If you’re trying to figure out a great vacation for your family that is within a few hours of the Upstate, has plenty of entertainment within walking distance, and is located directly on the ocean, the Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort may be just the ticket. Kristina visited the resort for a couple of days with her kids at the invitation of the Westgate and has all you need to know to plan a wonderful trip to the coast!
First impressions are meaningful. After we checked into the Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort and walked through the brightly lit hallways, catching glimpses of the pools, lazy river, and splash pads, I still wasn’t quite prepared for what I saw when we opened the door to our one bedroom villa. The view was amazing as the balcony looked out over the ocean with its shades of blue, green, and teal. We saw people splashing in the waves, parasailing behind a boat, and relaxing on the beach. It was a moment when you can feel your shoulders relax and stress start to slowly leave your body. As a parent, those times are fleeting and I remember the instances when they happen. This was one of them.
As we got to explore Westgate’s oceanfront hotel, I came to find myself thinking I wish we could have stayed just a couple more nights to enjoy the place even more and experience the list of activities that I was making a mental list of as we saw more things to do there. For reference, I was there with my two kids, ages 10 and 6.
About the Westgate Myrtle Beach Resort
Westgate Resorts are located all throughout the country from Las Vegas to New York to Cocoa Beach to Orlando to Myrtle Beach and Gatlinburg. Each one is different and unique yet all have the same excellent service and seek to provide a positive and memorable experience for their guests. If you’re looking to enjoy the beach, Westgate’s seaside resorts are a great option.
This wasn’t my first stay at a Westgate property. My kids and I stayed at the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort in Gatlinburg, which has an indoor waterpark and is five minutes from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and had an incredible time. I hadn’t been to Myrtle Beach since I was a teenager so was looking forward to a new experience at their resort in the coastal city but didn’t really know what to expect since it was in a much different location than the one in Gatlinburg. My expectations were exceeded.
The Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort towers right over the beach with stunning views of the ocean out of the rooms overlooking the water. It’s closer to the South end of Myrtle Beach and 40 minutes north of Huntington Island State Park. It took us just over four hours to get there from Greenville and we never even got back in the car while at the resort until it was time to go home, since everything we did was within walking distance.
The resort itself has multiple pools, including a lap pool, a lazy river, and a splash pad for the little kids. There is a fitness center and business center if you need it. There’s a bistro that serves sandwiches, coffee, and ice cream as well as a full family-friendly restaurant, Drafts Sports Bar & Grill, plus a beachside bar with all the fruity drinks you could imagine one of those serving.
And the beach is literally right outside the resort. They also have tons of family activities you can do – some are free and others have a small charge. We were so busy doing other things that we didn’t even get to do this (so we need to go back, obviously).
The customer service at the resort was excellent. Whenever I had a question about anything, their representatives immediately answered. I asked for another package of coffee one morning and they sent me up three packets within five minutes and then called me back to make sure I got them! They have people on site who can help direct you to different shows or experiences you may want to do like ride a banana boat, go parasailing, or see the Pirates Voyage show.
The spacious accommodations
We stayed in a one-bedroom villa that overlooked the ocean. It was huge. The bedroom was enormous with a dresser, TV, desk, and jetted tub. The shower and bathroom were spacious with a double sink and two showerheads – one was a rainwater one, which I just loved. There are a couple of closets for storage if you need them also.
We had a full kitchen, which was so nice because I used it to make a small dinner the first night we were there and we ate on the big balcony and watched for dolphins. The living space has a dining area with a table and chairs plus a pullout sofa and a smaller loveseat. There’s a huge television, too.
Both the one-bedroom and two-bedroom villas are equipped with kitchens. Overall, I was really impressed with the room. And it was so clean, like spotlessly clean. The resort takes great care in cleanliness and instituted new policies since COVID-19 to keep guests and employees safe and healthy.
The location is ideal
With a family in tow, I take into consideration safety and ease of entertainment possibilities of places to go on vacation. I felt that the location of the Westgate Myrtle Beach was just perfect. It’s not in the more densely populated boardwalk promenade area, yet there is plenty to do within walking distance. I didn’t find the area to be loud or people up all hours of the night.
We decided to walk one afternoon over to the super neat SkyWheel, which is just past the boardwalk area with tons of shopping and restaurants. It was a little over a mile and you can walk on the sidewalk or take the beachside trail. You can stop at one of the piers and walk out onto it ($2/pp) or stop and grab a bite to eat. There were vendors along the way selling ices and fruit. I’d certainly suggest bringing enough water since it was really hot.
We had a lot of fun stopping in the beach shops as my kids love to check out all the neat trinkets and t-shirts and hats. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.
Of course, the beach is literally right outside the resort and it took us all five minutes to walk there. Lots of people were out looking for shells and shark teeth. Downwind Sails Watersports is next door to the resort and they do parasailing trips, jet ski rentals, banana boat rides, and sailboat trips.
Things to do nearby
There’s no shortage of things to do at or close to the resort. The beach and pools are the obvious choices if you’re headed to a beach vacation. The weather was perfect when we went and we enjoyed a lot of sunny outdoor time. My kids really loved the pools, especially the lazy river. It’s small but fun. The splash pad is wonderful for smaller kids and is just over a foot deep at its deepest.
There are lounge chairs everywhere so you could easily just hang out and let the kids get out their energy in the water. There is music playing outside at the pools, also. I was pretty happy since there were a lot of 80s and 90s hits thrown in! We regularly saw Westgate staff cleaning and straightening up the area.
Towels are provided at all the pools which was really nice since I hate carrying around towels.
Directly across the street is the Family Kingdom amusement park, an old-school carnival-type park that has all the best rides that I enjoyed as a kid, like the big swings, the Ferris wheel, the thunderbolt, the log flume, and bumper cars. We loved this place! They also have all those fun games that people hardly ever win prizes at like ring toss and basketball but are ever so enjoyable.
There are rides for both big and little kids and you can purchase a wristband that gives you unlimited rides or buy a set number of tickets to use at the rides you want to go on.
We also took a ride on the SkyWheel and got stunning views of the city. We really loved this and if you pick up one of those coupon books around the resort, there is a coupon for $2 off your ticket. The SkyWheel is a little over a mile walk from the resort but like I said above, it was an easy walk and we stopped in the beach shops along the way. There are plenty of ice cream shops also, a must-do for any beach vacation.
Let’s talk food options. Drafts Sports Bar & Grill is the on-site restaurant at the resort. We had their burger, chicken sandwich, and tatchos (tater tots topped with cheese and bacon – definitely order this). Everything was delicious and fueled us up for a fun night at the Family Kingdom amusement park, which we did a couple of hours later because food and spinning rides don’t go together.
Although we didn’t eat at the bistro, the food in there looked amazing. Plus, they serve Starbucks coffee so you know you’ll be able to get your caffeine intake. They also have ice cream. You really don’t need to leave the resort.
There are a few pizza places that are nearby and of course, you can order food via any food delivery app nowadays. But you really don’t have to if you want to have a tasty burger with pickles, onions, and dripping with cheese. Yum.
Tips on how to make the most of your time at the Westgate
A couple of things to note that may make your stay more enjoyable at the Westgate Myrtle Beach resort:
- The resort is currently constructing a big parking garage so parking is limited right outside their doors. They do have parking nearby but you’ll walk a little ways. I’d suggest unloading your car at the main lobby and using a cart to get it to your room instead of unloading your car in a parking lot somewhere else.
- I know some people are wary about staying someplace where there is construction. Honestly, I didn’t even notice it. They weren’t unpleasantly loud or didn’t wake me up early in the morning. Even when we were outside at the pools, I just noticed the building as it’s being constructed but nothing was bothersome about the construction or crew. Plus, the resort is building onto it to make it even more of an awesome place. You can see a model of what it will look like near the lobby and wow, it looks incredible.
- Bring a beach chair and sand toys if you need that for your family. There may be places nearby to rent these but I didn’t see any. Or you could just buy a cheap one when you get there at a local beach store or Walmart.
- Eat earlier in the afternoon. We did this so we could enjoy some evening entertainment and still get to bed at a decent hour, which was late for my kids! But we had so much fun that it was worth it. Plus, some dining places close fairly early and you don’t want to be stuck without dinner for your hungry kids.
- Plan to relax. Relaxing is just not in my personality. I find it nearly impossible. But even though there were shows I wanted to see and things I wanted to do with my kids, the best times of the trip was when we just hung out at the pools and beach and did nothing.
Booking your trip
Planning your vacation at the Westgate is easy – just go online and pick your dates and room. Then pack your bags! Rates vary widely depending upon the season.
Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort
415 South Ocean Boulevard Street 2, Myrtle Beach