Expect increased traffic for Easter Weekend on the Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach has been named one of the top destinations for Easter weekend, according to AAA Travel, which is great for businesses and hotels, but may be a different story for drivers.

Since Easter is later than last year and overlaps spring break, you can expect to see more cars on our roads ... starting today.  Local hotel owners say they're seeing most of their visitors from the Carolinas, but officials with AAA say you'll see license plates from New York, New Jersey and even Ohio, many of our visitors driving in from the northeast.

This is a good indication, hotel bookings are up.  According to CCU's resort tourism report, we can expect to see more than 90 percent of hotel rooms and rentals booked over the weekend.  Hotels say the bulk of the traffic will be Saturday, especially after hotel checkout time from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"A bunch of people leaving on Saturday, which is different from an Easter weekend. Typically they leave on Sunday, but kids go back to school on Monday so you're going to see a lot of people skip out on Saturday so they can get home and actually enjoy Easter," says Donald Hovis with Springmaid Beach Resort.

AAA says don't be surprised if you see heightened traffic coming into the beach on Monday, as locals return from trips and a new set of spring breakers come in.

All in all, the travel forecast for the weekend is high, so Myrtle Beach Police say they'll have officers working overtime.

Taxi drivers know our roads, in and out, and advise folks to keep in mind the places that attract tourists will be the most congested.

"Definitely stay away from Ocean Boulevard and Kings Highway. If you can, use the service roads up this way, 17 Bypass, maybe even Grissom Parkway - but the roads up this way by the ocean, are a disaster," says Marty Falk with East Coast Taxi.

Before you hit the roads, DOT recommends you check real-time traffic. The department keeps track of what's going on the roads, as it's happening. You can check their live cameras to see the traffic before you head out, here: http://www.511sc.org.

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