Myrtle Beach is renowned for its warm subtropical climate, miles of beaches, 86 golf courses and 1,800 restaurants, making it one of the most visited destinations in the United States. It's often referred to as the golf capital of the world, with approximately 90 quality courses designed by some of the game's legends. The city also hosts the Miss South Carolina pageant, with renowned local author Mickey Spillane on the judging panel. Several of the winners of these contests achieved more success, including Mary Griffin (195), who was the first finalist in Miss USA 1953 representing Myrtle Beach, Miriam Stevenson (195), who won Miss Universe 1954 and Marian McKnight (195), who was Miss America that same year. In other news, the haunted house at Mayhem Manor closes and Sailfish Resort opens its doors near downtown Myrtle Beach.
Burroughs & Collins Company's beach development efforts have been incorporated into a new entity called Myrtle Beach Farms Company. Two stars of local nightlife are the 2001 Night Club & Entertainment Complex and the Ocean Annie's Beach Bar at the Sands Beach Club Resort, which open their doors in the Restaurant Row area. It has also opened ways for tourists to visit the undeveloped beaches of Huntington Beach State Park. Around 1900, a competition was organized to name the area, and Burroughs' wife suggested honoring the shrub that abounds in the area, the southern wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera). Local shopping gets a boost with the opening of Coastal Grand Mall, a single-level regional mall with more than 1 million square feet of retail space and the first of two Tanger Outlets locations in Myrtle Beach. Finally, Myrtle Beach underwent a lot of changes with the remodeling of the south side of Myrtle Beach facing the ocean.
The Gator Hole Golf Course in North Myrtle Beach closes to make way for the Gator Hole Shopping Center, which will open its doors later that year. Other new restaurants include Moo's and 8th Avenue Tiki Bar & Grill on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, Rodeo Bar & Grill on Broadway at the Beach and Surf Diner, which opens its doors on the Surfside pier. In 1949, the Myrtle Beach Pavilion building, which had been burned down and rebuilt several times, was reinforced with concrete built to withstand winds of up to 150 miles per hour. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is canceling the Sun Fun Festival, the oldest festival in the area, after 60 years of alleging that the event could not be funded just as it had in previous years. Like most areas prone to tropical cyclones, the direct impact of a major hurricane is rare in Myrtle Beach.
The four-day event is the largest outdoor music event in history in Myrtle Beach, with nearly 20,000 people in attendance. The Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery at Broadway at the Beach and the Mar Vista Grande complex in North Myrtle Beach will also open. If you must drive around Myrtle Beach, plan ahead; if you are going to travel a short distance (less than five miles), take one of the main roads that are next to the beach.