This small beach community covers only two square miles, but it is prime real estate. Bordered by Myrtle Beach to the north, Garden City Beach to the south, Highway 17 Bypass to the west and, of course, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Surfside Beach offers some of the more affordable housing along the Grand Strand’s immediate coast. Consisting primaily of single-family homes and multi-family developments, Surfside Beach has become a bedroom community for many Grand Strand newcomers following the shutdown of the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base in 1994.
This incorporated town of 4,000 has its own police and fire departments and city council, maintaining a proud independence. The city-owned Surfside Beach Pier is the centerpiece of the oceanfront district, where hotels, restaurants and shops line the main strip and stilted beach homes mark the outskirts of town. Residents are as likely to drive golf carts instead of cars on the streets and the offseason sees a significant decrease in population density.
Golf, fishing and other watersports are popular pastimes, and the Wild Water & Wheels waterpark and racetrack is one of the Strand’s top attractions. A sizeable retiree population is served by several local organizations that offer assistance and social activities. Surfside Beach is also home to numerous seafood restaurants, miniature golf courses and shopping centers.
Surfside Beach is all about casual, coastal living with a Southern small-town charm. With 4,000 residents living within two square miles, the neighborhoods are tight-knit with longtime locals living alongside recent transplants. The community has a distinct character from the cities that surround it.
Surfside Beach prides itself as the “Family Beach” of the Grand Strand, and it offers a wide range of leisure activities for all ages. The All-Children’s Park features plenty of playground equipment to give the little ones a workout, Fuller Park features a relaxing environment for the town’s Sunday Serenade Concert Series, and the Bark Park even gives the family pet a place to run wild without a leash. Martin Park and Field and the Huckabee Recreation Complex provide a place for all sorts of sports.
Like much of the Grand Strand, seafood restaurants, golf courses (both miniature and biggie-sized) and attractions, like the Wild Water & Wheels waterpark, provide plenty of entertainment options for locals and visitors. The small-town atmosphere along with the wide selection of amenities makes Surfside Beach a great place to live and visit.
Surfside Beach’s small size prevents too many golf courses from being built within the city limits but the town is conveniently located near several outstanding layouts. Prestwick Country Club is located on the border between Myrtle Beach and Surfside Beach, and Wicked Stick Golf Links is located just off Highway 17 Bypass.
Nearby courses such as Azalea Sands, Island Green, Indian Wells and Tupelo Bay offer championship golf to Surfside Beach locals and visitors. For less serious golfers, miniature courses like Buccaneer Bay and Gilligan’s Island give families the chance to putt around the tropical-themed obstacles together.
It only makes sense that a place named Surfside Beach would specialize in seafood, and it comes in many forms. For the all-you-can-eat crowd, Crabby Mike’s on Highway 17 offers a buffet featuring 170 items, including fresh fish, shrimp and crab legs. For only slightly smaller portions, Bubba’s Fish Shack on the oceanfront strip offers a family-friendly environment and affordable seafood platters.
For a more upscale experience, try the historic Valentino’s for a wide selection of traditional Italian favorites. And for an informal family feast that is fast and affordable, Hamburger Joe’s, Dagwood’s Deli, Ultimate California Pizza and Fat Jack’s Wings and Things are popular choices.