We stayed at Surfside Beach, which is just a few miles down from Myrtle Beach, SC. If you're not familiar with Myrtle Beach, it's fun but very tourist-y with lots of restaurants, attractions, and outlet malls. Also, it's full of adorable little retro motels that have been in operation on the strip (aka Ocean Blvd.) since the 50's or 60's. But Surfside is different. It's just houses, mostly. Beach houses of all sizes, with a few little restaurants and beach stores thrown in between.
This is the view of Surfside Pier from the bridge that takes you from the street to the beach.
Here's the view across the street of some of the beach houses. I just love the ones done in bright colors! We were on the second row from the beach, but we had a clear view of the ocean between some of the houses.
And here was our little house! It's called Misty Suft, and it was cute. We spent a lot of time on the rocking chairs on the front porch, and a lot of time drying out bathing suits on the back porch :-)
Like almost all the houses, it was a stilt house, which means it's built up off the ground on stilts to protect it from flooding in the case of a storm surge in a hurricane. (Pretty self explanatory!) The hanging blue thing is called an AirChair, and it was extremely comfortable and fun. I'm dying to have one!
We went out on the pier one day. Lots of people fish off of it, and they were catching a lot of little sharks. In case you were wondering, that is precisely the reason why I do NOT swim in the ocean! Or any body of water. Because I have a deep rooted phobia of living creatures in the water of any kind, and nobody can convince me that they aren't there.
Here's hubby looking in the high powered telescope on the pier. He didn't know I took this picture :-)
Here's the view of the beach from the pier. You can barely see the rows of oceanfront beach houses, and the tiny little specks of people!
and this is Nibil's Oceanfront Dining, where you can get a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We ate breakfast there one morning. It was in walking distance from our beach house. The servers are friendly and although it's always a full house, we've never had a really long wait when we've gone there. There are huge windows all around so you can look out over the ocean while you eat, and the inside it kind of like an Irish pub atmosphere.
Here are some of the bigger, nicer, (read: more expensive!) beach houses you'll find at Surfside. Basically, you can spend anywhere from $1000 per week to $9000 per week at Surfside. It's all up to you, and while you probably do get what you pay for to some extent, there really aren't too many "run-down" looking places that would be bad to stay in. Personally, $9000 per week for a vacation rental sounds a little crazy to me, but to each his own! You can find plenty of nice rentals from $1800 to $4000 or so, and if you are insane like we are and decide that it sounds like a GREAT idea to pile up in a beach house with lots of relatives.... then it's really a very reasonable way to travel.
If you can handle that kind of togetherness.
And it probably helps if you can bring some tranquilizers, just in case.
But seriously, Surfside Beach is beautiful and it's my favorite place to stay in the Grand Strand (which, for those of you how don't know, is the strand of beaches running down the coast of SC). I highly recommend it... although you'll have to make your own decision about the family part!! (More to come on that.... when I get enough sedatives in my system to be able to discuss it. Just kidding. ..... I think.) :-)