July is the most popular time of year in Myrtle Beach, but there is one place you can go to escape the crowds. Simply hop aboard a boat and head east into the Atlantic Ocean, where you are unlikely to see a soul or hear a single boom. And if you have issues with the motion of the ocean, there are several rivers and waterways where you can let your troubles float away for the holiday. Here are six great ways for guests at The Breakers Resort to take to the water:
* Barefoot Princess: Climb aboard the only riverboat on the Grand Strand for a scenic tour down the Intracoastal Waterway. Sailing out of Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, the Barefoot Princess offers daily tours and dinner cruises where you can watch the sunset to the west. A special Fourth of July cruise allows passengers to watch the fireworks at Barefoot Landing from the top deck.
* Boat Parade: You might not find a captain that will let you join his crew, but it's worth the drive to Murrells Inlet to witness the wettest Fourth of July parade on the Strand. Featuring a flotilla of patriotically decorated boats, the red, white and blue armada makes its way along the banks of the inlet, with participants blowing their horns and waving to landlubbers on the banks. Parade-goers can see the procession from various points like Veterans Pier and the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk, where you can enjoy dinner and drinks. The parade starts at 5 p.m.
* Brookgreen Gardens: This 9,000-acre botanical sculpture garden is known for its beautiful works of art and nature in the primary section, but many miss out on the most scenic part of the property that can only be seen by boat. Offering tours of the Lowcountry swamps and creeks that surround the garden grounds, Brookgreen's pontoon boats take passengers through the old rice fields that made this one of the wealthiest plantations on the Carolina coast. Rare birds, otters and alligators are among the native animals you will encounter.
* Dolphin Sightseeing Tour: Perhaps you have seen the majestic dolphin perform at an amusement park or an aquarium, but seeing them in the wild is an entirely different experience. Several local outfitters offer tours just off the coast that venture to popular highways for dolphins, and most tours guarantee you’ll see dolphins or you get a free voucher to return another day. Watch pods of dolphins frolic in the waves and feed on schools of fish while you capture the magic on camera.
* Fishing: If you prefer to catch rather than watch, a deep-sea fishing trip is the perfect way to get away from it all and reel in some big ones. All-day trips take passengers out to the Gulf Stream for excellent sportfishing, while half-day trips stay closer to the coast and allow anglers to catch some keepers. Saltwater charters sail out of Little River and Murrells Inlet, while freshwater anglers can take tours to the Intracoastal Waterway and Waccamaw River.
* Pirate Ship: Ready for a fun pirate adventure? Yes, we arrrgh! Sailing out of Murrells Inlet, Blackbeard's Pirate Cruise features an authentic pirate ship that takes your crew on a treasure hunt through the salt marshes and open waters. But watch out for Blackbeard, the infamous pirate who used to patrol the Carolina coast. His crew is looking for treasure, too, and it's up to the kids on board to beat him to it. Guests at The Breakers receive one free admission through our Sun Fun Rewards program.
If you're not up for a day on the water, you can enjoy the next best thing without leaving the premises. The Breakers offers the best in amenities, including indoor and outdoor pools and other aquatic facilities like our Pirate Ship splash pad. It's just one more reason to make The Breakers your landing spot for a last-minute Myrtle Beach getaway on the Fourth of July.