11 Things to Do in Surfside Beach, South Carolina & Where to Stay
Surfside Beach, South Carolina, includes two miles of beautiful beachfront just waiting to be explored. This seaside community is located in the heart of the Grand Strand and has the well-deserved nicknamed of “the Family Beach.” Shopping, dining, swimming, and sunbathing are just a few of the things to do in Surfside Beach. This quaint ocean town also offers some of the best golfing in South Carolina.
From exploring the picturesque beaches to indulging in water sports and savoring delectable cuisine, here are some of the top things to do near Surfside Beach, SC.
Visit the Beaches
Surfside Beach offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions to keep visitors entertained throughout their stay. And it starts right at the beach — or should we say beaches!
1. Surfside Beach
Surfside Beach is a haven for sunseekers, offering soft sandy shores and breathtaking ocean views. With its family-friendly atmosphere and clean, well-maintained beachfront, it’s no wonder that this coastal gem attracts visitors from near and far. Whether you prefer to relax on a beach towel with a good book, take a refreshing dip in the ocean, or try your hand at building sandcastles, Surfside Beach has it all.
The beach is also known for its excellent fishing opportunities. Cast a line off the Surfside Beach Pier or join one of the local fishing charters to reel in the catch of the day. Don’t forget to capture the stunning sunrise or sunset views, which paint the sky in vibrant hues and create a magical ambiance.
2. Garden City Beach
Just a short distance south of Surfside Beach lies the enchanting Garden City Beach. With its laid-back vibe and picturesque scenery, this coastal town offers a peaceful retreat for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty. Take a leisurely walk along the shoreline, letting the gentle waves wash over your feet and collecting seashells along the way.
Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Keep an eye out for playful dolphins frolicking in the surf or graceful pelicans soaring overhead. For a unique experience, consider renting a kayak or paddleboard and explore the serene marshes and inlets surrounding Garden City Beach.
3. Myrtle Beach State Park
For a change of scenery, head north of Surfside Beach to Myrtle Beach State Park. This expansive park offers a beautiful beachfront, nestled amidst a backdrop of sand dunes and maritime forest. Take a leisurely stroll along the nature trails that wind through the park, immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of the coastal ecosystem.
Myrtle Beach State Park is also a popular spot for camping and picnicking. Set up camp under the stars and fall asleep to the sound of the ocean waves. If you’re a fishing enthusiast, try your luck off the fishing pier, where you can reel in flounder, Spanish mackerel, or even a red drum.
Outdoor Adventures in Surfside Beach
Surfside Beach is not just about pristine beaches; it also offers a wealth of outdoor adventures for nature enthusiasts. Here are some must-visit destinations for those looking to relax in nature:
4. Discover Wildlife at Huntington Beach State Park
Huntington Beach State Park is a nature lover’s paradise, encompassing over 2,500 acres of pristine coastal habitats. The park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including alligators, loggerhead turtles, and various bird species. Explore the park’s nature trails, where you can spot herons, egrets, and other migratory birds in their natural habitat.
Don’t miss the chance to visit Atalaya, a Moorish-style castle located within the park. Built in the 1930s, this historic structure offers a glimpse into the area’s rich history and serves as a backdrop for art exhibitions and cultural events.
5. Explore the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk
For a unique outdoor experience, head to the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk, located just a short drive from Surfside Beach. This scenic boardwalk meanders along the picturesque marshes, offering breathtaking views and opportunities to spot local wildlife. Take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the fresh sea breeze as you explore the charming boutiques, restaurants, and bars that line the boardwalk.
Indulge in delicious seafood dishes at one of the waterfront restaurants, known for their fresh catch and Lowcountry flavors. As you dine, keep an eye out for dolphins playing in the inlet and colorful sailboats gliding across the water.
6. Kayak through the Intracoastal Waterway
For an adventurous outdoor activity, grab a kayak and paddle your way through the scenic Intracoastal Waterway. This vast network of canals offers a unique perspective of the area’s natural beauty. Glide through the calm waters, surrounded by marshes teeming with wildlife and towering oak trees draped with Spanish moss.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, there are guided tours and rental services available to suit your needs. Discover hidden coves, observe nesting birds, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this coastal ecosystem.
Fun and Entertainment for the Whole Family
Surfside Beach offers a multitude of activities and attractions that are perfect for the whole family. Here are some options that guarantee fun and entertainment for everyone:
7. Family Kingdom Amusement Park
Located in nearby Myrtle Beach, Family Kingdom Amusement Park is a must-visit destination for families. With its thrilling rides, classic amusement park games, and water park, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Experience the adrenaline rush on roller coasters, spin around on the Ferris wheel, or cool off in the water slides.
The park also features kiddie rides for the little ones, ensuring that every member of the family has a memorable and exciting day of fun.
8. Wild Water & Wheels
Beat the heat and make a splash at Wild Water & Wheels, a water park and amusement park combo located in Surfside Beach. Zoom down thrilling water slides, relax in the lazy river, or challenge your family to a friendly race on the go-kart tracks. The park also offers mini-golf, bumper boats, and a wave pool, providing endless entertainment for visitors of all ages.
9. Miniature Golf
Engage in friendly competition with a round of miniature golf at one of the many courses in and around Surfside Beach. Putt your way through creative and challenging courses adorned with colorful obstacles, water features, and even pirate themes. Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of laughter and friendly banter as you navigate the courses and aim for that elusive hole-in-one.
Festivals and Events
Surfside Beach is a lively and vibrant community that loves to celebrate its culture and heritage through festivals and events. Plan your visit around these exciting occasions to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere:
10. The Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival
Step into the world of art and craftsmanship at the Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival, held at Huntington Beach State Park in September. This three-day event showcases the work of talented artists and artisans, featuring a wide variety of mediums, including painting, pottery, jewelry, woodworking, and more. Browse the booths, meet the artists, and purchase unique and handmade treasures to take home as souvenirs.
11. Summer Concert Series: Music by the Sea
During the summer months, Surfside Beach hosts the Music by the Sea concert series. Set against the backdrop of the ocean, these free outdoor concerts feature a lineup of talented musicians performing various genres of music, from beach music and jazz to rock and country. Grab a blanket or beach chair, sit back, and enjoy the live music as you take in the stunning views and the cool ocean breeze.
Where to Stay in Surfside Beach
Surfside Beach rentals offer a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. Here are some of the best neighborhoods to consider:
Staying in the Oceanfront neighborhood offers the ultimate beachfront experience. Wake up to stunning ocean views and enjoy direct access to the sandy shores. Accommodations range from luxury resorts to cozy oceanfront vacation rentals, ensuring a comfortable stay just steps away from the beach. Take leisurely walks along the shoreline, soak up the sun, and indulge in the serenity of the waves.
Surfside Drive is the main thoroughfare of Surfside Beach, lined with an array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. By staying in this neighborhood, you’ll have easy access to everything the town has to offer. Browse through local boutiques, savor delicious meals at charming eateries, and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a hotel, vacation rental, or a cozy bed and breakfast, Surfside Drive is a convenient and vibrant choice.
South Poplar Drive
For a more tranquil and residential atmosphere, consider staying in the South Poplar Drive neighborhood. This area offers a mix of vacation rentals and residential homes, providing a peaceful retreat away from the bustling crowds. Enjoy the serenity of tree-lined streets, take leisurely bike rides, and immerse yourself in the local community. While it may be a bit farther from the beach, the peaceful ambiance and residential charm make it an excellent choice for a relaxing stay.
North Poplar Drive
Situated just north of the Surfside Drive neighborhood, North Poplar Drive offers a convenient location close to amenities. Here, you’ll find a mix of accommodations, ranging from beachfront resorts to vacation rentals. Enjoy easy access to shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, ensuring everything you need is within reach. This neighborhood strikes a balance between a lively atmosphere and a more laid-back vibe, making it a popular choice for many travelers.
Surfside Beach/Garden City Beach Border
The area along the border of Surfside Beach and Garden City Beach provides the best of both worlds. This neighborhood offers a range of accommodations, from beachfront condos to cozy beach rentals. You’ll have easy access to the attractions and amenities of both towns, including the pristine beaches, local eateries, and outdoor activities. Experience the charm and unique offerings of both Surfside Beach and Garden City Beach by staying in this border neighborhood.
Remember to consider your preferences, budget, and proximity to attractions when choosing a neighborhood to stay in Surfside Beach. Each neighborhood has its own distinct character and advantages, ensuring that you’ll find the perfect place to call home during your visit.
Surfside Beach FAQs
To ensure you have all the information you need for an unforgettable visit to Surfside Beach, South Carolina, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Whether you’re curious about beach regulations, pet-friendly policies, or the best family-friendly activities to partake in, this section will provide you with the answers you seek.
Are there lifeguards on duty at Surfside Beach?
Yes, Surfside Beach has lifeguards stationed along the beach during peak seasons. However, it’s always important to exercise caution and adhere to beach safety guidelines.
Can I bring my pet to the beach in Surfside Beach?
Pets are allowed on the beach in Surfside Beach but must be leashed at all times. There are certain restrictions during peak seasons, so it’s advisable to check the local regulations before bringing your pet.
What are some family-friendly attractions near Surfside Beach?
In addition to the family-friendly activities mentioned earlier, some popular attractions near Surfside Beach include Ripley’s Aquarium, Myrtle Waves Water Park, and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.
The Surfside Beach Activities Are Endless!
Spend the day shopping in the downtown area, check out the surrounding towns, such as Myrtle Beach and Garden Beach, or stay put and read your favorite book. Ready to start planning your trip today? Click below!
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