Winter Festivals Bring the Holiday Spirit to the Grand Strand

Article Thumbnail Image

Whether your winter Grand Strand getaway is fueled by a desire to escape the snow- and ice-filled weather back home, a need to knock out some of the hard-to-find items on your holiday shopping list or a chance to visit the beautiful Carolina coast while the vacation crowds are thinner (or all of the above), the Myrtle Beach area offers plenty of options for getting into the holiday spirit while you’re here. Winter brings a wealth of annual festivals to the Grand Strand, and Ocean Reef Resort puts you in a perfect spot to catch them all. During your next visit, make plans to catch one of these fun festivals to put some extra cheer into your winter retreat on the Grand Strand:

Dickens Christmas Show and Festivals – Returning to the Grand Strand for its 36th year, this award-winning holiday tradition decks the exhibit hall of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center with 100,000 square feet of unique arts, crafts and gifts. It features a Victorian Era theme inspired by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and is supported by more than 300 vendors sporting period-appropriate attire. Other highlights include Victorian Teas, A “Santa Through the Ages” exhibit and, of course, a chance to visit with St. Nick himself. The event runs November 9-12 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Visit for more info.

Lighting of the Landing – Holiday spirit shines bright at this celebration, which is centered around the lighting of a 22-foot-tall Christmas tree adorned from top to bottom with twinkling lights and decorative ornaments. Barefoot Landing tops off its official holiday-season kickoff with fireworks and a visit from Santa. The festivities are set for Saturday, November 18, starting at 6 p.m. Learn more at

For another Christmas tree lighting in a family-friendly atmosphere, visit the nearby town of Surfside Beach for its annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 1, at 7 p.m. More info can be found at

Intracoastal Christmas Regatta – The traditional Christmas parade gets a nautical twist at the 33rd Annual Intracoastal Christmas Regatta in North Myrtle Beach. Featuring a fleet of festive boats decked out in lights and brimming with holiday cheer, this boat parade starts at Little River Inlet and heads south to Dock Holidays Marina as crowds gather along the Intracoastal Waterway shoreline to cheer and soak in the spectacle. The floating fun starts at 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 25. Find more info at

More traditional Christmas parades can be found in Calabash on Friday, December 1; in North Myrtle Beach and at Broadway at the Beach on Saturday, December 2; in Murrells Inlet on Sunday, December 3; in Conway on Saturday, December 9; and in Surfside Beach on Saturday, December 10.

Nights of a Thousand Candles – The beautiful Brookgreen Gardens will be aglow with more than 5,500 hand-lit candles and 100,000-plus twinkling lights for this annual affair. The holiday attraction also features Christmas music from handbell choirs, carolers and other musicians, as well as hot cider to warm you up as you enjoy the mood-setting spectacle. The even runs on various nights November 30-December 17. Visit for more info.

Holiday Shows – Always an attraction on the Grand Strand, the area’s theaters kick the holiday cheer into high gear during November and December with their Christmas-themed shows. Among the top draws are The Carolina Opry’s Christmas Show of the South, Alabama Theatre’s The South’s Grandest Christmas Show and the Pirates Voyage Christmas Show.

These are just a few of the many festive reasons to plan your Myrtle Beach-area getaway during the holiday season. Get in the holiday spirit with us at Ocean Reef Resort on the oceanfront in Myrtle Beach – there’s no place like your home away from home for the holidays.