Local living like a tourist: The beach is always free and fun

Welcome to the first column about life on the Grand Strand from a local’s perspective.

Most of us came to the area first as tourists and spent much of our time visiting the local tourist attractions. But as a local now, many of us forget to enjoy all that the Strand has to offer. I’m here to help you remember!

First, a little about me. I am a Jersey girl and I don’t deny it. I always loved the beach and thought one day I would retire to, well … the Jersey shore. After I got married and moved to the Philadelphia suburbs, I still vacationed at the Jersey shore. But as fate would have it, about three years ago I became a resident of the Grand Strand instead .

There is a lot to do in the Grand Strand from world class shows and amusements to shopping and over 1,600 restaurants — many of them offering live music!

As a “local” we tend to hibernate during the summer when vacationers arrive, but that is a mistake! There is a lot to do here and much of it does not even cost a dime. That brings us to the cheapest entertainment of all and the reason most come here on vacation: the beach.

As a local, I sometimes get so wrapped up in my daily life that I forget to dip my toes in the sand (even though it’s a five-minute drive), so on the morning of July 3, the day after “Arthur” struck, I got up early to beat the crowds and enjoy the solitude of one of God’s greatest creations. To my surprise, the beach was already bustling and it was only 7:15 in the morning! Don’t vacationers sleep late? There were runners, fisherman, shell collectors and those staking out their seats while there was still unclaimed space. Families and their dogs were already sloshing in the water.

One of the reasons so many are attracted to our area is that the water heats up earlier in the season than it does up north and beach access is free! So take time to enjoy living down here and visit the beach. Even if you can only take a few hour “mini vacation,” it is worth the few hours to enjoy nature and rejuvenate your soul.

Until next week … enjoy all the Grand Strand has to offer.

Since July 2011, Sherrie has been living in North Myrtle Beach and sharing the best that the Grand Strand has to offer. From people to events, Grand Strand Happening is your source for everything fun from Little River to Murrells Inlet.

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