One of the highlights of vacationing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is watching the beautiful sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean. Guests at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort have a front-row seat to the daily display.
But for folks who prefer sunsets, there are few better places on the planet than the South Carolina Lowcountry, where the glowing ball of light paints a colorful sky over a landscape of tidal creeks and salt marshes.
While the eastern horizon of endless ocean provides a picture-perfect vantage point of sunrise from the beach, finding water to the west involves a short trip down the coastline to Murrells Inlet, about 15 miles south of Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort. Known as the “Seafood Capital of South Carolina,” this small fishing village is almost as famous for its breath-taking sunsets as it is its mouth-watering seafood restaurants.
The point of Garden City Beach and the jettys at Huntington Beach State Park offer scenic views of sunset, but for those who want to truly experience the magic of a Murrells Inlet sunset can do so by boat. Sunset & Sealife Cruises, which sails from the popular Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk district, charters a variety of voyages that allow passengers to experience the ultimate sunset and all the other wonders of the Lowcountry.
Take a day trip down Kings Highway to Brookgreen Gardens, a 9,000-acre rice plantation that was converted to the largest and oldest botanical sculpture museum on the East Coast, or Huntington Beach State Park, a natural gem that features beautiful beaches, hiking trails and an a majestic seaside castle. Put an exclamation mark on the day with a seafood feast and one of these spectacular cruises with Sunset & Sealife Cruises:
* Sunset Cruise: The 75-minute Sunset Cruise is the most popular choice and departs nightly at 7:30 p.m. (times change as sunset gradually comes earlier in the fall). This romantic cruise meanders through Murrells Inlet to prime viewing spots of the array of colors along the western horizon. The covered pontoon boat provides lots of shade without hindering the view. Be sure to have your camera ready because the magical shots are ever-changing.
* Eco Cruise: Sit back and relax while your tour guide leads you through an amazing look at the diverse flora and fauna of the South Carolina Lowcountry. This 2-hour cruise explores the salt marshes and the unique wildlife that calls them home, including rare birds, crabs and the occasional alligator sunning on the small islands. This tour is entertaining and informative, perfect for a family adventure.
* Full Moon Cruise: This trip only happens once a month, but it is well worth the wait. On a clear night, passengers can watch the dark waters of Murrells Inlet magically transform as the full moon peeks over the horizon to the east. Casting giant streaks of light over the inlet, the full moon provides ideal photo opps and a romantic backdrop. The fall full moon cruises sail Aug. 26, Sept. 24, and Oct. 24.
* Happy Hour Cruise: Why belly-up to a watering hole for happy hour when you can spend it on the water? This 1-hour cruise allows guests to BYOB on the high seas with a tour around the inlet. Ideal for guests who prefer to have dinner and drinks at an earlier hour, the Happy Hour Cruise is a great appetizer before you hit one of the many seafood hot spots on the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk. For dog lovers, take a ride on the Yappy Hour Dog Cruise.
* Live Music Cruise: Keep an eye out for special floating concerts this fall. The large pontoon boat has plenty of room for a band to play while passengers tap their feet to the beat while enjoying the view.
Sunset & Sealife Cruises recommends Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort guests book their cruises in advance to ensure availability. For more information and a full schedule of cruises, visit www.visitmurrellsinlet.com.