Myrtle Beach Family Vacation

Gotta Love the Grand Strand

For the first time—my family was heading south in the summer—something that some might say goes against Canadian logic. You stay home in July and August to enjoy the brief but intense summer and then head to the southern states in the winter—when you just can’t take one more snow storm.

But this year, we decided to do it differently. For one thing, 2009 was barely a summer at all in Toronto . It was cold windy and unpredictable. But beyond that, it had occurred to me that our kids had never swam in an ocean. Our winter trips had led us to freezing cold ocean water in both Florida and the Bahamas, so we decided to try Myrtle Beach, South Carolina —but at the end of August. Surely the water would be warm enough then.

As an added bonus—I discovered that there are direct flights ( to Myrtle out of the tiny Niagara International Airport- (not to be confused with Buffalo ’s much larger one). For less than $1000 bucks US, including tax, the four of us could fly to Myrtle Beach and be there with just two hours in the air. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Since then I have discovered that Porter airline ( will be starting direct roundtrip flights to Myrtle out of Toronto’s City Centre Airport ( TCCA) running from February 28th until the end of May, so now it is much easier for Canadians to get to the Grand Strand.

I think I pictured swimming in the ocean to be slow and idyllic like the pictures you see in travel brochures. But then I started to hear about things like stinging jelly fish, rough waters, and gulp, even sharks.

Pushing those thoughts out of my head—we remained excited about summer ocean swimming. And it was just as much fun as we imagined. Check out my series of articles on accommodations, attractions, and restaurants on the website.

If you visit:

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