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Nobody Knows Myrtle Like Larry Vaught

By LARRY VAUGHT
One nice thing about coming to Myrtle Beach in late January/early February is that it is not nearly as crowded and you have time to enjoy things more and also try different things you might not be able to do in the summer months.

Here’s a few of the firsts for me during my winter journey to the beach (and of course this won’t even include how revitalizing it is to walk the beach picking up shells and almost having the beach to yourself some days.

Wicked Tuna
I had never been to Wicked Tuna in Murrell’s Inlet (there is also an ocean front location in the heart of Myrtle Beach) and the food was delicious. I was overwhelmed by the menu and the fresh catch options. I tried the shrimp and grits along with a jumbo shrimp appetizer. The jumbo shrimp were beyond jumbo and the shrimp and grits were UNBELIEVABLE. I love the right mix of cheese in the grits and the sausage and shrimp were amazing. And you got such a large portion that I could not even quite finish — and that never happens.
Gorgeous decor inside in a unique setting and then you can take a walk on the marshwalk to see native wildlife. Not a bad way to spend four hours at all.

Ripley’s Aquarium
Great visit to the Ripley’s Aquarium here in Myrtle Beach and at this time of year you can take all the time you want looking at exhibits. I loved getting to pet/rub stingrays and horseshoe crabs and all the information the employees share about both. It was also fun watching the diver feed fish and then stringrays and getting to interact some with her — the big kid in me just can’t help it.

Lot of interactive exhibits in aquarium that normally kids surround but today I got to enjoy them all too, including taking a selfie and putting my face in a bubble. Always so relaxing and peaceful to see the colorful fish in the water and this is one time getting close to the sharks is really nice Any visit to this attraction is good, but going at this time of year with small crowd is a huge bonus.

Angus Steakhouse and Seafood

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when we made reservations at Angus Steakhouse and Seafood. I am not a big steak eater, especially when seafood is available, but the manager suggested I try the surf and turf special — Beef & Veggies K-bob, grilled shrimp, grilled scallops. My wife went for the one-pound pork shop. Everything was cooked perfectly and the steak and port chop just melted in your mouth. The sirloin steak bites were amazing with no fat at all.

If that’s not enough, the decor is amazing and you could spend an hour looking at it all. Everything from the furniture to the wall decor is unique. Folks eating beside us could not wait to finish their meal so they could take pictures.

Hope Nelson, marketing manager, went by every table to make sure no one had an complaints.

Medieval Times
Not often have I had to deal with a rainy, fairly cool day during my winter outings to Myrtle Beach but that was a perfect time to attend the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. They have various locations across the nation but this was my first time to attend the show … tournament.

First, the preshow “knighting” ceremony for selected patrons was pretty cool. Same for the “medieval wench” that was our server. She had a terrific personality and made sure we knew everything about the show.

Loved that she brought our broasted dragon (which looked and tasted a lot like chicken) out so quickly and it was great. Corn on the cob was best I have ever had at a dinner show — wish I knew the seasoning that was used.

The tournament was unique with the knights competing in a variety of competitions. One nice touch was that the winning knight each competition got carnations he passed out to audience members. Lot of action — both on and off horses — that was really fun to see.

Show runs all year but not nearly as crowded in January/February which makes getting front row seat lot easier and that just makes the tournament even more enjoyable.

Pine Lakes Golf Club

Thanks to Chris King of Kingfish Communications for educating me on Myrtle Beach golf opportunities during a visit at Pine Lakes Country Club, the oldest course in Myrtle Beach. Also legend says this is where the idea for Sports Illustrated was hatched and a letter and copy of the first edition of Sports Illustrated hanging in the clubhouse verifies that.

So many choices and courses to play at this time of year, not crowded and fees not as high. Weather more than tolerable for golf too.

Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame inductees are honored at the club and saw the plaques for the 2019 inductees — PGA star Dustin Johnson and Hootie and the Blowfish — who have a charity tourney in Myrtle Beach each year that has raised millions of dollars.

Check Myrtlebeachgolftrips.com for lot of great golf packages and terrific way to save dollars all year but if you want bargain prices on great course, consider a February outing to Myrtle Beach.

When I asked employees at the resort where we are staying what was a really good breakfast spot in Myrtle Beach, they immediately told me Johnny D’s Waffles and Bakery. So Saturday morning I thought we would give it a try and let me just say the advice was perfect.

Remember this was a cold (for Myrtle Beach), rainy Saturday morning and at 9:30 a.m. we had to wait to get in. Once we got seated fairly quickly, our waitress told us that locals come early before the big crowd or come between noon and 2 p.m. before closing.

There is a breakfast menu full of waffles, pancakes, egg benedict, bagels and omelettes. I wanted to try the shrimp and crab omelette but it was just too early. So I went with the Farmhouse breakfast of home fries, two pancakes, bacon, sausage and ham. My wife had a waffle that was heavenly. But everything that came out of chef Jamie Daskalis’ kitchen looked great — and so did the lunch menu. Our order came out quick and hot.

Our meal cost about $20 total and was worth every penny. Can’t wait to go back and loved the way the restaurant supports autism because Daskalis’ son is autistic.

If you are in Myrtle Beach, give it a try but would just warn you the wait will be a lot longer this spring/summer than it is now but it will be well worth the wait.

 

 

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