After my one month vacation in Buenos Aires, Argentina, due to various commitments I could not get out at all, and was getting desperate to visit a new place. Since a road trip is the best option when you don’t have the time to get cheap airline tickets, we decided to hit the road. The trip was a lot of fun and not only did we relax, we bonded as a couple. Plus, I get to share with you how to do a trip like this.
Packing: Since you will have a car with you (we decided to rent one from Thrifty in Providence and paid just $85 for a week of rental with unlimited miles and since they were having a promotion that includes a surprise car, we ended up with a Ford Escape), pack everything that you might possibly need. Apart from essentials like water and snacks, we always pack more clothes than we could possibly need, beach necessities, and our own coffee and toiletries (you never know if you will always like what the hotels provide).
Day 1: From the Metrowest Boston area, we left after breakfast, around 9 AM. We arrived in Stamford, CT, around lunch time and being somewhat familiar with the city, we ate lunch at Kit’s Thai Kitchen (927 High Ridge Road). A little pricey for lunch for a neighborhood eatery, but it is better than eating fast food, without needing to get too far off the Merritt Parkway. We kept driving till about 630 PM to arrive at the Doubletree (300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA), steps from the Pentagon, and next to a mall, where we dined at the California Pizza Kitchen (1201 South Hayes Street). We were so tired by then that after watching a cooking show, we drifted to sleep.
Day 2: By getting up early and grabbing a coffee and bagel in our room (purchased at the snack shop in the hotel lobby where they brew Starbucks), we hit the road. We arrived at the Bayview Resort in Myrtle Beach (504 North Ocean Boulevard) around 630 PM. It is a budget resort and we were somewhat disappointed with the decor of the room, the bed seemed basic, there was a microwave oven, medium size refrigerator, and coffeemaker but without coffee and filters (thankfully there is a Starbucks in the hotel itself so it worked out well and we were able to make some instant oatmeal and that saved us money on breakfast and saved us the hassle of getting up early each morning for breakfast), and the toiletries were low quality, but the gorgeous view makes up for everything else. Our oceanfront room with a balcony had the most amazing view of the ocean (I took the picture above standing in my balcony on a beautiful sunny day). Since we were tired from the drive and hungry, we decided to walk north along the North Ocean Boulevard (we learned later on that this road is primarily for hotels and not the restaurants which are located on Route 17 two blocks west) and ended up at LandShark Bar & Grill (1110 North Ocean Boulevard, next to the very popular area with lots of shops and a skywheel). The restaurant has incredible views of the ocean and is a cheerful place to grab beach food. We had the tilapia sandwich.
Day 3: After a good night of rest, we were ready to have a beach vacation, that started off with an early morning walk along the beach and just some sunbathing. We went for lunch to Croissants Bistro & Bakery (3751 Grissom Parkway), which was recommended for its gourmet dishes for which the owner Heidi Vukov won the prize for being the best restauranteur in South Carolina. I had a flatbread (artichoke and pimento cheese) while my wife had the traditional shrimp and grits, followed by a slice of their delicious cakes. After lunch we hung out at the open air mall and entertainment area called the Broadway At The Beach (1325 Celebrity Circle, at the intersection of Route 17 and 29th Avenue). For dinner we went to Fiesta Del Burro Loco (960 Jason Boulevard), a casual Mexican restaurant that offers reasonably priced dishes, similar to Chichi’s.
Day 4: Again some beach time in the morning and then we headed to the Ultimate California Pizza for a quick bite after some shopping at an open air mall called the Market Common (2500 N Kings Hwy). We shared the Berkeley vegetarian pizza. In the afternoon, we drove to Pawleys Island for the most amazing views of the ocean and the beach (about 25 mile drive from Myrtle Beach but so worth it). For dinner, we went back to the Market Common area and ate at the Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar (3044 Howard Avenue). I had a fish sandwich and my wife had fish tacos; great ambiance, excellent service, and delicious food.
Day 5: We left mid morning from Myrtle Beach and kept driving (except for a quick dinner at modestly priced neighborhood eatery Garnjana Thai Restaurant at 4416 Lafayette Blvd in Fredericksburg, VA) till we made it all the way to Hunt Valley, MD, and not having a hotel reservation (on purpose, since we just wanted to see how long we could keep driving), we used a hotel guide available at the rest areas to call the hotels. The Comfort Inn offered us a room. An average hotel to crash for the night and to our surprise, there was free breakfast included.
Day 6: Since we had already covered so much of the distance, it was nice to be able to leave the hotel at 9 AM and to know that we were not so far from home. Being so close to New York City, our favorite city, around lunch time, we were tempted to eat there, and ended up at Q2 Thai (788 Ninth Avenue) for an awesome Thai lunch for the bargain price of $9. At dinner time, we were home.