Celebrate fall in Myrtle Beach with festivals, cooler weather and good friends.

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Heading to Myrtle Beach and the oceanfront Strand Resort this fall?  We have quite a few great things to share with you that will make your trip unforgettable. Following a jam-packed summer with tourists from all over enjoying the sun-kissed beaches, the autumn season features smaller crowds, great weather and endless festivities for all to enjoy.

The Strand Resort is literally in the heart of it all, boasting amazing oceanfront views and great reasons to retreat to the beach.  Including a breakfast buffet, modern bar, oceanfront pools and modern accommodations, making The Strand Resort a perfect place to escape this fall season.

From food festivals and bike rallies to arts and crafts shows and international fairs, the Grand Strand transforms into party central in the fall and offers something for everyone. Check out this list of autumn events, that you won’t want to miss:

* Myrtle Beach Mustang Week (Sept. 4-10): Put down the top, step on the gas, and head to this annual event, which has switched its dates to the fall to enjoy the nicer weather and lighter crowds on the Grand Strand. Fans of Ford's classic muscle car make the trek to Myrtle Beach to show off their restored models at the car show and cruise down The Strip with the ocean breeze in their hair.

* Dog Days Blues & Jazz Fest (Sept. 16): Head north to La Belle Amie Vineyard in Little River for a full day of live jazz, dancing, food and, of course, wine. Tasting sessions and tours of the countryside vineyard are available, and the music sets the mood for a festive day at the winery.

* Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival (Sept. 22-24): Lovers of arts and crafts are in for a treat at this annual show that brings in some of the top artists and craftsmen on the regional circuit. Non-shoppers can enjoy the beach, nature center, biking and hiking trails, and more while the rest of the party shops for unique items.

* Irish Italian International Festival (Sept. 30): Perhaps you have attended an Irish-themed festival, or maybe an Italian-themed affair. But nowhere else celebrates both cultures in one setting like the Irish Italian International Festival on Main Street in North Myrtle Beach. Enjoy food, drink, culture and music at this unique international shindig.

* Myrtle Beach Bike Week Fall Rally (Oct. 2-8): The open road leads to the Grand Strand for this annual motorcycle event, which is a tamer version of the Spring Rally in May. This one is considered a “rider's rally,” with lots of room to roam around the coast. Jamin' Leather in Myrtle Beach and bars in Murrells Inlet and Little River are popular hangouts.

* Myrtle Beach Seafood Festival (Oct. 6-7): The downtown district becomes one big seafood buffet for two days this fall at this second annual event. Held at Burroughs & Chapin Pavilion Place, this festival will serve up heaping helpings of shrimp, fish, crab, oysters and even some “landfood” options for the little ones, including pizza and ice cream.

* Little River Shrimp Fest (Oct. 14-15): Fall is shrimp season on the Grand Strand, and this festival pays tribute to the tasty sea creatures with a two-day bash on the waterfront. Sample a variety of shrimp dishes, listen to live music, shop at the vendor tents, and let the little ones play at the kids’ zone.

* Taste of the Town (Oct. 17): Sample food and drinks from dozens of local restaurants at this popular fundraiser. Chefs prepare their best recipes to compete for first place in their category of choice, and patrons can try them all under one roof at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

With great, weather, prices, and less crowds coupled with many celebrations, the hardest thing about your fall escape to Myrtle Beach this year will be going home afterwards.

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