By Rebecca Jeffreys
There is a very special reason for autism families to travel in the United States and that is because of the copious autism friendly resorts owned by Bluegreen Vacations. Bluegreen Vacations has 5 resorts in Myrtle Beach waiting to host your family and provide a vacation like no other!
With the guidance of Champion Autism Network, Bluegreen Vacations has learned how to support your family and help you have a fantastic time! All of the staff, including restaurant staff, is trained with your child’s safety in mind. Accommodations begin right at check in. As an autism family, you will not be required to visit the sales desk right away. There is a bathroom and a designated room so the kids can relax while you check in or give you space to address a meltdown. The staff at all Bluegreen Vacations have been trained to be aware of high danger areas for your kids such as paths to the ocean or gates leading to the pool. Additionally, they have in place an elopement plan should you need help recovering a child who has run off. Because of this training, all staff have a deep understanding of autism and the many ways it can present itself. Before you arrive, be sure to give Bluegreen Resorts a call to get your room set up as you need it. You can let your fears of judgment dissolve away and relax at these resorts! On a recent visit to Shore Crest Vacation Villas I and II, we encountered an adult with autism who noticed our Champion Autism Network T-shirts and declared, “You’re autism people like me!” That made our hearts sing knowing he could stay here and be treated with respect and support.
There are 5 resorts between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. Each one has its own special personality and location. Harbor Lights is located on the beautiful intracoastal waterway. You can watch boats speeding past, dine at The Boathouse Restaurant that holds live concerts along the waterway, take a your kids on an adventure with Black Beard’s Pirate Cruise, bike or walk the trails right outside your door, fish in a nearby pond, swim in their numerous pools (including a kiddie pool and hot tub), or enjoy the wrap around low country porch at the club house. And for a delicious meal and a show, be sure to try Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament which is just down the street. If that’s not enough, the sixty miles of pristine beach and all the attractions are just minutes away.
If you prefer to be right in the middle of the action, Seaglass Tower puts you there. Located on North Ocean Blvd in the heart of Myrtle Beach, Seaglass Tower puts everything at your fingertips. The beach is on one side and the attractions are on the other. The famous boardwalk, with SkyWheel Myrtle Beach, LLC, waterfront dining, and amusements, are right outside your door. (The SkyWheel is particularly fond of autism families and if you show your CAN card, you will get to skip the line.) The units in the Seaglass Tower have full kitchens which can be helpful for those with specialized diets. And of course pools are available here as well. My personal favorite place for dining is RipTydz Oceanfront Grille & Rooftop Bar which gives you a beautiful bird’s eye view of the beach and a great meal.
Carolina Grande provides a quieter and more relaxed option. Their swimming pool is on the sixth floor, transporting you away from the hustle and bustle of Ocean Blvd. Their suites also have full kitchens and the resort is conveniently located to any attraction you may want. Broadway Grand Prix for speed lovers, Broadway at the Beach® for shopping and entertainment, and Myrtle Waves Water Park are right nearby.
Shore Crest Villa I and II are in North Myrtle Beach. They are so close to the beach that you’ll be torn between the pools and the beach. Either way, you’ll enjoy that sea air! These rooms were recently renovated and comfortably fit a family. The pool area can get pretty busy but, if you need a quieter, less populated pool, there is an indoor pool that is also right next to the activity center. I heard from one young man with autism that his favorite place to eat out is Lulu’s Fun, Food and Music at Barefoot Landing which has a ropes course, beach arcade, live music, and more for a whole lot of fun! Visit their website to get on their waitlist for a table before you head over.
Horizons at 77 lands between true North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach proper. I have personally stayed here and really enjoyed it! I found the kitchen to be quite adequate for cooking all the meals I needed and the grocery store is minutes away. The beach is very easy to access, and on this stretch of beach you can view condo towers or go north and admire the many mansions and their beautiful gardens. I feel this location is quieter and more secluded than the others. Each balcony has a stunning view of the ocean and the furnishings are beautiful. There are restaurants at the base of the building and many more a few blocks away.
When you decide to come visit us, be sure to check out the autism friendly events hosted by us. Details are on our events page at Champion Autism Network on Facebook. As a CAN member you can get discounts and special services at many attractions. You can get your CAN card through this website or by visiting the Chamber of Commerce. We love hosting families from out of town so Come Play With US!Ⓡ
No matter where you choose to stay, you can be confident that autism families are welcomed and supported at Bluegreen Vacations!