Keeping your New Year's Resolutions is hard enough at home, but imagine trying to give up your guilty pleasures while vacationing in Myrtle Beach. It may not be Sin City, but the Grand Strand has lots of temptations around every corner to spoil your New Year's vows. Here are a few places where you can blow your Resolutions Myrtle Beach-style:
* The most popular New Year's Resolution is to drop a few pounds, and it's an admirable venture. After all, what better way to look all buff on the beach than watching what you eat. But a human can only eat so many salads and rice cakes before it's time for a feast, and there's no better place to end your self-inflicted hunger strike than Myrtle Beach.
Start at one end of Restaurant Row and drive while a flurry of dining options fly by: Benjamin's Original Calabash Seafood Buffet for those who want to see exactly how much “all you can eat” really is; Chuck's Steak House for red meat-eaters who prefer “land food” to seafood; or Thoroughbred's for a nice surf-and-turf combination compromise.
And that's just one block. The Grand Strand has more than 1,700 restaurants to choose from, so you won't have any trouble picking the best match for your pallet to break your New Year's Resolution. In fact, Caribbean Resort guests can simply stroll next door to the famed Sea Captain's House for one of the best dining experiences in the Southeast.
* Getting in shape is another popular New Year's Resolution, which is why your local gym is packed to the rafters in January. The Caribbean Resort has you covered with a state-of-the-art fitness center located on the premises. But we're talking about ways to break your vows, and the Caribbean has that spoil-yourself scenario handled, as well.
After a short workout, unwind with a relaxing dip in the hot tub or a leisurely cruise around the lazy river. After you're nice and comfy, it's time to retire with a long nap in your cozy bed overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. You won't be getting much physical activity in this environment, unless you include rolling over and hitting the snooze alarm.
* Cutting out coffee and sweets is another New Year's no-no for folks with a caffeine sweet tooth, and that might be easier accomplished when you're at home. But try saying no to those guilty pleasures with a coffee shop and an ice cream parlor at your front door.
Located just across Ocean Boulevard from the oceanfront buildings of the Caribbean are a pair of places that can crush your will power and sprinkle it over your cup of joe or cone of chocolate. Starbuck's and WhiteCaps provide a tasty 1-2 punch to your New Year's Resolutions.
* If gambling is your weak spot, it’s best to stay away from Las Vegas or Atlantic City when making your vacation plans. Besides, the Grand Strand has its own version of legal gaming that involves an ocean view in the sunny South, not the snowy Northeast or a desert out West.
The Big M Casino, a floating, 186-foot yacht, features all the gambling opportunities of those destinations plus all the fun and the sun of Myrtle Beach. Offering slot machines, blackjack, poker and more, the Big M gives Caribbean guests a lift to and from the dock in Little River for both daytime and evening cruises.
Once the ship sails three miles off the coast, the “No Gambling” light comes on and the action ensues. For more information or to book a cruise, visit www.bigmcasino.com/.