As Tax Stimulus Checks Become Available, Family Vacation Options Open Up

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Myrtle Beach, S.C. Offers High Quality Lodging And Amusement Experiences At Reasonable Prices

The much-anticipated tax stimulus checks are heading out to taxpayers now and many families are turning their thoughts to using that windfall for a summer vacation. But with news of an economic slowdown coming across the airwaves daily, those same families are also searching for ways to get the most bang for those new-found bucks.

Finding a destination that has lots for the family to do and yet won't break the bank isn't always easy. But one world-famous destination delivers -- Myrtle Beach, S. C. No other spot on the East Coast offers so many high quality lodging and amusement experiences for so little per day.

This sunny South Carolina vacation spot is easily accessible by car from most major cities in the Northeast and Midwest and also conveniently (and affordably) accessible by air.

Myrtle Beach has 60 miles of pristine beach along the Atlantic Ocean and more than 100 golf courses, making it an ideal playground for both children and adults. There's an abundance of nightlife, shopping and dining options that stretch from fast and delicious to sophisticated and gourmet. In fact, there's so much to do that the entire area has been dubbed "The Grand Strand."

Beach Values

The area's best vacation value is Sands Resorts, a collection of six fun-filled oceanfront locations that deliver an incredible number of on-site activities. There are restaurants of all types, indoor and outdoor pools, an on-site water park, a kid's club and a concierge service that will even arrange for tickets to local shows or tee times at local golf courses.

This is the place for those worried about high gas prices. Visitors can park their entire vacation entourage at Sands and never have to leave. Eat at a different restaurant each night, soak in a different spa, or float in a different pool. And right at the doorstep, there's the vast Atlantic Ocean with a pristine beach to match.

A family can stay 7 days and 6 nights at one of the Sands Resorts in the peak summer season for under $1000.00. Check it out at

And, if the family vacation isn't complete without the family dog, Sands even offers a dog-friendly package. For just $50.00 per dog per stay, Fido gets a bag of treats and dog bowls, plus a designated walking area is available for daily exercise (Sands even supplies waste bags). Check it all out at or call (800) 386-1872.

Seaside Amusements

Once vacationers have taken up residence at Sands, they will want to use just a little gas to head for the area's biggest family treat, Family Kingdom Amusement Park. This enchanting seaside amusement park has the biggest Ferris wheel in South Carolina and it delivers spectacular views of the beach and ocean -- particularly at sunset.

Although there used to be seaside amusement parks in virtually every beachfront resort town from Maine to Florida, today there are fewer than twenty oceanside parks along the entire East Coast. So you owe it to yourself and the kids to experience Family Kingdom because it's been going strong for more than 40 years.

Once there, visitors will find that Family Kingdom delivers a real hat trick-- it's contemporary, nostalgic and historic. It's a modern amusement park in every important sense, yet it has nostalgic charm and the character of historic seaside carnivals. In fact, popular on-line travel site Trip Advisor recently named Family Kingdom the "#5 Amusement Park" in the country (outside Orlando).

Don't miss Family Kingdom's massive, wooden roller coaster, the Swamp Fox, which is legendary throughout the South. And there are more than thirty other rides and attractions as well as midway games, family entertainment and traditional park temptations such as funnel cakes, cotton candy and corn dogs.

Admission to Family Kingdom is free and this budget-friendly policy enables families to stroll the midway affordably, buying tickets by the ride. Ride enthusiasts can save even more by purchasing an all-day wristband that allows for unlimited rides for around $23.

Across from the amusement park, there's even a water park. Purchase a "combo pass" and vacationers can enjoy both amusements park and water park for about $33. Best of all, the experience can be stretched over two days, spending one day at the water park and the next at the amusement park.

Check it out at

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Jamie Wilburn

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