A few weeks ago we embarked on our first-ever road trip as a family of three down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was also my first real vacation since coming back home to the U.S. in 2019 and after a full year of Vacation Deficit Disorder (it’s a thing), five days at the beach with amazing friends was exactly what we needed.
Myrtle Beach is about a 7-hour drive from Annapolis. I wasn’t exactly keen on driving, but between a baby and all her stuff and the state of the world, it was definitely the better option. The worst part of the drive is always getting around the DC metro area, but once we made it south of the beltway it was fairly smooth sailing. Virginia and North Carolina have many well-maintained rest stops which were essential for keeping baby (and her parents) happy for the duration of the trip. Even after stopping more times than we normally would, we managed to make the drive in about 7.5 hours.
We were meeting some Wisconsin friends, so we opted to stay at an Air B&B that was large enough for everyone. This adorable little home is just a block off the beach and while it didn’t have a waterfront view it was comfy and has plenty of amenities. We opted for the first-floor bedroom to separate us from our friends in case of any major meltdowns from the little one.
This turned out to be a good call because the first night was a disaster. This was the first time we were sharing a room with our daughter since she was four months old and she was not having it. After many failed attempts to put her down, she was hysterical and we were exhausted so we ended up driving around for 30 minutes to calm her down. We then shoved her pack-and-play into the adjoining bathroom and once we were out of sight she went right to sleep. Thank goodness.
Myrtle Beach in itself is a typical tourist destination. Lots of themed restaurants, adventure parks for kids, a boardwalk with rides and games, mini-golf, and water sports tours. And, of course, the gorgeous beach. If you can swing it and you’re willing to take a chance during peak hurricane season, I highly recommend going in September after Labor Day. Hotel prices are much cheaper and the beach is less crowded than peak season. Plus, the water is still beautiful. We spent most of the next few days relaxing on the beach and enjoying our water baby’s first dip in the Atlantic Ocean.
One morning we decided to walk over to the Myrtle Beach State Park to mix things up a bit The park is accessible from the beach, but you can also easily drive in and park. There are multiple campsites in the park as well. If you do walk, you will need to stop by the ranger station to pay for your visit. The paths are well marked but not stroller accessible so be sure to keep that in mind if you visit with small children. It also does get very hot quickly so I’d recommend visiting early in the day if possible.
Myrtle Beach was the perfect little getaway for the first vacation for our little family. It may be a bit kitschy and touristy, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need to relax and unwind with great friends.