(BPT) - Do you want to take a vacation, but don't have a week to spare? Or, maybe you prefer to take a few shorter trips, rather than one longer one? No matter the reason, you can extend the weekend and schedule a three-day road trip along Highway 17 to the Grand Strand in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Why head this way? Here are the top reasons people are choosing Myrtle Beach for their next long weekend getaway:

AccessibilityMyrtle Beach is located within a day’s drive of nearly half the U.S. population and makes for the perfect weekend getaway in the late summer or fall season when the weather is beautiful. Flying in directly is also an option for those who live further away but still want an affordable, memorable vacation.

Diverse activities — There's something for everyone no matter their age, interest or budget. Plus, many activities are free or low cost, making it a great value for travelers. Miles of beaches, legendary golf courses, unique attractions, shopping, gardens, fishing and more means you can make this trip anything you desire.

Culinary delights — Whether you're after five-star dining, you want to belly up at a local brewery or you prefer a quick, casual cafe, there are food options for every craving. There are also numerous food-themed festivals throughout the year, such as World Chili Championship Cook Off Sept. 23-25, 2022.

Exploration opportunities — In addition to the classics, visitors can check out the many new restaurants, attractions and accommodations The Beach has to offer, not to mention, the hidden gems and unique communities along Highway 17. Whether you want to plan your trip by the hour, or prefer to explore and see where the day takes you, there are plenty of opportunities.

U.S. Highway 17 is also known as the Coastal Highway which runs 836 miles from Virginia to Florida, but for those who don’t have the time to explore the entire route, a three-day weekend trip along the 60-mile stretch of coastline of Myrtle Beach is the perfect escape.

Want some inspiration? Here are the highlights of a sample weekend itinerary. For more planning ideas and tips, visit VisitMyrtleBeach.com.

Day 1: Little River to Myrtle Beach, which also includes North Myrtle Beach and Atlantic Beach

Where to stay: North Beach Resort & Villas is an oceanfront resort with spacious cottages, outdoor pools with private cabanas, a swim up bar, a resort spa and fine dining.

Where to eat: The Brentwood & Wine Bistro is located in a 100-year-old Victorian home, said to be haunted. The chef/owner is classically French trained with a fusion of Lowcountry Coastal Cuisine.

Must-see stop: Barefoot Landing combines beauty and nature with the fun and excitement of shopping, dining, entertainment and special events. The Alabama Theatre, Alligator Adventure, Duplin Winery, Barefoot Riverboat and more are located here.

Day 2: Myrtle Beach to Garden City Beach, which also includes Surfside Beach

Where to stay: Marina Inn at Grande Dunes is less than a mile from the beach along the Intracoastal waterway with an in-house fine dining restaurant, fantastic views watching the boats go down the Waterway and a private oceanfront beach cabana and shuttle service.

Where to eat: Hook & Barrel serves fresh, full-flavored seafood including oyster stew prepared right in front of you. A fresh take in dining all served with pride featuring distinctive, sustainable seafood and local produce, in an eco-friendly restaurant.

Also check out: Benjamin’s Bakery Cafe in Surfside Beach. This local favorite makes their baked goods fresh, in-house each morning and serves them until they run out. Favorites are double chocolate cream cheese muffins, apple fritters and lemon-cheese Danishes.

Must-see stop: The Skywheel/Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is an icon of downtown Myrtle Beach. The Skywheel is 187 feet tall with 42 glass-enclosed temperature-controlled gondolas. It is the first observation wheel of its kind in the U.S.

Day 3: Garden City Beach to Pawleys Island, which also includes Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach.

Where to stay: Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort offers serene, natural surroundings with expansive lodging options, several pools, golfing, biking, tennis courts and dining options.

Where to eat: Wicked Tuna is located in the seafood capital of South Carolina, Murrells Inlet, and has their own fishing fleet with access to fresh seafood daily, plus prime beef and great sushi, along with stunning views of the inlet.

Must-see stop: Brookgreen Gardens is located on the site of four former rice plantations and houses the largest collection of American sculpture art in the world. Known as one of the best public gardens in the U.S., Brookgreen Gardens also offers a Lowcountry History Trail and Zoo.

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