Nothing tastes better after a hot day at the beach than a frozen drink. Whether it's got a touch of alcohol for the adults or is a virgin version of a classic for the kids, something about an icy drink hits the spot like a purely liquid beverage cannot.
Our guests at Ocean Reef don’t even have to leave the resort property to find some of the best frozen drinks in town at the Banana Boat Lounge. Located in the resort lobby and featuring a service window for visitors to our oceanfront pool deck, the Banana Boat serves a wide selection of drinks and a handful of flavorful frozen concoctions. Try the house special Dirty Banana, and treat the kids to a non-alcoholic Strawberry Shortcake. But for those with wandering feet and curious taste buds, we've compiled a list of establishments serving the best frozen drinks in the neighborhood — where young and old can get their fix for the cold and tasty:
- Bandito's Cantina: Located at the northernmost end of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, this oceanfront Caribbean and Mexican café makes some of the best frozen margaritas on the beach, perfect for starting your frozen drink pub crawl down the 1.3-mile wooden walkway. These tasty frozen concoctions are only $3 during happy hour from 4 to 8 p.m. Kids may prefer the fried ice cream over a virgin margarita.
- Bay Naturals: Looking for a healthy pick-me-up during your stay? Check out Bay Naturals Health Market just a few blocks away in the Northwoods Plaza shopping center. Featuring smoothies with organic fruits and veggies as well as protein powder, Bay Naturals offers a range of flavors — the most popular of which is the Blueberry Almond Tart, with frozen bananas and blueberries, almond butter and vanilla protein. Guests can even order ahead online (http://order.baynaturals.com/1-7611-north-kings-hwy/menu) and skip to the front of the line.
- Cheeseburger in Paradise: Located just two blocks inland from Ocean Reef, this tropical cafe was inspired by the Jimmy Buffett song of the same name. Offering fresh-squeezed juices and fresh fruit garnishes, CIP is famous for its piña coladas made with coconut rum, papaya nectar, mango puree, cream of coconut, real pineapple and pineapple juice. Kids will love the virgin strawberry daiquiris, which feature tiny umbrellas and orange slices sporting tiny sunglasses.
- Fat Tuesday's: This New Orleans-themed bar isn't for children, but you may feel like a kid in a frozen candy shop at this Broadway at the Beach hangout. With frozen daiquiri machines lining the wall behind the bar, patrons can choose from a wide selection of colorful names and flavors, such as favorites 190 Octane, Purple Haze and the Crescent City's famed frozen Hurricanes. These tasty frozen drinks are the perfect way to unwind after a long day of shopping at Broadway or before a big night on the town at Celebrity Square.
- Margaritaville: The name might be a dead giveaway for this one, but this Jimmy Buffett-owned operation knows how to put a twist on the classic margarita. In fact, the centerpiece of the restaurant is a giant blender that churns up a makeshift hurricane warning ever half hour or so. Try the frozen margaritas flavored with a wide range of fruits and sweets, like the Watermelon Margarita for the adults, or the virgin Chocolate Banana Margarita for the little ones. Relax on the outdoor patio deck, and enjoy live music and cold drinks during the warmer months.
Cheers — and be sure to sip slowly so you don't end up with a bad case of brain freeze. If sampling all these frozen treats does result in pain to the brain, simply head back to the Ocean Reef Resort for a recovery nap.