Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations is in one of my favorite locations, Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach welcomes over 1 million vacationers each year, and for good reason. As far as beach towns or vacation destinations, Myrtle Beach has an amazing amount to offer.
Day One Travel and Arrival
This video shows a drive along the strip.
Video by Carmen and Brian
My trip starts as a drive down from Virginia on Interstate 95. From my door to the resort was only about a 5 ½ hour drive. There was little traffic, and it was close to a straight shot.
Myrtle Beach is an easy location to get to. Driving in from surrounding states North or South means a trip largely on I95 and then finally the last 45 minutes or so on I74. The entire trip was only a little over 300 miles for me, which is nice. Just enough to clear your head driving without traffic, but not enough to make it tough.
When I arrived I found the location on North Ocean Blvd easy to find, and the pull-up for your car for check-in easy. As a side note, if you have an electric car they even have on-site EV charging. Which I thought is a nice touch. I have not gone there yet myself, but when someone makes an affordable convertible with good mileage, I might consider it.
They offer valet parking which is fairly rare in Myrtle Beach, and if you have driven farther than I did, a welcomed option. I did use it because it makes life easy. I brought in 2 bags and let them have the car. That act alone took away from travel stress.
Next, check-in was a breeze
Before I go into the finer details, check out some of these amazing reviews, you can find online about this resort.
After a bad experience at another hotel in Myrtle Beach. Ocean 22 was incredibly perfect. With friendly staff from the Valet parking to the reception. Very clean, large rooms equipped for all needs, such as a kitchen, refrigerator, microwave, and more. And the view of the sea was a dream of every day. The environment was nice and safe, good pool and exit to the beach. I definitely recommend this hotel and would return many times.
Very, very nice experience. Clean room, clean environment, clean fitness center. Very nice staff as well. Comfy hot tub, a nice view from my room… the dishes were nice & decent, comfy bed. I would love to revisit it!
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- In-Room Safe
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Beachfront Access
- Business Center
- On-Site Restaurants
- Fitness Center
- Concierge Services
This is an excellent resort! Beautiful beach, clean & modern units. Breathtaking views if you have ocean front, especially from the 24th floor. Check-in was quick, the room was ready before 4 pm, and the valet/bellman was incredibly helpful! Elevators can get busy but this is normal for 24 floors. Would stay here again for sure!
As you read those reviews, note the common mention is how clean the resort and rooms are. That is rare for beach resorts because of the high turnover, and the challenge of caring for beachfront properties. They have their act together here and truly care. Again, like the valet service, the level of upkeep and cleanliness is perfect.
I checked into my room, which was a 2 bedroom oceanfront. I wanted that direct ocean view and the access to the salt air to be uninterrupted. I also had a guest coming to stay on my 2nd day in town, so the 2 bedroom was just what the doctor ordered.
The room was 1141 sq ft, which is nice. In truth, about the same size as my current home. I have a 2 bedroom since it is just me. So I thought about the direct beachfront that was roomy.
The room has a full kitchen and living room area with a deck that looks right out to the ocean. When you are in the room, it is as if you can reach out and touch the water. If someone threw a glass of water on you, for a few seconds you could feel that you fell in.
I like TV, it helps me relax. In the bedroom, there is a 43-inch and a 55-inch TV in the living room. So if you still watch the news, or there is a game on, you have options for sure.
I woke up having decided not to try to wake myself up for the sunrise, but just leave the curtains open in the master bedroom and wake naturally with the sun.
It worked well because I woke peacefully about 30 minutes after sunrise as the early morning sun bounced off the water and into my windows.
The mattress was comfortable so I need to check and see what brand it is before I leave. I might want to purchase one. I am not very picky, but when you find a good one, why not treat yourself to the best fit for you?
My first mission was a good breakfast. Just up the street, a few blocks is Magnolia’s at 26th. One of the few true breakfast buffer locations is still open and rolling after 2020. They now serve you cafe-style and I like that approach. The staff is very friendly, and the food is as good as always. They are hard workers and open at 6:30 AM so when I got there at 8 AM they had already served many happy customers. For light eaters, you can also order from the menu. But with the buffet being so affordable, it still seems silly to do so.
With food costs these days, I do not know how they do it. Great food services and prices. I tipped the staff more than I might normally on my visit just to say thank you.
There are other fancier choices in town than a buffet for sure, but I am a simple guy. If it is just me or myself and my family, I like simple. If I need to impress others or treat someone special, then I can do that as well.
If you prefer a nice tablecloth, and a finer finish to your meal, I understand and you may want to try Croissants.
After breakfast, it was time to head back to the resort and hit the beach. Why stay on the ocean if you do not plan to put your feet in?
Well, for me I wanted to get my feet in the salt water and then take a swim. So, that is what I did. Once I played myself out, I came back to a beach towel and collapsed for a few hours of sun.
After some time in the ocean and on the sand, I headed back to the room to shower and change and then get out to do something around town. Myrtle Beach has a ton of things to do and see.
This is my favorite vacation spot for a reason and beyond the location, and people part of the draw for me is all you can do and see here.
It had been at least 6 months since I had been on the Skywheel and I have an annual pass, so that was next on my list. A 200 ft tall Ferris wheel with gondolas is a fun thing to ride, and the view is great. If you have not read one of my travel blogs before, you will soon find out that I love all the tourist things to do. The only thing I have in common with Clark Griswold of vacation fame is I am the guy that will stop on the side of the road for the world’s biggest cast-iron skillet, or certainly to ride a ride, or see a sight.
I just love the stuff. I think it is because of my grandfather and how he used to take me and my sister (along with Grandma) on great adventures. Our vacations would often start just by getting in the car and going. Fun off-the-cuff style trips and many of those took us to Myrtle Beach over the years. But he would also just see something on a billboard and say “lets to see that” and boom we would be off at an exit on a new adventure. The idea of every trip with my grandparents was you were with someone you loved, and you were going to see something cool or do something fun. So I still love every tourist thing you can imagine.
The Skywheel even has a VIP gondola and experience. But unless you are a fun-loving fool who is proposing on the Ferris wheel, you likely will be happy with the normal gondola.
You can pre-purchase your tickets online, which will save you a few minutes in a line during busy times. They also have different passes and options that are worth checking out on their website.
Check out this Skywheel video.
Video by Myrtle Beach Vibes
Day Three Tourist Fun
When in Myrtle Beach if you are a fan of all types of tourist fun like me, you will have discovered you have found a tourist mecca. Myrtle Beach has more fun options than anywhere else other than, say, Orlando. Here you will not find giant theme parks but instead hundreds of options on a smaller scale.
Today I wanted to start with some time on the beach again before heading back out to more fun tourist spots. The beachfront here is almost as wide as Daytona and it is kept very clean and nice. Right in front of Ocean 22 is an ideal spot and they take wonderful care of the area.
Something that I am not expecting from the Hilton brand of resorts is exceptional cleanliness, and I like it. I am not a super fussy person but when everything is clean and nice, it relaxes me and makes me feel more at ease. If you have a partner that is offended by how clean a resort is, I would consider this location before many others in Myrtle Beach because it is maintained so well.
I have booked a dinner at the Pirates Voyage pirate-themed meal and show tonight, but before then it is time to check out the Barefoot River Boat Queen for a local waterway cruise on the paddlewheel boat.
I wanted to check this out for a while now because they also offer a dinner cruise but before I brought a date for that I wanted to take the 1.5hr day cruise to check it out and see if I think it would be a good fit.
The cruise departs at 11:30 AM or 1:30 PM based on the time of the year. With winter and early spring cruises at the early time, and then it flips to afternoons as summer wakes up Myrtle Beach into high gear.
The cruise was fun. I grew up on the water most of my life, so I miss being on a river or in the ocean more. This made the trip more fun for me. Others might really get into the trip if they have not been on the water much. The boat looks almost period authentic, and inside you find several cash bars, great tables with climate-controlled rooms, and good views.
For the daytime cruise, it was only $29.99 per person, so not a bad value at all for this kind of adventure.
The boat itself is in its location on the barefoot resort which is in North Myrle Beach, just across the intercoastal.
By the time we got back in, it was still a few hours before my dinner-themed show and meal, so I went to the boardwalk area and headed to the family fun center. This is one of those few places left outside of a branded Dave and Buster that still offers skeet ball. I played that so much as a kid that just throwing the skeet ball makes me feel a little younger with each throw.
After a while of playing and walking around the area, feeling a little like a 14-year-old (if not in my joints, in my mind) I left to head for dinner and the show.
I liked themed restaurants as much as any kid might. Maybe I did just enough to get hooked when I was younger, or I did not get enough. The Pirates Voyage is a good one with the highest reviews I have seen for a themed restaurant on Google.
The food was provided in 4 courses and included
Voyager Creamy Vegetable Soup
Half O’ Roasted Cackler (Chicken)
Captain’s BBQ Pork
Cob O’ Buttery
Pirate Herb-basted Potato
Apple O’ Me Eye Pie
Unlimited Coca-Cola®, tea or coffee
The cost was modest, and the show was fun and engaging. The food was better than I expected as well. I think the only themed meal I liked in Myrtle Better was the Luau that I went to on a previous trip. That was amazing. The show was better here, so overall they were a tough act for other places to follow.
This was a great way to end my 3-day trip to Myrtle Beach and I would happily stay at Ocean 22 again.
When you go, just make sure you book with TZort.com