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Strand shines in Southern Living

R eaders of Southern Living once again have picked Myrtle Beach among their favorites.

The Grand Strand landed spots in two categories from the magazine's Readers' Choice awards, for "Beach Town" and "Family Vacation."

Destin, Fla., also made both categories.

Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando topped the "family vacation" list, while Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, Ala., rounded out the list of favorite beach towns.

Myrtle Beach and Destin have ruled the "Beach Town" category since the Readers' Choice awards started in 1995.

Readers named Charleston one of the best Southern Cities, along with Savannah and Atlanta, and also named it one of the best places in the South to shop.

Atlanta and Pigeon Forge, Tenn., were also among the readers' picks for shopping.

The magazine's editors tacked Charlotte, N.C., onto the shopping spots.

Readers passed over the plethora of seafood restaurants along the Grand Strand, going with Hyman's Seafood in Charleston, Capt. Anderson's Restaurant & Waterfront Market in Panama City Beach, Fla., and the Original Oyster House in Alabama.

Readers picked their faves in 14 categories, including best barbecue restaurant and scenic drive.

The awards are in the magazine's January issue.

N.C. tourism conference

North Carolina's largest annual gathering of tourism leaders throughout the state is returning to Sunset Beach, N.C.

More than 400 tourism leaders are expected to attend the N.C. Governor's Conference on Tourism on March 25-27 at the Sea Trail Golf Resort & Conference Center.

Attendees will hear how to make the most of their advertising and use technology to lure business.

An expert panel will talk about issues affecting tourism, including school start dates, the proposed ban on smoking in public, toll roads, offshore drilling and military testing off the coast.

To register, go to www.nccommerce.com/tourism/govconf/default.asp.

Fast fact

Myrtle Beach and Destin, Fla. have ruled the "Beach Town" category since the Readers' Choice awards started in 1995 in Southern Living.

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