag about its Sports Illustrated connection. The year was 1954, and Pine Lakes Country Club hosted the magazine’s first sales conference just a few weeks before the debut issue was released. Since then, sports reporting has never been the same.
Today’s meetings and groups are constantly on the lookout for exciting and innovative ways to promote team-building among participants. The Myrtle Beach area’s coastal setting and abundance of outdoor activities make the destination ideal for team-building activities.
With miles of public beaches, two oceanfront state parks, hiking and biking trails, and the ocean, rivers and marshlands, the opportunities are endless. Embark on nature expeditions, camping trips, kayak excursions, deep-sea fishing trips or parasailing. Pump it up with laser tag competitions, Jet Skiing or high-performance Grand Prix racing. Tackle an entire amusement park or a water park. Rent scooters or Segways. The only limit is your imagination.
The Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau can help facilitate your group’s team-building activities by putting you in touch with team building professionals for ideas and opportunities.
Click here to request a Myrtle Beach Meeting and Group Planner Guide.
For additional information on the Myrtle Beach Area, visit www.VisitMyrtleBeach.com or call 1.888.Myrtle1.