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Myrtle Beach is a great family getaway

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Summertime is in full swing at the beaches along the East Coast. Many Central Virginia families choose to vacation in Myrtle Beach every summer.

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Located in sunny South Carolina, Myrtle Beach is always ranked near the top of the list of favorite beaches. It takes about five hours to get to Myrtle Beach from Lynchburg and prices are more reasonable than some of the other East Coast beaches.

There's lots to do for kids at Myrtle Beach and plenty for parents to enjoy as well. Myrtle Beach is home to many resort hotels, condos, vacation homes and smaller hotels and motels.

Many Myrtle Beach hotels and resorts have indoor and outdoor pools, complete with lazy rivers. Some hotels have indoor lazy rivers, some have outdoor lazy rivers and some have both. Kids and grownups all enjoy spending a day floating on the lazy river.

Many families enjoy camping at one of the Myrtle Beach campgrounds: Lakewood Camping Resort, Myrtle Beach Travel Park, Ocean Lakes Campground, PirateLand Myrtle Beach, Willow Tree RV Resort and Campground or KOA Myrtle Beach.

The Myrtle Beach Skywheel ,which opened in 2011, is a favorite attraction for kids of all ages. From the Skywheel, you can look down over the Boardwalk, all of Myrtle Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

The weather's always right for a stroll on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Since the Boardwalk opened in 2010, many shops and restaurants have opened along the beach.

Live entertainment is also very popular at Myrtle Beach. From family-friendly shows to comedy clubs for the adults, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

The 4th of July is a great time to come to Myrtle Beach. The 2014 Salute From The Shore flyover returns for the fifth year, featuring vintage aircraft flying over the Myrtle Beach area shoreline on July 4, 2014 in a salute to those who have served in the Armed Forces.

Enjoy old-fashioned July 4th fun with parades and fireworks. The Pawleys Island Annual Parade begins at 10 a.m. and the Murrells Inlet Annual Boat Parade begins at noon. Surfside Beach will hold its annual July 4th Celebration at the pier from 6-10 p.m.

Pick your favorite location for watching fireworks, which will begin at dark at the 2nd Avenue Pier and at the Cherry Grove Pier at 9:30 p.m. Murrells Inlet and Broadway at the Beach fireworks displays begin at 10 p.m. and the Barefoot Landing fireworks display is scheduled for 10:15 p.m.

There are lots of ongoing summertime activities at Myrtle Beach too. Hot Summer Nights 2014 is an all summer, everyday, free event for all ages at Plyler Park on the Boardwalk.

Activities include a free kids carnival on Mondays, fireworks over the ocean on Wednesdays, a free seaside concert in the park on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and strolling musicians and Elvis performers on Fridays and Sundays on the Boardwalk.

Enjoy Movies After Dark on Thursdays at 9 p.m. from mid-June through mid-August at Martin Park in Surfside Beach and the Music on Main Concert Series on Thursdays at 7 p.m. from mid-May through late September in downtown North Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Waves has added Wednesday night Family Dive-In Movie Nights this summer from mid-June through mid-August. Dive in at 4 p.m. with movies at dusk at a special family-friendly price.

But the favorite activity at Myrtle Beach is enjoying the sun, sand and waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Spend a day relaxing with your family on the beach.

Jump or ride the waves, build sandcastles, enjoy a picnic lunch, play beach soccer or volleyball or simply put your chairs down at the ocean's edge and relax. From sunrise to sunset, Myrtle Beach is the perfect family vacation destination.

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