A trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., is a virtual promise of sand, sun and surf.

The city is located at the heart of the "Grand Strand," which boasts some 60 miles of prime Atlantic Ocean beachfront. The area is blessed with mildly warm temperatures on land almost year-round, but ocean water that's generally 20 degrees warmer than in North Carolina and Virginia. In fact, the average temperature of the water can often match that found on the Florida coastline.

"Even when the air is 90 degrees in the heat of the summer, though, the cool breezes make it seem much more comfortable outside the water," notes resident Misty Compton, a transplanted Ohioan.

Swimming is hardly your only option in Myrtle Beach. The famed pursuit of pier fishing joins charter fishing and boating, kayaking, surfing, parasailing, scuba diving, sand castle building, sand Frisbee and volleyball, and wind-surfing as just some of the outdoor activities and sports available on and off the shores of the city.

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