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  1. #1
    kerri Guest

    Default how do I start?

    My boyfriend and I are planning to take a road trip this June.. leaving on thursday June 3rd and arriving home (at the latest) June 7th. We Live in Rhode Island and are planning on traveling to South Carolina (myrtle beach) then turning around and comming back. One place we definetly want to stop is Sount of the Border (a famous truck stop). Then we were thinking of stopping in Pennsylvania on the way home. (my BF has family there) the only problem is I want to have some things planned out (ie. where we will stay) but I don't know where to start. should I plan a route then book hotels/B&B's? or vice versa.. this is my first "road trip" and I am so confused! thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
    Guest

    Default First steps

    I always plan my route first -- get out the maps and look at mileages and where the cities and towns fall into the overall plan. It is easier still if you get a trip planning software (I use MS Streets and Trips). Rand Mcnally also has a free rudimentary trip planner on their website.

    I figure how many hours a day I want to fool around, and how many I want to drive, and figure my days accordingly. (More often though, the number of days I have available dictates the terms of the trip -- lessee, I have 4 days, how far can I get before I have to turn around...). An easy way to guestimate is to multiply your driving hours by 50 -- that can give you a BALLPARK estimate of how far in miles you can get down the road that day. Your mileage may vary...

    One thing I try NOT to do is make room reservations, whenever I can avoid it, as it takes some of the flexibility out of the trip -- even on short ones. I can't tell you how many times I've set everything in stone, including room reservations, then wanted to change plans to take in some unexpected opportunity, etc, and couldn't because I'd lose the money on the reserved room. I make reservations only when I have to -- because of busy times or locations, for example. Most places, most of the time, you can go without reservations, or maybe just make them by phone the day before, once you know about where you'll be.

    You can look for special attractions on the maps themselves, or do some internet searches. People on this site will give you ideas about specific areas also. Bob

  3. Default Myrtle Beach Resort

    Have you heard of Sea Mist of Myrtle Beach? They have great prices and lots of on-site attractions. My friend went there with her husband and daughter last year, and they thought it was incredible, especially for people with children. It might be a good place even without children, because there is so much to do.

  4. Default

    Yes, plan your route, then think about accomodations and stops. Once you know your main route, you can figure out what stops you'll make along the way.

    You do not want to go to South of the Border (or if you do, be sure your tetnus shot is up to date). ...[Commentary edited as per the policies of this Forum]... I know that they featured it on the Travel Channel, but I don't know why. We live close enough that we drive by it a couple times per year, and my kids are fascinated with it -- but we never stop there.

    {Editor's Note: Like many of the regulars on this Forum, I like "South of the Border", yes it IS campy and over-the-top -- but it is vintage roadside Americana and like Mrs.Pete's kids.... I am still fascinated with the place. Generalizations about a place that are not backed up with personal experiences are generally not recommended or accepted here. I urge "Mrs.Pete" to dial-back the rhetoric a bit. It is hard for us to imagine that you can provide sufficient information about a place that "you never stop" at.}

    You want to be very careful with accomodations in Myrtle Beach -- the place does earn its name, The Redneck Riviera -- the heart of Myrtle is a little rough. You should know that you're traveling during "senior week" when all the high school graduates descend upon Myrtle Beach; the police will be very much in evidence that week, and you're going to see some out-of-control teens.

    The Grand Atlantic is a good oceanfront place out out of the heart of the city. It's not a luxury place, but the prices are fair; they have condos as well as standard rooms. We had a four-bedroom oceanfront condo (slept 14) for a long weekend last September, and I believe it was in the $350 neighborhood (total cost). Another good choice is Myrtle Beach State Park; they have cabins and apartments for rent. Even if you don't stay at the state park, it's worth a visit.

    Broadway at the Beach is the biggest attraction in the Carolinas. It's a collection of shops, entertainment and restaurants located somewhat off the beach. Hard Rock Park just opened too; it's maybe 10 miles out of Myrtle. The aquarium is nice, but it isn't anything like the aquariums in big cities. Myrtle Beach is known for its mini-golf. In Myrtle you'll find just about every chain restaurant, loads of pancake houses, and cheap buffets.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-21-2008 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Good Neighbor Rules & Policy

  5. #5

    Default What a trip!

    Hello Kerri,

    Perhaps Mrs Pete has been to South of the Border (SOB) more than or since I have, but I don't find it the least bit objectionable. Quite the contrary, it's really just a VERY campy/kitschy parody of a tourist trap. If there's a nudie bar there, I sure haven't seen it. And it's not a truck stop in the least--instead it's a stopover around 1/2 way between NY and FL and caters to families with kids who might enjoy a kitschy stopover.

    For my tastes, Myrtle Beach does nothing for me. I won't even travel from my NC home to Myrtle Beach, but that's mostly because I don't enjoy heavily developed beaches or large crowds. If the "big beach" gig is your bag, have at it, with my blessing.

    One important note: Dang, you're doing a lot of driving just to go to Myrtle Beach for a day, day and a half. The Jersey shore is a lot closer and reminiscent of Myrtle Beach, only the water's colder this time of year.

    Foy

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    Quite the contrary, it's really just a VERY campy/kitschy parody of a tourist trap. If there's a nudie bar there, I sure haven't seen it. And it's not a truck stop in the least--instead it's a stopover around 1/2 way between NY and FL and caters to families with kids who might enjoy a kitschy stopover.
    It's totally a truck stop, but it does have lots of tourist-y stuff so it's easy to overlook the fact that 50% of the place is gas pumps, and all the pull-ins are designed for huge trucks. Plus it was featured on the Travel Channel as one of the best 10 truck stops in the world (of course, it's the only truck stop of which I'm personally aware). The nudie bar -- I think there might be more than one, but I wouldn't swear to it -- is on the very end of the collection of buildings (on the end closer to the beach, so I guess that's the east side). My husband has a silly little about that the bar, which isn't exactly appropriate, so I won't share it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    For my tastes, Myrtle Beach does nothing for me. I won't even travel from my NC home to Myrtle Beach, but that's mostly because I don't enjoy heavily developed beaches or large crowds. If the "big beach" gig is your bag, have at it, with my blessing.
    LOTS of people feel that way about Myrtle. It's the very picture of a highly commercialized beach -- it's not the place for quiet walks on the beach or building sandcastles. Instead, it's the place to go to clubs, shopping, golf, and restaurants -- it has the reputation of being a wild beach (not as in nature wild, but as in dance clubs, bars, etc type of wild). I prefer Hilton Head, Kiawah Island, Holden Beach or Sunset Beach, but Myrtle is closer -- close enough for a long weekend -- and cheaper too.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    For my tastes, Myrtle Beach does nothing for me. I won't even travel from my NC home to Myrtle Beach, but that's mostly because I don't enjoy heavily developed beaches or large crowds. If the "big beach" gig is your bag, have at it, with my blessing.
    MB has gotten enormous in the past decade and is known best for fine golf courses, putt putt golf, all you can eat seafood (calabash) buffet venues, professional entertainment venues geared toward country/NASCAR tastes (and Jimmy Buffett's place too!), and lots of shopping in cheap beachwear or upscale clothing stores like Talbots. Lots of discount/outlets there too. It's crowded and commercial to the max.

    However, if you want to create some distance from those huge crowds, try going south another twenty to thirty miles to Murrells Inlet or Pawleys Island. Great seafood, fishing charters, historical architecture, fine golf clubs, breathtaking creek and marsh views and hammocks! Much more laid back than MB and there are several nice walking beaches. The area is traditionally for family vacations with families returning nearly every summer for a week at a time.

  8. Default

    ok, so I live in SC, and have been to South of the Border. As kids, coming back from NY every summer, we always wanted to stop there because of the signs that start in VA. It is not worth it at all. Anything at South of the Border is available in Myrtle Beach. When my grandparents finally got off the exit, we realized it was not what the signs advertise (just a giant flea market). Sorry for the long rant, but if you must stop at this pointless area, don't plan a day around it. Max time will be 1hr. If I was you, I would spend more time in Myrtle Beach

  9. Default

    Myrtle Beach is famous for Ripley’s Aquarium because it is fantastic family fun exploration place at the Broadway on the Myrtle Beach where we can closely watch several sharks, octopus, stingrays and many strange sea animals.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Welcome.

    Hello journeyidea and welcome to the forums !

    This thread was originally started in 2003 and the last post was in 2008, so the trip is well and truly over, but thanks for jumping in and offering help to other members with your first post.

    Enjoy RTA !

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