This SC City Was Named One of the Best Christmas Destinations by Lonely Planet. Find out Why

This city has a growing population and it is a good place to visit over Christmas if you want to avoid large crowds.
This SC City Was Named One of the Best Christmas Destinations by Lonely Planet. Find out Why
In this Dec. 16, 2022 photo, South Carolina's Brookgreen Gardens hosted its annual "Nights of a Thousand Candles" holiday event with over 2,700 hand-lit candles and thousands of Christmas lights illuminating the sculpture gardens. (Jason Lee/The State/TNS)
Tribune News Service
12/6/2023
Updated:
12/6/2023
0:00
By Eleanor Nash From The State

COLUMBIA, S.C.—Lonely Planet named Myrtle Beach, S.C., one of the best places to visit during the holiday season.

The travel publication’s list of 10 so-called “Christmas towns” included destinations from Asheville, North Carolina to North Pole, Alaska.

Lonely Planet lauded Brookgreen Garden’s Night of a Thousand Candles in Murrells Inlet, which was described as a “magical Low Country holiday festival.”

The Myrtle Beach area hosts other holiday activities like a Family Fun festival on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and the drive-through Great Christmas Light Show in North Myrtle Beach, which were not included in the Lonely Planet article.

Brookgreen Gardens hosted its annual "Nights of a Thousand Candles" holiday event with over 2,700 hand-lit candles and thousands of Christmas lights illuminating the sculpture gardens as music is played by live bands. The event has been featured in national media and has become a holiday destination. Dec. 16, 2022. (Jason Lee/The State/TNS)
Brookgreen Gardens hosted its annual "Nights of a Thousand Candles" holiday event with over 2,700 hand-lit candles and thousands of Christmas lights illuminating the sculpture gardens as music is played by live bands. The event has been featured in national media and has become a holiday destination. Dec. 16, 2022. (Jason Lee/The State/TNS)

With a growing year-round population, the Grand Strand tourism officials hope to establish the area as a destination for all seasons. For three years in a row, the city has topped the U.S. News and World Report’s list of fastest growing places in the U.S. Additionally, in December 2022, Tripadvisor included Myrtle Beach on their list of 10 trending winter destinations in the country, alongside Hilton Head.

For Thanksgiving week 2023, occupancy for both hotels and rental properties hovered just under 40 percent, according to the Myrtle Beach area lodging metrics dashboard.

This December, vacation rental occupancy in Horry County is projected to be lower than the same period in 2022 and 2019, according to KeyData predictions on the lodging metrics dashboard.

Here are the best Christmas towns in the U.S., according to Lonely Planet.
  • New York CIty
  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Natchitoches, Louisiana
  • Branson, Missouri
  • North Pole, Alaska
  • Leavenworth, Washington
  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • Franklin, Tennessee
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