Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Around Your Hotel: North Beach Plantation

Around Your Hotel: North Beach Plantation

North Beach Plantation – 48th Avenue South, North Myrtle Beach

This posh resort has almost everything you could want without having to leave the grounds – fine dining at 21 Main Prime Steak House, a spacious pool deck with a swim-up bar, a full service golf center and a health and fitness center and spa.

But who wants to spend the entire week in paradise, especially when there's so much to do, see, east and drink just a short cab ride or long walk away?

Here's a look at the best things to do within the shadow of the huge, oceanfront towers:

* Fine dining: Nestled between North Beach Plantation and hectic Kings Highway rests a peaceful restaurant with a misleading name and location. Joe's may not sound like it, but it has some of the best dishes on the Grand Strand, and its windows and back porch offer a lovely view of a salt marsh you would never guess was this close to Barefoot Landing. Other top picks include Greg Norman's Australian Grille, Chestnut Hill, the Flying Fish and Umberto's.

* Casual dining: Tired of the servers with the fake smiles and pretentious attitudes? Try something totally different at Dick's Last Resort, which prides itself on treating its customers like dirt. Despite its advertising to the contrary, the food is pretty good. But the real reason to go to Dick's is for the good-natured fun. Also worth trying are Dino's, Fire Island, Wild Wing Cafe, Joe's Crab Shack (no relation to the other Joe's), House of Blues, Preston's and Spring House.

* Fast food: If you get tired of being wined and dined at North Beach, one of the best places for burgers on the Strand is within sniffing distance. Joe's Hamburger's (again, no relations to the other Joe's) serves hot burgers, great wings and other comfort food that can be washed down with $1 drafts. Other spots to get some guilt food on the fly are River City Cafe, Johnny Rocket's, Fuddrucker's, Ultimate California Pizza, Salsarita's and, of course, McDonald's.

* Bars: House of Blues is the ultimate place to party in the neighborhood, especially if a great band is playing the concert hall. But there's always live music on the Sugar Shack Deck, including the popular Sunday Gospel Brunch, complete with soul food and music to match. Bully's Pub is another hot spot at Barefoot Landing if you're looking for sports on TV or a game of pool, and Wild Wing Cafe and Joe's Hamburgers are as famous for their bars as their food.

* Shopping: Barefoot Landing features more than 100 shops within the same complex, allowing patrons to stroll while enjoying the scenery and atmosphere. If you don't mind a slightly longer drive, Myrtle Beach Mall is only about a mile to the south and a little bit farther sits the Tanger Outlet Malls. Of course, there's also a Wal-Mart and a surrounding shopping plaza to cover any needs you might have in your home away from home.

* Attractions: Do not be alarmed, but one of the largest alligator farms in the country is just crawling distance away. More than 700 gators and crocs live within the walls of Alligator Adventure, but the mini-zoo offers much more – snakes, turtles, birds and lizards are among the critter crawling around the compound. You can also catch a show at the Alabama Theater or HOB, or take a ride down the Intracoastal Waterway aboard the Barefoot Princess.