Labor Day not only marks the unofficial end of summer — the holiday also signals an inevitable shortage of quality family time. The kids are back at school, the parents are back to work, and the sports practices and dance recitals make it almost impossible to get away from it all in the fall. This gives us all the more reason to take one last family retreat to Myrtle Beach for Labor Day weekend.
Guests at Long Bay Resort can enjoy the beach, oceanfront pool, waterslides and other amenities on the property, in addition to celebrating the three-day weekend at some of the great attractions and Labor Day festivals the Grand Strand has to offer. Here's a list of some of our guests' favorite places to visit and events to attend for one last family retreat in Myrtle Beach:
* Beach, Boogie & BBQ Festival: Looking for a real taste of coastal South Carolina? The Beach, Boogie & BBQ Festival has it all — beach music, shag dancing and our popular export of barbecue. Sample some of the best barbecue in the South at this championship event, which features a range of categories that includes pulled pork, ribs and chicken wings. Just don't fill up before the music starts and people hit the dance floor, which is actually the green grass of The Market Common's Grand Park. Other attractions include arts and crafts vendors, a vintage car show and a cornhole tournament. This festival runs Friday (6 to 9 p.m.) and Saturday (noon to 6 p.m.). For more information, visit www.myrtlebeacheventinfo.com.
* Brookgreen Gardens: This 9,100-acre Murrells Inlet botanical sculpture garden is lovely year-round, but Labor Day weekend offers the final chance to catch an exhibit that's perfect for the little ones. The “Nature Connects: Art with Lego Bricks” display features large statues of plants and animals made entirely of Lego bricks, and there's even an interactive station where children can make their own sculptures. Brookgreen also features the Native Wildlife Zoo with alligators, otters, various birds and more, as well as a farm with goats, horses and chickens. The Butterfly House is another popular spot for kids, and the whole family will enjoy the scenic gardens and a boat ride through the abandoned rice fields of this former plantation. For more information, visit www.brookgreen.org.
* Family Kingdom: The popular downtown amusement park and water park sends the season out in style on Labor Day weekend. Splashes Oceanfront Water Park is open for the last time of the year on Sunday, giving guests one last chance to ride Myrtle Beach's only oceanfront waterslides. Across Ocean Boulevard, Family Kingdom stays open till midnight on Saturday and Sunday before shifting to its reduced offseason hours on Labor Day. Parents can tag along for free while watching the little ones ride the attractions. For more information, visit www.familykingdomfun.com.
* Fireworks: What better way to end the summer than with a major blowout at a free fireworks show? The skies light up over the weekend at two major entertainment complexes on the Grand Strand — Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach at 10:15 p.m. on Saturday, and Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach at 10 p.m. Sunday. Long Bay Resort is located between the two venues, so it's a short drive to see the pyrotechnics at either place. Arrive early for the roaming entertainers, and find a nice spot overlooking the lakes for the best view of the fireworks.
* POPS with the Pelicans: Normally the home to minor-league baseball, TicketReturn.com Field will be singing a different tune on Saturday night with a live concert by the Long Bay Symphony. The two-hour concert will feature music from Broadway plays and movies, such as Star Wars, West Side Story and the James Bond series, as well as patriotic songs before closing with a big fireworks show. For more information, visit www.myrtlebeachpelicans.com.
With all the fun things to do in Myrtle Beach on Labor Day weekend, the highlight of late summer will be your family vacation at Long Bay Resort. Featuring excellent accommodations and first-class amenities, Long Bay is the perfect place for a family getaway on Labor Day and beyond.