Renting a Beachfront Condo? Read These 5 Tips Before You Book

Taking a vacation can be great, but a crowded hotel can really put a damper on your plans. High rates and loud families may make your trip a whole lot more stressful than you planned. If you’re looking for an alternative to an expensive hotel, beach home rentals can give you the privacy, comfort, and price you’re looking for. After all, 62% of survey respondents stated they would choose to stay in summer vacation rentals because their rates are typically cheaper than those of hotels. Plus, when you book your beach home rental through us, you’ll know you’ll be staying at a high-quality property. But before you start booking your beachfront condos for the summer, you’ll probably want to follow these five tips. They’ll let you get the most out of your condo and will help guarantee a fun vacation for the whole family.

Book early

While you may have been able to get a room at a big hotel with very little notice, the same cannot be said for a rental condo. Some vacationers come back every year, so they’ll book their trips right after they finished their last one. And for the most part, summer rental bookings will start to heat up after the first of the year. Keep in mind that it’s never too early to book; in fact, the earlier you book, the better selection of properties and dates you’ll have to choose from. It will definitely pay off not to dawdle. Otherwise, you may not be able to secure a booking.

Consider off-peak

Sometimes, you have to take a vacation when you can get the time off, and this may fall during a popular time of the year. If you book early enough, that won’t be a problem. But if you’re looking to beat the crowds and save a bit of money, you may want to try to take a vacation in late May or early June, rather than in July or August. Alternatively, taking a vacation after Labor Day weekend has passed may be a good option. It can be difficult to coordinate schedules during an off-peak time, but if you can swing it, it may be worth it!

Read reviews

The internet can provide you with extremely valuable information about a given property or rental company. Take a look at listings on reputable review sites or some customer testimonials before you commit to a booking. While some reviewers may be prone to exaggeration, most are looking to help future travelers by providing an honest look at a beach home rental. They may not give you a complete picture of a property, especially if it’s been recently remodeled or redecorated, but it’s one of the smartest things you can do before booking.

Research the location

If you’re traveling to an area with which you’re unfamiliar, you should definitely conduct some research first. Even in popular, non-risky vacation destinations, you’ll want to see where a property is in comparison to the major sights. This will not only help you plan your itinerary but it can make you feel more at-ease before you even arrive. And if a rental condo is in a less-than-desirable area, you’ll want to know that before you sign on the dotted line.

Sign before payment

Speaking of signing on the dotted line, you’ll want to obtain and sign your contract before you ever send any form of payment for a rental property. Make sure you read through the entire agreement and that you understand everything prior to signing. If you have questions or need clarification, don’t sign the contract until it’s resolved. Should a rental company pressure you to sign the agreement without looking it over or to send a down payment before seeing a contract, walk away.
If you’re looking for a condo for rent this summer, Ocean Front Vacation Rentals can help you find a property you’ll love. For more information or to get started on booking your beach home rental, contact us today.

Economic Recovery Brings New Sense of Excitement In Myrtle Beach During Winter Months

Economic Recovery Brings New Sense of Excitement In Myrtle Beach During Winter Months

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 – by Jeanne Kolenda
Myrtle Beach is easily one of the top vacation destinations on the east coast of the United States. Even though our year-round population is only about 28,000 people, that population easily swells to over 3 million during the summer months. Although things tend to quiet down a lot during the winter months, there are lots of new signs of hope that this trend is changing. Why? Because so many people are taking vacations in the off-season, where things are less expensive in destination locations like Myrtle Beach. Also, Myrtle Beach has beautiful weather pretty much all year, and although it’s cooler, it’s still mild enough to enjoy a winter vacation.

Another great sign is that condo rentals in Myrtle Beach are up about 8% from 2012 and that is a great sign that we are recovering from the economic recession. Because of that, lots of great deals are available in some beautiful condos and beach houses. The shops and vacation rental companies are eager to offer fantastic discounts to eager vacationers!

Many businesses in the area are responding to this turn of economic recovery by extending their operations throughout the winter months. Many area businesses are just happy to be taking advantage of the newly finished boardwalk downtown and the fact that people are still coming, even in the middle of January!

Normally, Myrtle Beach businesses go dark in the winter months, but now they are enjoying extending their operations well into theses winter months. It’s a shot in the arm for so many here in Myrtle Beach. The new boardwalk has a lot to do with the excitement. Not only is it beautiful, but it also has given the city some much-needed cosmetic enhancement for our visitors to enjoy. Taking a walk on the boardwalk has a whole new meaning now! And even in the winter months, the boardwalk is a hit.

Area Realtors are reporting lots of new reasons to be excited about the economic upswing. It used to be that winter in Myrtle Beach was only for golfers, but now, people all over the country are coming to enjoy our lovely city and all it has to offer, even in the winter. No longer are we a ghost town from Labor Day to Easter, but we are becoming a favorite destination all year round. The greatest part? It won’t break the bank to come enjoy a beautiful and affordable vacation with your whole family in sunny Myrtle Beach. Come discover why we are the top vacation destination on the east coast. Give us a call here at Oceanfront Vacations for some great winter deals!

Winter In Myrtle Beach Means Golf and Sun!

Winter In Myrtle Beach Means Golf and Sun!

Saturday, January 26, 2013 – by Jeanne Kolenda
For people who love to travel and also love to have a great hobby, golfing is the ideal sport. It can take you just about anywhere in the world and you can play the game while seeing some of the most beautiful sights around. It’s been said that for serious golfers, the earth is just one huge golf tour!

Here in the U.S., one of the most popular golf destinations is right here in Myrtle Beach, SC. Our golf courses are considered to be among the most well kept and challenging courses out there, many of them designed by such names as Robert Trent Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman.

They are beautifully crafted and designed to show off and protect the wildlife in the areas as well as enjoying the incredible weather we have to offer here in Myrtle Beach. Who wouldn’t want to catch a fun game of golf while getting suntanned at the same time? Talk about multi-tasking!

The peak season here in Myrtle Beach is in the summer, so the prices will be highest then, but prices start dropping after Labor Day and will continue to drop into the fall and winter months. The good news here is that the weather is still beautiful almost year round, so if the hot July sun is too much for you, why not come stay and play during the winter months? January and February might be your perfect answer to come and enjoy some deep discounts AND the joy of the game!

Call us today and let us help you find your perfect place to stay while you enjoy some fantastic weather soaking up the sun while all your friends are shoveling snow. You won’t be sorry! Myrtle Beach and all our many attractions await you….

Fun Facts About Myrtle Beach

Fun Facts About Myrtle Beach

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 – by Jeanne Kolenda
With the millions of visitors that we see here in Myrtle Beach each year, we thought it might be fun to give you some background and history of this fun and fantastic city we call home. Here are some facts about Myrtle Beach you may not know…

Did You Know?

•While our year-round population is only about 28,000 people, it is not unusual for it to swell to more than 3-5 million during peak season. That’s a lot of hotels, condos and campgrounds that are slam full every year!

•Myrtle Beach is also known as “The Grand Strand.” Why? Because of the long, unbroken stretch of beachfront towns that stretch all the way from the very tip of northern South Carolina down to Georgetown, SC, which is an hour north of Charleston. Myrtle Beach is considered the central jewel of the Grand Strand.

•Myrtle Beach is one of America’s top vacation destinations! Yep, that’s right. We rank right up there with Disney World for tourism, making us one of America’s leading centers for tourism. Each year between April and October, we see an average of 15 million visitors enjoy our beautiful surf and sand!

Some Fun Facts

•Myrtle Beach is actually a man-made island. It is the Intracoastal Waterway that separates Myrtle Beach from the continental United States. This means that our entire city has developed in the small area right by the coast. We are prone to hurricanes, so the sand dunes and tropical grasses keep the city separated from the beach. These dunes provide a natural seawall barrier against storm surge. The monster Hurricane Hugo happened in 1989 and was the most recent catastrophic hurricane this area has seen.

•Our climate is considered to be sub-tropical with very warm and humid summer months. It’s not uncommon to see temperatures rise into the 90’s and above during July and August, but average temps stay in the 80’s, with lows in the 70’s. Thunderstorms often develop with the heat of the afternoon during the summer and will dump short, intense downpours before offering some relief from the heat. Winters are mild and very enjoyable! The ocean water temperature is also very warm for much of the year.

•George Washington even stayed a night here in what is now North Myrtle Beach when he was scouting out the southern states for development. He even rode his horse down what is now King’s highway!

Now when you plan your next vacation to Myrtle Beach, you will be armed with some impressive facts and knowledge to impress your friends back home with about the area that thousands of us call home and millions more visit each year! We welcome you to come enjoy our playground and would love to help you get a fabulous deal on your next visit, so call us here at Oceanfront Vacations today!

Tips For Your Myrtle Beach Vacation on a Budget

Tips For Your Myrtle Beach Vacation on a Budget

Friday, February 22, 2013 – by OVR Staff
It’s that time of year again. You want to start thinking about your vacation plans this summer, and there’s no better time than the present. However, planning a vacation when you have young children can be quite the challenge! There are a few things to take into consideration here: where you stay, the activities you plan, and restaurants needing to be kid-friendly. However, you’re in luck because Myrtle Beach is made for families! And there’s a wealth of options here just for your family.

First of all, if you have small children or babies that still need regular nap time, then don’t ever choose a hotel room—go for a condo so that the rest of the family can move about and talk while the baby is sleeping in another room. Believe it or not, condos are not much more than the price of a nice hotel and you get a whole lot more for your money—really! They come equipped with kitchens for cooking and that’s a good thing when you bring in your fresh catch of the day!

Condos are invaluable if you have kids. After a day at the beach, you can come up in your kitchen and fix dinner or snacks and at a fraction of the cost. Why stand in line for nearly an hour at some buffet when you could stay at your condo and move at your own pace while enjoying your family. After all, when kids are hungry, the crackers and crayons at restaurants won’t go but so far!

The trick to vacationing on a budget is to plan. Plan, plan, plan! There are ways to save lots of money. Coming right after the peak part of the season is one of them. If you come in the fall, all the better. Scour the Internet for deals and steals—they’re out there! Remember that owners and property management companies want nothing more than to fill their condos, so you never know what deal is around the corner.

Remember—you can’t please everyone all the time. Do what you can, but keep in mind that it is a vacation and the object of the game is not to be exhausted! Don’t over-plan. This is another way to plan on a budget—the beach is FREE after all!

We hope you enjoy your time in Myrtle Beach and see what all we have to offer. Call us today for more ideas and let us help you find that perfect condo for your family!

Myrtle Beach and the Fine Arts

Myrtle Beach and the Fine Arts

Monday, February 25, 2013 – by OVR Staff
OK, I’ll admit it. Most of us don’t think about the arts when we think about Myrtle Beach. But did you know we have our fair share of culture and arts? So, that means, even though we’ve been nicknamed “The Redneck Riviera,” you can still come to the beach and get sandy during the day and put on your little black dress at night to go enjoy some art or music! Here are some things you can expect to find in the Grand Strand area to keep you cultured….

With galleries or art, educational museums and even a symphony, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy.

If you’re the artsy-fartsy type, then there’s a gallery for you! The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum. They change up the exhibits on a regular basis so you’ll never get bored. There are lots of inter-active options for all ages there and ten galleries to explore everything from watercolor to photography.

If you want to see the local art, then stop by the Loft at the Howard Gallery in Myrtle Beach. There is more than just painting there; you can find handmade jewelry, pottery, gorgeous stained glass and more. Take the time to check them out!

Community Theaters. There’s way more in the way of theater and entertainment here in Myrtle Beach than the glitz and glamour or Carolina Opry and Alabama Theater! Why not support the local community theaters and enjoy taking in a show at Theater of the Republic in Conway or Murrells Inlet Community Theater. Even The Palace Theater in Myrtle Beach has a regular schedule of smaller productions featuring local talent.

Is music your thing? Well, believe it or not, The Grand Strand has a symphony! The Long Bay Symphony goes back to 1987 and they perform in various places from Georgetown, Horry and Brunswick Counties, but their home base is right here in Myrtle Beach at the Myrtle Beach High School’s beautiful auditorium. They bring in many impressive artists, so be sure and check out their schedule and website!

Last but certainly not least is our own Coastal Carolina University. There you will find numerous productions at Wheelwright auditorium, gorgeous and unique art at the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery among other things. Another thing to consider is the recital hall where you can catch all these talented performers before they hit the big time!

Perhaps if this isn’t enough to fill your craving for culture, you can take a little trip south of Murrells Inlet to Brookgreen Gardens, which is the landing zone for art, culture, sculpture, and gardens. It’s worth the visit! Visit their website for ticket prices.

So, Myrtle Beach isn’t just about ball caps and sunscreen! We have something that’s sure to leave you feeling cultured and satisfy that itch for art. We look forward to helping you with your questions at any time!

Knowing the Roads In Myrtle Beach

Knowing the Roads In Myrtle Beach

Thursday, February 28, 2013 – by OVR Staff
When it comes to living like a local in Myrtle Beach, there are a few things you should know. Even if you are a regular vacationer here, you may hear the locals speaking a jargon all their own, so here’s a few little cheat tips to help you around town and not have all the other locals blowing their horns at you because you’re a tourist who might not know how to get around town!

First of all, we locals here in Myrtle Beach love to help out when we can. Tourists make up our main source of economic drive and we love our tourists! Here, I’m breaking down some very important things to know about how to get around in Myrtle Beach. Here we go!

What You Need To Know About The Roads And Highways

Myrtle Beach really is not hard to get around in at all, but it can be confusing for the tourist who isn’t familiar with our system of main roads. Think of Myrtle Beach kind of like a crossword puzzle. There are three main roads that go north and south and just a couple more that go east and west. All the avenues and side streets leading to the beaches are usually numbered and can be found easily from the main roads.

East and West

If you drove into town, then you most likely came in on the main highway that takes you straight to the beach—Hwy. 501. Although it’s technically a north and south highway, it is actually more of an east and west road as you get closer to the city of Myrtle Beach. So, having said that, Hwy 501 is one of the east and west roads that take you straight into the heart of Myrtle Beach. Just a few miles south is another route that is east and west. It’s called Hwy 544. You can pick it up in Conway and it would take you all the way to Ocean Lakes Campground in Surfside Beach if you drove it in its entirety.

North and South

The main north and south highway is Hwy 17. Hwy 17 Business runs north and south more parallel to the ocean. Directly along the ocean is Ocean Blvd. and it runs the length of the city of Myrtle Beach. Then a little more inland is Hwy 17 Bypass. This runs parallel to 17 Business, but allows you to get around without being in all the beach traffic. The main numbered avenues in town run between 17 Bus. and 17 Bypass and most will take you all the way to the ocean. One other important tip: Hwy 17 Business is also called King’s Hwy. They are one and the same; so don’t let it confuse you!

If you want to “bypass the bypass,” then Hwy 31 is for you. It’s a little more inland and runs from the Socastee area on the south end of Myrtle Beach, all the way to Little River at the very northern end of town. There isn’t much along this hwy, so you can get from one end of town to the other much faster since there are no red lights and no reasons to stop. It is more like an interstate highway in that respect.

The main avenues in the middle of town that go between 17 Bypass and 17 Business are as follows, from south to north, starting at Bypass 17:

10th Ave. North (Right across from Myrtle Waves)
21st Ave. North (The south entrance of Broadway at the Beach)
29th Ave. North (The north entrance of Broadway at the Beach)
38th Ave. North (Located directly in the middle of town)
48th Ave. North (Lots of residential areas and business parks)
62nd. Ave. North (This is mostly residential)
72nd Ave. North (Mostly residential)
79th Ave. North (Mostly residential)
82nd Ave. North (Grand Strand Hospital and medical parks)

There really isn’t anywhere you can’t get to from one of these main thoroughfares and connecting avenues. So just to recap, you have four main roads that run north and south, parallel to each other:

Hwy 31 (Inland)
Hwy 17 Bypass (Myrtle Beach all the way to Murrells Inlet)
Hwy 17 Business (Runs the length of Myrtle Beach)
Ocean Blvd. (Runs along the ocean in Myrtle Beach)

For east and west routes, you have:

Hwy 544 (From Conway all the way to Surfside Beach)
Hwy 501 (The main highway into Myrtle Beach)

That’s it folks! When in doubt, ask a local–we are a friendly bunch who love to help out! Oh, one more thing…if you hear the locals referring to “the back gate” as a point of reference, they are talking about the Bypass entrance to Market Common, which used to be the Air Force Base. The “back gate” was the back entrance. The name stuck and is still used today!

Remember to give yourself plenty of space when driving in Myrtle Beach, as many people don’t know where they are going. Fender benders are all too common among tourists. Drive safely and welcome to Myrtle Beach!

Myrtle Beach For Art, Culture and History Lovers!

Myrtle Beach For Art, Culture and History Lovers!

Saturday, March 16, 2013 – by OVR Staff
Now is the time! Summer is just around the corner and now that spring has arrived here in Myrtle Beach, the entire city is beginning to wake up. The flowers are starting to bloom; the days are warming up with lots of sunshine and low humidity, making it gloriously comfortable outside. This can only mean one thing: it’s time to book your Myrtle Beach vacation! If you can’t make it during the spring here in Myrtle Beach, then the summer months aren’t far off. Either way, your time to relax is coming quickly and we want to help make it the perfect get away for you and your family!

There are some fabulous things to do here in Myrtle Beach during spring. If you find the ocean water still a little too cold for your liking, you can always take a long walk on the beach and enjoy some other attractions that are a bit off the beaten path. One of our favorites is Brookgreen Gardens. This is truly a landmark location in our area, just south of Myrtle Beach. It is a stunning display of art, sculptures, and gardens that will inspire you and surround you with beauty.

Also, just south of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet is Huntington Beach State Park. This is not only a fabulous park with tons of wildlife and beaches, picnic shelters, etc, but it is also the home of Atalaya Castle, which is on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. There are tours offered and it is only $1 per person to tour the castle. Well worth your time to explore this amazing, and not-so-well-known spots here in Myrtle Beach!

We might be known as a party spot and beach hangout, but we also have lots to offer for those of you who love natural science and history! Consider coming to Myrtle Beach for a true spring break—one to refresh your mind, as well as your spirit. The weather is wonderful now, the beaches are breezy and the sunrises are spectacular. Come and grab your coffee, a good book and get ready to get reconnected with those you love! We’re here for you, no matter what season you come, so call us today at Oceanfront Vacations and let us help you get the perfect condo or house today.

The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

Friday, March 29, 2013 – by OVR Staff
So you’ve come to Myrtle Beach with your family, but perhaps you’re not one who actually likes getting sand between your toes. What to do? How about taking a stroll along our new boardwalk! The new Myrtle Beach Boardwalk stretches for a mile and a half between the 2nd Ave. Pier all the way up to Plyler Park at 14th Ave. North. You’ll pass right by the area in the middle of downtown where the Pavilion amusement park used to be. Of course, there are all the wonderful shops and eateries along the way!

The new Myrtle Beach Boardwalk was built in 2010, ready to welcome a whole new generation of visitors and tourists who make up the face of our wonderful city. For years, the downtown area embodied what people knew Myrtle Beach to be. The Pavilion and all its rides, the Magic Attic and its non-stop concerts and parties for teens in a safe environment, as well as the various restaurants and attractions. Since The Magic Attic, The Pavilion and some other spots are no longer there, it was the perfect opportunity to breathe new life into Myrtle Beach with one of the most fabulous boardwalks anywhere. There’s no shortage of attractions around the boardwalk. One of the best is the brand new SkyWheel. Take a ride in it and get the best view anywhere of the entire Grand Strand. Situated right on the ocean, the view can’t be beat! And don’t forget to have some fun at a brand new miniature golf complex on a historic site—the place where the iconic Chesterfield Inn of the 1930’s used to stand.
Summer is going to be here before you know it, and the new Boardwalk will have lots of family-friendly activities. For the kids, Monday nights will be carnival night and will feature bouncy houses, face painting and lots of other fun activities. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will feature concerts and as always, a wonderful fireworks show on Wednesdays. Friday nights you will be able to walk the Boardwalk and enjoy the area’s favorite Dixieland band, and on Sundays, you can be enchanted with human statues, acrobatics and even fire shows!
The $6.5 million Myrtle Beach Boardwalk was a massive undertaking for the city but has proven to be money and time well spent. Our downtown area needed a new injection of fresh fun and we’ve received just that with the new Boardwalk! So whether you want to just take a stroll and enjoy the breezes from the ocean or come to have some serious family fun, you will find it all at the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Come and see what it’s all about this year!

There’s More To Myrtle Beach Than Just the Beach!

There’s More To Myrtle Beach Than Just the Beach!

Sunday, March 31, 2013 – by OVR Staff
Have you ever wondered what there really is to do in Myrtle Beach on a rainy day or a day where you’re just too hot to go to the beach? Well, if you need a break from baking in the sun, then you might find some of these fun ideas just the ticket to go have some fun—Myrtle Beach style! Below are some of our favorite ideas for some good family fun.

•Try the new Myrtle Beach Zip line Adventures! There’s no greater way to catch a great view down Ocean Blvd. than to grab you and your friends for a 40 mph race down the zip lines. Located where the Pavilion used to be at 9th Ave. North, you will fly 600 feet from one tower to the other. You can also choose to do the 60-foot free fall if you’re brave enough! Do them together for $35. At night, it’s really stunning to catch all the laser lights and lights from the nearby SkyWheel!

•The SkyWheel. Not only will you get a spectacular view of the entire Grand Strand from the top of the 20 foot SkyWheel, but you can sit and relax in the air conditioned gondolas for the 12-15 minute ride, which usually includes three revolutions around. The lighting at night is stunning and during the day, the ocean view is magnificent. One other fantastic feature about the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel is that it’s designed to accommodate service animals and wheel chairs, so every member of your family or group can enjoy it together. Rides are $12.

•Need a shopping break? Head over to Market Common located on the former Air Force Base. Whether you chill out at Barnes and Noble with a coffee, take in a movie at the Grand 14, or have dinner at one of the fabulous restaurants, you will find a great way to spend the afternoon or evening. And don’t forget the shopping—there’s lots of it at The Market Common!

•If your kids are stir crazy and need something constructive to do, why not try WonderWorks Museum? The upside down museum takes you on a tour for all the senses as they learn about science, nature and music. There are also rides, simulators, and interactive exhibitions that allow them to experience the impossible!

•Finally, take in a great fireworks show at Broadway at the Beach each Tuesday night. You’ll find lots of great music and rides for the kids there as well. It’s a great place to shop, explore or just take a wonderful stroll. There are also zip lines and paddle boats.

Myrtle Beach is full of things to do that go far beyond just going to the beach! During your next vacation, get out and try some of great attractions we have to offer. These are just a few and there are tons more with live shows, water parks, miniature golf courses, but we’ll let you discover Myrtle Beach in your own way this year. As always, let Oceanfront Vacations help you plan your perfect Myrtle Beach vacation!