As the shorter days of winter march ever closer to our doors, a place of sunshine, sea and sand sounds even more alluring. South Carolina's Grand Strand is just such a place. This 60-mile stretch of sandy beaches, cozy coves and blue inlets frames the beachside attractions of Myrtle Beach to create a haven for winter-weary visitors the moment spring returns.

In addition to pirate legends and a rich history in art and culture, one of Myrtle Beach's claims to fame is that it is the miniature golf capital of the world. Scores of putt-putt courses are available for all levels, including the volcano-guarded Hawaiian Rumble and the tropical-themed Jungle Lagoon courses. Myrtle Beach is also home to the U.S. ProMiniGolf Association and hosts the annual Masters National ProMiniGolf Championship.

More amusements await at Broadway on the Beach, a massive entertainment complex featuring four distinct architectures designed to give visitors the experience of faraway places as they roam its 350 acres. Here you'll find live performing arts at the Palace Theatre, or you can explore the undersea realm without getting your toes wet at the Ripley's Aquarium.

The Carolina Opry is another fantastic venue for live entertainment. This theater hosts a two-hour variety show in addition to specialty shows that dot its schedule throughout the year.

When you're ready for more traditional amusements, take, take, take yourself out to a ball game at the Coastal Federal Stadium. More lovingly known as "The Fed," this is the home of the much-loved Myrtle Beach Pelicans minor-league baseball team. If you stop by in February, you can also catch the Baseball at the Beach high school and collegiate tournament.

Pier 14 is a great place to relax to the soothing sounds of the sea. Fish for your own dinner at the water's edge or take the road most traveled and stop by the Pier 14 Restaurant for some fresh seafood.

As we head into the busy year-end rush, a relaxing seaside vacation sounds all the more enjoyable, so take a moment to savor the summer through this desktop getaway. Myrtle Beach is a great spot to celebrate the spring. The only question is: Will you be there?