Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Avoid Online Vacation Scams

When shopping for your family vacation, the internet is an invaluable tool. You can see photos, virtual tours, and read online reviews in order to get a good perspective on your rental. Browsing hundreds of properties on dozens of websites will help you find exactly what you need to ensure that your family has a comfortable and memorable North Myrtle Beach vacation. However, it’s important to be careful when shopping online; there are scams that will cheat eager vacationers out of money, ruining any hope for a fun trip.

In order to protect yourself, you’ll want to spend some time researching rentals thoroughly. There are plenty of good deals out there, but when you find one that is almost too good to be true, it probably is. If you see a rental being offered for much lower than comparable properties, it could be fraudulent. Make sure the rental company is legitimate and if possible, try to find reviews on the property. Craigslist is notorious for scams since it is not closely monitored. Stick to trustworthy sites like VRBO, FlipKey, Zaranga, and property managers’ sites like ours to be safe.

If you find a property listing online, Google the name of the property or the address. If the results on Google do not match what you see on the listing, it is likely a scam and should be avoided. Tell the “real” rental manager or owner that someone is listing their property illegally online, and do not complete a transaction until you are confident that the person you are dealing with is honest and straightforward. If you are unsure about someone claiming to be from a management company, try to contact the local chamber of commerce to verify the company.

At Ocean Drive Beach Rentals, we sympathize with the victims of online scams and we hope others can follow the tips above to keep their vacation investment safe. Call us at 877-287-2977 if you have questions about online vacation scams or if you think you may have found an unauthorized ODBR property listing.

By Brandon Moss of Ocean Drive Beach Rentals

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

North Myrtle Beach Public Parks

In addition to North Myrtle Beach’s variety of attractions, activities, and dining options, there are several public parks in the area that serve both vacationers and locals. Families with children may want to enjoy some outdoor time in our beautiful town without added expense, or treat the group to a sponsored event like live music or movies in the parks. It’ll make vacation even more memorable and fun!

McLean Park is one of the most popular NMB parks because of its location and events. This park is situated right off Main St at 93 Oak Dr and features 2 playgrounds, walking path, tennis courts, picnic shelters, baseball field, and beautiful garden and water areas with fountains. Families staying at nearby resorts can enjoy a family friendly movie at one of McLean’s monthly movie nights during the summer.

At 14th Ave South off of Highway 17, Central park is one of the largest city parks in North Myrtle Beach. Sports teams regularly hold their events at this park’s baseball fields, batting cages, soccer fields, and pickleball courts. There are also tennis courts, concession stands, walking path, 2 playgrounds, picnic areas, and restrooms.

Central Park

Hill St Park is in the Cherry Grove area, just off Sea Mountain Hwy at 2346 Hill St. This small park has a tennis court, a playground, and a picnic area, and is perfect for a quick stop while you’re exploring the neighborhoods of Cherry Grove.

North Myrtle Beach is proud of its newest facility, the Park and Sports Complex. This park is located at Highway 90 and Robert Edge Pkwy, next to Highway 31. With 6 baseball fields, 8 batting cages, 8 soccer fields, walking trails, 2 dog parks, picnic shelters, 3 playgrounds, meadow, amphitheater, and lake, the huge complex is a recreation hub. It hosts national and regional sporting events, bringing in teams from all over the country to compete.

Don’t forget to ask our staff about additional parks and activities when you check in to your Ocean Drive Beach Rentals property!

By Brandon Moss of Ocean Drive Beach Rentals

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Try Authentic South Carolina Cuisine on Your Vacation

Though not well known, South Carolina has a variety of dishes that would be considered “authentic” local cuisine. Some of these are traditional southern favorites, and some truly are unique creations that locals and tourists alike have loved for years.

If you are familiar with traditional southern food, you may have tried shrimp and grits. This is a mainstay on local menus throughout the state, but may vary slightly depending on where you order it. There are some upscale variations on this dish, using fresh jumbo Atlantic shrimp, specialty cheeses, and varying blends of spices to make sure each chef’s recipe is distinguished from others. Raw oysters are another favorite, and dozens of oyster bars around Myrtle Beach serve up raw or cooked oysters fresh from nearby waters. Crab cakes made from fresh local blue crabs are also a must-have if you want a tried-and-true seafood dish. Again, many variations of this can be found in the area, from upscale restaurants to crab cake sandwiches from festival vendors. South Carolina also takes its barbecue seriously! Whether you like vinegar based sauce or thick, tangy sauce, plenty of barbecue joints serve melt-in-your mouth smoked pork and beef sans sauce so you can customize your flavor with the sauce of your choice.

If you are the kind of foodie that loves local inventions that can’t be found anywhere else, there are a couple of favorites you must have while you’re in town. Chicken bog is a South Carolina staple and is made with rice, chicken, and sausage. Some people will add vegetables or hot sauce to their recipe for extra flavor. Don’t forget to try chicken bog at local restaurants, cookouts, festivals, and even the annual “bog off” in Loris, SC. If seafood is more your style, head up to Calabash, NC to partake in “Calabash-style” seafood. There are many fishing vessels that unload their fresh catch directly to the waterfront restaurants so you can enjoy the freshest fried seafood you've ever had.

Chicken Bog

When you check in to your Ocean Drive Beach Rentals property, be sure to ask our staff for recommendations on the best local restaurants. We’ll give you insider’s tips on the best places to eat!

By Brandon Moss of Ocean Drive Beach Rentals