Category Archives: USA

Myrtle Beach South Carolina Travelammo

Myrtle Beach Visitor Guide

Myrtle Beach in South Carolina is one of Americas favorite holiday destinations. With miles and miles of golden beaches, Boardwalks and Amusements galore the beach resort can satisfy almost every holiday makers needs.

Myrtle Beach Palms - TravelammoSituated on the coast shared with neighboring North Carolina, Myrtle Beach forms the beginning of over 60 miles of beaches which run all the way though into its northern sister state. The resort itself has been a popular holiday destination for those in the northern states not wanting to travel as far south as Florida and the Gulf Shores for decades. The beach resorts also attracts tens of thousands of international visitors annually.

North Myrtle Beach looking southWell developed and long established, every visitor is well catered for and there really is something for every one. With a host of Amusement parks, mini golf parks, plenty of shopping and numerous restaurants the resort is well able to cope with the millions of visitors it attracts every year. With this in mind finding somewhere to dine is easy and not feeling rushed is a real plus. The uncrowded general feel of the resort makes for an enjoyable stay.

Myrtle Beach sand and pier travelammoThe beach area has several distinct areas starting with the unspoiled beauty fronting the Myrtle Beach State Park. Beyond the state park access to the beach front is offered via South and North Ocean Blvd. Running Parallel to the beach, most of South Ocean blvd is lined with beach front high rise hotel resorts and rental apartment buildings. These are located directly on the beach and offer unhindered access to the less crowded sections of the beach.

Family Fun at the Amusements

Moving further along South Ocean Blvd the pace of the resort picks up a bit and located between 6th Ave S and 3rd Ave S is the first of many amusement parks, the Family Kingdom Amusement Park which along with the Water Park includes roller coasters, Go-Karts along with candy stands and try your luck stalls. From this area and continuing northwards along the beach front road the restaurants and amusements grow in density with amenities spreading inland to the South Kings Hway.

Myrtle Promenade TravelammoShortly after crossing the water inlet and amusement park the road turns into the North Ocean Blvd where you will find the second major pier and the beginning of the superbly clean and beautifully winding Boardwalk. Starting next to the pier at 2nd Ave N and Running for approximately a mile in front of the beach hotels the concrete Boardwalk ends and the wooden Boardwalk and Myrtle Beach Promenade Begins. Home to burger bars and beach outlets the Boardwalk then continues beyond the Myrtle Beach Sky wheel and on to the northern Pier, beyond which the beach is again lined with numerous Hotels. Much Beyond 31st Ave N the beach is fronted by private houses and holiday rentals.

Shopping In Myrtle Beach:

Recommended Hotels in Myrtle Beach:

    • Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort. Out of town, Quiet beach front location.
    • Bluegreens Vacations, Seaglass Tower Ascent Resort Collection. Promenade Location.
    • Carolinian Beach Resort with Water Park. N Ocean Blvd, Beach Front.

Top Attractions and amusements in Myrtle Beach:

    • Ripley’s Believe it or Not, N Ocean Blvd.
    • Myrtle Beach Zip-line Adventures, 9th Ave N and Main St.
    • Broadway at the Beach, 29th Ave N & Robert M Grissom Hway.
    • Family Kingdom Amusement Park, S Ocean Blvd.
    • Jungle Lagoon Mini Golf Myrtle Beach, S Kings Hway.
    • Pine Lakes Golf Course, N Kings Hway.
    • Myrtle Waves Water Park, 10th Ave N.

Top tips:

    • North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach can be confusing as they share many road names, Double check locations.
    • Shopping at Barefoot landing offers a more relaxed shopping experience and selection of restaurants although located 10 mins drive away in North Myrtle Beach.

Related Travelammo Articles and Guides:

    • Take in the East Coast of America – Drive I-95
    • South Carolina

 External Links:

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  • Take in the east coast of the USA – Drive I-95 Capital Hill Washington DCWhen holiday makers dream of a road trip in america, route 66 is usually the first hing that comes to mind. Although of course this is one of the most famous tourist drives in the United States, holidays makers planning ...
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grandfather mountain north Carolina travelammo

Grandfather Mountain – North Carolina

Standing proud in the heart of the Appalachian mountain range, Grandfather mountain is one of the tallest peaks in the region. Lying west of picturesque town of Boone and easily accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway the area is a popular destination for tourists looking to access a the glorious landscape view and untouched beauty of the contained within.

Swinging Bridge GrandfatherCentered within the state park, Grandfather mountain rises to a height of 1812m above sea level. The peak itself it actually named Calloway Peak and stands just north of the main visitor center. Located at the visitor center is one of the biggest attractions within the park, The swinging bridge. Suspended at a height of around 5200 ft above sea level the suspension foot bridge spans between to peaks which lead to one of the steepest cliffs of grandfathers ridges. Once crossing the bridge onto the exposed rocky outcrop the views are spectacular and the whole of the skyline opens up looking across to the Grandmother Gap, Linville and the ridge town of grandfather itself.

Black bear grandfather mountainThe state park is also home to a small wildlife park which is focused on preservation of the local ecology and wildlife and is home to seven wild habits housing native animals including black bear, bald eagles, river otters and cougars. Its has to be noted that unfortunately Cougars no longer live in the wild within the state park area and are becoming increasingly rare throughout the Appalachian mountain range.

Grandfather mountain entrance roadThe grandfather wildlife park is located about half way along the entrance road which finally leads to the visitor center at the peak. Accessible from the same car park as the wildlife attraction is a large eco-friendly lodge building which is home to a small restaurants selling delicious treats where there is the opportunity to dine outside on a balcony with a view of the beautiful valleys below.

Try the Fudge Shop in the visitor center

Once you arriving at the upper car park and location of the famous swinging bridge you will find another lodge containing a souvenir shop and tourist information. Within the lodge you will be greeted by very informative park workers who will be able to advise on the various trails and answer any questions you wish to ask regarding the park.

grandfather north carolinaThe Grandfather state park due to its high elevation is unfortunately only usually open seasonally and opening times are subject to change. Access is still available to hikers and trail walkers entering at various points from the highway but services will be very limited or closed when the main access road in shut to traffic.

Getting to the park:

The entrance is located along the Blowing Rock Highway – US-221 between Linville and Blowing rock. The nearest exit from the Blue ridge parkway is mile marker 305 where the road joins US-221, if heading to Grandfather via this route once joining the highway head south towards Linville.

Top Tip:

If travelling from the north or south we recommend going via the Blue Ridge Parkway for the most scenic view.

What’s nearby:

    • Linville – 2.5 miles – 5mins
    • Blowing Rock – 15 miles – 30 mins

Official Links:

North Carolina related articles by Travelammo:

  • Take in the east coast of the USA – Drive I-95 Capital Hill Washington DCWhen holiday makers dream of a road trip in america, route 66 is usually the first hing that comes to mind. Although of course this is one of the most famous tourist drives in the United States, holidays makers planning ...
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  • Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway this winter blue ridge parkway in winter - travelammoRight at the heart of the Appalachian mountain range runs one of the United States most famous mountain ridges, The Blue Ridge mountains. Running from Georgia in the south and as far north as Pennsylvania, the Blue Ridge Mountains range ...
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Guide to Bahia honda state park-Florida Keys

Located on on the overseas highway right in the heart of the Florida Keys, Bahia Honda is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the true beauty the keys has to offer.

Overseas Highway Florida Keys - TravelammoThe park is surrounded by award winning beaches both on the bay and ocean side which offer the perfect place to take a swim or just simply relax on the soft sands enjoying the year round sunshine. Blessed with a gentle offshore breeze the park offers the perfect venue to soak up the sun without over heating although please do bare in mind that the sun in the keys is extremely strong year round, it would be irresponsible of us not to recommend a good sun screen is used at all times.

Pick a shady spot in the car park and you car will remain cool for your return.

The entrance to the park is located at mile maker 37 on the left side of the highway if travelling towards Key West. Shortly after entering the tree lined entrance you will be greeted by a very friendly and informative park attendant that will take your entrance fee and point you in the right direction to the most suitable parking. Most of the parking is very close to the main beaches and marina as well as the main concession and amenities.

Located centrally to the park, next to the marina and only a minutes walk to the main beach is the main concession building which is home to rentals, gift shop, cafe, boat trips and restrooms. The cafe offers a delicious range of cooked meals, snacks, subs, ice cold drinks and ice creams as well as daily specials all at very reasonable prices. We recommend if available on the specials board you try the pulled pork sub, perfect for taking down to the beach for lunch.

Snorkeling trips to Looe Key marine sanctuary are a must.

If your looking for slightly more than sunning yourself from your visit then the rental office offers sit on top kayaks by the hour at very reasonable prices. The calm, clear waters around the key offer the perfect environment for a gentle paddle which is suitable for all abilities and if its your first time, help and guidance is on offer to get you on the water. Whilst out paddling don’t forget to look over the side for the chance to see an abundance of sea life, you wont be disappointed. The rental store also offers Snorkeling equipment and boat trips and we’ve always found all the equipment in excellent condition and well maintained.

Drift wood Bahia Honda Beach - TravelammoAside from the beaches and water activities the park also has miles of trails suitable for both walking and cycling, and from the trails you will find secluded beaches, mangroves and an abundance of wildlife and beautiful plants, don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for nesting Iguanas dotted around the island. Unfortunately the chance to walk on a section of the original overseas highway is closed temporarily although it is still possible to walk the trail to see it close up.  Forget any worry about getting lost either as trail maps are located around the park to help you find your way at your own pace.

Bahia Honda Cabin - TravelammoBahia Honda also offers a small selection of rental cabins and some 80 camping pitches. Spending a few evenings away from the rest of the world under a starlit sky is a perfect way to enjoy the keys and with low levels of light pollution is a stargazers dream.

We thoroughly recommend Bahia Honda state park not be missed if your visiting the keys and if you looking for a beach day there is no better more enjoyable place to find it than here.

Key features and tips:

    • Park open from 8:30am till sunset daily.
    • Entrance is currently $8 for a car and 2-8 occupants.
    • $4  single occupancy car entry.
    • On foot/cyclist entry fee $2.
    • Boat slip rentals from $10.
    • Cabin hire from $120 per night.
    • Camp pitches from $36 per night.
    • Toilets and facilities on site.
    • Concessions available ( provided by Coral Reef Park Co )
    • Dogs allowed ( restrictions apply )
    • Accessible facilities.
    • Marina ( fees from $2 per foot, Min $30 )

Quick Links:

Nearby Attractions and Points of interest:

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clearwater beaches golden soft white sands

Ideas away from Disney when visiting Orlando

Vacationing in Orlando spending two weeks in the theme parks may on the face of it seem like the perfect holiday, often more so for the children in the group than the adults. What most people fail to do is take that rental car they spent so much on and explore further afield.

With so much in reach within a short drive it really is a must to get out of the city. The kids will never forget a day at one of the nearby beaches or a blast though the water looking out for alligators with an air boat ride. Of course this is also the perfect excuse for the adults in the group to relax a little.

Our personal recommendation is to at least hit one of the larger state parks like Fort De Soto located 2hrs away just south of Clearwater. State parks often are extremely inexpensive days out with fabulous amenities, the best beaches and what can beat kayaking around the mangroves then back to the shade of the trees to have a BBQ.

Lets not forget, the chances are you have spent a decent amount of your hard earned money on this trip, probably spent many hours travelling here and to not spend a few days exploring some of the great beaches, sights and city’s that Florida has to offer is a waste of an opportunity.

So lets list some ideas of whats within various drives of Orlando:

Within 30 to 60 minutes drive of Orlando:

  • Boggy Creek Airboat rides. – One of the most popular Air Boat tours within easy reach of Orlando’s theme parks.
  • NASA Visitor Center – Who wants to be an astronaut? everybody were sure. The NASA visitor center at Cape Canaveral offers the ultimate space experience on the planet, at least without leaving earth.
  • Cocoa Beach – Right at the end of the beach-line express way, this is the easiest of beaches to get to if you do not fancy a long drive.
  • Kissimmiee Rodeo – A great evening out soaking up the atmosphere of the rodeo in the open air, always a great show.

Within 1hr – 2hrs drive of Orlando:

  • Fort De Soto State Park – Vast state park south of Clearwater with miles of white sand beaches, clear waters, kayak rentals and more.
  • Clearwater Beach – Everyone has heard of Clearwater Beach, with good reason, not only is the place one of Florida’s best but its also super family friendly.
  • Cyrstal River State Park – State park with as the name suggests gin clear spring water streams offer tubing adventures and more.
  • Daytona Beach – Another of Florida’s famous beaches and the best bit, you park on the beach, perfect for a family beach day.
  • Daytona Speedway – One of Americas most famous Opal speedway tracks, hosts tours and check out race dates for the ultimate day out.

For a little longer adventure or an over night stay away from Orlando you could try the following:

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Jack Daniels Distillery and Visitor Center

One of the most famous brands in the world who has not heard of Jack Daniels and most people of drinking age will have savored the taste of the worlds most famous Bourbon at least once.

Jack Daniels House Wood Burner - TravelammoThe Jack Daniels Visitor Center is located at the original and still fully functional distillery, in fact all the Tennessee Whiskey is still made on site and the free tour will give an access all areas tour of the site which has little changed over the years, well with the exception of size. The site now houses almost 2 million barrels at any one time all stored throughout the surrounding hills in barrel houses using the very same methods as day one.

Drinker or not, the Jack Daniels visitor center and the historic town of Lynchburg are worth a visit if your in the area.

Jack Daniels Wood Pile - TravelammoJack Daniels has some what of a major following unlike any other drinks brand, with a global collectors market for its many limited edition blends and memorabilia. There is now a huge range of Jack Daniels products ranging for cookware, cooking sauces to clothing, hip flasks and Belts.

Jack Daniels Visitor Center Location:

182 Lynchburg Hwy, Lynchburg, TN 37352, United States

Nearby areas of interest in Tennessee:

    • Lynchburg, Tennessee