Myrtle Beach Is a Major Destination for Sports Tourism

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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has always been a hot spot for golf, fishing and water sports, but the recent explosion of sports tourism on the Grand Strand has expanded to include all sorts of competitive endeavors. From stick-and-ball youth leagues to X Games-style extreme sports, the Myrtle Beach area has become one big playground for major tournaments, cheerleading and dance competitions, and fitness events.

Offering the rare opportunity to combine a beach vacation with some healthy competition, Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort is a popular place for athletes, teams and families to stay and play. Whether you are taking part in the action or simply supporting from the sidelines, be sure to check out these popular venues that attract millions of dollars and visitors to the Grand Strand annually:

* Coastal Carolina University: Located about 13 miles inland in Conway, CCU fields NCAA Division I athletics teams in 16 different men’s and women’s sports. Competing in the Sun Belt Conference, the Chanticleers play football at the freshly expanded Brooks Stadium, basketball at the new HTC Center and baseball at the new Springs Brooks Stadium, home of the 2016 College World Series champions.

* Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium: This Myrtle Beach facility recently underwent a $5.5 million facelift to upgrade the grandstands and press box and resurface the field and the track. Home to the six-time state football champion Myrtle Beach High Seahawks and named for the man who coached them to four of the championships, Shaw Stadium also hosts the annual North South All-Star Football Game and numerous track and field events.

* Grand Park: Located at The Market Common, about 2.5 miles from Compass Cove, this massive complex includes nine outdoor fields that can be used for baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse and more. The facilities also include Crabtree Memorial Gymnasium, an outdoor roller-hockey court and miles of trails for biking and hiking.

* Grand Strand YMCA: Located on the north end of Myrtle Beach, this modern venue features soccer fields for tournaments and league play, a pool for swimming events, a basketball gym, and nice workout facilities.

* Myrtle Beach Boardwalk: Sure, this 1.2-mile oceanfront walkway is better known for hamburger stands and beachwear shops, but it also has gained traction as a sports venue. In June, the annual Salt Games are held along this hot spot, with sports like beach volleyball, surfing, skateboarding and CrossFit.

* Myrtle Beach Sports Center: This 100,000-square-foot facility gives enthusiasts of indoor sports a place to play on the Grand Strand. Featuring eight basketball courts and 16 volleyball courts, the Myrtle Beach Sports Center is also a popular place for cheerleading and dance competitions. Next door is the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, home of the Beach Ball Classic and Grand Strand Boat & Sportsman Expo.

* North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex: This spacious venue has a little something for everyone – baseball, softball and soccer fields, miles of hiking and biking trails, and a dog park. For extreme athletes, the Go Ape Treetop Adventure ropes course/zipline facility and the Shark Wake Park cable-wakeboard in facility are also available.

* Pelicans Ballpark: Located near Broadway at the Beach, this stadium with nearly 5,000 seats is home to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans minor league baseball team, a farm club of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. The venue also serves as the start/finish line for the Myrtle Beach Marathon.

* Pepper Geddings Recreation Center: This Myrtle Beach venue has an 25-yard, six-lane pool for swimming competitions and several ball fields for a variety of events. The complex also includes a skateboard park, the Myrtle Beach Tennis Center, and Ashley Booth Field for football and soccer.

* Ripken Experience: Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and his brother and fellow former big-leaguer Billy Ripken started this family baseball business in Myrtle Beach. Featuring nine fields that are replicas of old major-league ballparks, the Ripken Experience hosts major national tournaments and gives players a taste of life in “the show.”

No matter what sport brings you to Myrtle Beach, you are sure to find fun away from the fields by staying and playing with us at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort.