Discover the Natural Beauty of Myrtle Beach, Compass Cove

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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina may be better known for its many manmade attractions, such as roller coasters, restaurants, shopping centers and theaters, but it's the natural beauty of the Grand Strand that makes the area truly special. The 60-mile stretch of Carolina coast that surrounds Myrtle Beach is an outdoors paradise waiting to be explored.

Guests at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort can experience the best of both worlds that Myrtle Beach has to offer. The resort's excellent accommodations and amenities, along with its convenient location near the downtown district and The Market Common, give guests the opportunity to enjoy all the manmade attractions. Better yet, Compass Cove guests can also escape the neon lights and crowds by checking out some of the area's more natural sites. Here are five ways to connect with nature during your Myrtle Beach vacation:

* State Parks: Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort is less than 1 mile from Myrtle Beach State Park, a sprawling 314-acre seaside venue that offers a unique experience. Hiking trails lead through maritime forest to the ocean, the pier offers fishing and crabbing opportunities, and there are picnic shelters within steps of the beach. Farther south in Murrells Inlet, Huntington Beach State Park provides a scenic Lowcountry setting perfect for beachcombing, bird-watching, surf fishing or just soaking up some sun, sights and sounds.

* Gardens: Located adjacent to Huntington Beach State Park is a true Lowcountry treasure – Brookgreen Gardens. Featuring more than 9,000 acres of a former rice plantation, Brookgreen Gardens is filled with walking trails through endless displays of natural beauty and manmade sculptures. The largest botanical sculpture garden on the East Coast also offers a Gullah Cultural Arts Center, the Lowcountry Farm & Zoo, and boat rides through the surrounding creeks and rivers. On the North Strand, the Vereen Memorial Gardens has wooden trails that allow visitors to get up close and personal with the natural beauty of the Carolina coast.

* Golf Courses: The Grand Strand boasts more than 80 golf courses within a 60-mile radius so there are plenty of opportunities to tee it up in the great outdoors. Although the layouts were designed by man, they were carved out of some of the most beautiful lots of land on the Strand. Nearby links like The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, TPC of Myrtle Beach and Caledonia Golf & Fish Club are among the prettiest places you will ever putt.

* Zoos: Connect with the animals in unique ways at Myrtle Beach's many zoological parks. Waccatee Zoo in nearby Socastee is a family farm that has been converted into a collection of exotic animals ranging from elephants and giraffes to tigers and chimpanzees. Brookgreen Garden's Lowcountry Farm & Zoo has a mix of wild and domestic creatures, including horses and goats you can feed and pet, as well as gators and birds of prey that are best left alone. Alligator Adventure in North Myrtle Beach is one of the largest reptile parks on the East Coast, and T.I.G.E.R.S. Preserve provides a one-of-a-kind interaction with wild animals.

* Playgrounds: Looking for a place to let the little ones burn off some energy in the great outdoors? You don't have to look far to find several fun places to play that are free and open to the public. The Market Common has various play parks with modern equipment and safe, soft landing pads, including the new Savannah's Playground that is designed for children with special needs but available to all. A few miles to the south, the Chapin Memorial Park playground is loaded with fun rides and slides for kids.

The best news for guests at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort is you really don't have to leave the resort to experience the great outdoors. Our seaside location offers easy access to the beach, and our outdoor pools, water slides and splash pads provide the perfect place to play in the sand, surf and sun.