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A Myrtle Beach must-see for visitors with children: Ripley's Aquarium (Photograph by Michael Snell / Alamy Stock Photo)

Heidi’s Myrtle Beach

Heidi Vukov moved from Pennsylvania to Myrtle Beach in 1992 to indulge her love for the ocean. The rest was history for the shore-happy restaurateur, who raised her children in this South Carolina beach town while running local favorite Croissants Bistro & Bakery (check out her cookbook, Bonjour Y’All). Here are a few of her favorite things about the Southern hospitality city she’s proud to call home.

Myrtle Beach Is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to the beach, which, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful in the world. The Myrtle Beach area, also known as South Carolina’s Grand Strand, stretches for 60 miles, so  there is plenty of space to share.

Fall is the best time to visit my city because the water is still warm and the summer tourists have gone.

You can see my city best from the Skywheel, a ferris wheel with temperature-contolled gondolas that soar to 200 feet.

Breathe, located at the Market Common shopping complexis the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs. If you’re looking for art, check out the gallery inside the Collector’s Café.

In the past, notable people like author Pat Conroy and professional baseball player-turned-philanthropist Reggie Sanders have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is Children’s Museum of South Carolina because they have great interactive exhibits. It’s a great place to spend a rainy day or escape from the sun.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that driving is easy to figure out because everything runs parallel to the ocean.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is, of course, anywhere along the beach. There are enough sand and beach activities to keep anyone occupied!

My city really knows how to celebrate Independence Day (July Fourth) because there are so many locations to see firework displays.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they hug you. We have very compassionate, loving residents.

For a fancy night out, I head to Aspen Grille or ride over to Conway (our county seat) to Rivertown Bistro.

Just outside my city, visit Brookgreen Gardens, where you can enjoy art, history, and a zoo in a beautiful sculpture garden-esque atmosphere.

My city is known for being a top travel destination, but it’s really a small, compassionate community.

The best outdoor market in my city is the farmers market at the Market Common along Deville Street.

The Cypress Room at Island Vista Resort is my favorite place to grab breakfast, though I’d be remiss without mentioning my own restaurant, Croissants Bistro & Bakery. We are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and we serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Be sure to have a piece of the coconut cake or the salted chocolate caramel cake. If you’re in the mood for a casual meal, try Sun City Cafe or Art.

To escape the crowds, go to Huntington Beach State Park.

The dish that represents my city best is the “Captain’s Seafood Muddle.” Sample it at the Sea Captain’s House, where you can dine in a 1930s cottage with one of the best views in town.

Broadway at the Beach is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Revolutions Night Club.

In the summer you should get a tan while strolling down the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.

In the fall you should check out Farm to Table, an event hosted by the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association.

In the winter you should sample the area’s dining during South Carolina Restaurant Week.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the awesome shark tank at Ripley’s Aquarium.

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