(BPT) – Summer is here, which means it’s time for an annual vacation for many families. Since most Americans plan to travel within the U.S., Expedia.com has picked the best small towns and coastal cities to inspire your vacation planning. America’s historic resort towns, along with thousands of miles of beautiful coastlines, offer great destinations for you and your family this summer.
Towns like Ocean City, Gatlinburg and Myrtle Beach are great places to visit with friends and family. They are all within driving distance of major cities, and who doesn’t love a road trip? They offer budget-friendly accommodations, warm weather, beaches and fun activities. And when travelers book on a site like Expedia, vacation dreams quickly become reality through their selection of affordable airfare, hotels, vacation rentals and amazing discounts.
Ready to hit the road? Here are some of America’s best small towns and coastal cities to visit on vacation.
Myrtle Beach: Enjoy sand and sun on South Carolina’s beaches, then hit the nightlife in one of America’s most picturesque beach towns. Stay at the luxurious Marina Inn at Grande Dunes.
Destin: This Florida town is surrounded by water, with ample opportunities for whale watching and recreation. The Henderson, a Salamander Beach and Spa Resort, is a family-friendly resort with two pools and full-service spa.
Virginia Beach: This Virginia town offers rich history and pristine beaches, listed as having the longest pleasure beach in the world. The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront is a gorgeous beachfront property with excellent accommodations.
Gatlinburg: Surrounded by Tennessee’s Great Smokey Mountains, Gatlinburg offers unparalleled wilderness activities near several major cities. For adventurous hiking and river rafting, there’s no better place. The Margaritaville Resort provides an equally exciting place to stay.
Although scientifically speaking, the total solar eclipse will not be visible in Myrtle Beach so scientifically, Myrtle Beach will experience a partial eclipse. However, visibly about 99.4% of the moon will cover the sun that is described as…
……at it’s darkest point it should look like nighttime by the light of a full moon.
A unique feature is that we have the rare opportunity to see the sun’s plasma aura or “coronas”. I know what you’re thinking…no its not the same as Corona or Corona Light but we here at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes will have plenty of Corona on hand if you want to experience two Coronas at once!
All kidding aside, you could seriously damage your eyes from the concentrated solar rays so please follow theseproper safety precautionsfrom NASA to make sure you do not damage your eyes.
Also, be wary of fake eclipse glasses!Check this site to check your glasses to make sure they are not fake.
HOW TO TAKE SOLAR ECLIPSE PICTURES WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE? YES THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT!
If you are like most, we use our smartphones to photograph everything and this event will be no different. However, photographing an eclipse is not that easy, even with professional photo equipment. But for those iphone camera warriors that refuse to take no for an answer, of course there is an app for that!
If you dont want to go the app route – here are some tips to make the best of your eclipse photos from your smartphone! Good Luck!
Here at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes, located just a few minutes from the beach and directly on the waterway, will not only provide a fantastic view for this once in a lifetime event, but also a great way to spend your entire weekend!
Since we not located in a high traffic location, you can view the eclipse event on the grande lawn overlooking the waterway or catch some rays before it goes dark with Eclipse Drink Specials at our outdoor pool.
If you want to view the eclipse on Myrtle Beach’s best beach – the Marina Inn’s secluded beach is the perfect spot. Following a short five minute shuttle ride, you can enjoy included beach services such as chairs, towels & umbrellas along with a food and beverage service that includes a light menu and beer and wine during this memorable solar eclipse event.
After the excitment of the solar eclipse is over, there is still lots of fun activites for the entire family. If you’re looking for an exciting and unique way to experience the water then you’ll want to check out Myrtle Beach Watersports located directly at the Grande Dunes Marina for your convenience, you can have your pick of private jet-ski rentals, jet-ski dolphin watch tours, pontoon boat rentals, and a backwater adventure, which will take you to places only accessible by water!
You don’t have to leave to experience the best dining in Myrtle Beach at WaterScapes. Conveniently located inside the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes that is home to some of the finest dining in the Myrtle Beach area serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with focus on southern classics adding a French twist. WaterScapes is family friendly with our Kids Eat Free program! Head Chef Corbett Rourk has over 25 years of culinary experience preparing favorites such as shrimp and grits, char grilled ribeye, and pan seared scallops. Kids have their ownKids menu with all of their favorites.