Would you be surprised to hear that South Carolina is the #2 state for tourism, after Florida? Below are some getaways ideas for families. For any resort, always read recent visitor comments at a site like TripAdvisor.com; and always check for current beach conditions, as the state of a beach can change through erosion, storms, or restoration. Keep in mind that winter is off-season, and beaches are too cold for swimming; during spring break, daily highs may reach the 70's, and water temperature is still a cool average 66° in spring.
Disney has several resorts in the US that are not located at its theme parks in Orlando and California. This resort -- which is part of the Disney Vacation Club -- is located on a private 15-acre islet, with marsh views and many live oak trees; its style recalls classic lodges from the forties. Families will find lots of activities for kids, such as magic shows, campfires, "Kids Night Out", learning about sharks, and making shark-teeth necklaces.(Some activities require a fee.) Other activities include pier fishing, crabbing, dolphin-spotting, and kayaking tours. The resort has a kiddie pool, heated pools, and board games in the community hall. Oceanfront and beach houses can be reached by bike or shuttle bus.
Though small in size (just 12 miles long and 5 miles wide), Hilton Head is a popular vacation spot and gets over 2M visitors a year. Location is in the Carolina Low Country, 100 miles south of Charleston (and just 35 miles northeast of Savannah GA.) Hilton Head is generally an upscale destination, and most resorts are located in gated areas that also have private residences.
This oceanfront resort is on a barrier island near Charleston, and has miles of beach, five championship golf courses, canoeing, kayaking, bicycling, nature walks, cookouts, and adult and family swimming pools overlooking the ocean. Families can bike around (and see alligators.) This resort has received a Five Diamond rating from AAA, and has been ranked #1 Family Resort in U.S. and Canada by Travel + Leisure Family.
Lodgings at this resort include the Boardwalk Inn (which has a Four Diamond rating from AAA), beach houses, and family-friendly condos. A family recreation program (available for an extra fee) includes activities such as family golf, craft days, kite-making and flying, treasure hunt, and wildlife exploration.
Myrtle Beach -- on the coast, 98 miles north of Charleston-- is South Carolina's tourism powerhouse, drawing over 13M visitors a year. Myrtle Beach is in the middle of a 60-mile stretch of beaches called the Grand Strand. Body-surfing is excellent! Myrtle Beach is a budget-friendly, family-friendly place, with fun parks and theaters such as the Carolina Opry, and many family-friendly places to stay including several resort hotels.