Discount Vacation - Myrtle Beach - Cheap Travel

A few months ago Karrie and I decided to go on a cheap vacation.  We wanted to go someplace warm and stay their for the least amount of money as possible.  So the first thing we did was start looking at flights.  We considered Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, but the cheapest flight we found was a Spirit Airlines flight to Myrtle Beach.  Spirit definitely isn't the best but since they only fly to 8 locations out of Detroit their flights are usually inexpensive. 

Next Karrie was able to find a hotel right on the beach for under $60 per night.  She used Orbitz and selected a room with an ocean view.  Then she reserved a car or Priceline for $12 per day.  The company it ended up giving us was called Sixt.  We had never heard of it and didn't know what to expect.

The flight turned out to be alright.  Since it was only an hour half we were able to watch a movie on her ipad.  We got off the plane picked up our luggage and headed for the car rental.  Sixt ended up being one of the best car rentals we ever had.  It only took about three minutes to get the keys as opposed to some places which have you sign and initial 10 different pages.  They only asked as once whether we wanted the insurance and didn't feel like they were trying to sell us something for commission.  The economy car that we were given was the Nissan Versa.  It was super basic and a four cylinder, but by the end of the trip we only needed to put nine dollars worth of gas back into it.  I think it got something like 35 miles per gallon driving slow through the city. 

We drove down toward the ocean and on the main road we came to our hotel called The Breakers.  The Breakers Hotel is actually made up of four different buildings, all of them right on the ocean. 
myrtle beach hotel, main road, bike week, panorama

We checked in and Karrie went up to the room as I went to go get the bags.  Immediately after getting into our room we weren't happy.  Instead of a room facing the ocean we had a room facing one of the other hotels to the side.  It turned out that ocean view did not mean ocean front.  We debated what to do.  I said we should go down and talk to somebody at the front desk and see if we could get a better room.  Karrie said she would rather call down to the front desk. 

After a few minutes on the phone it looked like we are going to be stuck with the room we had.  They were telling Karrie that they were all booked up and they didn't have anything available.  But then after a few minutes more on the phone Karrie talked the guy into giving us one of the last available rooms he had facing the ocean.  So we quickly got out of that room, went down to the front desk and exchange to our key card for one to our new room. 

The new room was great.  Nothing fancy on the inside, definitely not as nice as our resort room in Cabo, Mexico, but the view was great.  Here's a panorama i did from our balcony.
view of myrtle beach from hotel

We were on the fifth floor and we were able to see all the way down the coastline in both directions.   Also we could look down at the pool and lazy river.

Here's a video of what it looked like from the balcony

Myrtle Beach Hotel View of Ocean - The Breakers
Here are some pictures I took from that first day we were there.  Most of the days we were there were cloudy, but still hot.
ocean sunset, sunrise, myrtle beach

This was the view looking south down the ocean coastline toward the pier.
myrtle beach pier, pay, price to walk

And this is the view looking to the north.  It's insane to comprehend how much money these hotels were making per day.  Especially when you consider that this used to be an abandoned swampy beach a hundred years ago.
myrtle beach cheap hotel

Instead of getting up early every day and having to go out for breakfast, we decided to buy our own breakfast things from the Piggly Wiggly, which was just up the road from our hotel.  We bought cereal, bowls, spoons, banana's and even milk since our hotel room had a small refrigerator in it.  This turned out to be a great idea and i would highly recommend it.
breakfast tip for staying in hotel, free

That first night we decided to go for a walk on the beach.  Here is what our hotel looks like at night.  Our room was in the small hotel on the right, 5 floors up.
night life myrtle beach

As we're walking along we notice lots of people with their flashlights out.  We were wondering what they were all looking at, then we found out.
myrtle beach jellyfish, step, poisonous

Apparently there are tons and tons of jellyfish that wash up on shore.  I use the flashlight app on my cell phone as we walked all the way down to the pier and back since we were barefoot and didn't want to get stung.

The next day we decided to go to the alligator farm about 20 minutes north of our hotel.  I think it cost something like $17 per person, but the place had a lot more things than just alligators.  My favorite thing there was the Galapagos turtles that were around 100 years old.  They move very slowly and weren't bothered by anything. 
huge turtle, old turtle

Here's a video of him trying to climb over a rock

100 Year Old Turtle Stuck on a Rock
They had a look like "What do you want, go away."
oldest turtle in the world

They also had some cool birds there to. 
talking parrot, colorful parrot

This guy was using his beak to cling to the bars and move around in the cage.  Here's that video

Parrot Tongue Up Close

But definitely the main attractions were the tons and tons of different alligators and crocodiles.  They had too many different types to remember.  Here were all the juvenile alligators we saw when he walked in.
lots of alligators, sleeping, den

We made it there just in time to see the American alligators being fed.  The lady came out and talked to us as she was throwing them some raw chickens.  Some actually jumped out of the water to eat.
american alligator, feeding, chicken, jumping out of the water

Here's a video of the alligators eating

American Alligators
Although some of them didn't really care, they just kind of laid around.
alligator sleeping in the hot sun

She said that they only need to eat 80 pounds of food per year.  Aalthough the ones at the farm ate much more than that.
alligator danger, how to escape

There were a few albino alligators in the covered area off to the side.  They had really interesting white/clear eyes.  They didn't move either.
albino alligator, white, eye

One of the best pictures I took that day were of these Asian Alligators.  They had really narrow snouts, I think they mostly ate fish. 
asian alligator, snout, food

When I took this picture there was actually a smaller one laying on top of a larger one, both sleeping.
asian alligator

Before we left we saw this huge guy who was over 30 years old.  He was in his own pen.  He didn't move either.
largest alligator in the world

The rest of the day we spent at our hotel in the different pools and hot tubs.  But one of the best things turned out to be floating down the lazy river in inner tube's.   The river had jets that created a current to help push you in a circle as you float around.  It was great, relaxing and the view kept changing.

That night we went out to this shopping area which surrounds a lake.  There were lots of interesting shops to go in.  One of the places sold candy and inside they had what was called the world's largest gummy worm.  I think it cost something like $40, it looked gross.
worlds largest gummy worm, cost

  We also had dinner there that night and continued to walk around. 
lake mall light reflection, myrtle beach

On our way home we drove up and down the main street just looking at all the sites.  Further down the coast there is a small little amusement park that has two or three little rides.
myrtle beach amusement park

The next day we went back to that same area because we wanted to ride the big wheel.
myrtle beach the big wheel, cost, how much to ride

I think it cost something like $12 go up on it but it had great views of the beach.
myrtle beach coast line view

Here's a view of the main road of Myrtle Beach to the south.
what to visit at myrtle beach

It wasn't too scary because you are encapsulated in these closed compartments.
ride the big wheel at myrtle beach ferris wheel

That night I took some pictures on the beach.  There were lots of seagulls around so I took some pictures of them to.  This one was deep in thought, contemplating why he was on this planet and the meaning of life.
contemplating sea gull, ocean, thought

Then I tried using my old homemade ND filter.  It didn't really turn out all that great.  I wanted to get a picture of the ocean waves looking silky smooth.  I got one that turned out alright, but i didn't have the right angle using my mini tripod.
nd filter, ocean waves

Overall it was a great trip.  We were able to fly to Myrtle Beach, rent a car and stay for four nights, two people all for less than $600. 
best myrtle beach vacation

myrtle beach sunset pier

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