GETTING THERE: The two discount airlines that provided nonstop flights to Myrtle Beach -- Hooters Air from Baltimore and Spirit Airlines from Reagan National -- have suspended the service indefinitely, and airfares have skyrocketed. United offers daily nonstop service (flight time is about 90 minutes) from Washington Dulles; round-trip weekend fares are typically about $365, although sales for weekday travel sometimes drop it to $220. US Airways offers Saturday and Sunday nonstop service from Reagan National, with fares of about $270 round trip. Several airlines offer connecting service, but fares are no cheaper, and the routing is time-consuming.
Amtrak trains get you to the terminal in Florence, S.C. (in about eight hours), with fares starting at $108 round trip (add $202 each way for roomette); buses connect there for the 65-mile drive to Myrtle Beach.
Greyhound offers bus service from both Washington and Baltimore, an eight- to 12-hour ride, for $127 round trip.
If you drive (about eight hours), I-95 south into South Carolina is the most direct route; from I-95, Route 501 south brings you to the center of Myrtle Beach.
GETTING AROUND: Rental cars and taxis are available at Myrtle Beach International Airport; some hotels run shuttle service. There is local bus transportation, "the Lymo" (843-488-0865, http:/
GOLF PACKAGES: The Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce says there are 47,000 hotel and motel rooms in the area, and many of them offer golf packages.
The Crown Reef (2913 S. Ocean Blvd, 877-435-9125, http:/
WHERE TO EAT: There are many choices here, from fast food (lots) to the white tablecloth variety (some) to chains (Hooters has four locations). There are many sports bars as well; we had a pretty good steak at the Liberty Tap Room (4651 N. Kings Hwy., 843-839-4677) for about $25. On the upper end, the Library (1212 N. Kings Hwy., 843-448-4527) sports an extensive wine list and a full dinner price of about $70, and Thoroughbreds , in what is called Restaurant Row (9706 N. Kings Hwy., 843-497-2636) has a big steak dinner for a tab of $60 or so.
GOLF: You can set up your own tee times through a system that links about 100 courses: Tee Time Central, 800-882-0684, http:/
WHAT ELSE TO DO:
· Shopping. There is lots of this up and down Kings Highway, much of the discount variety. The Broadway at the Beach complex (Route 17 Bypass between 21st and 29th avenues, 800-386-4662, http:/
· Shows. There are several theaters, which see some touring Broadway shows, individual stars and homegrown productions. Among them: Alabama Theatre at Barefoot Landing (800-342-2262, http:/
· Sports. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans (843-918-6002, http:/
· Rides and attractions . The Family Kingdom Amusement Park (843-626-3447, http:/
INFORMATION: For a free copy of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce's "Stay & Play," an extensive guide to the area and its attractions, call 800-496-8250 or go to http:/
-- Tom Wilkinson and Margaret Roth