Make This Year's Spring Vacation a Unique One: Check Out First-of-its-Kind U.F.O. Exhibition & Camp Out in Myrtle Beach

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Tour "Encounters: U.F.O. Experience" at Broadway at the Beach & Camp Out Under the Stars at Ocean Lakes Family Campground

It may be a small city tucked along the coast – but there's hardly a shortage of things to do while vacationing in Myrtle Beach.

Spring vacation: a chance to unwind and get away from the typical day-to-day for a little bit. The Florida beaches will be packed, popular amusement parks will be hectic, money will be tight – every year, it's the same old, same old. Why not make this year's vacation a unique one the whole family will enjoy? Why not tour a U.F.O. exhibit that's the first of its kind? Why not camp out underneath the stars? Head East this Spring Break and plan a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC.

Nestled along the Carolina coast between Charleston, SC and Wilmington, NC, Myrtle Beach is only a few hours' drive from Charlotte, Atlanta, Raleigh and other major southeastern cities. Those headed by car or by RV will have a seven-hour commute from Washington, D.C., nine-hour commute from Philadelphia, and 11-hour commute from New York. Those looking to cut their travel time have the option of flying one of the six airlines (Allegiant, Delta, Porter, Spirit, United and US Airways) that regularly fly in and out of town. Myrtle Beach International Airport offers direct flights to and from more than 20 U.S. cities, and recently announced that Canadian-based airline WestJet will fly in and out of Toronto, Ontario, twice per week starting at the beginning of May.

It may be a small city tucked along the coast – but there's hardly a shortage of things to do while vacationing in Myrtle Beach.

One attraction in particular combines shopping, dining, entertainment and attractions: Broadway at the Beach. Situated around Lake Broadway, this festival entertainment complex is the largest in South Carolina and a must-see for visitors. Try out the zipline; munch on seafood, sushi or burgers; grab a margarita; wander around more than 100 shops and stores; take the kids through the aquarium; and be sure to check out Broadway's newest addition, Encounters: U.F.O. Experience.

This family-friendly exhibition showcases more than 200 original artifacts, conceptual models, and documented film clips and recordings supporting claims of alien encounters. Visitors get a look at original and replica artifacts left by early man as supporting evidence of their alien encounters, the mysteries of Area 51, Roswell, military involvement, and a nod to pop culture's attraction to the topic of extraterrestrial lifeforms. Galleries include everything from explorations of alien encounters to white lights experiences and abduction experiences.

Myrtle Beach is the first stop on Encounters' planned world tour, as the area is well-known for its many U.F.O. sightings dating back more than 50 years. And since there's no way of knowing when something new might be spotted, some visitors choose to camp out under the stars.

Everything needed for a relaxing outdoor stay can be found at Ocean Lakes Family Campground, a family favorite for over 40 years. This 310-acre oceanfront park offers 3,447 sites, 893 of which are large and pull-through to accommodate larger RV's, and it is the 2011-2012 National “Park of the Year” in the Mega Park category. In addition to a mile-long pristine beach, the campground offers a two-acre Recreation Center, mini-golf, skate park, marine life Nature Center, freshwater lakes for fishing, and year-round activities.

Whether dining, shopping, touring or camping, Myrtle Beach offers everything needed to make this year's Spring vacation a memorable one.

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Jamie Wilburn or Samantha Flannery
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