This post is sponsored by Vacation Myrtle Beach.
Last year we surprised our kids with a trip over winter break. Southern weather in January is always indeterminate, leaving us wondering exactly what sort of trip we would have. Our trip turned out to be wonderful, and we were excited to plan another January beach trip before the kids headed back to school after winter break. This time we partnered with fabulous Vacation Myrtle Beach for a winter get-away!
Obviously, going to the beach in the winter on the Atlantic coast means low temperature ocean water and up-in-the-air weather. Laying on the beach and tanning in the sun may not happen in January. Kids wonder if they can splash in the water or build a sand castle, and the answer is I don’t know. We’ll see what the weather is like when we get there. In spite of these uncertainties, I enjoy visiting Myrtle Beach in the winter. There is more room on the beach, less traffic on the road, and better accessibility to attractions. The key to visiting Myrtle Beach in the winter is all about planning.
During our most recent visit, we stayed at the oceanfront Crown Reef Resort and Waterpark. As a family of 6, this resort was a great choice for us. It is difficult to find affordable suite accommodations that will sleep 6 people. The suite that we stayed in would have slept up to 8!
The Crown Reef Resort has plenty of amenities for kids. The waterpark includes three water slides and a splash area, and there is an indoor pool, as well as an outdoor heated pool and lazy river. The resort also has a game room and several options for food and dining.
The Crown Reef Resort and Waterpark is certified by the Champion Autism Network, meaning that the management and staff of the resort has been trained on ways to give families an autism-friendly vacation experience.
Great features of Crown Reef Resort and Waterpark for large families:
- Suite options that sleep up to 8
- Kitchenette with refrigerator, oven, and microwave for cooking meals
- Heated pools
- Oceanfront views
- Game room
- On site dining options
- On site parking
- Friendly and helpful staff
- The back of the resort key card serves as a discount card for many local Myrtle Beach attractions.
See all of the properties available through Vacation Myrtle Beach here.
I can’t control the weather, but I can plan for it. About 7 days before our vacation, I research the weather. I do this first before planning any attractions. This allows me to see if the forecast is calling for any unusually warm days. These are always our beach days, and I like to plan around these. After penciling in the beach days, I can move on to planning the rest of our time.
Our typical itinerary includes only one attraction per day. This allows for time to wander around town, play at the resort waterpark, shop, or walk the boardwalk. I do like some structure when we are on vacation, and I like to make sure that we have seen local sites, but packing a schedule too tightly doesn’t make anyone happy.
Ripley’s Aquarium at Myrtle Beach is a fun place for kids. Located in Broadway at the Beach, Ripley’s Aquarium offers several hours of educational entertainment for families. My daughter touched sting rays for the first time, and my son who is mesmerized by jellyfish was able to see an entire exhibit dedicated to his favorite ocean creature.
We caught a few of the shows at Ripley’s Aquarium, and the motorized walkway through the tunnel was fabulous!
3 Night Myrtle Beach Sample Itinerary
Here’s our 3 night Myrtle Beach Itinerary. We had a relaxing, non-stressful vacation, and I would recommend a similar itinerary any time of the year!
- Drive to Myrtle Beach.
- Check into Crown Reef Resort and Waterpark around 4:15 pm.
- Unload vehicle and unpack in room.
- Investigate the Crown Reef Resort property.
- Head out to dinner. We visited Mellow Mushroom for pizza, but there’s a large variety of local dining options.
- Return to Crown Reef Resort and walk the beach at dusk.
- Breakfast – Breakfast at the resort or a local place are great options.
- Ripley’s Aquarium.
- Have a late lunch somewhere near Broadway at the Beach. We scooted over to Cracker Barrel, but there are many options.
- Stop by a few shops or a mall that catches your eye.
- Head back to Crown Reef Resort for waterpark play.
- Have a late dinner. Our late dinner this evening consisted of food that we brought from home, leftovers from Mellow Mushroom, and food from the on-site Loco Gecko.
- Breakfast at the resort.
- Beach day! The water is too cold for dipping in January, but the kids were brave enough to splash their feet. Sand play is still fun, and sea shell hunting is always a hit!
- Lunch – Lunch at the resort or leftovers from previous meals. Having a kitchenette at the Crown Reef Resort made it easy to heat up something from a previous meal.
- Waterpark fun at the hotel.
- Pirate’s Voyage Dinner + Show
- Check out of Crown Reef Resort by 11 am.
- Head home with lots of memories!
If you’ve already visited one of the above attractions, substitute it with another. Keep in mind that you may want to call the attraction that you are interested in before visiting. Some of the Myrtle Beach attractions do close for the winter season and reopen in March.