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But if you want to mix things up from another day at Long Bay, try a relaxing trip to Surfside Beach. Abutting the Myrtle Beach city limits to the south, this tiny seaside town of 4,000 encompasses only two square miles of oceanfront but prides itself as “The Family Beach” of the Grand Strand. That’s because the city-owned and operated fishing pier and the surrounding beaches, as well as the land that stretches inland, are dedicated to activities for all ages.
Golf, fishing and other watersports are popular pastimes in Surfside Beach, and the area also features lots of attractions, restaurants and shopping. The Wild Water & Wheels waterpark and racetrack is one of the Strand's most popular attractions, offering fun-filled thrills of water slides and go-cart racing. Several outdoors adventure outfitters are nearby to offer deep-sea fishing excursions, dolphin-watching cruises, parasailing trips, jet-ski rentals and more. Fishing and crabbing are popular activities around the Surfside Beach Pier, and a thriving surfing and paddleboarding community gather frequently at the beach and in the surrounding waterways.
A number of regulation-sized and miniature golf courses are located nearby, including the prestigious Prestwick Country Club and Wicked Stick Golf Links. Prestwick is a semi-private club that offers a limited number of public rounds, while Wicked Stick is always open to the public. Other public-play links in the immediate area include Tupelo Bay, Island Green, Azalea Sands and Indian Wells, and there are just as many miniature golf courses to play for the little ones, such as Buccaneer Bay, Gilligan’s Island and Shipwreck Adventure Golf.
Despite the small size of the Surfside Beach city limits, the town also features a number of outdoor parks where kids can play, adults can relax and even man’s best friend can get into the act. The All-Children’s Park features plenty of playground equipment to wear out the little ones, Fuller Park features a soothing environment for the town’s Sunday Serenade Concert Series, and the Bark Park allows the family pet lots of open space to run without a leash. Martin Park and Field and the Huckabee Recreation Complex provide a place for all sorts of sports activities, as well as a special outdoor movie feature during the summer months.
Surfside Beach also offers a wide selection of restaurants to make the whole family happy, particularly for seafood-lovers. If you and the troops are hungry enough to tackle an all-you-can-eat establishment, Benjamin’s Calabash and Crabby Mike’s on Highway 17 feature bountiful seafood buffets, including fresh catch of the day fish, shrimp and crab legs. For some great seafood in the downtown waterfront district, Bubba’s Fish Shack provides tasty dishes at affordable prices in a family atmosphere. For those who prefer “landfood,” check out local hot spots like Hamburger Joe’s, Dagwood’s Deli, Ultimate California Pizza and Fat Jack’s Wings and Things.
Be sure to hit the local gift shops and souvenir stores to remember your trip to the Grand Strand’s “Family Beach” retreat. It all adds up to a great one-day escape from the bright lights of Myrtle Beach to the quieter confines of Surfside Beach.
(Photo courtesy: Surfsidebeachsc.us)