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Myrtle Beach: Tides of fun

Courtesy Myrtle Waves

Ah, the joys of shopping. For some it’s serious business, even a team sport. They and their friends or family members shop ’til they drop, then eat, rest and repeat the process. In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, visitors won’t have to hunt for some of the most unusual shops on the Southeast coast.

Myrtle Beach also keeps visitors going when the shopping blitz is over. Delicious restaurants and fabulous theaters feature live entertainment, from pop and country music to Broadway-type shows and tribute artists to exciting dinner theaters with everything from pirates to medieval swordsmen.

The area known as the Grand Strand comprises Myrtle Beach’s 60 miles of beautiful coastline and commercial developments. The destination is full of shopping surprises.

For years, Tanger Outlet Centers has catered to shopping aficionados and casual window shoppers all over the United States. Tanger is in Myrtle Beach not once, but twice. Two centers, just 15 miles apart, each offer 100 stores from some of the most popular brand-name retailers. By buying direct from the manufacturer, Tanger says shoppers will save 20 percent to 40 percent. Tanger also employs a price match guarantee.

“It’s very appealing, with wonderful prices. Our clientele really enjoy the experience of shopping outside right on the coast,” said Emily Frye, tenant services manager for Tanger.

Groups are treated royally at Tanger, especially motorcoach travelers. If a group preregisters with Tanger, the group members will, upon arrival, each receive a book with coupons worth $1,900.

“They’re treated in a very special way. We’re always happy to see groups,” said Frye.

Broadway at the Beach combines top-notch shopping with outstanding food and entertainment options. The complex is set up around four village seaports with Caribbean, New England, Heroes Harbor and Charleston Boardwalk themes. The complex also offers three theaters, two dozen restaurants, nightclubs, attractions and hotels situated conveniently.

“It’s a festival marketplace with a multitude of shopping,” said Sherry Leonard, marketing specialty leasing manager at Broadway at the Beach.

Groups flock to the complex year-round but especially in summer. Leonard said the holidays are also a nice alternative travel time for groups because of the center’s holiday decorations and great retail offerings.

Groups will find more shopping and dining opportunities at a development called the Market Common. Designed in a village setting, the Market Common has 35 shops that feature many top national retailers, eight restaurants, a cinema, a grocery store, nearly 200 residential units and office space.

“The concept is a live-work-play community,” said Hatton Gravely, marketing manager for the Market Common. “There’s a lot to do here.”

Among the cool shops to drop in to are Williams-Sonoma, Orvis, Fossil, Anthropologie, White House/Black Market, Tommy Bahama, Bath and Body Works, Chico’s, Francesca’s Collections and Victoria’s Secret.

Is it time to eat? Enjoy Asian delights at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. Get your pasta on at Travinia Italian Kitchen. Keep it simple at Ultimate California Pizza.

There’s also live entertainment at the Palace Theater and Legends in Concert.

In North Myrtle Beach, Barefoot Landing is a large shopping, dining and entertainment complex built around a 27-acre lake with natural wildlife and beautiful scenery.

Shopping is a must at Barefoot Landing, with stores like Van Heusen, Izod, Tango Bay and Wolf Creek Gallery, to name just a few.

“We have national chains and small local boutiques so you can find something totally unique or something you’d find at any other big retailer,” said Kim Kelley, marketing director at Barefoot Landing. “There are clothing and gift shops and a full variety of almost anything you could want.”

After shopping, enjoy a delightful seafood feast at the unusual Flying Fish Public Market and Grill. You’ll need a bib when you sample ribs at Dick’s Last Resort. Taste something special at Umberto’s Pittsburgh Italian Trattoria. Of course, you can always sample burgers and fries at any number of stops.

Dan Dickson

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