Club Wyndham at The Cottages is in one of my favorite locations on the planet. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I started coming to Myrtle Beach many years ago when I was just a few years old. I would come with my Grandparents on vacation and would travel with my sister.
As with every trip to Myrtle Beach, this one started with a relatively short drive down I95.
Video by Beachin with the Boones
Day One: Arrival at Club Wyndham at The Cottages
Pulling up to the cottages, I knew this was going to be something special. Here I was coming to one of my favorite locations and I was also going to be in a cottage setting. I mean, I love a good condo setting as much as anyone. But this was very nice.
Here the units are either 3- or 4-bedroom cottages. So, there are no smaller choices available. For this trip, I was bringing along a friend because given how large these are, I would have felt guilty coming alone.
The trip down was fast and seemed even a little faster with some in-car conversations. Usually, solo would have been just mental walks down memory lance and music.
These cottages or 3-bedroom suites have it all.
1,425 – 1,485 square feet.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- DVD Player
- Ice Maker
- Iron/Ironing Board
- Whirlpool Bath
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- BBQ Grills
- Sunbathing Area
- Concierge Services
- Fitness Room
- Game Room
- Hot Tub
- Pool Bar
- Internet Access
- Kid’s Activities
- Laundry Facilities
- Beach (On-Site)
- Bocce Ball
- Movie Rentals
- On-Site Security
- Outdoor Pool
- Lazy River
After checking in, we jumped into the suite and were blown away by the size and rooms. Each room was separate and homey. I should have invited more people on this trip. Maybe had several couples come and stay as well. The only thing a couple might fight over would be the rooms with king-size beds. But for a free trip to the beach for a weekend, I am sure friends of ours would have slept 50s TV style in double beds without an argument.
The cottages are well maintained and they are in a neighborhood setting just off of the main beach road. This meant that their area was within walking distance to the beach, and it was much calmer and quieter than being right on the beach.
Man, it was great to be back in Myrtle Beach again. Since I was back, I knew I wanted to show my friend some favorite locations. But first things first, the beach.
If you have not been to Myrtle Beach before, what you will notice for most of the length of the beach is that the beach is exceptionally wide. There is a great deal of room on the beach between the ocean and the mainland. This often means even at the busiest times of the year you can find a spot for your group on the sand. If you have been on a vacation where you had access to a much smaller beach, you know that finding a spot can be a challenge.
We headed to the resort’s beach access and area. It was a very nice part of the larger beach. You can view a live camera of myrtle beach from here.
Myrtle Beach welcomes over 14 million visitors annually. That is a huge number. It is also growing as an area to live year-round with the second fastest-growing housing numbers in the Nation in 2018. This means even beyond the amazing beach there is always something to do and somewhere to go.
First for us after the first visit to the beach was somewhere for dinner. We headed to Drunken Jack’s because I had not been before but had heard good things. The idea was it would be new for both of us to enjoy. Tomorrow I would head to some of my favorite places to eat in town (the old standby kind of spots in my mind).
We both started with she-crab soup. Every place that makes she-crab soup seems to do it its own way. This had more flavor than many. It seemed like it was slow-cooked like they might keep it cooking throughout the day even. By that I mean all the flavors were fully developed and great. I also love boom boom shrimp or what are lightly breaded shrimp in a spicy sauce. For the main entrée, I chose to try the full seafood platter. Always a good choice to try several items on the seafood places menu all at once. With this, you could choose three of the main items. Shrimp, Scallops, Fish, Crab cakes, Fantail Shrimp, or Oysters. I chose the shrimp, fish, and crab cake and I was happy with all three.
My guest chose the crab cakes and we both really enjoyed our meal. Going again, I would have tried Jack’s seafood platter and had one more main item along with my meal. Not that I was not full, but just because I liked the idea of trying more.
I saw someone’s order of the stuffed flounder and I might try that on a future trip as well. It looked good. Sometimes stuffed flounder looks frozen and less appetizing. This looked fresh and the sauce looked rich.
After dinner, we returned for a nighttime stroll on the beach, then back to the cottage.
Day Two Getting an
Early Start at Club Wyndham at The Cottages
Oops, I did it again. I left the curtains open in the bedroom. This time I think it was more than subconscious. I wanted to get an early start to the day and wake up naturally, but early.
I had brought some items and put them in the fridge when we checked in, so I had everything needed to cook breakfast one morning. But that was not going to be today. Today I wanted to go to a breakfast spot I have been to before, and several times over the years.
We want Magnolia’s one of their claims to fame is their breakfast buffet. If you have read anything I have written before about travel, you know I love a buffet. The idea of getting what you want, and then more of what you like, is always a perfect fit for me.
Buffets can also be fast if you want them to be. I used to step into a Golden Corral by my former office just because I could get in and out in a reasonable time to be back to work during my single lunch hour.
Here though, you want to spend some time. The offerings are just that good.
It was Friday morning so the breakfast buffet was in full force when we arrived at almost 9 AM and it was a bargain too at less than $10. On Saturdays and Sundays, they do full brunch buffets I have done those before and they are great. For the price too, they are only a few dollars more.
The breakfast buffet has a hot and cold table, as well as a waffle station for fresh hot waffles right off of the iron.
After our breakfast, it was time to show my friend the town. We would start with a little driven tour in the convertible with the top down. Then we would stop in a few places.
After driving around a little, I thought it would be neat to ride the sky wheel. I had not done that since it was first put-up years ago. Just seems like an odd thing to do a solo for me. Since this is my escape, I rarely have a guest with me. We headed for the sky wheel. Each set of passengers gets their own gondola. If you work it out ahead of time, there is even a VIP gondola that has leather seats and a see-through floor. These gondolas have climate control, and the glass in them is even specially UV protection and ideal for taking photos from inside the gondola. When you go there is sometimes a line but with 42 gondolas and the ride lasting 10 minutes, it often is not a bad wait.
When you choose the VIP, it is costly at $50 per person which means $100 per couple but you do get to enjoy it two times around. Plus, the time of loading and unloading of the non-VIP guests. This means on a busy day you are there for well over 30 minutes with 20 minutes of that time being in movement and enjoying the ride to the fullest. Since I was entertaining, I went all out, and we went VIP.
This would be a great thing to do, to propose. The guy would have the entire first session to build up the nerve to pop the question, and the see-through floor and walls all around make the views powerful and dramatic. Just do not take a girl too afraid of heights guys that could ruin things for you if she kept her eyes closed.
They even offer proposal packages to help you pop the question.
Here from their website:
If you’d like to pop the question, we can create an intimate Proposal Package catered for you and your sweetheart. Let us help you create that one-of-a-kind “forever” experience that will certainly have you and your love floating on Cloud Nine! We have proposal packages starting at $100 where we will take care of everything and all you have to do is pop the question! Email us at email@example.com to plan your perfect proposal.
Keeping my guest in focus, we chose to go to the gardens next. Brookgreen Gardens are 300 acres of gardens, sculptures, and even a small zoo.
On their website you learn “the collection contains over 2,000 works by 430 artists and in the words of Wayne Craven, author of the book, Sculpture in America, it is “unequaled in its size, focus on figurative works, visibility of the sculpture to the visitor, and integration within a garden setting.”
Indoor galleries, such as those in the Rainey Sculpture Pavilion, present exhibits of smaller sculptures, as well as paintings, etchings, and other artworks by internationally renowned artists. Often including works on loan from museums and private collections around the world, these exhibits give visitors an opportunity to see many important works of art.”
That was a great collection. I paint a little myself but have always found sculpture amazing. I kind of have to be in the mood to see it and be invested at the moment, but I do like it very much when I am.
The gardens were nice as well, but if I only came for the sculpture, I would be very happy and impressed with that alone. When you add in the botanical gardens and zoo, you could make most of a day of it. If you or a loved one enjoy sculpture or gardens, I would not miss it in the spring or fall. The weather at Myrtle Beach is perfect for these kinds of outdoor experiences.
Myrtle Beach has some world-class golf locations. I am more a mini-golf guy, but I have friends who come down and enjoy golf here year-round. One spot they often mention is TPC Myrtle Beach. Here are some notes from their website.
TPC Myrtle Beach’s very challenging 18-hole, 72-par PGA Tour-caliber course features elevation changes, undulating greens, and Tour-quality bunkers. It is a course designed to treat golfers to the experience of what it must be like to be a PGA Touring professional.
Tom Fazio designed the course with the intention of ranking it among the nation’s finest. When TPC Myrtle Beach opened to rave reviews on February 2, 1999, many of golf’s most respected sources pronounced it an instant classic.
The course backs up to Collins Creek and is surrounded by environmentally protected natural wetlands with thriving red oaks and thick pine forests, where it is home to turkeys, deer, foxes, waterfowl, and alligators.
With 5,118–6,950 total yardage, the course has a rating of 74.0 and a slope rating of 145. Five tees make play enjoyable for golfers of all skill levels. Due to the marshland nature of part of the course, there are three or four forced carries, but no forced carries from the women’s tees.
Looking at the fees to play this level of course they seem reasonable to me. You can view the aerials of the course here in video reviews.
To find less costly rounds of golf, you can try this website at Myrtle Beach Golf. They offer some discounts and advantages of booking through the site. You should have already booked through TZort for your accommodations, so why not save some golf too?
Us after the gardens, it was time to head back to the beach. But not just any beach, I wanted to go to the state park part of the beach because of its seclusion and beauty. The site is 2500 acres in size and includes a historic castle where once a year there is a well-known arts festival. This is in September and while I have not participated as an artist, I have attended as a guest before, and it is a great place to see and enjoy art in the month of September. An artist with talent will find it a great location to participate in. One could imagine doing this art festival and the Virginia Beach Arts Show near my home and selling a year’s worth of art to visitors without any issue.
Day Three More Beach Time
After returning from our whirlwind tour day, we woke to a slower start today and focused on heading to the beach for Sunrise. I thought being at the beach for the Sunrise and then Sunset in a single day would be a fun thing to do. The sunrise here is special. In the spring you can catch the sunrise from many local restaurants if you get there when the doors open. One such location is the Sea Captain’s House. It opens at 7 AM and the sunrise is at about 7:18 AM or so most of March.
It was summer for us so we went to the beach and watched the sunrise there then went back to the cottage for breakfast ala Harry.
After breakfast, I wanted to check out some more local spots, then go back to the beach in the late afternoon to have a good spot to enjoy the sunset. A helpful website to find the sunset and sunrise times are here. The site even provides a neat visual of the sun throughout the year.
Since the sun rises in the East and Myrtle is on the East CoastCost, the sunrise is the best view. I do enjoy the sunset, however, because of the view of the clouds and the horizon changing colors.
The reason I love mini-golf goes back to my childhood and summers when for half a day I would go and entertain myself and the local putt-putt. My grandmother watched me for a few summers because my mother worked full-time. So, I would stay with my grandparents during the day. Grandad worked in the shipyard and often had to work nights and sleep during the day. This meant if the weather was nice, my grandmother would often send me out of the house to the putt-putt to play for several hours. I loved it and still playing mini-golf reminds me of those fun summer days.
Today we went to a mini-golf spot in Myrtle Beach called Myrtle Beach Family Golf. This has 4 separate mini-golf courses. Which was like a power step back into my childhood. I was not sure my guest would feel the same way about mini-golf as me so I only did one course this trip which was the Captain Hook course. It was fun, and we both seemed to have a good time laughing and picking on each other for putts.
During the majority of the year (temp and weather-related) the course stays open from 9 AM–11 PM. On a hot summer day, the cool night hours are fun to play mini-golf in. If you have older teens, it can be a good thing to do with them for fun that does not cost an arm and a leg, and gets them off their phones and talking with you for a while.
I was starting to feel hungry so after the mini-golf, we headed for an Italian Restaurant I have enjoyed before. Ciao is located close to the main strip off of King’s Highway near Pine Lakes Country Club.
We were there for lunch and the menu for lunch is extensive.
We each chose pasta, I had the lasagna, and she chose the spaghetti with meat sauce. During the meal, we sample a little of each other’s and agreed both were great but the lasagna was the winner.
I had been here on a few previous trips and had the veal parmesan each time and made myself try the lasagna just because I am crazy about lasagna and wanted to try their take on it. Their veal and chicken dishes here are both winners however if you prefer those options.
This restaurant has been open since 2006 and seems to always have their act together, and create a good dinning experience.
After lunch, we returned to the cottage to refresh, then headed to the beach to be there for sunset. It was another great day in Myrtle Beach that ended much as it began with amazing views, good friends, and the beach.
This trip was special in that my guest was going with me to the next resort, which is Club Wyndham Westwinds follow us on to that blog for the continuing vacation story.