I was surprised to read the letter to the editor concerning the Strand and what it offers snowbirds since my experience has been so different. This is my third year wintering here and I love everything about it. I feel there is as much or as little to do as a person chooses and at their cost. I am a golfer but have only golfed here once as that is not what I come here to do.
I rent an oceanfront hotel room at a discounted price. The rooms are lovely with a full view of the ocean, and I am so thankful that I can go to bed at night and wake up in the morning to the sound of the waves.
There are wonderful restaurants to visit that accommodate a variety of pocketbooks. You can eat a $4.95 dinner, use a two-for-one coupon, buy one get one free, buy one get 50 percent off, go to an early bird special, or pay full price. If that doesn't work for you then you can use a coupon for breakfast or lunch or go to one of the cafeterias.
Coastal Carolina University offers a variety of continuing education classes and activities at a low cost. They have a whole catalog of offerings to appeal to a wide range of interests including painting in all mediums, yoga, bridge, book groups, lectures and more. Coastal also offers plays and concerts and a variety of cultural activities to appeal to all tastes. Most activities and events feature a senior discount, and some are free. I have gone to plays and lectures and have taken classes every year.
The Art Museum of Myrtle Beach is a wonderful place to visit. I went to two art openings there and enjoyed each one. Last year they had an apron exhibit that I enjoyed so much I presented the information to my hometown museum to see if we could get it. This year they had an opening for their exhibits with talks by the artists accompanied by gourmet hors d'oeuvres and beverages. Their Chinese New Year is not to be missed. It includes demonstrations and hands-on activities in vegetable carving, mah-jongg, tai chi, chi gong, Chinese brush painting, many children's activities and more. Events at the museum are free, although donations are accepted.
Visit the local wineries, take a picnic lunch to one of the state parks, attend an oyster festival, go to one of the many art exhibits and, by all means, shop at one of the department stores or outlet malls that feature monthly seniors days and discounts. Go to one of the many bars that feature karaoke, trivia, shagging and discounted food and beverages at happy hours. Go to the Senior Center, Pepper Geddings or the Convention Center. Go to one of the bookstores, get a book or magazine, have a cup of coffee. Take a ballroom class, attend snowbird activities, or tour the hotels. Travel to Conway, Charleston or Georgetown. Take a boat ride. There is so much to do here for so little money that I am sorry I am here for such a short time, that I cannot mention everything, or fit it all into my stay.
Of course, I believe that the best part of my stay here is the people I have met and the friends I have made. I have discovered that Southern hospitality and charm is not a myth. New friends, a walk on the beach, beautiful sunrises and sunsets. All are free. All are unforgettable.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.