From North Myrtle Beach to Murrells Inlet, the diversity and fun experiences in the Myrtle Beach Area will be on full display during 2019 Travel South Showcase.

Delegates to Travel South Showcase have a choice of four City Tours:

Gullah & Gardens Experience

Brookgreen Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens

Lose yourself in the Amazing

Travel to Murrells Inlet on the south end of the Myrtle Beach Area to experience Brookgreen Gardens. This 9,000-plus-acre property has the largest collection of figurative statuary in the country. It’s displayed in spectacular garden settings and three galleries. The Rainey Sculpture Pavilion exhibits smaller sculptures, while other galleries often show pieces on loan from museums and collectors. More than 2,000 works by 425 artists are part of the Brookgreen Gardens collection.

The stage is set as you enter Brookgreen Gardens via Live Oak Allee. The magnificent live oak trees were planted in the early 1700s when Brookgreen Gardens was four prosperous plantations. The gardens within the property offer a spectacular array of horticultural offerings, from perennials and roses to mature trees and shrubs. Sculpture and gardens blend seamlessly into a marvelous setting.

Adjourn to the Wall Lowcountry Center Auditorium for an interactive lecture presentation by Ron Daise, Brookgreen Gardens’ vice president for creative education. He will present an expanded version of his hugely popular educational and interactive cultural game show Nottin bot de Rice! (Nothing but Rice). You’ll learn about the rice culture of the Gullah Geechee people, including their songs, history and foods. Try your hand at weaving a sweetgrass basket and sample Gullah Geechee foods.

Shagging and Southern Sipping

Duplin Winery

Duplin Winery

Relax and un(WINE)d

Take a short drive to North Myrtle Beach and one of the area’s best-hidden secrets, the North Myrtle Beach Historical Museum. North Myrtle Beach was founded in 1968 from four municipalities north of Myrtle Beach. The museum shares this beach town’s history from the earliest Native American inhabitants to the development of today’s booming tourism business and the impact on its eight communities. You’ll want to spend time with each exhibit, but one of special interest tells the story of “The Shag,” the state dance of South Carolina, and its origins in North Myrtle Beach. On display through April 2019 is North Myrtle Beach Celebrating 50 Years with images of the people, businesses and the beach communities. Of course, there will be a demonstration of the state dance.

What better way to unwind after a busy day than with a sip (or two) of wine? There’s no better place to savor the sweeter side of the area than Duplin Winery. There’s a story of challenges that led to Duplin Winery being the largest in the South and the world’s largest muscadine winery. In the 1970s, North Carolina’s Fussell family was growing grapes and selling them at a premium to a winery in neighboring South Carolina. But prices dropped and the winery closed. The family then went into the winemaking business, aided by taxes being removed from North Carolina wine bottlers. Its Rose Hill winery did well but faced another challenge when the tax break was rescinded. They adopted a strategy of bringing the people to the wine by holding events and tours at their North Carolina winery, and in spring 2015  opened their North Myrtle Beach location.

Relax & Unwind

Croissants Bistro & Bakery at Grande Dunes

Croissants Bistro & Bakery at Grande Dunes

Sips & Sweets

For fans of The Simpsons animated sitcom, this one’s for you and with a whole new dimension of fun. The Simpsons in 4D at Broadway at the Beach is a first-of-a-kind attraction allowing you to step into the world of the Simpsons. You’ll experience Springfield’s Aztec Theater for a fun 4D experience where you’ll join Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie in an adventure; a Hollywood-style red carpet souvenir photo gives you 15 minutes of fame. Expect to rub elbows with the Simpsons as you browse the definitive Kwik-E-Mart and its variety of products. There’s Buzz Cola, Heat-Lamp Hot Dogs and Lard Lad Donuts. Quench your thirst with a selection of Squishee flavors inspired by The Simpsons and browse The Simpsons merchandise.

It’s on to Heidi’s Corner, home to Myrtle Beach’s second Croissants Bistro & Bakery at Grande Dunes and Hook & Barrel (same ownership). Founded in 1995, Croissants offers coffee and espresso drinks along with wonderful baked goods and a menu of tasty soups and sandwiches. Joining the new Croissants at Heidi’s Corner is Hook & Barrel, which offers new seafood concepts along with a special dining experience.

There’s just one more thing before you can unwind and enjoy this award-winning restaurant group. You’ll be rolling up your sleeves for a hands-on cupcake decorating and tasting experience.

Broadway at the Beach

Adventures for the Young at Heart

Let’s set the stage. Myrtle Beach’s No. 1 tourist attraction is 350 acres of 20 dining experiences, more than 75 shopping options, popular attractions, nightlife and enchanted memories. Things get a little turned upside down at WonderWorks and the WonderWorks Tour & Scavenger Hunt you’ll experience at this amusement park for the mind. You’ll enter with your feet above your head, but the inversion tunnel gets you realigned. The scavenger hunt begins with clues being found in six featured exhibits – Natural Disasters, Physical Challenge Zone, Light & Sound Zone, Space Discovery, Imagination Lab and Far Out Art Gallery.

With the relaxed feeling water provides and the color that greets the eye in every gallery, Ripley’s Aquarium is the perfect setting for your Wine & Design event. It’s a favorite with both student/youth and adult groups. On display in nine galleries are animals from virtually every ocean. From predators to exotic and colorful fish to the strange and unusual, even the most ardent aquarium visitor will discover something new. Glass-bottom boat adventures, mermaid and dive shows, feedings and the ultimate aquarium experience, Dive with Sharks, await groups.

By Dave Bodle