Science calls it the “vernal equinox,” but you don’t have to be a climatologist to know when it’s almost springtime. That’s especially true of Myrtle Beach, where blooming flowers and neon lights create a colorful combination for visitors to enjoy. From the natural beauty of the Carolina coastline to the manmade wonders of attractions, restaurants and shopping centers, everything seems to spring to life in Myrtle Beach during the same magical months of March, April and May. The calendar and thermometer work in concert with the various activities in town. Here are five can’t miss clues that it’s almost spring in Myrtle Beach: * Beaches: One of the surest signs of spring is the migration of birds, but is it possible that birds take their cues from humans? There's no scientific evidence to support it, but a seagull flying over Myrtle Beach could certainly get a few clues by checking out the crowds on the coastline. In the winter months, there are only a handful of brave souls on the beaches. But as spring approaches and warm, sunny days start to replace those cool, cloudy ones, you start to see more and more folks flocking to sand for some fun in the sun. * Flowers: Just as many travelers head to New England to see the fall foliage, they come South to witness the blooming flowers of spring. The Grand Strand has a wide range of native trees, shrubs and flowers that bloom at different periods of spring, which culminates with a colorful display of the abundant azalea bushes that yield a spectrum of pastel colors. For a memorable spring experience, visit Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet to see the landscape and sculptures in all their glory. * Golf courses: Much like the beaches, many golf courses are near-empty in the dead of winter. Some close for annual course maintenance, and some might as well shut down given the light traffic on the fairways. Even the most avid duffer knows it's time to set aside the clubs when they start freezing to your fingers, but golfers can only take a short break before they get the fever. That fact is evident at the Grand Strand's more than 100 golf courses, which start to see a serious increase in rounds once winter begins to thaw. There’s nothing like a round of golf in the Myrtle Beach sun after a long winter indoors. Better book your tee times now (www.MyrtleBeachGolf.com) before the spring golf season kicks into high gear. * Restaurants: Although most humans tend to hide out indoors during the winter months, we don't really hibernate. Unlike bears, we still have to eat. But you wouldn't know that based on Myrtle Beach's restaurant scene in the offseason. Many eateries shut down for winter while others ride out the cold spell because they know the cycle: As soon as the temperature begins to rise, so does the traffic through their doors. All throughout Myrtle Beach and Restaurant Row, the “OPEN” lights are coming back on and the parking lots are filling up as people emerge from their winter homes hungry for seafood and more. * Spring breakers: Maybe it seems obvious that spring attracts spring breakers. But unlike many vacation destinations, Myrtle Beach's brand of spring breaker is a different breed from the beer-guzzling, cannonball-diving college kids gone wild. Instead, families start appearing in increasing numbers to spend their spring breaks by enjoying Myrtle Beach's attractions, dining and shopping. Best of all, the weather gradually gets warm enough to experience the beach, from soaking up some sun by day to an evening stroll at night. (Posted: 2/12/15)
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