The attendant offers you his hand; it's like walking into Cinderella's glass carriage to go to the ball. The glass is tinted blue, like the ocean, which will soon be beneath you. The doors close, and you are lifted upwards into the sky, as if riding on a soaring hawk, gently gliding into the clouds.
The SkyWheel on Myrtle Beach, SC, is located by the infamous pier and boardwalk, serving as a focal point for what could be the heartbeat of the Grand Strand. Directly on the ocean, grainy sand and splashing salt water greet you on one side of the SkyWheel, while the bright lights of city action pulsate on the other side; thrilling attractions, stores, restaurants and more are clustered closely nearby.
Most people would want to go at sunset to get a soaring view of the ocean with nature's colors popping. During the day, marvel at the long planks of the boardwalk along the ocean, taking in views of clear, blue water, people riding horses along the beach and getting a bird's eye view of the tourist attractions. At night, colors pop with vivid unreality; the slingshot attraction commands your attention across the street, as people are shot like a slingshot into the nights sky, only viewing a whirl of colors.
The SkyWheel at night is like a hypnotic attraction. Colors spark from the spokes of the wheel. The light show can be seen from a distance, lighting up the horizon with a series of changing swirls.
Sometimes, schedule does not allow to ride the SkyWheel in the middle of bikini season or the most ideal weather, but the beauty is that it is open nearly every day. We went on a chilly, grey, dreary day, when it was raining. Oddly enough, the SkyWheel was so tall that when we were at the top, it was literally snowing, but about halfway down the ride, the snow would turn into ice before it hit ground.
You can experience the SkyWheel during any kind of weather, because it is enclosed and climate controlled, with nozzles on the ceiling like an airplane that allow each person to adjust as needed. The soundly built structure does not look like it was popped up over night at at county fair, as it serves as a permanent landmark, with a nice wooden deck, massive metal spikes intricately arranged for safety. The SkyWheel is a marvel in and of itself, as you can stand at the bottom and nearly get dizzy looking upwards, trying to inspect how the spokes of the wheel connect to solid main beams that are literally meant to withstand a hurricane or whatever element Mother Nature should think of throwing that way.
We had one in our group who was scared of heights. On her 60th birthday, she was digging in her heels like a little kid, nearly crying how she did not want to go on, scared she'd have a heart attack and die. The attendants handled the situation graciously, assuring her she is not the first one to be scared, detailing how many may have been initially scared, but everyone comes off the ride with a big smile.
This was enough to encourage her. They showed her the panic button if she got really scared. This calmed her fears enough to help her get on the ride, and she did sport a smile at the end of the ride.
He was true to his word, at least in our case. The views are so spectacular, the only other way to experience such sights might be through a helicopter ride. That's not too far way if you want to do that.
Myrtle Beach has just about everything a person could look for while on vacation, from helicopter and horse rides, to the massive SkyWheel located on the beach near the pier. There's outlet malls offering nearly any store you can think of, Wonder Works, Ripley's Aquarium and other attractions. Additionally, Myrtle Beach is a golfer's paradise, as they offer golf courses good enough for the Pros – meaning, both the PGA and LPGA, as well as the Pro Putt Putt Golfers - and plenty to choose from.
Trying different restaurants everyday, it would take over a year to dine at every restaurant in the area. From seafood buffets to Phillip's Seafood Company, eat some She Crab Soup at Mr. Fish, get more interactive at Medieval Times or Dolly Parton's Pirate's Voyage. Enjoy at the Carolina Opry, and don't forget to check out The Gay Dolphin, walk the pier and look at the shells along the beach.
No matter what brings you to Myrtle Beach, you'll want to take a spin on the SkyWheel. It's a great tradition. Take a few minutes from the excitement to sit back and marvel at the scenery surrounding.
The SkyWheel is a great way to elevate a date. There are VIP flight options available, and you can dine at the LandShark Bar and Grill. For more info, http://myrtlebeachskywheel.com.
The author of 100 books, Marisa Williams earned her Master's in Writing at the Johns Hopkins University. For more on Marisa, visit www.lulu.com/spotlight/thorisaz and www.wix.com/thorisaz/photography. Subscribe to her articles for free at http://www.examiner.com/tourism-in-detroit/marisa-williams.