I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I do have quite a bit lined up here to write about our recent trip to Surfside Beach, SC. For those of you that don’t know Surfside Beach is just south of Myrtle Beach, SC. We just got back yesterday and have mostly finished unpacking and getting ready to get back into the routine of things. Now, in some ways it will be good to get back into the swing of things, although overall it was a good trip.
We stayed in a nice condo in the Surfwatch building. It was nice to be on the top floor, we had a nice balcony view of the beach and ocean and the kids had fun. Fortunately we were all over the stomach bug that we got the week prior to heading down. (We thought we may have to delay the drip a bit.) But, all went well, we got the rental van and loaded up. Now, if you’ve traveled with kids, you know that it’s easy to bring EVERYTHING along. I’ll try to talk about the in-car entertainment in another post because there’s just so much I can talk about in one posting.
Surfside Beach is a really nice little town. It’s quieter than Myrtle Beach and they intend to not allow large high-rise condos. In fact our 4 floor of livable space condo building was one of the taller ones along the surfside oceanfront. There are good sidewalks on both sides of Ocean Blvd. heading up and down the beach which we made some good use of. There are also sidewalks down Surfside Avenue towards Business 17 and down 10th street. There are several parks including one all Childrens park on 10th street that we had scouted out beforehand as a diversion if we needed it for the kids, but ultimately we didn’t make it to them.
We weren’t there for many days, the day we arrived it was raining and we got in rather late, so there wasn’t time to go out to the beach. Our next day though was the day to go to the beach. Although it was quite cool (mid 60s with a cool breeze), our oldest (7 years) had a ball playing in the water and some in the sand as well. We had brought a kite with us to try out which did quite well in the breeze and we also had a Frisbee that Dunes Realty had given to the kids on our arrival.
We had walked down to the pier at Surfside Beach that day and taken a bit of a look around there, getting a bite of breakfast at a great restaurant at the pier called Nibils. I HIGHLY recommend getting something to eat there. I think we ate there about 3 times while we were there and everything was very good. The Scallops for dinner were exceptional, their breakfast fare was good and the shrimp was very good as well. There is a pay to park lot at the pier, but really it was walking distance for us, so two of the times we ate there we just walked.
Our second full day there was our expedition to Broadway at the Beach which is sort of an outdoor mall/amusement complex. They have the IMAX theater and Ripleys Aquarium among smaller shops, some amusement park rides, etc. The Aquarium and IMAX theater were our main targets. We went to the aquarium first. I think our youngest is not quite old enough to enjoy the aquarium. He is about 14 months and just didn’t quite get into it like we had hoped. Our oldest has now seen 3 aquariums (the Ripleys Aquarium in Gatlinburg, the Aquarium in Chattanooga and now Myrtle Beach’s Ripleys Aquarium.) The floorplan of this aquarium is very similar to the one in Gatlinburg and I think our 7 year olds mind was more on being able to play at the beach again. Personally I don’t think this one is quite as good as the one in Gatlinburg. We stopped at the snack shop there as we were finishing up and then prepared to head to the Imax. On the way we did a sidetrip through 18 holes at the minigolf course called Dragon’s Lair. Our 7 year old had a great time (he loves mini golf.)
By this time we needed to get some lunch so we followed the maps to the location of the Chic-fil-a, only to find that it was shuttered up. So, we wound up eating at Tripp’s instead and then heading back to the IMAX in time to realize we’d missed the showing we hoped to see by 20 minutes. (Sigh!)
Along the way though we got to see a magic shop with some odds and ends and a store called Sugar that was filled with all sorts of candy/sweets. We even got to make a personalized mix of M&M colors (it wasn’t quite cheap, but entertaining.) We’d definitely revisit Broadway at the beach if for no other reason than we didn’t get to see it all. (They also have boat rides and other amusement park stuff.)
I think there was another beach trip on this day, and then some plans for the next day which was a trip to Brookgreen Gardens.
Brookgreen Gardens is a unique spot. I think if we lived there we would get memberships just to go walk and picnic anytime. They are VERY well kept and tended, there’s a nice mix of formal gardens and statuaries. I don’t think the kids quite got into it. I think we spent around 4-5 hours there but it felt quite rushed trying to see everything. They have a children’s discovery exhibit which entertained our oldest a bit. Our 14 month old though is a little tougher to find things to keep him amused and he mostly spent the time sitting in the stroller riding or napping. There is a shuttle at Brookgreen to take you from the main welcome center to the other two locations (which includes a zoo) within the property.
The zoo kept our oldest somewhat interested. I would have liked to take more time there than we did though. In summary, I think our oldest would have been content just to spend three full days playing in the water and sand at the beach, but I’m glad we managed to get to at least see the other places mentioned. I know if we’re going back we’ll revisit Brookgreen Gardens.
If your visit to Surfside beach has you thinking about becoming a resident of SC, consider Charleston, a short drive down the coast where Keadle Real Estate can help you find the perfect area to settle into.
As I have time I will try to expand posts and perhaps pages on these places I’ve mentioned along with other notes on our trip. Look for those coming soon. I definitely hope to be able to revisit the Surfside Beach area in coming years!