Memorial Day weekend is a special time in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and not just because it is the unofficial start of the summer season. The Grand Strand has a deep connection with the military that makes the holiday even more meaningful. In fact, while Myrtle Beach is now well-known for being America's No. 1 family beach vacation destination, the area owes much of its foundation to the opening of the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base during the World War II era.
Although the Grand Strand was already well on its way to being a regional vacation destination, the military base brought thousands of servicemen and women from all over the country to discover the South Carolina coast. Many decided to stay and start a new life in Myrtle Beach, so when the base was closed in 1993, the Sun Fun Capital was well established. It's no wonder Myrtle Beach goes above and beyond to show its appreciation for our fallen heroes on Memorial Day.
Guests at Long Bay Resort will have plenty of opportunities to commemorate Memorial Day and celebrate the start of summer during Memorial Day weekend in Myrtle Beach. Experience all the fun things to do on and off the resort property, and take time out of your family beach vacation to reflect on the real reason for the holiday. Here's a list of activities you can look forward to enjoying on the Grand Strand leading up to Memorial Day:
* May 24: Imagine all the fun things you love to do in Myrtle Beach – waterslides, go-karts, mini-golf – all on one property. Such a place does exist in Surfside Beach at Wild Water & Wheels, which opens for the season as one of several local water parks. Myrtle Waves starts the season on May 13 and goes full-time on June 3, while Splashes opens on May 27.
* May 25: Are you ready to swing? Whether you are talking about a golf club or a dance partner, Myrtle Beach has you covered with the Military Appreciation Days Golf Tournament and the Dinner & Dance on the same day. Sponsored by the Military Officers Association of America, the golf scramble will be held at The Heritage Club in Pawleys Island with a 2 p.m. shotgun start. The entry fee is $80 per player or $300 per foursome, with a $5 discount for veterans. The Military Appreciation Days Dinner & Dance will be held at 6 p.m. at the Myrtle Beach Sheraton for an evening of good food, music and dancing. Hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of America, this event is open to all branches and all eras of service. Tickets are $30.
* May 27: The Military Appreciation Days Parade & Picnic moves to The Market Common on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. At 10:30 a.m., the parade will start down Farrow Parkway and run past adoring crowds lining the sidewalks. This year's grand marshal is Army National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos, who was awarded the U.S. Army Soldier's Medal and the French Legion of Honour for helping subdue a gunman on a Paris-bound train in 2015. The parade ends and the Family Picnic begins at noon at Valor Memorial Park, featuring patriotic music, military displays, and lots of burgers, hot dogs and drinks.
* May 29: After a week filled with fun and games, it's time to take a moment for more serious and somber events on Memorial Day itself. The Veterans March begins at 9 a.m. and sees vets of all branches and eras walk down Ocean Boulevard through the downtown district and to the old Pavilion site for a short ceremony. At 11 a.m., the Myrtle Beach Convention Center is the site of the annual Remembrance Ceremony to honor the American servicemen and women who gave their lives for our freedoms.
Celebrate your Memorial Day weekend with a fun vacation experience and plenty of patriotic observances in Myrtle Beach. Book your visit to Long Bay Resort today, and get ready for a red, white and blue good time.