Autism-Inclusive Tourism in Myrtle Beach

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Inclusive tourism has gained a lot of momentum over the years, enabling families with diverse needs to explore the world together. For families with autistic members, finding the right vacation spot is oftentimes challenging. However, with the right planning and the right destination, it can be a joyful experience for everyone involved.

Myrtle Beach embodies this inclusiveness and spirit. This beachside city is the blueprint for an autism-friendly vacation. Many of Myrtle Beach’s accommodations and restaurants are designed to provide comfort, safety, and enjoyable experiences. Take a look at what makes Myrtle Beach the perfect destination for a family vacation that truly embraces everyone.

Autism-friendly Accommodations

One of the many beautiful things about travel is its ability to provide opportunities for learning and growth. However, vacations often require additional planning for families with members on the autism spectrum. Fortunately, Myrtle Beach is committed to offering accommodations that cater specifically to the needs of those with autism.

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront

The DoubleTree Resort offers sensory-friendly rooms, complete with visual aids and minimalistic design to reduce sensory overload. The staff is also trained in autism sensitivity and can provide extra assistance. Their private sandy beaches are a space to unwind without the typical beach crowds. It’s a serene haven for you and your family.

Marriott’s OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes

Marriott’s OceanWatch Villas combine spacious accommodations with a tranquil environment, perfect for families with autistic members. Their staff is understanding and considerate of the unique needs of their guests. Together, they create a comforting, home-away-from-home experience. The resort also provides options for quiet, secluded spaces to relax, allowing you to take a break when needed.

Landmark Resort

Your stay at Landmark Resort includes access to a specialized ‘quiet room’ designed to provide a sensory-friendly environment. This space features soft lighting, soft furniture, and minimal noise to reduce sensory overload. The staff is also trained in autism sensitivity, always ready to go the extra mile to ensure a comfortable stay for all their guests.

Dunes Village Resort

Dunes Village Resort is another wonderful option for families. It has a variety of rooms to suit a wide variety of needs. This includes suites with full kitchens and private balconies. The resort also features an indoor water park for fun in a controlled and safe environment. Their staff’s awareness and understanding of autism make this a safe and fun choice for your family vacation.

Holiday Inn at the Pavilion

Last but not least is the Holiday Inn at the Pavilion. They provide a variety of room types, many of which are quiet and calm environments away from the busier parts of the hotel. Furthermore, their location right on the boardwalk provides easy access to many of Myrtle Beach’s top attractions.

Autism Friendly Dining Options

While not directly tied to lodging, food is a big part of comfort during any vacation. Some restaurants in Myrtle Beach stand out for their efforts to provide autism-friendly environments. These restaurants take into account food preferences and sensitivity to loud noises. Ultimate California Pizza and RipTydz Oceanfront Grille & Rooftop Bar both offer a sensory-friendly dining experience with understanding staff who are ready to accommodate special requests.

Local Autism-Friendly Activities

Besides its hotels and restaurants, Myrtle Beach still has so much more to offer. The town is home to several autism-friendly activities for you to enjoy with family. The Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, for instance, offers a calm and controlled environment with beautiful views of the beach. Broadway at the Beach is a shopping center that is relatively calm before the dining hours of 6pm-10pm. It’s a great place to relax and take a stroll. During dining hours, venture over to the Avenue side of Broadway for a quieter time away from the live music and bands. Finally, Myrtle Waves Water Park is another great option with designated zones to support guests with autism.

Preparation Tips for an Autism-Friendly Vacation

Proper preparation significantly contributes to the success of a family vacation, especially when it involves members with autism. Packing comfort objects, noise-canceling headphones, or weighted blankets makes a huge difference. Consider also packing some of your autistic family member’s favorite snacks and foods. Some people with autism have specific dietary preferences, and having familiar food options helps alleviate potential mealtime stress.

Also, creating a visual itinerary helps autistic family members understand what to expect each day and reduces anxiety around the unknown. Do your research on the attractions you plan to visit. Many places now offer autism-friendly times or sensory-friendly spaces, which provide a more calming environment. It’s also beneficial to know where quiet spaces are, in case anyone needs a break from the bustling activities.

Lastly, be sure that you have a backup plan in case of changes or delays to your schedule. Unexpected changes are stressful enough as it is, so having a plan B helps to avoid meltdowns. For example, if your planned outdoor activity gets rained out, have an indoor alternative ready to go.

How Myrtle Beach is Leading in Autism-Friendly Tourism

Myrtle Beach’s commitment to being an autism-friendly vacation destination is commendable. From certifications for autism-friendly businesses to the Champion Autism Network’s work in the region, Myrtle Beach is setting the bar for inclusive tourism. The city’s consistent effort to provide a safe environment for all of their guests, regardless of their abilities, is what truly sets it apart.

In Conclusion

Myrtle Beach stands out as a beacon of inclusivity in the tourism landscape. Its autism-friendly accommodations come equipped with sensory-friendly rooms and specially trained staff. Meanwhile, there are plenty of autism-friendly activities nearby. Add to this the warmth of the beach, rhythm of the ocean waves, and the city’s generally relaxed vibe, and you have the perfect recipe for a fun family vacation.

For those without autistic family members, the choice to vacation in Myrtle Beach can be a unique opportunity to raise awareness and contribute to the growth of inclusive tourism. Every family deserves a fun vacation, regardless of the unique needs of its members. By choosing Myrtle Beach for your next vacation, you’re not just creating sun-soaked memories on the white sands, but you’re also supporting diversity!