Destination Exclusives | Winter 2018 Issue 22

Myrtle Beach is a family friendly destination with great golf, a lively boardwalk, and your choice of amusement parks. See what other destinations offer these options for family fun.

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Top Golf Destinations

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head has golf courses for all skill levels and budgets. “The golf island” contains more than 33 world-class championship courses and was voted 2016 North American Golf Destination of the Year. Play year round with an ideal oceanside setting in the heart of the Lowcountry.

Panorama, British Columbia Canada

Greywolf Golf Course welcomes you with jaw-dropping mountain views of the surrounding Purcell range, complete with rapid elevation changes and the signature Cliffhanger hole, one of the best in the world. This truly unique course is adjacent to Panorama Mountain Resort for all your outdoor recreation needs.

Bella Vista Village, Arkansas

Bella Vista Village offers a prime example of Midwest golf. The beautiful village contains five regulation, 18 hole courses and two nine hole courses, with multiple sets of tees for all skill levels. Enjoy mature trees, walkable terrain, and rolling hills at these scenic courses.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Desert golf is unique due to the terrain and climate, and there’s no greater southwest golf mecca than Scottsdale. Year round play is available at dozens of high end courses, all with unique elevation changes, desert and mountain vistas, and world class instruction and pro shops.

Legendary Boardwalks

Ocean City, Maryland

The Travel Channel called this classic wooden boardwalk America’s best. National Geographic named it one of the top 10 in the U.S. And USA Today named it one of the nation’s best boardwalks for food. In short, it’s three miles of highly concentrated fun. Day or night, there’s always something happening – and quite often, it’s free. Catch a spectacular view from the top of the Ferris wheel, or scream with delight on the roller coaster. There’s even a magnificent 1902 carousel.

Daytona Beach, Florida

The Original American Beach has thrills, food, amusements, gift shops, and fun galore on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier. Racing enthusiasts can also go on a self-guided tour along the boardwalk of automobile and motorcycle racing commemorative plaques. Check out the boardwalk during the summer for a prime viewing spot of the Daytona Beach fireworks shows.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

The Virginia Beach Boardwalk is a 28-foot-wide throwback that stretches three miles from 2nd to 40th Street. It’s got a separate bike path that is perfect for rollerblading and biking. Four oceanfront stages provide live music during the summer, and there’s a large variety of unique restaurants and vendors who will rent you a bike or surrey. Don’t miss King Neptune, a twenty-four foot, twelve-ton bronze statue that guards the gateway to Neptune Festival Park on 31st Street.

Sandwich, Massachusetts

This quarter mile long boardwalk, which was originally constructed in 1875, is vastly different than the others on this list. It leads to the Town Beach on Cape Cod Bay, crossing the Creek Mill and marsh. In July 2010, it was voted as one of the top 10 boardwalks in the U.S. You won’t find any carnival rides, souvenir shops, or restaurants on this boardwalk- it’s all natural as it leads to the sea. You will find marsh views, pleasant ocean breezes, and abundant animal life in this delicate ecosystem.

Amusement Parks

Branson, Missouri

If you’re a thrill seeker, a trip to Branson would not be complete without a visit to Silver Dollar City, a theme park that’s a tribute to the 1880s, complete with blacksmiths, wooden and steel roller coasters, old timey shows, and great old-fashioned cooking in huge skillets. Twelve stage venues, more than 40 rides and attractions, 12 restaurants and 60 shops, and wild rollercoasters round out Silver Dollar City.

Williamsburg, Virginia

Busch Gardens Williamsburg has been voted the world’s most beautiful theme park again and again. It’s got a classic European theme with artfully landscaped villages such as the streets of France, the small towns of Scotland, and the Oktoberfest charm of Germany. All told, there are nine villages created around six countries to explore, all with their own charm and ride atmosphere.

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Dollywood has more than 40 world class rides, high energy entertainment, award-winning dining, and the friendliest park atmosphere in the world, all nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains. For a refreshing blast in the hot summer months, head over to Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, the perfect mountain oasis for families to cool off and chill out.

San Diego, California

The variety of attractions surrounding San Diego is both varied and unique. Legoland California serves up more than 60 interactive attractions, shows, and rides. The world-famous San Diego Zoo has more than 3,500 animals and awesome bioclimatic exhibits like Monkey Trails, Lost Forest, and Elephant Odyssey. Sea lovers can’t miss Sea World San Diego in Mission Bay. Catch spectacular shows, rides, and dozens of exhibits showcasing marine life from around the Earth.

Family Friendly

Orlando, Florida

The theme park capital of the world has a mind-boggling array of parks. Visit classics like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, the Magic Kingdom, and Epcot Center. There’s also Legoland Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and many others. You can also take your pick of high end outlet shopping centers, theatrical performances, and amazing concert and sporting events.

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Dells is the water park capital of the world, and the fun doesn’t end when the outdoor cold sets in- you can splish splash year round at the indoor parks as well. The city houses the largest water park in the country: Noah’s Ark, which opened in 1979. You can also check out a live show or visit one of the area’s nearby wineries and distilleries. Outdoor enthusiasts can revel in numerous snowmobile trails, the nearby Cascade Mountain ski resort, and ice fishing and skating.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama

Strikingly natural white sand beaches, world class sport fishing and fresh caught gulf seafood, and a general laid back beach town atmosphere make the twin cities of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores an excellent family vacation destination. All the usual attractions are here, but look further and you’ll see an area rich with southern history, teeming with some of the most unique natural expanses in the country, all wrapped up with exciting music and food festivals year round presented in the gorgeous tropical weather.

South Padre Island, Texas

Texas’ only tropical island offers mild temperatures, calm water and a variety of activities for families. Choose from watersports, sport fishing, beach lounging, horseback riding, a sea turtle rehabilitation center, the 1852 Port Isabel Lighthouse, parasailing, dolphin watching, and more.


About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as Creative Resources Manager for RTX, based in Asheville, NC. You can find him hiking the mountains of Asheville, gardening, traveling, and hanging with his growing family. His favorite RTX exchange destinations are Rangeley, Maine, Lake Tahoe, Banff, Canada, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Cape Cod, and Orange Beach, Alabama. .


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