AA Learn more about in-home care options for your loved ones

Given the choice, most of us want to stay in our homes. Sometimes, people need help to remain at home. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Personal Care Consultation


“Always Best Care is a great company to work for and if you are looking for care for a loved one, I highly recommend them. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and supportive. I work in the senior industry and recommend Always Best Care to my clients that need extra support in their home or while family is away. Always Best Care will respond immediately and truly show compassion to others.”

Dusty B.

“The Staff, the care teams and the owners are one of a kind! They take the time to ensure your care needs are met. Highly recommend giving them a call if you have senior care or senior living questions or concerns.”

Melisa B.

“Nate took the time to meet with me and my family and help make sense of the questions we had when it came to the short and long term care of our loved one. When you have an elderly parent or a loved one with disabilities there are so many questions and so many emotions. It can be so confusing and it was hard for us to find one person or one company that has the knowledge and grasp of this industry that Nate has. We cannot thank him enough for guiding us through this process and his amazing bedside manner!”

pam C.

“Hello to all of my Always Best Care friends, I'd like to wish you and your families a Merry, Blessed Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year!  My brother, my dad, and I really appreciate everything you did for us this year.  You're amazing! All the best for the Christmas season and 2023,”

Neal L.

“This is one of the best companies I’ve worked for in a long time. The owners, Nate and Melisa, genuinely care about clients AND staff. They go above and beyond to support, encourage, and help everyone they work with. Their doors are always open, they’re generous with their time, and they truly want their staff to succeed. Donna in the billing department is fabulous, always available to answer questions or help in any way; Katrina in scheduling puts in so much time and effort to accommodate everyone’s needs and it’s amazing how well she handles everything; Angel works diligently on recruiting and training, making sure there’s plenty of staff to provide quality care; and Jackie is an incredible CHAMP, making sure clients are properly reassessed and care givers have the right tools and knowledge to do their job. ABC is a fantastic, compassionate, caring team I’m proud to be a part of, and I’m proud to serve our clients, too.”

Gina B.

“They have taken care of several of my friends and ever one of them has had an amazing experience. Very professional and friendly!”

John G.

“Always Best Care is like the name sounds, excellent care for your loved ones. The staff goes above and beyond to make certain the needs of your family member are met with kindness and dignity. Senior care is a difficult choice and Always Best Care of Columbia makes it easy, with compassion and are truly helpful in every way possible. The staff geniunely listens and cares about your expectations! I would highly recommend this business.”

Nicole R.

“Wonderful people. They go out of their way to make sure people are taken care of.”

Sarah S.

“Nate, Charlene & Simone are great people to help in a stressful situation! They have been open and caring and have provided some wonderful caregivers for a lovely lady in my church. I was instrumental in coordinating care for the family and have nothing but good things to say about the staff at Always Best Care. Simone so kindly visited my friend in hospice when she could no longer be cared for at home. She even took her flowers and has remained in contact with the family to support them as they are going through this difficult journey. I highly recommend Always Best Care.”


“Great service and great people. Always warm and welcoming.”

Cristina S.

“Ives and Alicia definitely true 5 stars !! My name is Daniel Murray and I have been with Always Best Care for 2 years and I am very satisfied with the care I have received from them through the years. Everyone has been very polite and professional. My son and I are very blessed to have PROFESSIONAL CARE like this!”

Dan M.

“Always Best Care of the Midlands has a dedicated staff that is always trying to provide the best care and information to all of their clients... thanks very much!”

Josephine C.

“Charlene & Nate work very hard to bring you the BEST healthcare service they can provide!!”

Tanya M.

“Congratulations to Always Best Care Midlands for qualifying for the HCSB A+ RATING. This proves that your agency has been verified by a 3rd party unbiased bureau to uphold the most stringent standards in the industry!! Great JOB!”

Mike D.

“Very reliable and excellent service!”

carla L.

“Nate Rhodes takes the time to get to know each potential client and goes out of his way to make the best care plan at reasonable prices. He works hard to find the right fit for each individual.”

Caitlyn W.

“Nate Rhodes and his staff go out of their way to ensure that their clients get the utmost best care for complete customer satisfaction.”

Cassy B.
 In-Home Care Murrells Inlet, SC

How does In-home Senior Care in Murrells Inlet, SC work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

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 Senior Care Murrells Inlet, SC

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:


How much does a senior's home truly mean to them? A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Murrells Inlet, SC, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living
Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.


For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience
Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Murrells Inlet, SC gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Empowers Seniors

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

Veteran's Benefits
Veteran's Benefits

Aid and Attendance benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance

Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.

Private Insurance
Private Insurance

Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.

Life Insurance
Life Insurance

Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

Respite Care Murrells Inlet, SC

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Murrells Inlet,SC understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

 Caregivers Murrells Inlet, SC

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

An assessment of your senior loved one


An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home


Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

Latest News in Murrells Inlet, SC

Voodoo Brewing Co. expanding in SC with Murrells Inlet, Myrtle Beach pubs

A Pennsylvania brewery known for such beers as Good Vibes and Voodoo Love Child will soon bring its funky flair to Grand Strand taps.Voodoo Brewing Co. plans to welcome a Murrells Inlet franchise in October and a Myrtle Beach location in early 2024. The new pubs, which don’t brew on site but offer beer from Voodoo’s Pennsylvania brewery, mark the latest addition to the Grand Strand’s growing craft beer scene.“They want you to create the vibe,” said Mike Dapolite, the Murrells Inlet Voodoo franchise...

A Pennsylvania brewery known for such beers as Good Vibes and Voodoo Love Child will soon bring its funky flair to Grand Strand taps.

Voodoo Brewing Co. plans to welcome a Murrells Inlet franchise in October and a Myrtle Beach location in early 2024. The new pubs, which don’t brew on site but offer beer from Voodoo’s Pennsylvania brewery, mark the latest addition to the Grand Strand’s growing craft beer scene.

“They want you to create the vibe,” said Mike Dapolite, the Murrells Inlet Voodoo franchise owner. “So it’s wood, it’s barrels. Their signature thing is tables made out of pallets. … Same colors, same attitude.”

The hippie aesthetic is a key part of the Voodoo brand, which bills itself as focused on “crafting the best beers and dankest food you’ve ever tasted.”

The staple Voodoo beers run the gamut from West Coast IPAs and traditional American lagers to sour ales and hard seltzers. There are also seasonal offerings and “spontaneous releases,” according to Voodoo’s website.

Myrtle Beach News

The Murrells Inlet pub will be at 3453 U.S. Highway 17 Business in the former home of a seafood market. The Myrtle Beach location is planned for Broadway at the Beach near Dave and Buster’s.

Founded in Meadville, Pennsylvania, in 2005, Voodoo didn’t open its first tap room until 2012 but quickly expanded in Pennsylvania. Franchises now operate in states across the country, including Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Tennessee.

Voodoo arrived in South Carolina last year with the opening of a pub in Fountain Inn, a town on the southern edge of Greenville County. Murrells Inlet and Myrtle Beach will be the second and third franchises in the Palmetto State, though the company is considering at least three other South Carolina cities for expansion.

“South Carolina has great demographics to support our pubs,” said Tony Lang, the Voodoo franchise group’s chief marketing officer, in an email. “South Carolina also embodies an entrepreneurial spirit which is part of the reason we are finding great franchise partners in the state.”

Unlike a traditional brewery, Voodoo pubs simply carry the company’s signature beers.

“This actually goes back to Voodoo Brewing Company’s original model for their corporately owned pubs in Pennsylvania,” Lang wrote. “All of the beer is brewed in Meadville, PA, which is a relatively small town, but they opened additional tap rooms in Erie, Pittsburgh and State College and found great success in those spots. The beauty of owning a Voodoo Brewing Company Franchise is that you are able to enjoy the fun of owning a brewery tap room without the headache of brewing the beer. It’s a unique model but we’ve had wonderful success in Fountain Inn and are really looking forward to the pubs we are opening in the Myrtle Beach area and South Carolina as a whole.”

Myrtle Beach Business

The brewpub-without-the-brewing model appealed to Dapolite. He knew wouldn’t need a ton of extra space or expensive equipment to start his business.

After vacationing on the Grand Strand for about 30 years, he retired in 2021 and decided to move from the Northeast to be closer to family. Dapolite has never run a bar, though he has experience in the restaurant industry and spent years in the corporate world.

He was looking for a way to semi-retire when he read online about Voodoo’s franchise opportunities. He decided to tour a Voodoo brewery in Pennsylvania and was sold.

“They had really awesome beer,” he said. “I tasted most of their beers. … [They have] every version: so sours, stouts, West Coast IPAs, East Coast. … And they make it all.”

Dapolite also liked the Voodoo atmosphere, which is modeled after European beer halls. That means community tables and plenty of outdoor seating.

Dapolite plans to offer 24 taps at his pub. There will be no bottled beer.

Although the beer selection will mirror other Voodoo locations, Dapolite said the menu allows for some regional flexibility.

“They give you freedom,” he said. “Obviously in Pennsylvania, nobody’s serving shrimp and grits.”

A Weekend Getaway to Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Winter in North Jersey can get quite dreary. At some point, most of us are sick of the snow and looking for a place to escape the cold, at least for a few days. Nestled just under a half-hour south of Myrtle Beach lies Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. This town is the perfect coastal getaway for someone who would rather have a calmer vibe with still lots to do. Loaded with delicious Southern eateries, local shops, beaches, nature destina...

Winter in North Jersey can get quite dreary. At some point, most of us are sick of the snow and looking for a place to escape the cold, at least for a few days. Nestled just under a half-hour south of Myrtle Beach lies Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. This town is the perfect coastal getaway for someone who would rather have a calmer vibe with still lots to do. Loaded with delicious Southern eateries, local shops, beaches, nature destinations, and waterfront restaurants with bands and dancing, this destination is a fun, easy-going getaway for any time of the year. Read on to learn more about Murrells Inlet and to plan your weekend there.

About the Town

Murrells Inlet is one of the oldest coastal communities in the state. It’s located on the Southern part of the “Grand Strand,” a 60-mile stretch of the Carolina coast running from Brunswick County to Georgetown County. Murrells Inlet is known as the Seafood Capital of South Carolina, and the seafood-and fishing-centric way of life here dates back to 1731, when it was founded by English colonist John Morrall, who historians believe is the town’s namesake. At the time, this convenient coastal location made it a go-to port for transporting various products to the Northern Colonies and Britain.

Read More: A Look at Montclair’s International Sister Cities in Europe

The location was also known to be a place for visiting pirates, where Blackbeard, Drunken Jack, and others stopped by from time to time. As the years went on and the land became more developed, this area blossomed from a small village to the fun destination it is today. Aside from being a historic fishing village, Murrells Inlet is known for its ghost stories, delectable hush puppies served with every meal, coastal vibes, abundant golf courses, Carolina Palmetto trees, and friendly neighbors.

There’s always something to do here and the winter months are mild. A visit during the shoulder seasons means guests can enjoy all there is to do without the Southern humidity. Murrells Inlet is about a half-hour’s drive from the Myrtle Beach airport. A direct flight to Myrtle Beach from Newark is about 90 minutes. The drive from North Jersey to Murrells Inlet is about 10 hours.

What to Do

Brookgreen Gardens has much to offer: botanical gardens, sculptures, a small zoo, and it’s listed as a National Historic Landmark in addition to being on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s known as a cultural center for the community, with new events and exhibits for each season. The vibes are amazing here and the variety of Southern florals is beautiful.

Garden City is the closest beach to Murrells Inlet, with five miles of white sandy beaches. The beachfront is lined with colorful, coastal homes and the beaches are full of shells. Animal lovers can bring their dogs for a walk on the beach. Aside from the beach itself, the area surrounding the pier has several local places to grab coffee, boardwalk-style food, souvenirs, and more. Upstairs on the pier, visitors will find a large arcade to get out of the sun for a bit, and there is the option to walk to the end and take in the Atlantic Ocean views outside.

Another beach option is Huntington Beach State Park, which is also a campsite and a National Historic Landmark. There are three miles of beach and over 2,500 acres of land to explore at this state park, with tons of wildlife to see. Many species of bird frequent the beach here, along with alligators, turtles, and other species native to the area. The views of South Carolina nature here will not disappoint.

If there’s one thing Murrells Inlet isn’t short of, it’s golf courses, and that includes mini-golf. At Gilligan’s Island, located at 3215 US-17 Business, golfers can pick from two different 18-hole courses and are surrounded by bright blue water and palm trees. Inlet Adventure, located at 3009 South US-17 Business, is another tropical paradise and has an ice cream shop on-site for the ultimate beachy treat.

The Marshwalk is the highlight of Murrells Inlet, for good reason. There are nine waterfront dining options to choose from here, all with a view of the marsh that leads into the bay. Fun fact: In the spring and summer, there’s an island right off the marsh that has goats on it, the locals call it “Goat Island.”

There is always something to do here, with a boardwalk to connect it all. During the day, choose from brunch on the water and shopping the local eateries’ branded apparel during the day, At night, visitors can dance to local bands, eat dinner al fresco, and more.

The Marshwalk is also the starting point for several excursions, including a beer boat, jet skis, fishing charters, and more.

What to Eat

Costa is an Italian eatery with a coastal twist (hence the name). The place has a casual vibe that can be romantic as well, making it a good spot for all occasions. The menu consists of coastal Italian fusion, with plates like crab cakes, calamari, and clams for starters. The main courses have options like chicken or veal saltimbocca on the land side, and pan-seared diver scallops on the sea side of the menu.

Dead Dog is a typical Southern comfort food spot that’s known for its bar and live music. The outdoor patio has great views of the marshwalk, in addition to the plentiful indoor seating. On the menu, patrons will find pub food favorites like mac and cheese bites, wings, and cheesesteak minis along with rotating beers on tap and signature cocktails.

Almost all of the bars and restaurants in Murrells Inlet host live music, and Hot Fish Club is no exception. Formerly called the ??Hot and Hot Fish Club, this restaurant dates back to the 1700s, making it the oldest in the area. The menu here is huge and full of seafood – blue crab dip, lobster pot pie, a hot fish platter, and seafood steampots to name a few.

Peters has an all-around good menu. The meal starts off with honey-butter croissants delivered to the table. The salads that come with the entrees are delicious, topped with egg, bacon bits, and more. Consider trying the blackened chicken alfredo with broccoli, tomatoes, and shredded Parmesan cheese for a non-seafood option, or seafood dishes like fried flounder or fresh Atlantic Salmon.

Luna is a casual eatery that’s off the busier Marshwalk area. The eclectic decor matches the vibe and the menu includes typical Mexican dishes. The chips with various salsas are a good starter, and entrees include fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, carne asada, and more. The guacamole is made table-side, and the bartenders have perfected the margarita, made by hand with fresh-squeezed lime juice.

This casual restaurant is a part of the golf course TPC Myrtle Beach, and it’s a great place for breakfast, lunch, and happy hour. Guests can enjoy Margarita Mondays, Wine Wednesdays, and a sports game on multiple TVs. The pub overlooks the 18th hole of the golf course, making it a pub with a view. The Pub is open to guests, with or without a tee time on the course.

Wahoo’s menu highlights fresh-caught South Carolina seafood, which patrons can enjoy as a sit-down dinner while watching local bands play. In addition to featured fresh catch selections, there’s also fried shrimp, Bourbon BBQ Mahi, shrimp and grits, and more to choose from. The drink menu is endless, from specialty cocktails like Wahoo’s Lemonade and Strawberry Lemon Drop, to make-your-own mules, daiquiris, beer, and wine.

Where to Shop

Inlet Square Mall is comprised of many local shops. It’s good for a shopping day if the weather’s iffy or for if you forgot your bathing suit. Choose from stores like Captain Murrells Antiques and Uniques, Moon Beach Studio, Ally’s Art House, and more.

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Jaws’ name doesn’t just come from anywhere. Shoppers can see live baby sharks here while browsing souvenirs, and the selection is endless. Shop for apparel, drinkware, keychains, and literally anything else you can think of here.

Lazy Gator is a popular local spot, and it’s the only place that carries exclusively Murrells Inlet-branded merchandise. It has an upscale vibe, with an entire section of coastal decor, gifts, art, and garden accessories. The store carries jewelry, mugs and cups, apparel, Christmas decorations, stickers, shells, fudge, and lots more.

Southern Splendor is a quaint local shop with a coastal ambiance. The store carries charming Southern merchandise, including home decor. Here, shoppers can find gifts branded with various names of South Carolina towns, including Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, along with candles, kitchenware, pillows, and more.

The Bookworm is a locally-owned used bookstore that is a favorite of the Myrtle Beach area. The books are offered at 50% – 75% off the original cover price. The store carries over 25,0000 books and offers store credit for bringing your used books in. Some of the fun aspects of this spot include a $1 book section, a customer and staff recommendations shelf, a “Blind Date With a Book” section, and book-themed gifts.

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Murrells Inlet family opens country’s first Seakart adventure on the MarshWalk

MURRELLS INLET — A new Murrells Inlet attraction docked beside the picturesque MarshWalk is the first of its kind in the United States.The idea for Seakart Adventure SC — located at 4079 U.S. 17 Business behind the Dead Dog Saloon — came while owner Jason Zimecki was in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on a work trip a few years ago.“A guy there introduced me to it,” said Jason Zimecki, who along with his wife Lorrie...

MURRELLS INLET — A new Murrells Inlet attraction docked beside the picturesque MarshWalk is the first of its kind in the United States.

The idea for Seakart Adventure SC — located at 4079 U.S. 17 Business behind the Dead Dog Saloon — came while owner Jason Zimecki was in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on a work trip a few years ago.

“A guy there introduced me to it,” said Jason Zimecki, who along with his wife Lorrie owns the seasonal business. “I rode on one and asked what can we do to get this thing to America. He said if you can figure it out, let’s roll.”

A Seakart — developed and produced by Dubai-based Seakart International Boats LLC — is a hybrid between a jet ski and an inflatable boat, offering riders a jet ski’s adrenaline rush but the comfort and safety of a boat as they explore the inlet and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean.

“People look at it but can’t quite figure out what it is,” Jason Zimeck said. “But we have an amazing crew here on the dock who talk people through riding them. Each Seakart holds three people. The person in the middle drives and people can sit on either side.

“The Seakart has a 110 horsepower Yamaha four-stroke engine in it so for the engine junkies out there, it is a pretty big engine for a vessel this size.”

Lorrie Zimecki said Seakart rentals cost $199 for a one-hour adventure. She said some families rent two at once. Rentals can be booked on Seakart Adventures SC’s website, where people can find company policies and more information.

“When you get here, we do a 15-minute safety briefing and we teach you to drive it,” she said. “It’s super easy and it has a paddle acceleration right there at the steering wheel. So, it’s good for beginners or experts because it is so easy to drive. We take photos when they are out on the water, so following the adventure they get a digital photo album.”

The couple and their crew run six adventures a day, starting at 9 a.m. and finishing around 4:30. Right now the business is seasonal, closing around Oct. 15, but Jason Zimecki said they could expand their hours in the future.

The business has been open since May, a few years after the Zimecki’s settled down in Murrells Inlet in 2019. They are originally from Northern Virginia near Washington D.C.

“Lorrie and I — it’s very strange — we grew up near each other but we didn’t know one other. I went to school in Wilmington, North Carolina at UNCW and she went to Penn State,” Jason Zimeck said. “I’ve been on the water for most of my life. I love to surf and fish.”

Lorrie Zimecki said her parents retired to the Grand Strand roughly 17 years ago, and she had always gone to Surfside Beach or Garden City on vacations, leading the duo to make the move south to Murrells Inlet.

“We both kept our corporate jobs after arriving, but it was always a dream of ours to open a small business,” she said.

The couple said they knew opening Seakart Adventure SC on the MarshWalk was the right decision, especially after doing test runs on the inlet a week before they opened for business in May.

“We had three guys from Pawleys Island that came down,” Lorrie Zimecki said. “One of them was a younger veteran who had lost his arm and he was saying that he was not able to go on the jet skis but was happy he could go on the Seakart.”

But the best part of the Seakart adventure, according to Jason Zimecki, is the experience that riders get soon after leaving the docks of the MarshWalk.

“You are going to see a bunch of wildlife,” he said. “Tons of birds. There are many different things to see from the marsh to the ocean. You get into some good pods of dolphins.”

Riders should not get lost on the inlet as they follow behind a lead security boat operated by two crew members, one driving and the other an instructor to focus on the Seakarts and help the riders navigate. Each one-hour trip covers nearly 20 miles.

“On our inlet runs, we will run into the creeks but we are very cautious of the fishermen, so having us guide is good so we can slow down and prevent wakes from affecting them,” Jason Zimecki said. “But you see some pretty cool stuff. There is a bald-headed eagle — Billy we’ve named — flying around out there.

“We have several travel paths through the inlet and into the ocean, weather permitting, due to wind swells. It’s very tidal here too. So, at low tide, there are exposed sandbars that can become quite dangerous. And it is busy, so being able to navigate the traffic is helpful with our guides.”

Lorrie Zimecki said one of the most-asked questions they get is whether customers will get wet.

“We get a lot of folks that are hesitant about jet skis and they feel safer about this,” she said. “You really don’t get all that wet. So, you can go out on the Seakart and still go to dinner on the MarshWalk.”

The couple said the MarshWalk now feels like a second home.

“The MarshWalk has been very welcoming,” Jason Zimecki said. “We love all of the businesses that are located here. It’s like one family with everyone looking out for each other. Our crew is our main thing. This wouldn’t be what it is without our people involved.”

Lorrie Zimecki said they have been working for years to get their current fleet of two Seakarts imported into the United States but more are on the way in the coming months. They are open to expanding in other locations, but they first want to focus on the customer experience for their riders in Murrells Inlet.

“We have been working on this for so long that the Seakarts feel like they are a part of us,” Lorrie Zimecki said. “When we see the reactions of our guests, it reminds us this is the first and only time that they have done or seen this. So, it kind of humbles you and puts you back in perspective like, wow this is a really cool thing.”

Murrells Inlet business owner strives to help those facing stressful situations in life

MURRELLS INLET — A local business owner wants to assist those going through stressful situations in life after she previously navigated similar challenges without the necessary resources to help her.Charlene Blanton opened Caring Transitions of Myrtle Beach 12 years ago after researching the Cincinnati-based company, which specializes in helping older adults ...

MURRELLS INLET — A local business owner wants to assist those going through stressful situations in life after she previously navigated similar challenges without the necessary resources to help her.

Charlene Blanton opened Caring Transitions of Myrtle Beach 12 years ago after researching the Cincinnati-based company, which specializes in helping older adults and their families with relocation services, downsizing and decluttering, estate sales and home clean-outs.

Myrtle Beach News

“I previously had to walk this walk three different times with my family and each time we were out of town,” Blanton said. “And it was overwhelming, emotional and just incredibly difficult not having the right resources.”

She felt it was a franchise that a popular retirement destination like the Grand Strand needed. Her clients are typically folks in their 60s to early 90s.

Situated in the midst of one the state’s fastest-growing counties and anchored by tourism hub Myrtle Beach, Blanton’s business has benefited from the influx of homebuyers as well as vacationers who later may decide to buy.

“We get referrals from a lot of Realtors who need support for their clients and their families who are looking to move,” Blanton said. “When it was booming a year ago, we were having three-week closes. So, we were trying to get people packed up and moved out of their house, getting the house completely empty and ready for closing in three weeks.”

Before starting the franchise in June 2011, Blanton had a career as a hotel executive working in national sales. She said she was part of the hotel group that renovated the historic Francis Marion Hotel on King Street in Charleston.

“I stepped away when my first child was born and then as my children got older, we stepped back into the business world by starting this franchise,” Blanton said. “I realized that there needed to be some kind of resource to just support families when they are having to move and relocate for whatever reason, whether that be divorce, death, changes in life or just being proactive.”

Blanton said her franchise can help those facing a relocation, either to another state, locally or to an independent senior living community. She also assists those who have lost loved ones and are faced with the hectic process of settling their estate. Some of her techniques have resulted in her winning company-wide awards.

“We come alongside of them and provide them the tips and tricks and tools such as floor planning to make sure that not too much furniture gets moved to their new home, and it’s age-friendly and safe for mobility reasons,” Blanton said. “We actually place the furniture in their new home, unpack the boxes, put the sheets on the bed, the cups in the cupboard. We hang their clothes in the closet and we haul off all of the packing material so they are literally live-in ready to step into their new lifestyle.”

Blanton offers each potential client a free consultation, which lasts nearly an hour and a half inside their home. She doesn’t have a typical storefront, allowing her to provide more personal service.

Myrtle Beach News

“It is a turn-key service and they don’t have to start over and make all of these 600 different phone calls,” Blanton said. “We bring all of the resources to the table for them.”

Blanton is a licensed auctioneer in South Carolina, but you won’t find her holding auctions where potential buyers show up in person. For those who have items left over at their residence, or if the house has a closing and it needs to go on the market, Caring Transitions offers online auctions through its site CTBids.com.

“There are a lot of gated communities along the Grand Strand,” Blanton said. “If your house were sold, would you want 300 people through your house on a rainy Saturday morning? Would you want to have 300 people parking in your neighborhood?”

Blanton said she recently moved a couple from Pawleys Island to Florida. After their house was sold, her staff circled back to get it ready for closing. They didn’t have a lot of stuff left, but they did find a group of watches with some of the faces broken.

“We watch our auctions very closely,” Blanton said. “It turns out one of them was a rare Swiss dive watch ... only 2,800 were ever made. Because of the photos we took, it went for almost $20,000. We would have never gotten anything close to that. That is an amazing phone call to make to someone.”

For her efforts over the past 12 years, Blanton was recognized as the company-wide franchise of the year in 2020. Caring Transitions President Ray Fabik said Blanton continues to be a model for the entire company.

“That was coming off of COVID,” Fabik said. “She really led the way in terms of restructuring her business and really sharing a lot of her strategies with the rest of the network. So, she has really had a big impact on the rest of the owners and her peers.”

Blanton said she was honored, but it was a shock to win the award. She said shortly after COVID began, her staff held a team meeting to decide how to operate. It was a difficult time, especially with a lot of senior living communities either restricting access or shutting down.

“We made a relocation team and all they do is help people move,” Blanton said. “They pack them up, they help the right-size and then we have a liquidation team that can come in and sell what’s left. And the two teams can piggyback and support each other. I realized that we could better serve if we were specialized because not everyone enjoys doing everything.”

Blanton said her team also wrote a manual of operating procedures, which then were shared with the entire network of Caring Transitions franchises. She now uses the experience to do coaching calls with new franchisees.

Being a small business entrepreneur is never easy, Blanton said, but it is all about adaptability. She said what they do is personable and they get to know their clients by their belongings.

“When our client family walks into their newly set-up home and the sheets are on the bed, the cups are in the cupboard, the artwork is hung, the television is working, they are live-in ready and they say, ‘Wow, it feels like home,”’ Blanton said. “That is the best feeling in the world. It’s like Super Bowl times a thousand.”


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