Myrtle Beach – Something for Everyone

Mark K. - Travel Stories and RCI NewsOver the years, Myrtle Beach has always been one of my most favorite places to visit. While it seems like the area changes almost every time I am there, there is always something for any person of any age to enjoy. Whether you want to sit on any of the 60 miles of wide sandy beaches, play on one of the over 100 golf courses including some designed by famous golfers (Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Greg Norman), or enjoy a great meal at one of the 1000+ restaurants, Myrtle Beach has it all.


Not being the avid golfer, I tend to lean towards the beach and restaurants when I’m on vacation with my family. One of my favorite places to go is Broadway at the Beach. Built around a lake, this shopping center has almost 20 restaurants, over 100 specialty shops, nightclubs, and theaters. One of my wife’s favorite places is Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. For the kids, there is a Ripley’s Aquarium and the WonderWorks attraction, which is in a building that appears to be upside down!


Another place for shopping, restaurants, and entertainment is Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach. Barefoot Landing is home to the House of Blues, a mirror maze, the Barefoot Princess – for sightseeing and dinner cruises that leave directly from the Barefoot Landing marina, and much, much more.


Even though Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing are two of the best places for shopping and dining, the one place in my opinion that is a must-see is the main strip (Ocean Boulevard) and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade, which is over a mile long. A recent addition to the boardwalk is the SkyWheel, a gigantic wheel that is 18 stories high with glass-enclosed gondolas that can hold up to six people each. On the boardwalk, there is also a full service Jimmy Buffet's Landshark Bar and Grill on an observation deck overlooking the ocean.


Great food and relaxation with family can never be beat, and Myrtle Beach is a place that can provide all that and more. Come back to the RCI Blog this week to read stories and see photos from RCI subscribing members who have visited Myrtle Beach.

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New Orleans: A “Big Easy” Place to Find Delicious Food

Mark K. - Travel Stories and RCI NewsA few friends and I decided to head down to New Orleans for a long weekend. To get to our hotel on the heart of Bourbon Street, our cab drove down the streets, past the tourists with drinks in hand. The streets were littered with amateur musicians and artists…the vibe was unmatched. It was March, a few weeks after the famous Mardis Gras celebration, and the streets were still full of life.


That first day, we were in the mood for some of the great New Orleans cooking we heard about, so we took off in search of a good place to eat. We headed up to the end of the French Quarter to a restaurant called Port of Call and tried their famous hamburgers. If you plan to make a stop here, they open at 11am and the line starts forming even before that.


The next day, we walked over to Café Beignet – a great coffee shop with a menu of breakfast foods, sandwiches, and New Orleans specialties. Since we were there for breakfast, I tried the French toast…it had a bit of a Cajun flair which made it very good and unlike any French toast I’ve ever had.


And what trip to New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without at least stopping for two of their most famous treats? A beignet from the famous Café Du Monde and, my personal favorite, a Shrimp Po-Boy from Johnny’s Po-Boys. All this and we barely made a dent in what there is to do in New Orleans! I will be going back to The Big Easy the next chance I get!


Come back to the RCI Blog this week to read stories and check out photos from RCI subscribing members who have taken a trip to New Orleans. If you have a story or photo of your own, share it with us here! Maybe we’ll feature yours at the end of the week!

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Who won the RCI Your World, Your Way Sweepstakes?

Mark K. - Travel Stories and RCI News

Last fall, we kicked off the RCI Your World, Your Way Sweepstakes. This gave you, our subscribing members, the chance to register and submit stories, photos and videos from your vacations for the chance to win the vacation of a lifetime. Are you wondering who won?


The RCI Your World, Your Way Sweepstakes winner was Jackie T., who has been an RCI member since 2005. Jackie was selected randomly from more than 75,000 entrants as the grand prize winner. Congratulations, Jackie! Watch Jackie get the news from Dan the RCI Guy when he showed up unannounced at her work to tell her she won!


In addition to the sweepstakes, we also held a contest in the 3 categories – favorite RCI stories, photos, and videos. From the thousands of vacation stories, photos and videos submitted, we selected 10 finalists in each category and allowed you – our members – to vote for your favorites.


Come back to the RCI Blog this week, where we will share the entries from all the finalists!

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So much to do in St. Maarten

Mark K. - Travel Stories and RCI NewsLast summer, my wife and I, along with another couple, planned a vacation to St. Maarten for a week of sun and relaxation on the beach. We decided to go during July, which is considered their “off season,” so it was nice and quiet. We stayed at the Atrium Beach Resort and Spa, located right on Simpson Bay and close to everything!


St. Maarten is a beautiful island with lots to do, see and experience. One day, we went around the island to the various towns and beaches to shop and eat. Another day, we went ocean kayaking to a beach close to our resort. At that beach, there was an outdoor bar with live music. There was even free Wi-Fi, so I was able to get onto the internet from my phone. It was nice to check back into civilization every so often!


In my opinion, the one thing you must do when you visit St. Maarten is go to the famous Maho Beach.  This is the beach where the planes fly so close to it, it looks like you can touch them. Located next to this beach is an outdoor restaurant where you can sit, order food and watch the planes fly in.  People we spoke to there had spent hours sitting and watching.


After spending 7 days on the island there was still so much to do. I’m looking forward to my next trip back! To learn more about St. Maarten, check out this article from the North America version of Endless Vacation® magazine. Or, come back to the RCI Blog this week, where you can read stories and see photos from RCI subscribing members who have traveled to this amazing island. Trust me, these photos are incredible and really make me want to plan my next trip back.

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