There are lots of alternatives for getting around the Grand Strand, and the Caribbean Resort & Villas is within a short walking and driving distance of many of Myrtle Beach's most popular attractions, shops and restaurants. But sometimes there's more to transportation than simply going from Point A to Point B. Sometimes the journey is the destination.
For those times when a trip is too far to walk but too short to drive, or if you are just looking to enjoy a day off the beaten path in the great outdoors, renting a bike and taking a ride is not only the best way to get around town, but also to discover things you can't see through a car window. The Grand Strand has gone the extra mile in recent years to provide bike paths and trails where cyclists can see some of the hidden spots along the 60-mile stretch of Carolina coastline.
Bring your own bicycle and lock it up at the bike rack in the Caribbean garage, or rent a bike from one of several local outfitters in town, including Myrtle Beach Bike Rental in the downtown district and Tours and Mr. C's Bicycle Shop in Surfside Beach. Tours are offered to local destinations, and there are local cycling clubs (MyrtleBeachCycling.com and WaccamawTrailBlazers.com) that hold weekly rides. Here are the top five places to take a self-guided cycling trip on the Grand Strand:
Ocean Boulevard: The city of Myrtle Beach recently added bike lanes to both north and south bound lanes to make it easier for cyclists to get around downtown. Start from the Caribbean and see two totally different sides of Myrtle Beach, depending on which direction you ride. Head south to see The Strip, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and all the major downtown attractions and hotels before entering Myrtle Beach State Park or crossing Kings Highway into Market Common, where bike trails are abundant. Or go north along the oceanfront and ride Myrtle Beach's famed Golden Mile all the way to the Dunes Golf & Beach Club.
Perron Trail: This paved trail runs behind Myrtle Beach's famed Pine Lakes International Country Club and connects to the Grande Dunes Marina on the Intracoastal Waterway. See wildlife and plant life like you will never see on the beach, and take a break to sit on the banks of the Waterway and watch the boats sail by.
North Myrtle Beach Sports and Recreation Complex: This brand-new park on the inland side of North Myrtle Beach is lined with bike paths that cut through the scenic woodlands and wetlands of the 350-acre property. A 50-acre lake and spacious meadow are among the many sights you will see on the paved trails, and there are some surrounding dirt trails for getting off the main paths.
The Hulk: Short for Horry County Cycling and Hiking Trails, this wooded lot off of 10th Avenue Extension provides some excellent dirt trails for getting down and dusty. Manmade hills and berms provide good clean fun in the dirt, and the natural setting offers a great escape from the developed side of Myrtle Beach.
Murrells Inlet: If you don't mind transporting your bike 15 miles to the south, this small fishing village offers some big opportunities for cyclists. The main trailhead starts at Huntington Beach State Park and runs by Atalaya Castle, salt marshes and old-growth forests. Take the trail south to the oceanfront in Litchfield Beach and pack a picnic lunch to make a full day of it.
After your cycling adventure, head back to your comfortable room at the Caribbean Resort and relax in the hot tub while recounting the trip. It's a great way to spend and end a sunny day in Myrtle Beach.