Thanks to a wonderfully sunny climate and naturally picturesque landscape, Destin has long been a golfer’s paradise. Visitors flock to this Northwest Florida destination for its lush, green fairways, championship-level play and warm weather all year long.
Eager to book a tee time? We’ve rounded up five of the best golf courses in Destin to spend a relaxing day out on the links. Whether you’re an avid golfer looking to test your skills or simply looking for a break from the beach, the golf courses on our list will not disappoint. Plus, book a spacious vacation rental in Destin (FlipKey has more than 1,800 to choose from!) and we’re sure your vacation will be a hole-in-one.
“I would rate it a 10. Greens were great and fairways great, also. Player-friendly to anyone.” – TripAdvisor Traveler
Situated in the greater Destin area, the Sandestin Golf Resort features four award-winning golf courses: Baytowne Golf Club, Burnt Pine Club, The Links Golf Club, and Raven Golf Club. With 72 holes spanning the beach to the bay, every course boasts spectacular views and a peaceful setting. Iconic golf course designers like Tom Jackson and Robert Trent Jones, Jr. had a hand in creating the unrivaled experience and unbeatable aesthetic throughout Sandestin Golf Resort.
New to golf or less experienced? Play your first round at Baytowne Golf Club and tee up at the forward or junior tees. Trust us: it’ll be a much more forgiving experience. For golfers looking to truly elevate their game, Raven Golf Club presents the perfect opportunity–fairways wind through the area’s wetlands, marshes and pine trees, providing a variety of challenging shot options. Don’t mind the possibility of losing a few balls to water hazards? Then schedule a tee time at Burnt Pine Golf Club or The Links Golf Club then. Both courses offer spectacular views of the Choctawhatchee Bay, but beware–the Gulf Winds are known for steering airborne balls into the bay and surrounding wetlands occasionally.
From rolling fairways and contoured greens to menacing sand traps and water hazards, Sandestin Golf Resort is one of the best in Destin for the ultimate golf experience. Book online or call in advance to inquire about specials and package deals.
“The course was in immaculate condition, the fairways in great shape and the greens rolled true. The course had character and plenty of challenging holes.” – TripAdvisor Traveler
Aptly nicknamed the Jewel of the Emerald Coast, Kelly Plantation Golf Club’s greens are as visually stunning as they are challenging and impressive. The semi-private golf club features miles of waterfront, wide fairways and well-manicured greens, making it one of the best golf courses in Destin.
Long-hitters are put to the test as the course stretches 7,099 yards from the back tees, while novice golfers are encouraged to use the forward tees. Once you (and your ball) have made it to the green, you’ll find a unique challenge at almost every hole. Conquer multi-tiered greens that threaten even the best putter’s chances at making par, or maneuver the double green that serves holes No. 7 and 11, separated by only a boldly placed bunker. As you play, enjoy the sweeping views of the Choctawhatchee Bay and take in the native Magnolias and Palmettos that surround the fairways. You’re sure to have a golf experience unlike any other as all 18 holes captivate visitors.
Looking to save a buck or two? Book online to receive special promotional rates or schedule a tee-time at twilight for more affordable rates. All rates include 18 holes of golf, access to a cart, complimentary range balls, and use of high-tech GPS technology.
“I can’t say enough about this beautiful and challenging course… If you’re a golfer or a hacker, this place is a must stop during your visit. Get your camera out for the par 3 number 8!” – TripAdvisor Traveler
Land and sea meet on the grounds of the Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club, and its pristine, natural setting provides a peaceful escape for golfers all year long. It’s one of the best golf courses in Destin for all skill levels, and the 6,894-yard, par-72 course is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
The challenging course was designed by Robert C. Walker, the former lead architect for Arnold Palmer. His flawless design blends natural vegetation with course hazards creating the ultimate risk-vs-reward golf experience. Get a feel for the course’s more demanding holes by taking a virtual tour online before hitting the links. If you prefer to be surprised, schedule your tee time online and show up with your game face on. Before each drive, visualize the ball sailing through the bright blue skies on the way to the flagstick so you can attack each hole with the utmost confidence. Hole number two will try to trip you up in the beginning, but you’ll be in a groove by the time you reach the back nine.
Regatta Bay Golf Club is known for offering a wealth of amenities that give it an upscale country club vibe. Feeling flushed? Grab a mango-scented iced towel at one of the holes to refresh yourself. Stomach starting to growl? There are chilled apples available at the 1st and 10th tees. Other niceties available include on-course circulating beverage carts and a state-of-the-art Visage GPS system on all golf carts.
If you flock to Destin during the winter for an extended stay, consider purchasing a winter golf package so that you can maximize your time out on the course and save some money.
“Put this course on your Destin A-list. Tees, fairways and greens were all what you would expect from a top level course. This is the best course we have played in Destin.” – TripAdvisor Traveler
With a classic Florida landscape on the front nine and breathtaking bay views on the back, it’s no surprise that Emerald Bay Golf Club is considered one of Northwest Florida’s premier golf courses. Its long, flat holes wind through the exclusive gated community, treating visitors to total privacy and tranquility. The Emerald Bay golf course was designed by famed course architect, Bob Cupp, and underwent a complete renovation in 2014 to improve the overall experience for locals and seasonal guests.
If you’re an early bird, booking a tee time before 8 a.m. will knock 50% off of the price for a round of golf, plus the use of a cart. Prefer to soak up some rays during peak sun time? Make one of Destin’s nearby beaches your first stop, and then book a tee time at twilight for a discounted rate. No matter what time you’re scheduled to play, you can still enjoy the satisfying feeling of hitting the ball right on the sweet spot and launching it the length of the fairway. Emerald Bay Golf Club offers the very essence of Florida golf at every hole, so whether you make par or bogey, don’t forget to take in your surroundings.
“This is a treasure in Destin – 27 holes, well-maintained and beautiful layout. Each nine have their own challenges and will test your skills.” – TripAdvisor Traveler
Indian Bayou Golf Club offers three worthy layouts: Seminole Course, Choctaw Course, and Creek Course. Each consists of nine immaculate holes and puts golfers to the test amidst nature at its best. Wide, forgiving fairways, majestic greens, sparkling lakes, and undulating pines that sway with every coastal breeze can be found throughout Indian Bayou Golf Club’s 27 holes.
Power through Choctaw Course, known for its long, straight holes that reward distance and accuracy. Prepare yourself for hole seven, which is deeper than it looks and moves to the right. Plan on at least four shots here before you can move on to the next hole. Choose Seminole Course if you prefer far-reaching fairways and a variety of pin placements that keep you on your toes. Large greens throughout this course provide opportunities for birdie or par. On Creek Course, water alongside several fairways makes each hole beautiful, but challenging. The second can be especially problematic for less-experienced golfers–but anyone who has less than meticulous ball placement might lose a few balls to the bayou.
While it’s possible to play a round of only nine holes here, you’ll save big when you book a tee time for 18 holes. Who wouldn’t want to spend a few extra hours on the golf course, anyway?
When planning a couples getaway, it’s the famously romantic places like Paris, Venice, the Maldives or Hawaii that immediately spring to mind. But don’t be so quick to overlook what’s within our own borders: namely Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. While it may not have the Eiffel Tower or over-water bungalows, it has more than enough for a romantic, relaxing break, sans the 8+ hour flight and jetlag.
Here are a few suggestions to keep that romance alive and well in Myrtle Beach:
Sailing Charters & Sunset Cruises
Picture yourself gliding over the ocean while watching the setting sun with champagne in hand. Sounds appealing? Myrtle Beach offers many sailing charters and sunset cruises year-round.
A riverboat cruise is a unique way to experience water travel. If you’re an adventurous couple, why not jump on a power catamaran? For the ultimate Valentine’s Day experience, you can charter a yacht offering sunset and dinner cruises along the Grand Strand or Winyah Bay.
Walks on the Grand Strand
The Grand Strand features 60 miles of white sand beaches where you and your significant other can lay in the sun or play in the water. Stroll along the boardwalk at sunset and pop into the many bars, restaurants and boutiques
Myrtle Beach SkyWheel
Located on the oceanfront boardwalk in the heart of downtown, the Myrtle Beach Skywheel is the tallest Ferris wheel in the Eastern United States. The gondolas offer spectacular views over the city and ocean on a 12-minute ride. At nighttime enjoy an LED light show―it’s the perfect secluded spot to steal a kiss!
La Belle Amie Vineyard
Located in the Grand Strand Area, La Belle Amie Vineyard is a popular attraction for visitors and hosts many festivals throughout the year. Sample private label wines in the tasting room before relaxing in a rocking chair on the front porch with a glass of your favorite.
Dining & Nightlife
You’ll find romantic restaurants sitting happily alongside the casual seaside dining and family-friendly eateries in Myrtle Beach. Snack on sushi under the stars at Soho Café & Bar or sample Italian dishes in an intimate setting at Benny Rappa’s Trattoria.. For white table cloths and tuxedoed waiters, make a reservation at The Library, where dim lightingnd elegant furnishings set the mood.
If your idea of a Valentine’s night is closing down the clubs, you’ll find plenty of late night activity in Myrtle Beach. Step back in time at Revolutions or have a daiquiri at Senor Frogs.
The Market Common
For upscale dining and shopping, head to The Market Common. The complex has a ‘town like’ atmosphere, with townhomes, small stores, theaters, parks and restaurants. It’s the ideal place to pick up a gift for your partner with more than 60 retail and specialty stores. It’s especially charming during the holiday season, with colored lights galore and holiday music playing.
Murrells Inlet MarshWalk
Looking for a dinner with a waterfront view? The MarshWalk, a ½ mile wooden boardwalk along the natural saltwater estuary of Murrell’s Inlet, is perfect. Smell the fresh seafood as you stroll in search of five-star low country cuisine (and watch a sunset as the sea birds dive into the surf for their own dinner). But waterfront dining isn’t the only attraction― enjoy live music, water sports, charter fishing, sightseeing tours, kayaking, shopping and seasonal local events.
A historic location and gorgeous art installations make a walk around Brookgreen Gardens a must-do. The sculptures alone are captivating and well worth the visit, but there’s also an aviary, a zoo, education rooms and various art exhibits.
Broadway at the Beach
Stroll this vast shopping and entertainment complex where you can shop along the lake and enjoy an assortment of live music, dance clubs and restaurants. Romance abounds during the summertime as weekly fireworks shows light up the night sky.
Huntington Beach State Park
Huntington Beach State Park surrounds a freshwater lagoon, with nature trails through salt marshes. This is a good area for birding, with at least 300 known species to watch out for. Visit the Environmental Education Center to see loggerhead turtles and other endangered marine creatures.
Toronto welcomes millions of travelers from around the globe each year. It’s an eclectic city where visitors can take in historic landmarks and world-famous attractions by day, and experience an ever-evolving and diverse food scene by night. Bursting with activity year-round, Toronto should be on everyone’s list for a fun-filled vacation.
In a city so large, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help, we’ve narrowed it down to some of the best things to do and places to eat, so you can plan the perfect itinerary. Whether you choose a modern apartment downtown or a charming rental on the outskirts is up to you, but your trip to Toronto won’t be complete without a visit to the following places…
Where to eat in Toronto:
Canada’s largest city, and one of the world’s most diverse, is home to an enviable restaurant scene; a melting pot of cuisines from countries near and far. Mexican, Nepalese, Ethiopian, Greek, Jamaican, Polish, Korean, Thai, Sri Lankan…it’s all here and more. FlipKey recommends:
Boralia: See for yourself why travelers have described Boralia’s food as “one of the best meals of my life.” The menu is inspired by century-old dishes from Canada’s early settlers and immigrants, as well as traditional First Nations fare. Snack on red fife levain bread before splitting small plates of venison liver, cured trout and pigeon pie.
Campagnolo: Campagnolo is known for serving comfort food with an upscale flair. Small groups can pull up a seat at the bar to witness the chefs cooking up-close-and-personal. If you’re with a larger party, reserve the Chef’s Table and feast on a five-course meal handpicked just for you.
Colette Grand Cafe: Decadent French cuisine, impeccable style and an unparalleled dining experience is what you can expect at Colette Grand Cafe. Order the signature Tour de Colette to start and sample a variety of fish and shellfish, or jump straight to the mouthwatering duck confit for your main course.
El Catrin: If you’re craving something spicy, El Catrin is the place for you. Serving up authentic Mexican cuisine for brunch (weekends), lunch and dinner, this trendy spot is always a fabulous choice. From tacos and burritos to ceviches and small plates, El Catrin has something for everyone. Authentic Mexican food, an amazing atmosphere and attentive service are just some of the reasons travelers return again and again.
St. Lawrence Market: Crowds of people fill the aisles of the St. Lawrence Market each week to shop and sample the local fare. The market features over 120 specialty vendors offering everything from fresh produce to delicious baked goods. Whether you’re looking for a light snack or a quick meal, you’re sure to find it here.
What to see in Toronto:
From renowned museums to hip breweries, a trip to Toronto is always full of surprises. Explore the city on foot to get the lay of the land and make sure to look out for the following top attractions.
Casa Loma: Situated on a hilltop overlooking the Toronto skyline, this majestic castle has served as the setting for a variety of film, TV and commercial shoots. Today, more than 350,000 people visit each year to tour the magnificent landmark. The $25 admission fee includes a self-guided audio tour and access to the castle’s spectacular suites, secret passages, 5-acre gardens and more.
Royal Ontario Museum: Set aside several hours to explore the halls of the Royal Ontario Museum. It contains a permanent collection of over six million objects and is packed with exhibits featuring incredible art, world cultures and natural history. Highlights include notable dinosaur collections and galleries that tell the story of Canada’s earliest societies.
Steam Whistle: Steam Whistle prides itself in brewing only one beer: an award-winning Pilsner. Visit the brewery for a tour and a taste of “Canada’s Premium Pilsner,” which pairs perfectly with a fresh-baked pretzel from the bar. Book a tour during the week or drop in on the weekend and learn the ins and outs of brewing from some of Canada’s best.
CN Tower: You can’t miss the CN Tower…literally. At more than 1,800 feet tall, it’s one of the tallest buildings in the world and features prominently in Toronto’s skyline. Take the elevator to the top for unparalleled views from the observation deck or take in the sights over dinner at 360 The Restaurant. If you’re feeling daring, buy a ticket to walk along the tower’s edge.
Hockey Hall of Fame: Test your prowess as a hockey fan at the Hockey Hall of Fame. The museum and half of fame offers fun for all ages. Learn about the sport’s legendary players, go one-on-one with animated versions of today’s players and view an unrivaled collection of photos, statistics, memorabilia and more.
What to experience in Toronto:
If you’d rather experience a new city than simply observe it then these activities are for you. and sail around the lake, or retreat to the spa—the choice is yours!
CityPASS: With Toronto’s CityPASS, you’ll gain access to some of the city’s best attractions while saving time and money. It’ll even allow you to skip the main lines at some places! The pass is valid for nine consecutive days from your first day of use, giving you plenty of time to explore at your own pace.
Elmwood Spa: From soothing massages to tranquil water treatments, Elmwood Spa is the place to go to escape the whir of city life. It’s located in downtown Toronto and offers an immaculate setting for utter relaxation. Book a lavish spa treatment and indulge yourself.
Tasty Tours Toronto: Steer clear of tourist traps, and uncover the best local spots in Toronto. With Tasty Tours, you can choose to discover the city’s top chocolate shops or make the rounds at Kensington Market. Your mouth will water as you sample sweet and savory treats over the course of three hours. Tours typically aren’t offered during the winter months, so plan ahead and look forward to experiencing Toronto with your own personal guide.
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival: Whether you’re a filmmaker or just love a good movie, the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is a must-see every spring. This year, the event takes place from April 27 through May 7 and over 200 films will be shown. It’s the largest documentary film festival in North America and totally worth the trip to Toronto.
Pirate Life Toronto: Join the crew and become a buccaneer for a day with Pirate Life Toronto! From May until October, the sailing adventure takes people on a hunt for sunken treasure around Centre Island. It’s an ideal outdoor activity for families with young children.
Catch a game: Root, root, root for the home team. Cheer on the Blue Jays play at Rogers Centre, or get rowdy at the Air Canada Centre during a Maple Leafs home game. Whether you prefer hockey or baseball, Toronto has a phenomenal sports scene and some of the most loyal fans.
Attend a Food Festival: Think a weekend isn’t enough time to sample all of Toronto’s cuisine? Think again. Attending a food festival is a great way to get a taste of all things Toronto. Set in Woodbine Park, the annual Toronto Food Truck Festival offers fabulous food, cold beer, live entertainment and exciting eating challenges. Admission is free, so you can save your money for the food samples. In June, buy a ticket to Taste of Toronto to have access to four days of exquisite eating and drinking. Time your trip wisely to attend one of the city’s popular festivals.
With plummeting temperatures, gusty winds and occasional snow flurries, the winter months can feel excruciatingly long. As the days get shorter and colder, fight the urge to hibernate and plan a warm weather escape to Myrtle Beach. Situated along South Carolina’s majestic Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach boasts temperatures from the upper-50s to upper-60s all winter-long. Perhaps not beach weather, but it’s warm enough to shed a few layers, forgo the mittens, and bask in the sunshine.
Myrtle Beach condo rental prices drop significantly in the low season, making winter an affordable time to visit. Condos often include access to a larger resort’s amenities, such as high-end fitness centers, private pools and ample parking. FlipKey has over 1,400 condos in Myrtle Beach to choose from and we’re highlighting some of the best condos for every budget here. Book your getaway then reap the benefits of condo-living during your stay.
What travelers are saying: “This was my first time to Myrtle Beach and I must say I wished I came here my whole life. The condo was amazing, beautiful decor, and very clean. Felt like I was at a home instead of a hotel. I am coming back very soon.”
Step through the doorway of this oceanfront condo and let the colorful island decor transport you to a tropical oasis. Although you might be tempted to sink into the overstuffed couches upon arrival, make your way to the balcony for incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean. Inside, the bedroom features two queen-size beds and the living room is equipped with a sleeper sofa, Murphy Bed and loveseat. While the condo can sleep up to eight people, it’s most suitable for families and groups that are a mix of adults and children.
The resort, Sandcastle South, has enough to keep you busy throughout your trip. Soak in one of two oceanfront hot tubs, grill dinner by the gazebo or grab a drink at the bar before a beach walk at sunset. You’ll feel totally relaxed at this popular Myrtle Beach destination.
What travelers are saying: “This condo was absolutely awesome. The view was spectacular. The beds were very comfortable. Everything was very roomy. It was close to everything. This was one of the best beach trips we have had in a very long time.”
Whether you rent this oceanfront condo for a weekend getaway or an extended stay, you’ll feel at ease here. The condo has two bedrooms and comfortably sleeps 10 guests. Plus, two full-size bathrooms mean you’ll never have to wait long to shower off sand from the beach. The condo also features a fully tiled floor that makes clearing up sand a breeze. During your stay, enjoy amenities like free parking, access to the resort’s business center, a hot tub and pool and a convenient path to the beach.
What travelers are saying: “Views, pools and beach were excellent. I was impressed. This was a spacious, quiet place. I highly recommend and intend to return to again next summer.”
This luxury four-bedroom condo at the Ocean Blue Resort can easily accommodate up to 12 people. Call dibs on the master bedroom to enjoy magnificent oceanfront vistas from the king-sized bed and access to the balcony. The adjoining master bath features a lavish jetted tub, a walk-in shower and beautiful granite countertops. Down the hall, a second bedroom also offers views of the Atlantic and an attached bathroom. The remaining two bedrooms offer queen-sized beds with a twin-sized overhead bunk and a shared bathroom. Buttery-soft leather couches and a flat-screen TV can be found in the living room, while the kitchen is fully-loaded with all the essentials.
Another perk of staying in this condo? You’ll have full access to the resort’s extensive amenities! Float down the lazy river (if it’s warm enough) or keep up your fitness routine in the on-site gym. With everything you could possibly need at your fingertips, you’ll feel like there’s no need to leave the comfort of your Myrtle Beach condo. If you decide to explore, you’ll find many popular dining, shopping and golfing options within a mile.
What travelers are saying: “Worth every dollar! Super clean, spacious condo, with everything you need in there. Overall, it is an outstanding place, private secured access, gorgeous poolside, we even used grill located by the poolside.”
Pass through the gates of the Savannah Shores community to access this affordable condo in Myrtle Beach. The complex is situated along a network of biking and walking trails connecting it to nearby beaches and the Arcadian Shores Golf Club. Other attractions like Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach and Restaurant Row are just around the corner, making it an ideal location for small groups looking to be in the heart of it all.
The condo is professionally and beautifully decorated. Settle in on the plush living room couch for a movie night or use the stainless steel appliances to cook a gourmet meal during your stay. At night, send the kids to the daybed (with trundle) in the condo’s half bedroom while you retreat to the master bedroom with its queen-size bed, flat screen TV and master bath. The condo comfortably sleeps up to four guests. Additional amenities include an in-unit washer and dryer and access to a communal grilling area, playground and designer swimming pool.
What travelers are saying: “This condo was more than we expected and in a great location. Attractions were a walk away or a very short drive. The owners of the condo were very helpful and polite. Will definitely stay at this condo again if I am ever back in Myrtle Beach!”
Enjoy luxurious amenities and beautiful furnishings for an affordable price when you book this condo. With four bedrooms and three bathrooms, fourteen people can comfortably stay here. The open concept kitchen and living room space create extra room to hang out together and the 50′ HDTV allows for fun nights in during your stay. Need more reasons why this is one of the best condos in Myrtle Beach? It has an in-unit washer and dryer, two balconies, an ideal location and so much more.
This unit is located in the Myrtle Beach Villas II complex, which offers a winding lazy river, a kiddie water park and plenty of places for poolside lounging. Additionally, it is centrally located just blocks from popular attractions like the Family Kingdom Amusement and Water Park Ocean Boulevard.
What travelers are saying: “What an amazing vacation and unit. The unit was in immaculate condition and the location was tremendous right in the middle of Myrtle Beach. We were close to food and golf, and the oceanfront views from the balcony were beautiful. Would definitely recommend this unit to anyone.”
Relax and listen to the steady crash of waves from the spacious balcony of this ninth floor unit. Inside, the whimsical beach decor, gleaming granite countertops and LED TVS only add to the appeal. With a king-size bed in the master bedroom and a Murphy bed and queen-size sleeper sofa, this seaside escape has room for six guests.
The Coral Beach Resort offers some of the best condos in Myrtle Beach and the property is ideal for vacationing families. There are 10 water attractions, including indoor and outdoor pools, kiddie pools, a children’s water park and a lazy river, as well nightly poolside karaoke. When you’re not in the water, take advantage of the resort’s activity center, video arcade game room and bowling alley. Your kids won’t want to leave!
What travelers are saying: “A gem of a rental overlooking a beautiful golf course. Vanessa’s place is pristine with the most fabulous beach theme. The condo overlooks a golf course and has a pool within the grounds. We will return for sure.”
Your vacation rental doesn’t need to have a spectacular ocean view for it to be considered one of the best condos in Myrtle Beach. This quiet, top floor unit overlooks the lush greens of the Myrtlewood Golf Course, while its charming coastal theme exudes relaxing beach vibes. Prepare a meal in the fully-stocked kitchen or make yourself comfortable in the spacious living room. The bedroom features access to a private bathroom, a large closet and a flat-screen TV, while the living room couch pulls out into a queen-size bed to accommodate two more guests.
What travelers are saying: “What a beautiful place to stay! The condo itself is lovely with a huge enclosed porch overlooking the lake, perfect place to enjoy coffee in the morning and a cocktail at night! The grounds are great with so much to do, pool, beach, volleyball courts just to name a few activities.”
Pack your golf clubs and head to this Kingston Plantation Resort condo for the perfect Myrtle Beach getaway. This rental is situated within the resort’s pristine 145-acre grounds and the rolling fairways of the Arcadian Shores Golf Club are only a short walk away. With access to two oceanfront restaurants, a health club and private swimming pool, you may not want to leave…
When you’re not trying to get a hole-in-one, relax inside this newly remodeled condo. It boasts a beautiful lake view from the screened-in porch and all of the comforts of home, like clean linens, cable TV and a washer and dryer. This is one of the best condos in Myrtle Beach for small groups looking for a bargain.
What travelers are saying: “There were three couples and we had ample sleeping and lounging space in the condo. I loved the location of the property and the view of the sun rising. We had a peaceful stay and I would highly recommend this condo to all types of families…great choice!!!”
Many of the best condos in Myrtle Beach don’t have sweeping ocean views or humongous pools; they have convenient access to nearby golf courses. This three bedroom, three bathroom condo at the Barefoot Resort & Golf offers exactly that. Guests are invited to enjoy the four professionally designed, world-class golf courses that Barefoot Resort offers: the Norman course, the Davis Love course, the Dye course and the Fazio course. Hang out in the elegant clubhouse before hitting the links for a leisurely round of golf during your vacation.
When you’re not golfing, this second-story end unit provides a peaceful escape. It’s equipped with cable TV, all of your kitchen essentials and there’s plenty of room for everyone to spread out in this spacious condo. Unwind on your private deck or explore the resort’s grounds and discover all there is to do at this complex.
Ever dreamt of planning an activity-filled vacation only to be reminded of how quickly expenses can add up? From airfare and lodging to dining and shopping, spending a week in Myrtle Beach can cost an arm and a leg if you don’t plan ahead. We want you to be able to enjoy your trip, without pinching pennies, so we’ve put together a list of the top 11 free things to do in Myrtle Beach.
Book a spacious, fully-equipped Myrtle Beach vacation rental (choose from more than 2,100 on FlipKey!) and you’ll save even more. Staying in a rental eliminates the need to book multiple hotel rooms in order to accommodate everyone, and you can split the cost among your group. Plus, you’ll save even more money by avoiding expensive dinners out and cooking some of your meals in the comfort of your rental. Stick to our list of free things to do in Myrtle Beach, too, and you’ll surely leave with some extra money in your pocket. You (and your wallet) can thank us later!
Make time during your stay to explore Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach’s premier destination for shopping, dining and entertainment along the Intracoastal Waterway. The complex features over 100 businesses that are divided into sections around a small lake. Specialty shops like Crabby Jack’s General Store and Sand and Sun are ideal places for tourists to pick up Myrtle Beach souvenirs and affordable beachwear, while local eateries feature everything from pretzels and fudge to seafood and burgers. Sign up for a Preferred Member card before you go and you’ll gain access to discounts and savings at many of Barefoot Landing’s shops, restaurants and attractions.
An aerial view of Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach shows some of the restaurants, shops, attractions, theaters and nightclubs included.
Broadway at the Beach is a one-stop shop for all things fun and entertaining. Centered around a 23-acre lake, the massive complex is South Carolina’s most visited attraction. It features everything from one-of-a-kind live entertainment during Legends in Concert performances to spectacular attractions like WonderWorks that will leave you wide-eyed. The best part, though? It is one of the many free things to do in Myrtle Beach that offers something for everyone in your family. Stroll along the walkways of Broadway at the Beach and window shop (or treat yourself!) at the unique boutiques full of treasures. Snack on some salt water taffy from Wee R Sweetz to tide yourself over until dinner or simply sit alongside the lake and take it all in.
From fishing to sightseeing, Cherry Grove Pier has it all, which is why it’s one of the best free things to do in Myrtle Beach.
More than 65 years after being erected, Cherry Grove Pier continues to draw tourists from all over the country. Since the early 1950s, it’s weathered hurricanes, welcomed countless visitors and provided a special place for families to make memories. Walk the length of the 985-foot pier and climb the two-story observation deck at the end for spectacular views of the coastline. In addition to being known for its sightseeing, Cherry Grove Pier also has a reputation for its stellar fishing scene and the potential for record catches. Cast your line from the pier and let it drift with the tide for your best chance at reeling in a fish. The pier has a tackle shop with rod rentals and bait and tackle for sale so there’s no reason not to give it a try!
With a little extra planning, you can time your trip so that you can attend a seasonal festival during your stay. The Grand Strand area is full of festivals all year-long and they are considered by visitors and locals alike to be some of the best free things to do in Myrtle Beach. In May, kick off the summer just north of Myrtle Beach at the World Famous Blue Crab Festival. The annual event takes place along the waterfront and boasts a variety of specialty food vendors and lots of fresh, local seafood. Plan your trip during September to experience the lively entertainment, mouthwatering barbeque and family-friendly fun at the Beach, Boogie & BBQ Festival. Other festivals with free things to do in Myrtle Beach include Art in the Park and A Grand Strand Holiday.
If you’re sifting through the countless free things to do in Myrtle Beach, make sure to put the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum at the top of your list. Housed in a charming cottage just steps from the beach, the museum serves as a beacon of culture for visitors and Myrtle Beach residents alike and has been proudly offering free admission since 2003. It’s also considered by many to be one of the premier visual arts museums in the Carolinas as it features an impressive 11 galleries that frequently change throughout the year. Visit the museum to see unique exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, textiles, video and more, all of which offer visitors delightful surprises around every corner.
Open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. (10 p.m. on Saturdays!), there is no shortage of amusement at the Fun Plaza. It’s the largest family fun center in Myrtle Beach, and it’s conveniently located between the new boardwalk and the famous boulevard at 9th Ave. North. Follow gleeful cheers, arcade game alarms and lots of laughter to the Fun Plaza and watch on as gamers try to set new high scores. It’s free to visit the arcade, but each game costs a small fee to play. Put the spare dollar bills in your pocket toward a rowdy game of air hockey so a couple of you can play, or challenge someone to a game of Skee Ball. Before you leave, commemorate your trip to Fun Plaza with some silly shots in the photo booth.
A baseball diamond all groomed and ready for play in Myrtle Beach.
Situated across the street from the bustling Market Common is Grand Park, an idyllic spot for families to enjoy some fresh air away from the beach crowds. It is one of the more popular free things to do in Myrtle Beach because its possibilities for family fun are endless. Several ponds throughout the park provide a calming place to sit and soak in the scenery, while nearby picnic shelters are the perfect place to reapply sunscreen and refuel before hitting the playground. Even your dog can roam Grand Park by your side as you explore this recreation hub.
Is there any better free activity then spending time at the beach?
You can’t go wrong with a day at Myrtle Beach, one of the many beaches that makes up a portion of South Carolina’s 60-mile Grand Strand. Wake up early, lather on the sunscreen, grab a spot on the beach and drift back to sleep as your toes sink into the sand here. If you arrive later in the day, no need to worry. The wide, sandy beach has plenty of room for visitors and the warm Atlantic waters are always inviting. Whether you visit on a warm, sunny morning for a dip in the ocean or a brisk fall afternoon to walk along the shore, this beach is without a doubt one of the most popular free things to do in Myrtle Beach.
Palmetto trees and blue sky along the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach State Park, located in sunny South Carolina.
It would be impossible to make a list of the best free things to do in Myrtle Beach and not mention Myrtle Beach State Park. While there is a $5 admission charge for adults, it’s free for children. Head here to experience the area’s natural beauty, which includes a surprisingly green landscape and breathtaking ocean views along the Grand Strand. During the day, follow the nature trail through the park or cast your line from the fishing pier. In the evening, the park is lit by twinkling stars overhead rather than the glow of neon bulbs downtown and the peaceful sound of the waves offers visitors a nice change of pace from the city’s sounds.
Balance out a pricey evening experiencing the city’s vibrant nightlife with an expense-free day trip to the Official South Carolina Hall of Fame. Through several historical exhibits and a long list of inductees, the South Carolina Hall of Fame recognizes and honors citizens who have left a lasting impact on the state’s rich heritage. One contemporary and one deceased citizen are inducted into the prestigious South Carolina Hall of Fame, so there’s always something new to see. It’s located within the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and if you’re interested in learning all there is to know about South Carolina’s past and present, this attraction will surely satisfy your curiosity.
Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens
Drive just 30 minutes north of Myrtle Beach and you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world that offers an up-close-and-personal look at nature. The Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens are spread out over 100 acres of gorgeous vegetation and wildlife. It’s the perfect tranquil retreat for those looking to escape the bright lights and high energy of downtown Myrtle Beach. The gardens are open during daylight hours and the beautiful South Carolina attraction is free for the public to enjoy year-round. The park has numerous hiking trails that wind through a landscape composed of picturesque salt marshes, tiny islands and a spectacular coastline, as well as a small playground for your children’s amusement. Pose for a photo along one of the wooden boardwalks or pause during your walk to spot some of the wildlife that inhabits the park. You’ll feel rejuvenated once you leave this hidden gem near Myrtle Beach.
Stretched out along South Carolina’s Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach has access to 60 miles of pure, unadulterated beach paradise. Whether you’re a beach-lover who wants nothing more than to stretch out on white sand, or the active type looking for a chance to fish, sail, or paddleboard out on the waves, 60 miles of beach means you can craft an individualized experience for you and the whole family. Spend the day or night on the Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade, or play a round at one of the winning courses in the area. Add in Myrtle Beach’s warm, subtropical climate, and you’re good to go for hours of outdoor fun.
The activities are varied, endless, and a fit for all ages; it’s what makes Myrtle Beach one of the most popular vacation rental destinations for groups. Whether you’re arriving with your family, a group of friends for Spring Break, or the annual retreat for the entire Girl Scout troop – there’s an oceanfront condo, a luxury penthouse or a beach house with your name on it.
Below we’ve rounded up some the best Myrtle Beach vacation rentals for groups on FlipKey. Highly rated and with great amenities – think chef-grade kitchens, beautiful backyards, private pools and panoramic views – all ll of these rentals sleep over 10 people.
Here they are: the best Myrtle Beach vacation rentals for groups
Low Tide Too provides the perfect ocean views with its twenty-foot glass windows. The high ceilings and open floor plan provide a comfortable space for gathering, entertaining and relaxing. The main floor opens up to a massive deck with gorgeous views and a built-in pool. Prepare meals in the fully equipped kitchen with features including granite counter tops, custom cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, dual ovens, a wine cooler and 2 refrigerators. This beautiful home has spacious bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and ocean views. You won’t have to worry about overcrowded beaches or obstructed views while staying here because there isn’t a high rise in sight.
This executive home has an oceanfront pool, a beautifully furnished and decorated interior, and offers front and back porches on two levels to capture magnificent views of the ocean and creek. With 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms, your party of up to 16 people will have plenty of room. Two master suites open to the oceanfront balcony, and both have luxurious baths featuring garden tubs and walk-in showers. There are 9 TVs on site, two wet bars, outdoor shower and (gasp) an elevator. You’ll have boat landing access and a community pool also available.
For a gorgeous private pool and patio, look no further than Summertime Retreat in Myrtle Beach. It has a whopping 6 bedrooms and sleeps to 15 people. Highlights include the screened porch, rocking chairs, hammocks, Jacuzzi, pool table, ping pong table and fireplace. You’ll also love the easy beach access (only a three-minute walk) and the nearby golf course. This rental is pet-friendly, so bring the pup along too.
Families with children will love the Flipside home on Myrtle Beach. Ready for your arrival is a pack & play, high chair, and separate booster seat for your little ones. Getting to the beach is simple and tantrum-free – it’s a quick one-minute walk.The spacious rental features 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, with 2 living areas and 3 master suites. The reverse floor plan allows the upper level kitchen, dining room and living room to have full views of the ocean. Relax on the covered deck on a rocker or hammock. After a long day on the beach, cook up dinner for the whole gang on the charcoal grill.
Described by the owners as “A house as grand as the Atlantic Ocean”, 7th Heaven is located on the oceanfront in Surfside Beach. Whether you’re planning a corporate getaway, family reunion or get-together with friends, 7th Heaven can easily accommodate 21 guests in its 7 bedrooms. A handicap elevator is available to the 1st and 2nd floor for your convenience. Other features include a private oceanfront pool, high speed internet access, stereo system, X-Box, and Wii games. There are high chairs, booster seats, and a crib for younger guests, as well as two sets of washer/dryers for the inevitable spills. Enjoy 3 oceanside porches with incredible views and an outdoor shower.
Come enjoy this completely renovated home away from home. Two Views is surrounded by magnificent vistas and water on each side. This spacious floor plan includes tow living areas, a sun room, wet bar, and hot tub. Your entire party can stretch out on the wrap-around covered porch or bask in the sun on the oceanfront porch while you fry up dinner on the outdoor grill.
This whimsical oceanfront retreat is updated with all the conveniences of a new home, including two master suite bedrooms. Cathedral ceilings and tall, wraparound windows fill the common livings areas with natural light and stunning panormaic ocean views. There are five total bedrooms in this rental, so up to 12 people can stay here comfortably. Your group will love the private boardwalk to the beach, large sun deck, and screen-in porch and hammock. It is also dog-friendly so bring the pooches along!
The Lighthouse is an immaculate 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath house offering all the comforts of home coupled with the luxuries of a vacation rental. This alluring home has beautiful outdoor space with a little pond full of brightly colored goldfish, private pool, and a grilling area for barbecuing. The beach is only a short, half-mile walk from The Lighthouse, but you won’t have a bit of trouble getting there on the golf cart provided with this house.
This North Myrtle Beach vacation rental home has a spacious floor plan with lots of extras that make larger family vacations so much better. The large living room opens out onto a secluded patio perfect for unwinding with a good book and a cup of coffee. The Lighthouse also has DirecTV with whole house DVR available on all 5 TVs.
There are many factors to consider when deciding when the best time to visit Destin, Florida is. For some, the most important thing might be visiting while the weather is warm. Others might prefer a relaxing getaway that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, while some might plan their trip based on local events and festivals. No matter what your vacation preference is, we’re shining a spotlight on this popular Florida destination and giving you tips on when to book your Destin rental (FlipKey has over 2300 to choose from!).
When is the best time to visit Destin for nice weather?
Destin is known for its comfortable temperatures all year long.
Situated along the Florida Panhandle in the northwest region of the state, Destin experiences pleasant weather year-round. Temperatures rarely dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime and with approximately 340 days of sunshine, there’s really no bad time to visit this part of Florida. Every year, the summer months typically top out at 90 degrees, while winter lows hover in the 60s. Similarly, the emerald green Gulf waters that lap the shores of this city remain warm enough to swim in for the majority of the year, especially if you don a wetsuit during the winter. Expect water temperatures to reach a high of 84 degrees during the summer and a low of 64 degrees during the winter.
Winter in Destin
Winter is the best time to visit Destin if you’re a traveler in search of abundant sunshine, but don’t require temperatures that are hot enough to warrant days spent at the beach. Snowbirds typically flock to this destination from December through March to escape frigid temperatures up north and to get their daily dose of Vitamin D. Like most places in Florida, Destin enjoys abundant sunshine all year long, which is a welcome change for travelers visiting from colder parts of the country that are washed out by snow and grey clouds during this time of year. Expect temperatures that fluctuate between highs in the mid-60s during the day and lows that drop into the 40s at night. Water temperatures dip into the 60s during the winter but remain comfortable for surfing if you wear a wetsuit.
The perfect vacation rental in Destin to book for a winter getaway.
Planning your trip to Destin during the winter months takes the pressure off feeling like you need to book a beachfront vacation rental. Since you can be a bit more flexible with your location, rent the Crystal Plantation just a half mile walk from Crystal Sands Beach. This Destin vacation rental has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and loads of amenities that ensure a comfortable stay. It’s also less than a five-minute drive to Destin Commons, an open-air shopping center with a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment. Being in close proximity to local shops and eateries during a winter vacation in Destin is ideal since you won’t be spending every free moment at the beach.
Spring in Destin
If you ask locals when the best time to visit Destin is, they will tell you to book a vacation rental during the months of April and May. This time of year brings warm waters, comfortable daytime temperatures that range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s and abundant sunshine. The lack of humidity and the beautiful magnolias and azaleas that bloom during April and May also appeal to vacationers during this season. Plan your trip during these months before the stifling summer heat has settled in and the summer crowds invade the city.
The Pink Lemonade house is an ideal place to stay during the spring.
You couldn’t ask for a better location when you book the Pink Lemonade vacation home. It is situated just two blocks away from Crystal Sands Beach, which is known for its fine white sand and clear waters. If you prefer not to get sandy, this rental is also just steps away from the neighborhood’s community pool. Visitors can enjoy a bright open layout throughout the home, making it a comfortable place to relax after a busy day in Destin. Highlights of the home include a recently renovated master bathroom and an outdoor fire pit area.
Summer in Destin
Renting a home in Destin from June through August ensures that your vacation will be packed with lots of beach time. Daytime temperatures soar into the upper-80s and low-90s and the sun kisses beachgoers lounging along the water’s edge. It must be mentioned that the emerald green waters of the gulf approach bathtub-warm temperatures in the mid-80s, making it difficult to escape the heat sometimes. Visiting Destin during the summer will put you among the peak temperatures as well as peak crowds.
Convenient beach access and a private pool make this Destin rental an ideal summer rental.
Search for vacation rentals in Destin that are within walking distance to the beach if you’re planning a trip during the summer. The Castle in the Dunes a great option because it’s only steps away from the sugary sands of the beach, making it easy to get to the beach for a quick dip before the crowds arrive for the day. This home also has a spectacular private pool and hot tub, so you never have to leave your rental if you don’t want to. It boasts custom waterfalls, a swim up bar and ample sunbathing areas, so you’ll feel like you’re at a high-end resort even though you have the entire place to yourself. Inside, guests will find three levels of luxury, including seven spacious bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, and an awesome media room.
Fall in Destin
Fall in Destin is ideal for vacationers looking to spend lots of time in the water because the Gulf of Mexico remains comfortably warm well into October and November. Coupled with cooler air temperatures in the low-80s, going for a swim can feel quite refreshing on a sunny fall day in Destin. Humidity is also nearly non-existent during this time of year. Keep in mind that if you do plan a fall getaway here, you run the risk of experiencing the occasional rainstorms. Destin’s wet season doesn’t end until November, so make sure to pack an umbrella and a good book in case rainy weather puts a damper on some of your plans.
Stay near the Destin Harbor Boardwalk for a fun fall vacation.
Many world-class restaurants and family-friendly attractions are right outside your door when you stay at this waterfront condo rental within the Emerald Grande in Destin. Booking a rental within a larger resort is ideal for a stay during Destin’s rainy months because you’ll have access to more amenities. Spend time exercising at the on-site fitness center or splurge on a luxurious spa treatment within the complex. Although some of these amenities might cost an additional fee, they’re worth the added cost for their ease and convenience when it’s raining outside.
When is the best time to visit Destin based on rental prices?
Vacation rental rates are at their highest during the summer months in Destin. This time of year is considered peak season because the great weather is nearly guaranteed and vacationers pay a premium to be able to take advantage of warm, sunny days by the beach. Booking a rental for one week during this time of year can come with a hefty price tag of more than $1400.
If your vacation plans are flexible and you’re looking to experience Florida without breaking the bank then the best time to visit Destin is during the spring or fall. Renting a home during these shoulder season months means you’re likely to be able to afford an oceanfront rental and still save money. Weekly rental prices drop bout 13% during off-peak months, which means you can pocket as much as $200 in savings. Booking during the shoulder is also a great way to ensure that you have some extra spending money that can be put towards snorkeling and scuba excursions off the coast or a memorable deep sea fishing outing.
When is the best time to visit Destin to attend local events?
Destin can be seen from above along Florida Panhandle.
What was once a sleepy fishing village is today one of the most popular vacation spots along the Florida Panhandle and here is never a dull moment here! Events and festivals take place year-round but the best time to visit Destin for events is in the fall.
The Destin Seafood Festival is one of the city’s most prominent events and it kicks off the month of October. The festival takes place along the boardwalk, is free to the public and appeals to all foodies. Visitors can enjoy live music on multiple stages and some of the best freshly caught seafood from local restaurants at this event.
October is also a popular month for anglers because the Destin Fishing Rodeo draws people from all over the country. It’s a month-long event, and prizes are offered for the largest fish caught. The only criteria are that you must cast your fishing line from a registered boat and weigh your catch at the end of the day.
In November, try samples of delectable barbecue and local brews during the Blues, Brews and BBQ event. It’s a spirited affair and with fun BBQ competitions among eateries in the area. Make sure to try some of the local seafood prepared BBQ-style.
If you can’t make it to Destin during the fall, there are still great events to look forward to. Check out Burning Up The Beaches in May to see a collection of classic cars take over the city. The car show takes places at Destin Commons and is fun for all. Similarly, the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival in June offers entertainment for visitors of all ages. Whether you attend an event or you make your own merriment, you’ll quickly see why Destin is one of the most popular vacation spots on the Emerald Coast.
A relaxing retreat from modern life, Gatlinburg is one of the most popular vacation rental destinations in the US. With over 2500 rentals available in Gatlinburg on FlipKey, the choices for a perfect cabin getaway for your family are endless. Gatlinburg is a destination of non-stop adventure in the outdoors. From whitewater raft tours to high-octane ski runs down the mountain, every season delivers a range of heart pumping activities.
After building up a hunger, you’ll be happy to know that over 100 restaurants are there catering to all appetites. From Southern-style BBQ and stone ground flapjacks to ethnic cuisine from around the world, the town is an ideal spot for a romantic interlude or a filling family dinner.
Now, for those families with a healthy appetite or a love of fine cuisine, we’ve gathered a list of our best rentals in Gatlinburg for foodies. These rentals are all located near one of the best restaurants in town. We’ve included a brief description of the rental and what the top-tier restaurant nearby is all about.
Here they are: the best rentals in Gatlinburg for foodies
As you drive beneath the canopy of oak and pine trees down the winding country road to MountainLoft, you feel as though you’re entering the nearby Smoky Mountains National Park. From an elevation of 2,200 feet, the clubhouse and vacation homes afford sweeping views of the mountainside.
The rich, earthy colors and traditional American furnishings within will make you feel right at home. Catch a glimpse of deer or a black bear from your balcony or patio. Warm up after a day on the slopes in front of the fireplace or in the whirlpool tub. If you prefer the crisp outdoor air, you can relax in any of four outdoor hot tubs, two heated pools or the sauna.
Taste of Italy is the #1 rated restaurant on TripAdvisor in the Gatlinburg area. The owners are New York transplants and they bring all the classic Italian flavors made with a pinch of love to the Smoky Mountain region. Their goal is to provide locals, tourists and visitors to the Gatlinburg area a locally owned and operated family friendly authentic Italian restaurant with good, nutritious food in a warm atmosphere at reasonable prices with exceptional service. You can munch on hand tossed pizza and Italian favorites like pasta, calzones, lasagna, Stromboli, seafood and more. It is BYOB, so bring your favorite red wine to pair with your meal or sample one of your favorite beers from the tap or glass. Using old world cooking techniques, Taste of Italy has generated hundreds of 4 and 5 bubble reviews on TripAdvisor, making it an incredibly popular choice among vacation rental guests. You’ll love the decor, and for those who are vegetarian or gluten-free, the menu offers a number of options to suit your tastes.
Grand Chalet is one of the best rentals in Gatlinburg for foodies
Mountain views and a rustic decor make this Gatlinburg cabin rental a must-book. It sleeps 8 visitors comfortably in 3 bedrooms, each bedroom having its own flat screen TV. The vaulted ceiling in the living room elegantly frames the wood burning fireplace. The game room offers a pool table and games for all ages. And the bedding, did we mention the bedding? Like sleeping on a cloud that also happens to be in the mountains. What keeps visitors coming back to this rental is the outside deck, though. Featuring a massive jacuzzi, you’ll love watching the Smoky sunset or sitting in the rocking chair sipping morning coffee.
For the lucky ones staying at Grand Chalet, start your day next door at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp. Inspired by frontier life, you’ll love the outdoor and indoor decor of this top-rated breakfast spot in Gatlinburg. You’ll feel home on the range with wood seating and floors, iron frying pans, oak barrels, as well as animals heads perched on every wall. You’ll find fair prices, incredible service, and of course, delicious breakfast food here. From Big Tennesee French Toast, to skillet served right from the pan, to griddle cakes, grits, and eggs benedict – you’ll leave here full and very happy. You’ll never see thicker pancakes than at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp, either. The fresh maple syrup is a dream. This is a must-visit for foodies staying in Gatlinburg.
Perched on a ridge overlooking old-growth woodlands and boasting spectacular views of the mountains, Annie’s Smoky View is blissfully quiet and private—so much so, you’ll be amazed at just how close it is to so many of the area’s attractions. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Loop, and downtown Gatlinburg are mere minutes away. There’s even a trolley close by so that you don’t have to drive into downtown—no worrying about finding parking!
Warm up by the wood burning fireplace or take a soak in the jacuzzi on the deck. As if soaking among steamy jets of water weren’t pampering enough, now you can do so while gazing out at the mountains during the day or up at the star-studded sky at night. The downstairs game room has a full-sized billiard table for guest enjoyment. The kitchen is equipped with all the appliances, gadgets, cookware, and tableware you need. Outside there’s a charcoal grill by the front entrance too if you reel in some trout from one of the nearby streams, grill it up outdoors the way the locals do.
The screened-in front porch has a bistro table where you can sit and enjoy your first cup of coffee while watching the sunrise. There are rockers on the porch as well. With all the conveniences of home, in a beautiful and peaceful location that’s just minutes from hiking, biking, skiing, golfing, go karting, zip lining, and more, Annie’s Smoky View may become the site of your best vacation yet.
Sevier County’s best kept secret is a quarter mile away from Annie’s Smoky View. The popular, very casual eatery pulls no punches with the decor, menu, silverware, or upkeep. It is a hot dog stand and shake shack, no doubt about it, but it “wows” every single person who stops in. If you’re on a diet, don’t stop in. If you want to drown yourself in BBQ sauce, bacon, onions, drizzled cheese, baked beans, shredded cheddar, and a whole lot more on top of your hot dog, this is the place for you. The thick milkshakes are blended by request with flavors like cookies ‘n’ creme, classic chocolate, and peanut butter – all served with a smile from the friendly employees. Do not miss a stop in here.
If you’re a true foodie, you’ll love staying in Bear Den, a short walk to an incredible restaurant in Gatlinburg
Enjoy relaxing on your private deck with sounds of the creek below and unrestricted views of Mt. LeConte. This rental, known as Bear Den, features a large, but cozy living area with gas fireplace, pool table, cable TV, and a pool table. The master suite features a jacuzzi tub, private bath and deck off the master with hot tub overlooking views of the mountains. The outdoor fire pit is stocked with firewood and there is a picnic area just a 1 minute walk from this cabin!
The Mountain Lodge Restaurant is the #5 rated spot in Gatlinburg. Foodies staying in the Bear Den should definitely take the very short walk over to this restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Good food at a good value, diners love the steady excellence of Mountain Lodge Restaurant. The biscuits, gravy, and hot maple syrup are all fan favorite at breakfast. A delectable chicken salad is the highlight of lunch and the bacon cheeseburger is a dinner winner for many. Do not miss the blackberry cobbler for dessert, if you have room.
River Cottage, a 3-bedroom, 1-level home, is right in downtown Gatlinburg. You can park your car in the house’s carport and then pretty much forget about during your stay. The Gatlinburg Convention Center, the Guinness World Records Museum, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, restaurants galore, the tram to Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area—you can walk to each of them in minutes.
As its name suggests, the house overlooks a tree-lined river. The view from the deck is gorgeous, and you can see even more from the rental’s tranquil and comfortable hot tub. The leather couches and armchair in the living area are supremely comfortable, the gas fireplace casts a welcoming glow, and the windows bring the beauty of the outdoors in.
Given that you can walk to loads of restaurants from River Cottage, you might not plan on doing much, if any, cooking. Once you see the sparkling kitchen, however, you’re apt to change your mind. With its stainless-steel appliances, gleaming countertops, and wealth of cookware and tableware, the kitchen might bring out your inner chef. In total, River Cottage can sleep 8 people—and even a small dog or two.
The best pizza in Gatlinburg, bar none, is at Big Daddy’s Pizzeria. Pizza lovers and foodies of all kinds should order up a pie from this spot. For the family or group staying at River Cottage, you only have to walk 500 feet to get there. At the heart of Big Daddy’s is a 550 degree, wood-fired flame inside a one-of-a-kind brick oven. The pizza starts with hand-crafted, homemade dough topped with homemade sauces and fresh ingredients. They’re so committed to that freshness that there isn’t a freezer on the premises. The end product pays homage to pizza’s classic Neapolitan roots with a deliciously crispy thin crust. The location in Pigeon Forge has a full blown arcade, which will keep the kids (and let’s face it, the adults) busy for hours.
Located by the Great Smoky Mountains and downtown Gatlinburg, Smoky Mountain Resort offers luxurious one or two-bedroom villas surrounded by breathtaking mountain views. The lodge-inspired villas feature a fully equipped kitchen, a separate living room with queen size pullout sofa sleeper, dining room seating for the family, an over-sized spa tub, washer and dryer, DVD player and more. On snowy days, enjoy a plunge in the indoor pool. During summer months, the outdoor pool is the place to be. Also on site is a fitness center with treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical and nautilus equipment.
A short 128 feet from the Smoky Mountain Resort is the frontier-themed Log Cabin Pancake House. A haven for breakfast lovers, it is the atmosphere that makes this restaurant a treat for foodies. From rocking chairs on the front porch to the massive wagon wheel chandeliers, you’ll feel like you stepped out of the wild west and into pancake heaven. From sweet to savory, you’ll find just what you’re craving here, and the prices are quite reasonable for the area. There are over a dozen variations of pancakes and crepes here, including Peach, Caribbean, Apple, Pecan, Butterscotch and more!
Within walking distance of downtown Gatlinburg, Homespun Hospitality cabin provides all the convenience of home for you and your family. These pet-friendly accommodations are very close to the theme park, outlet mall, and grocery shopping. Guests also receive access to special amenities like a jacuzzi tub for the adults, a game room for the kids, and a gas fireplace to warm everyone up. It has a private drive too, so no parking arrangements need to be made. The house has enough space to sleep twelve guests efficiently with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. There is a full kitchen with all the modern conveniences including a coffee maker, dishwasher, utensils, and cookware. There is free Wi-Fi with the vacation rental home. There is even a fenced in yard so you won’t have to worry about the kids or your furry four-legged companion.
Right nearby: Old Dad’s (1127 Parkway – 0.6 miles away)
Part general store, part restaurant, Old Dad’s has been a staple in Gatlinburg for years. The major draw here is the fresh deli, where they’re serving up three square meals per day with about 50 options, but lunch is where Old Dad’s shines. Hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, fried fixins’ and more. Besides dropping in for your lunch, come by for beer, wine, and the best Gatlinburg souvenirs around. Grab some Old Dad’s memorabilia on the way out! This country store is the epitome of one-stop shopping in Gatlinburg and foodies will be surprised by the quality of, well, everything. Only a half mile from the Homespun Hospitality vacation rental.
Above Gatlinburg is a pet-friendly, spacious log cabin located within minutes from downtown Gatlinburg attractions, dining and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. This 3800 square foot cabin, with red oak floors, is absolutely loaded with amenities including a two-car garage and can accommodate up to fourteen people. The main level features a rustic living area complete with leather sofa, love seat, and chair in front of a large stone gas fireplace and a 60 inch HDTV. Also on this level is the fully equipped kitchen and large dining table that seats ten with five additional chairs at the kitchen bar.
The lower level is furnished with an air hockey table, board games, TV, VCR, queen sleeper sofa, and gas stove fireplace. An outside door leads to another deck that overlooks a small golf course. The east wing is equipped with another small kitchen, den, pool table, board games, and 52inch HDTV with DVD player and CD stereo. The den is decorated with a leather sleeper sofa, love seat, and chair in front of a stone fireplace. French doors lead to a screen deck that offer logged furniture overlooking the gorgeous Gatlinburg lights with a six person hot tub.
This little gem is a short 330 foot walk away from the incredible rental known as Above Gatlinburg. Take your family over to Parton’s Deli for a delicious meal. Since 1974 Parton’s has been serving up sub sandwiches steamed in an old fashioned steamer and then dressed to order, that’s what sets this restaurant apart and has customers coming back in droves. Foodies will rave about this rare process. They’re known in the region for their hot dogs and chili dogs as well, so don’t leave without trying one. Cole slaw, deviled eggs, potato salads and all the sides here are homemade, and for dessert, lemon pound cake. Yum!
The River Thames meanders through the heart of East London as seen from the Docklands Canary Wharf Tower.
If you’ve been to London before, then you know that it can be a bit overwhelming to try to see everything that the city has to offer in one brief trip. With its growing population of over 8.5 million people and attractions spread out over more than 600 square miles, it’s easy to lose track of time and miss out on some of the city’s best attractions. Instead of spreading yourself thin during your next vacation here, maximize your time by steering clear of some of the obvious tourist favorites, and sticking to the top attractions in east London.
To help you get your itinerary started, we’ve given you a brief overview of this exciting part of the city. From where you want to stay to what the top attractions in east London are, look no further.
About East London
East London is a district that stretches from the edge of the city to the River Lea. It is often simply called the East End, a nickname given because the area lay just to the east of the medieval walled city of London. During the 19th century, the district gained notoriety because it could not keep up with the constant influx of people and was known as being extremely overcrowded and home to some of London’s most impoverished residents. In more recent years though, the area has been cleaned up and many top attractions in east London are worth visiting during a trip to England’s capital.
The East End is also where “Cockney Rhyming Slang” originated. The term refers to a unique dialect where words are substituted for other words that they rhyme with in order to obscure the meaning of a sentence to those who don’t understand the slang. Don’t be surprised to hear “stairs” referenced as “apples and pears” or “money” described as “bread and honey.” It can take awhile to catch on, so if you can’t quite decipher the meaning of a conversation, then you’ll know you’ve been caught in Cockney Rhyming Slang.
The Spitalfields Market is a major tourist attraction in east London and has become a destination for food, clothes, crafts and vintage items.
With so many different distinct neighborhoods to choose from and lots of things to do within each area, you won’t have any trouble finding a vacation rental that is near many of the top attractions in east London. If you’re looking to experience a city by blending in with the locals then Spitalfields is the neighborhood for you. This part of the city is home to the Old Spitalfields Market, where each day is devoted to something different from fashion to art. Nearby is the Brick Lane Market, where an endless amount of tasty food can be sampled. For those that prefer a more historic approach to their trip, look for a rental in the Whitechapel neighborhood. This area is known for its gruesome Jack the Ripper murders and offers a darker perspective of London’s growth over the years. Today, it is where many artists make their home due to the neighborhood’s central location and cheap rents. Shoreditch calls to those looking to get a literal taste of London by indulging at the local restaurants and pubs, while Mile End is a quieter, charming and more affluent neighborhood about a mile from downtown.
Top Attractions in East London
The famous Brick Lane marketplace is one of the top attractions in east London.
Brick Lane: While the street that Brick Lane occupies dates back approximately 450 years, this part of east London has changed immensely over time. Today, it attracts London’s edgy and artistic crowd in particular, and is always a hub of activity on Sundays when it’s at its liveliest. Maneuver your way through the rows of food stalls and collect tasty samples along your way. One pass through Brick Lane and you’ll be able to try many different cuisines, including Bangladeshi, Ethiopian, Indian, Lebanese and Spanish. In the flea market section, vendors hawk wares from cheap leather jackets and unique second-hand clothes to inexpensive furniture and other decorative knick-knacks. There’s never a dull (or quiet) moment here, which is why those looking to steer away from the more traditional things to do, consider Brick Lane to be one of the top attractions in east London.
Columbia Road Flower Market: The Columbia Road Flower Market is one of the top attractions in east London to check out on a Sunday morning. It’s tucked away in a quiet corner of east London, but the area comes alive with pops of color and lots of beauty every weekend. Locals and visitors alike head to this market where vendors sell their fresh stock and lively chatter exudes from every flower stall. Wind through the streets dodging buckets of flowers and take in the sights and fragrant smells all around. Hit the market in the early afternoon to score the best bargains on bouquets. A stroll through the market on a Sunday morning is sure to brighten what is often a cloudy day in London.
People choose their flowers from street vendors selling their stock at the Columbia Road Flower Market.
Dennis Severs’ House: Dennis Severs’ house is a work of art that showcases the historical imagination of one man through 10 uniquely decorated rooms. Often referred to as a “time capsule attraction,” visitors are immediately transported to another time as they move silently from room to room within the house on Folgate Street. Severs transformed each room in the Huguenot house to give viewers a peek at what life was like as a silk-weaver in east London from 1724 to 1914. His use of unique smells, sounds and decorations create the illusion that you are stepping back in time into a home that someone has just abandoned. Guides escort visitors through the property in total silence, heightening the senses and everyone’s general awareness of this ‘still-life drama.’
Jack the Ripper Tour: If you have a morbid fascination with London’s famed serial killer (or you’re just looking for a twisted history of the East End) then this is something you can’t miss on your trip. The unknown killer known as Jack the Ripper terrorized the streets of east London in the late 1800s and this tour caters to curious travelers. Tour guides will take you down the same street’s as Jack the Ripper’s victims as you go on a mock manhunt through the neighborhood. Tracing the steps of this killer through dark alleys will send shivers down your spine and call clues and pieces of evidence into question as you explore. The gruesome murders still remain a mystery even over 125 years later. If you have two hours to kill in the evening, the Jack the Ripper Tour will surely keep you on your toes.
Walk the same cobblestone streets as Jack the Ripper during a eerie tour.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: Built for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, the massive sporting complex is made up of multiple Olympic venues. The facilities include the athletes’ Olympic Village, as well as the London Aquatics Centre, London Stadium and Lee Valley VeloPark. Explore these historic spots to relive where world records were broken and medals were awarded to athletes from around the world. Guided walking tours of the park are also available to interested visitors. During each tour, experts explain how the area was transformed into a place that was ready to host the Olympics, and visitors are led through the grounds past beautiful parklands, waterways and an assortment of outdoor artwork. Even if the only thing you do at this park is experience the spectacular views of London from the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide, your visit to this top attraction in east London will be worth it.
V&A Museum of Childhood: This branch of the Victoria & Albert Museum (the “V&A”), known as the V&A Museum of Childhood, primarily showcases collections of childhood objects ranging in date from the 1600s to present day. The museum is divided into four distinct galleries – the Childhood Galleries, the Creativity Gallery, the Moving Toys Gallery and the Front Room Gallery – all of which enable young and old to invoke their childhood memories. On display, visitors can find everything from rattles and teethers to rocking horses, pull-along toys and a variety of battery-operated toys. The museum serves to give people insight into how children have grown up over the years, as well as how technology and science have evolved.
A canal cuts through Victoria Park offering boaters a unique perspective of the landscape.
Victoria Park: A favorite among locals, Victoria Park has been visited by millions for over 170 years. With its picturesque landscape that includes two large lakes, a pond for boating, thousands of trees and more, the 200 acres of land that the park sits on is more than suitable for all types of recreation, sports, play and relaxation. The park is open 365 days a year from early morning until dusk, making it a great place for year-round fun. Check it out on a warm summer day to enjoy the Victoria Park Splash Pool or bundle up during the winter to stroll the tree-lined paths. In addition to the endless outdoor recreation opportunities that abound here, many events and festivals take place at Victoria Park throughout the year, too. Popular events include the Summer Tea Dance and the Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Victoria Park is one of the top attractions in east London where people can gather at to play organized games and various sports as well as to discover this beautiful oasis within London.
Don’t think of Anaheim as a day trip from Los Angeles. This small city—along with neighboring cities Buena Park and Santa Ana—is worthy of a dedicated visit. Of course, Anaheim is home to two Disney theme parks, and it’s also less than 45 minutes from the Pacific Ocean coast. But in addition to those huge attributes, there’s plenty for families to do in this destination graced by 280 sunny days a year. Here are five can’t-miss local attractions.
The original Disneyland Park just capped its 60th anniversary celebration, but there’s always something new to enjoy somewhere among the eight distinct sections, which include Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland and Tomorrowland. You’ll find a reimagined Peter Pan’s Flight, the new Star Wars Launch Bay in the old Innoventions building, new cars in Autotopia, and the “Paint the Night” parade using more than 1.5 million LED lights. Of course, the classics—like the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, the Enchanted Tiki Room, and “it’s a small world”—are still as popular as ever. An entirely new Star Wars-themed land is now under construction.
Disney California Adventure
Yes, this is a separate park necessitating its own ticket. And it’s worth dedicating a full day to experience the themed sections, including Hollywood Land, Pacific Wharf, Paradise Pier, Grizzly Peak, Cars Land and “a bug’s land.” Younger children will love the feeling of being small as bugs walking around the larger-than-life props—like the ten-foot tall watermelon rind archway—and riding the pint-sized rides like Flik’s Flyers. Older thrill-seekers will love the California Screamin’ high-speed coaster, Grizzly River Run, and Soarin’ Around the World. The new Frozen-Live at the Hyperion show is worth arriving early to secure Fast Passes to see. This musical stage show based on the blockbuster movie has all the superlative production values and acting talent you would expect from Disney.
Knott’s Berry Farm
What began as an actual berry farm in Buena Park is now an affordable, well-themed park with areas such as Ghost Town, Camp Snoopy, Fiesta Village, and the Boardwalk. Roller coaster fans have plenty of options, like the inverted Silver Bullet coaster, the spinning Sierra Sidewinder, and Montezooma’s Revenge that accelerates from 0 to 55 mph in three seconds. There are several frequent live shows daily, such as the Wild West Stunt Show in Ghost Town and “Blockbuster Beagle on Ice” in the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. If you’ve got pre-schoolers in tow, Camp Snoopy is a must for age-appropriate rides and photo ops with the Peanuts characters.
Discovery Cube Orange County
This kid-focused science museum in Santa Ana contains more than 100 hands-on exhibits across several sections, including Dino Quest, Rocket Lab, Air & Space, Eco Challenge, Dynamic Earth, and Quake Zone. Your day should include trying the Mission Control touchscreen console to design and operate a Martian rover, taking a virtual helicopter ride, walking inside the two-story tall Argentinosaurus, and cooking in the Petersonville Healthy Kitchen.
There are two great options in Buena Park for dinner (or even lunch) theater that will entertain the entire family. You may have experienced the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament in another North American city, so you may even know which knight you’ll route for. Guests sit facing the Grand Ceremonial Arena, feast on a four-course banquet (sans silverware), and watch horse-mounted knights compete in medieval games of skill, sword fights and jousting tournaments. You can switch it up with a pirate show instead just down the road, at the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure. Here, the action takes place aboard an 18th century Spanish galleon, with actors performing impressive swordplay and aerial stunts.
From her home office in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley, guest contributor Traci L. Suppa writes about travel, tourism, and hospitality. Wordscapesny.com
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