Myrtle Beach ranks at the top in making "best of" travel lists

Memorial Day weekend is coming and it's the start of the summer travel season.

Grand Strand tourism leaders hope it'll be a good one and they're getting a boost this summer from some popular travel web sites, including TripAdvisor and Southern Living.

When it comes to the boardwalk, it seems Myrtle Beach officials aren't alone in thinking it's among the nation's best.

"Yeah, actually I think it should be in the top two. And I don't even know what the second one would be, but it's phenomenal," said Laura Flannigan of Ontario, Canada.

National Geographic has the Myrtle Beach boardwalk listed number three on its top ten list.

Among other accolades, TripAdvisor lists Myrtle Beach as tops in the US for summer travel destinations.

At Southern Living, Myrtle Beach is number two, and at CheapoAir, it's number one on the most affordable air fares list.

It seems the Grand Strand hits someone's "best of" list every day.

"It's a great opportunity to let people know that we have a lot of great things to offer here, we're an affordable, family-friendly destination," said Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce spokesman Brad Dickerson.

But that's the Chamber of Commerce talking. Do Myrtle Beach visitors really care?

"I would say so," says Sam Saltal of Buffalo, New York. "I have TripAdvisor on my cell phone and I get a lot of information off of that also."

"I like to research all my destinations before I go to find out if it's what I'm looking for, before I spend my money," added Brandy Brooks of Pleasantville, New Jersey.

Some visitors say having Myrtle Beach make a "best of" list doesn't sway their opinion, but does confirm it.

"Like it just reinforces our reason to buy a second home down here," Flannigan said.

Some travel sites also post reviews from other travelers. Those do seem to make a difference.

"The brochures and everything are always going to make everything look good, but when you're dealing with the actual customers, they tell you everything," said Oqueem Brooks.

As for summer 2014, Dickerson says the chamber expects a strong Memorial Day weekend and a better travel season than last year.