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If you like to relax on the beach or stroll downtown on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, you've seen the Grand Strand from dry land. And if you like to splash around in the surf or play in the waves, you've done Myrtle Beach in the sea. But unlike the seagulls and windsurfers you see overhead, you probably haven't done Myrtle Beach from the sky.
Well, you really should. As beautiful as the Grand Strand is from eye level, it's even more scenic from a bird's-eye view. Sure, you can see way out in the Atlantic from your balcony at the Ocean Reef, but it's not the same perspective you get from a panoramic view high in the sky. Here are the top five places to see Myrtle Beach from above:
* Adrenaline Adventures: Enjoy the view and a thrilling ride on a zipline at this downtown attraction. Located on the former site of The Myrtle Beach Pavilion, Adrenaline Adventures offers a 600-foot ride on a high wire, followed by a scary freefall from a six-story tower into a cargo net. If you can focus while you are flying through the sky at speeds of up to 40 mph, take a look around at the downtown district and the Atlantic Ocean. It's the closest thing you get to a seagull's-eye view. If you prefer to soar above a more natural setting, check out Go Ape Treetop Adventures in North Myrtle Beach.
* Sling Shot: It's the highest view in Myrtle Beach, if you can concentrate while you're being hurled through the air at speeds of up to 100 mph. Located in the downtown district on Ocean Boulevard, the Sling Shot takes the thrill sport of bungee jumping to the next level, several next levels, in fact, as tandem riders are tethered to the twin towers and propelled 300 feet into the air. But the ride has just begun as the bungee cords continue to bounce you back and forth between the base and the clouds. For thrill-seekers, it's the best way to see the Myrtle Beach skyline.
* Helicopter Ride: If you've ever dreamed about going for a spin in a whirly bird, this is your chance. Myrtle Beach has two helicopter tour establishments - Helicopter Adventures near Broadway at the Beach and Oceanfront Helicopters near the Myrtle Beach Airport. Both outfits offer scenic tours of the Grand Strand, some as low as $20 per person. Of course, that's only a quick flight. Longer trips are available, including rides out over the ocean and tours high above the wetlands and woodlands of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Be sure to bring the camera for some great photo ops.
* Myrtle Beach SkyWheel: The centerpiece of the Myrtle Beach skyline also happens to offer the best views. You can't miss the neon-lit Ferris wheel that towers over the downtown district, but you haven't seen it all until you climb into one of the climate-controlled gondolas and take a ride to the top. Standing 190 feet above the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, the SkyWheel is the tallest on the East Coast and gives passengers an unparalleled view of Ocean Boulevard, the Atlantic Ocean and beyond. The private gondolas have become a popular spot for couples to pop the question.
* Parasailing: Adventurous types can get one-of-a-kind view and the thrill of a lifetime in one ride. Numerous outfitters offer the opportunity to try this thrilling experience that lifts you high above the waves to ride the ocean winds. Parasailing boats feature a platform that allows a parachute to carry you from the deck to the sky. Try Ocean Watersports, Wind & Sail, Captain Dick’s, just to name a few, for highest-flying fun and a memorable vacation experience.