Web Exclusive: 5 Additional Low Country Destinations
Myrtle Beach because it's there ICW Mile 354 The stretch of Intracoastal Waterway linking Southport at the Cape Fear River in North Carolina and Georgetown in South Carolina arguably includes some of the most miserable mileage on the ICW. Living up to its nickname "The Ditch," it is narrow, congested, and much of the scenery consists of three-story vacation homes lined up like tombstones on the beach. Halfway down this 96-mile stretch, however, beckons one of the greatest entertainment hubs in the world: Myrtle Beach. If the Waccamaw Indians could see it now¿an American Mecca! You might as well stop because you probably can't reach Georgetown before dark. You've got 13 marinas to choose from here, including Barefoot Landing, a restaurant and shopping complex that offers free dockage. (Don't get too excited, though. During the fall migration southward, this long side-tie is usually chock-a-block with sailboats rafted three deep.) With vessel secured, you might as well cut loose and see what the fuss is all about. Fans of Broadway? Take in "Defending the Caveman" at the Alabama Theater. Got kids? Go on a narrated "ghost walk." Dig Jimmy Buffet? Margaritaville awaits with salt on the rim. Golf? Pick from 120 courses. Hungry? Choose between 1,500 restaurants. I said Mecca, right? Tip: In calm conditions take a short cut by going outside at Cape Fear, returning to the ICW through the well marked Little River Inlet. This 25-nautical-mile run can cut more than an hour off the trip to Myrtle Beach even if you are only running in a 10-knot boat.