Taking a vacation with parents, siblings, kids, grandkids, and other extended family members can be an enriching and satisfying experience. In fact, in 2018, multigenerational travel became the top travel trend according to the luxury travel network, Virtuoso.
Making bonds and creating memories are high priorities among travelers.
Virtuoso also found that stays at beach resorts were at the very top of multigenerational vacation choices.
Our first multi-generational vacation at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was a smashing success. Family-friendly and affordable, we couldn’t have chosen a better location. A real plus: All the Myrtle Beach kids activities at our doorstep.
Representing the Baby Boomers (a.k.a grandparents Gigi and Pop) were me and Kary; then the millennials – my daughter Jill and husband Mark; and my son Nick and girlfriend Kirsten. And rounding out the diaper gang, the adorable toddlers, Blair (3) and Wesley (1). I guess I’d better clarify that Blair is no longer in diapers, in case she reads this someday!
The Captain’s Quarters
We stayed in budget-friendly condos at Captain’s Quarters Resort. Our rooms had direct ocean views. Jill and Mark had an efficiency unit with two bedrooms, a small kitchen, and two bathrooms – very convenient with the two little ones.
And there were lots of amenities to please everyone!
Shipwreck Lagoon was the children’s water park area, complete with a wrecked pirate ship with water cannons and a pirate. Blair and Pop loved splashing in the shallow water (1.5 feet deep) and getting drenched by the mushroom waterfall, leaky barrels, and water dumping buckets.
For additional water fun, the resort also has multiple grown-up pools (indoor and outdoor), five whirlpools, and indoor and outdoor lazy rivers.
One of the advantages of a multi-generational vacation is the built-in babysitters.
Kary and I stood sentry over the sleeping angels as the four young adults took to the Level 6 Entertainment Center located on the sixth floor. They played a couple of strings in the bowling alley (one free game for resort guests per day). In the entertainment center, there were video games and a bar, and pizza delivery was available.
A large breakfast was available every day in the Vista 9 restaurant on the 9th floor, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean. It wasn’t complimentary but was very reasonably priced and the food fresh and tasty.
Falling in love with the beach
With over 60 miles of white sand beaches and azure blue water, the Myrtle Beach oceanfront is the main attraction for tourists.
Captain’s Quarters has direct ocean access, just steps from our room – which we were thankful for although I’d forgotten how much paraphernalia you need for children!
It was the children’s first experience with the ocean, and initially, Blair was terrified, and stood transfixed where the waves broke on the shore. I don’t know if it was the remnants of a tropical storm from a couple of weeks ago or the full moon, but the sea was a little rough. The combination of Mother Nature’s noise, the sight of smashing waves, and the pull of the undercurrent made Blair cling tightly.
That didn’t last long, though. With so many adults to help her acclimate, she was soon a fan. Surprisingly, after several hours, when the hot midday sun drove us to seek some shade and the pool, she said: “Then we go to the waves?”
Like her mother and me, Blair’s happy place is the beach. Must be the DNA.
Sandcastles and the inevitable ingestion of beach sand were also part of our beach time.
Having fun on the boardwalk
Spanning a length of more than a mile from pier-to-pier, the colorful boardwalk is the most popular place in Myrtle Beach. All along the way are colorful trinket shops, arcades, and ocean-view eateries, that entice visitors (especially young ones) to stop and take a look.
Like a magnet, the SkyWheel—one of the country’s tallest Ferris wheels (200 feet high)—and the vibrant Family Kingdom amusement park pull visitors in.
Just a short drive to North Myrtle Beach, Barefoot Landing was built on filled land over the top of Louis Lake, next to the Intracoastal Waterway. It features Dockside Village, a walkable restaurant district with great water views, live music, shops, and an old-fashioned carousel. Dining ranges from upscale offerings with scenic waterway views to local restaurants specializing in pizza, barbeque, and burgers. There’s also live entertainment at House of Blues.
We spent a fabulous evening at Barefoot Landing, starting with dinner at Lucy Buffet’s Lulu’s. What a festive place! Dinner was delicious, service was great, live music, and a picturesque view of the Intracoastal. It’s family-friendly at its best, with an artificial beach and playground for the kiddies to play while waiting for their meal to be served.
After dinner, the entire gang went to Lulu’s arcade. Hosted in its own massive building across from Lulu’s beach/playground, the uber-clean arcade was a cacophony of bells, whistles, and blinking neon.
Blair didn’t need to play the games. She was happy to sit in one of the race car games with Pop and drive him to the beach!
The other adults took part in video games, basketball and bowling, and virtual reality amusements.
Broadway at the Beach
Another opportunity to let the adults have a night out while the grandparents babysat came up – not sure who the winner is in that one since we love being with Wesley and Blair. This time we had ample time with them before we had to put them to bed.
The adults were deciding between Legends in Concert and Carolina Opry Theater and chose Legends, located at another popular tourist area jam-packed with dozens of restaurants, shops, and amusements called Broadway at the Beach. Performers imitating the likes of Roy Orbison, Whitney Houston, the Blue Brothers, Garth Brooks, and of course, Elvis, put on a funny and entertaining show.
Meanwhile, back at the beach, Gigi and Pop took the kids for dinner at the resort’s restaurant, the Loco Gecko. The casual, colorfully quirky restaurant was the perfect setting, as was the choice of burgers, wings, seafood baskets, and pizza, before settling in for nighttime snuggles.
Other Myrtle Beach kids activities and attractions
We were limited to what activities we could do with toddlers, but there are almost limitless activities for kids at Myrtle Beach, including:
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not
- Family Kingdom Amusement Park
- Water Parks
- Thrill Rides, and
- Mini Golf
Our multigenerational vacation was a huge success, creating memories that will last a lifetime. We were also joined one afternoon by other extended family members and their five-year-old son, Lucas, for more beach fun.
Accommodating a large group can be costly and it isn’t uncommon for grandparents to foot the bill for these types of getaways. So a stay at a resort like Captain’s Quarters offers good value, a perfect location on the beach coupled with additional amenities at no extra cost.
Granted, it wasn’t easy to accommodate a plethora of schedules and vacation times but the resulting smiles and laughter were priceless.
What’s appealing to the over-50 luxury traveler?
- You just can’t beat ocean view accommodations near a great beach.
- Myrtle Beach has an almost endless variety of things to do and places to eat for fun-lovers of all ages.
- Little ones will love the beach, ocean and all the Myrtle Beach kids activities.
- The resort can get very crowded during high season.
- The music at the pool was a little too loud for our tastes (although our millennials enjoyed it).
Photo credits: All photos by Patti Morrow, unless otherwise noted.
Disclosure: The author was a guest of Vacation Myrtle Beach and Lulu’s during her stay, but as always, the opinions, reviews, and experiences are her own.
IF YOU GO
- Check out additional boomer-friendly activities in and around Myrtle Beach, including romantic ones on Luggage and Lipstick.
Enter the Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway
***Vacation Myrtle Beach, who owns Captain’s Quarters and several other resorts in Myrtle Beach, is hosting The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway.
A fully-furnished oceanfront condo valued at $100,000 will be given away (or $50,000 cash, if you prefer). If interested (who wouldn’t be?), read the fine print enter here.
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