Surfside Beach History
Surfside Beach, SC is rich in history like many of the towns along the Grand Strand. The Town of Surfside Beach sits on what was then the 3200 acre plantation home of John M. Tillman. Instead of a family-friendly beach city where many visitors come to relax each summer, the land was used to grow sweet potatoes and rice. Once John M. Tillman’s estate was distributed, the land passed through several hands and changed names several times. The land was called Roach’s Beach then Floral Beach after George J. Holiday’s wife and daughter, and, finally, in 1952, the name was changed to Surfside Beach. In 1954, Hurricane Hazel destroyed several homes in Surfside Beach as she moved up the coast of South Carolina. (You can still hear many great stories about the day that Hurricane Hazel landed on the Myrtle Beach area. This hurricane was considered the start of Myrtle Beach becoming a tourist destination.) The town of Surfside Beach did not let a hurricane hold them back. They re-built the damaged homes, and the city grew. In 1956, the town saw major growth once the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base was reactivated.
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Now, the Town of Surfside Beach is home to many full-time residents and the short-term home of many on vacation. The City of Surfside Beach is a small beach town…only 2 miles long…and stretches from the Atlantic Ocean west to Business 17. The town is just south of Myrtle Beach and just north of Garden City Beach and Murrells Inlet. The greater Surfside Beach area includes the area around Highway 544, Deerfield Plantation and Glenns Bay Road.
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You do not have to leave the Surfside Beach area to do your grocery shopping. On the south end of Surfside Beach, you will find Bi-Lo and on the north end you will find Piggly Wiggly. Old Time Pottery and Owl Nest Furniture are great places to find furnishings for your Surfside Beach house or condo. Tomlinson’s has a little of everything, and Eternal Wave Surf Shop sits at Surfside Drive and Business 17 for all of your surf needs before you head down to the pier.
Dining and Entertainment
After you have hung out at the beach, water park or batting cages or shopped all day, you will need to eat. Where do you go? Surfside Beach has some great places to dine all within a short walk, golf cart ride or drive from where you are.
- For pizza, I suggest Surfside Pizza on Surfside Drive or Dough Boys Pizza off Highway 544.
- Hamburger Joe’s is a great place to grab a hamburger, hot dog or wings.
- The River City Cafe is another favorite place of mine for hamburgers and you cannot beat the view! It is located ocean front just to the left of the Surfside Pier. You can either dine on the 2nd or 3rd floor and see great views of the ocean.
- Dagwood’s Deli is where you need to go for sandwiches and sports. Each table has their own TV so you can watch whatever game you want!
- Don’t let the outside of Sundown Restaurant deceive you. It is a bar, but they also serve wonderful food…anything from burgers and hot dogs to steaks and seafood.
- Some other great restaurants to try are Big Apple Bagels, Bar-B-Que House, Crabby Mike’s Calabash Seafood, Valentino’s, Scotty’s, Bubba’s Fish Shack and Neal and Pam’s.
Parks and Recreation
As with most of our beach towns, the beach is the biggest attraction for most people. Surfside Beach is less crowded than Myrtle Beach mainly because most of the beach front is occupied by homes or small condo buildings vs. hotels. In fact, only two hotels, Surfside Beach Resort Oceanfront and Holiday Inn Oceanfront at Surfside Beach, call the ocean front in Surfside Beach home. The Town of Surfside Beach has 36 beach access points. Three of those beach access points are wheelchair accessible. Call the Surfside Beach Public Safety Department for information on beach wheelchair availability. Have you ever wanted to parasail, ride in a banana boat or jet ski in the ocean? Check out Shoreline Watersports.
If the beach is not for you, Surfside Beach has many more attractions. The city owns a fishing pier off of Surfside Drive. Rates for access to the pier vary. Wild Water and Wheels water park will keep you cool on warm days if you would rather not hit the beach. You can also try the batting cages at Harbor Light Ball Yard on Hwy. 17 Business. On really hot or rainy days, stop by the Horry County Public Library branch in Surfside Beach. You can also visit the Farmers’ Market on Surfside Drive during the summer months.
Surfside Beach has many wonderful parks (for children of all ages) throughout the city.
- All Children’s Park is located at 616 10th Avenue South with 2 playgrounds, a picnic area and a restroom facility
- Bark Park is for our four-legged friends located at Pine Drive by the library. The park is open from sunrise to sunset. All dogs are welcome, but you do need to pick up a Town of Surfside Beach license tag ($10) at Town Hall.
- Fuller Park at the corner of Surfside Drive and Myrtle Drive features 2 lighted tennis courts, a playground area and a picnic area with a restroom facility
- Huckabee Recreational Complex is located at 499 Spanish Oak Drive. This park has 3 baseball fields, 1 football field, a tot lot for children under the age of 5 and a picnic shelter with restroom facilities. This complex hosts youth and adult softball, youth baseball and youth football.
- Martin Field is on Dogwood between 6th and 7th Avenues South. This field features a lighted baseball/softball field, a covered shelter and restroom facility. You athletic practices, t-ball, Coach Pitch and Machine Pitch games are held at this field.
- Martin Park is located on Lakeside Drive and 8th Avenue South adjacent to Martin Field. This park features 2 shuffleboard courts, a horseshoe pit, 2 Bocce ball courts and 4 picnic shelters. The Floral clubhouse is also located at Martin Park. The clubhouse accommodates 35 people and is available for rent throughout the year.
- Passive Park is located at Surfside Drive and Willow Drive (next to the library). It’s a quiet place to relax with picnic tables, a gazebo and a Veterans Memorial Fountain.
Surfside Beach is about 15-25 minutes from Myrtle Beach and about 10 minutes from Murrells Inlet. You can easily access many highways and quickly get to the Myrtle Beach International Airport.
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Surfside Beach is served by either the Socastee School District or the St. James School District. To find which school district serves your neighborhood, you can visit the Horry County School District website or the Horry County School District School Finder.
Socastee School District
Lakewood Elementary School (Kindergarten - 5th Grade)
1675 Highway 396, Myrtle Beach, SC 29575
Socastee Middle School (6th-8th Grades)
Socastee High School (9th-12th Grades)
4900 Socastee Blvd., Myrtle Beach, SC 29588
St. James School District
Seaside Elementary School (Kindergarten - 4th Grade)
1605 Woodland Drive, Garden City Beach, SC 29576
St. James Intermediate School (5th Grade and 6th Grade)
9641 Scipio Lane, Myrtle Beach, SC 29588
St. James Middle School (7th Grade and 8th Grade)
9775 St. James Road, Myrtle Beach, SC 29588
St. James High School (9th Grade - 12th Grade)
10800 Highway 707, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Contact Kathy Rukat Smith about Surfside Beach
Complete the form below with any questions you have about Surfside Beach or call/text Kathy Rukat Smith at 843-267-2710.