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With an eye toward summer, ShermansTravel.com’s Top 10 Family Beaches roundup rightly includes South Carolina’s tranquil Hilton Head and good-naturedly takes a pass on the state’s Myrtle Beach, which in summer is about as untranquil as untranquil gets.
Myrtle Beach likewise gets that its June through August peak season and serenity don’t go together. That’s why the area begins to lure families in May, last year debuting its 1.2-mile boardwalk during the month-long MayFest, which yielded free concerts and deals and promises more of the same next month.
Since the Myrtle Beach area has more than 400 hotels, you shouldn’t have to scrabble too hard or long for springtime bargains. Hotel Blue, far more kid-friendly than it first appears, has both an indoor lazy river and access to a 20-lane bowling center; room deals starting at $59/night run through May 12.
Also, the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes has a good $119/night room rate that’s booking up quickly and as of this writing was available through May 27. And MayFest has collected a bunch of room deals and other Myrtle Beach-area discounts (www.myrtlebeachmayfest.com) that may pack appeal.
On the free concert side, MayFest includes several military band concerts throughout the month, a May 21 Christian music festival, and on the 28th a confluence of 2008’s most famous runners-up, David Archuleta and John McCain, who will respectively fulfill crooning and parade grand marshal duties.
As a reminder of how America voted in '08, Archuleta received 44 percent of more than 97 million votes, while McCain got 46 percent of more than 125 million votes, results that ought to give the duo something to talk about.
Pre-teens in your midst may want to know that Memorial Day weekend at MayFest will feature appearances by several Disney Channel stars including Jake T. Austin of “Wizards of Waverly Place” as well as Jennette McCurdy and Noah and Ethan Munck – aka Sam, Gibby, and Guppy – from Nickelodeon’s “iCarly,” a show that I’ll admit to liking almost as much as finding a decent deal.