The Family Beach

June 2015
Written By: 
Karen Fletcher and Kelly Harer
Head to Surfside Beach for sun, sand and plenty of fun-filled activities, all year-round

Located just eight miles south of Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach boasts an oceanfront landscape brimming with residential homes, second homes and beach rentals. Though there are hotels, they are both fewer and shorter than the ones found in Myrtle Beach. This family-friendly beach might be known for its waterpark, mini golf and a bowling center for hours of fun and quality time with family and friends, but hidden among its streets you will find the real reasons this beach is known for its family atmosphere. Grab a friend, significant other, child or dog and make your own adventure at some of Surfside’s other family-friendly destinations.

The Beach & Pier
Grab your beach blanket, pail and shovel and head to one of the 36 beach accesses along two miles of sandy coast. Many accesses offer public restrooms in stand-alone buildings with running water. Additionally, Surfside Beach offers three restaurants located directly on the beach if you’d like to treat your family or friends to lunch.

Enjoy the view or spend a day fishing along the 830-foot-long Surfside Beach Pier. Pier admission is $1 per person; ages 7 and under are free. Residents and second home owners are also free. Bring your own chair or claim a built-in bench to cast your line. You can rent a rod from Surfside Pier Outfitters if you don’t have your own. Daily fishing passes are available for purchase at the pier: $9 plus tax daily fishing pass for non-residents; $4.50 plus tax for residents. Sinks are available to easily clean fish. 11 S. Ocean Blvd. at Surfside Drive

Discover a Park
The All Children’s Park is located underneath the Surfside Beach water tower. Beautiful live oaks shade two play sets, swings and covered bench swings for on-looking adults. Public restrooms are available. 10th Avenue South and Hollywood Drive

Three parks surround the Surfside branch of Horry County Memorial Library and each one is covered with the shade of beautiful, large live oak trees. Fuller Park offers a playground and swings, covered bench swings, picnic tables and restrooms. There are also two lighted tennis courts to inspire a friendly match. Keep an eye out for a Kid’s Fair which will be held July 13.  Corner of Surfside Drive and Myrtle Drive

On the other side of the library is Passive Park, which offers a gazebo and picnic tables shaded by trees. Visit the Veterans Memorial fountain located at the corner of this park. Try out the exercise trail that winds through the park with stations and posted health information. On Sundays at 2 p.m., bring your folding chair or blanket and enjoy the Sunday Concert Series: Sunday Serenades. Corner of Surfside Drive and Willow Drive

Bring your family pet to The Bark Park, located on Pine Drive adjacent to the Surfside Library. Both large dog and small dog areas are available.

Martin Park runs along a small lake. A playground is available with picnic tables, two shuffleboard courts, one horseshoe pit and two bocce ball courts. Bring your own equipment and enjoy a little competition. A walking bridge takes you over the lake to Martin Field, home to a lit baseball/softball field and restrooms. Bring a blanket or beach chair and snacks to enjoy a family-friendly flick on Thursdays at 9 p.m. for Movies After Dark on the field. Lakeside Drive and Eighth Avenue South

T.J. “Bill” Harrison, Sr. Memorial Park is a sliver of green space with a metal sculpture and a bench to enjoy the view. Its small parking lot is home to two electric car charging stations. A Farmers Market is offered at the park on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Corner of Surfside and Poplar drives

Huckabee Recreational Complex is a sports complex located off of Glenns Bay Road on Spanish Oak Drive. There are three baseball fields, a football field, a playground for children 5 and under and a picnic shelter with restrooms.

Good Eats, Child Approved
Sit back and relax at Benjamin’s Bakery. They offer an extensive coffee menu, as well as fresh bagels, donuts, breads and a few breakfast/lunch items. Local art decorates the walls and local crafts such as candles and homemade bread bags are available for purchase; paperback books rest in a bookshelf for reading or to buy; and there are board games to play while you sip your drink and enjoy the aroma of fresh-baked bread.  810 Third Ave. S.

Order up a “dog bowl special” at Joey Doggs. They are proud to serve quality meat and fresh ingredients that include all-beef hot dogs, burgers, wings and sandwiches. A barking dog sound will greet you as you walk in the door and food is served in dog bowls or puppy bowls for the kids. A few arcade games line the wall, along with pictures of customers and clever signs about dogs. 1818C U.S. 17 Business N., just south of Ocean Lakes Campground

If you’re craving wings, try the local favorite Fat Jack’s Wings & Things. With more than 20 exceptional flavors to choose from (including a sauce of the month), you’re sure to find something to please your taste buds. Fat Jack’s is a family-owned restaurant with an authentic local feel—nearby businesses creatively advertise on the ceiling tiles and old-school arcade games add to the unique ambiance. Beyond wings, Fat Jack’s menu includes burgers, salads and more. 353A U.S. 17 Business N.

Things to Do
Batter up! Harbor Light Batting Range offers baseball and softball batting cages and is a fun activity for all ages and levels. Grab a bat and helmet, choose your pitch speed and swing! 631 U.S. 17 Business N.

Learn something new at Beach Beads & Glass Studio. Choose your own glass, wood and shell beads and the friendly staff will instruct you on how to create a bracelet or necklace. Some of the glass beads are blown in-store and the studio offers classes and one-on-one instruction for beading and glass blowing. 1918 U.S. 17 Business N.

Cool down at Wild Water & Wheels Waterpark with 24 slides, a wave pool and a lazy river. They also offer drier family-friendly activities including go-karts, bumper boats and mini golf. Check out their Friday waterpark special for $9.95 from 5–9 p.m. 910 U.S. 17 Business S.