Overwork, interpersonal dramas, general malaise: A whole textbook's worth of everyday ailments warrant the classic sand-and-surf remedy. And one of the classic places to pursue that prescription is South Carolina's Grand Strand, near the top of which sits North Myrtle Beach. Tourism here runs the gamut from the ritzy to the low-fi, but that Grand Strand--its powdery grains, its murmuring surf, its ravishing sunrises--is the common thread. Any popular oceanfront has its fair share of the tacky and the tourist-trappy, but this shore has some deep-down appeal about it. This is one of America's great places to golf. And as it happens, it's also among the great places to mini-golf: Heck, North Myrtle Beach is where the U.S. Pro Mini-Golf Masters goes down. (Didn't know there was a Masters tournament for mini-golf? Well, now you do.)
It's also one of the great places to fish, whether from shoreline piers or out on a chartered vessel: sea bass, grouper, striper, flounder, dolphin, wahoo, and other coveted quarry flourish in these subtropical waters. And on a related note it's a fine area for eating: From beachfront seafood grills and Carolina barbecue joints to international fine dining, you're going to want to bring your appetite to the North Myrtle Beach area. It's basically required. All you need to appreciate the Grand Strand's most fundamental attraction is a beach towel and some sunscreen. But perhaps you'd like to up the ante with a horseback ride along the swash, or by indulging in any of the sundry watersports that help define this coast: surfing, sea kayaking, jet-skiing, parasailing, etc. There are snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities as well. Oh, and in addition to your appetite, you might want to bring your dancing shoes. After all, this is prime territory for the Carolina Shag, and beach-music venues abound. Among 'em is the O.D. Pavilion, also home to an old-school-style amusement park. So avail yourself of a straight-shooting sand-and-surf vacation treatment along the Grand Strand at North Myrtle Beach: doctor's orders and all that.