Do you guys have a guilty pleasure vacation destination? It’s kind of like a guilty pleasure television show — it has few educational or cultural or mind-expanding properties, and some of it may even be in poor taste. But it’s fun and it’s bright and it just feels so damn good.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is mine. I’ve been going there since I was about 13 with my best friend Kristin’s family, who have a condo in one of the high rises right smack on the beach, and happen to be some of my favorite people on the planet. Since then I’ve been back maybe six or seven times, but I hadn’t been back in years — years which have been busy with international travel instead! With my insane travel schedule this summer, I fielded a lot of questions about what I was most excited about. Despite an exotic jaunt to Iceland, I never hesitated with my answer — Myrtle Beach was the summer destination I was Squeal Level 10 excited for.
The one thing I was not looking forward to? Flying with Spirit Airlines. My girlfriends are nervous flyers and between their hatred of the old airplanes and my bitterness over the baggage fees, we all found ourselves wishing we had booked Southwest flights on flights24!
The group shifts over the years, but this time around it was Kristin, our childhood friend Michelle, and Kristin’s college friend Lauren, who I adore. Four girls on vacation together can often be a recipe for drama, but not this crew. We spent five days living on top of each other without even one Real Housewives of Myrtle Beach style showdown.
The days in Myrtle Beach take on a familiar pattern and start to run together somewhat. It goes something like this: Wake up hungover, loudly swear off drinking for life, park it on the beach, play in the waves, walk along the sand, have lunch on the condo balcony, play in the pool, try on every item of clothing we packed, go out to dinner, repeal the no-alcohol-pledge, flirt with southern boys, buy shot rounds, dance until the clubs shut down, return home, have an illegal after hours pool party, incur wrath of condo security guard, pass out. Rinse, repeat.
For someone like me, who usually goes to a beach destination and then runs ragged trying to scuba in ever dive site, hike every scenic trail, and eat at every locally recommended shack, it is a rare place indeed where I can totally decompress and not feel any pressure to sight-see or check off activities. The only time I leave my beach chair in Myrtle is to go for a swim or a stroll up and down the sand. My daily beach walk is my favorite part — the people watching is nothing short of fantastic.
And then there is the after-dark portion of the trip. I started to write a post entitled “The Best Nightlife in Myrtle Beach”, but I only got as far as this: Go to Broadway at the Beach. The End.
It’s true — while Myrtle Beach has tons of destination for shopping and dining and nightlife, Broadway at the Beach is our favorite and we checked in there every single night. But with a huge variety of different restaurants, bars and clubs, we had more than enough to keep us entertained.
I’m pretty sure we shut the place down four out of five nights of our trip. It’s just so much fun — the drinks are cheap, the music is pop-y and perfect for dancing, and everyone has that “I’m on vacation!” glow. This is MTV’s Spring Break style nightlife, indeed.
As I made note of before, we did not endear ourselves to the condo security guard. In fact, we once came home to a sign made up in our honor after an impromptu pool party with some new friends from Senor Frog’s got us kicked out the night before. Whoopsie!
So there you have it, I went away for five days and I did nothing but lay on the sand like a beached whale all day and party like a spring breaker all night. I got a tan, I danced until my feet felt like falling off, I spent time with some of my favorite girls and I laughed so hard I thought I might break a rib. I have so, so many amazing memories in Myrtle Beach and this year just added to the fun. It was the greatest guilty pleasure trip I’ve ever had. And I hope we get to do it again next year!
Do you have a guilty pleasure destination?
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