Known as “The Family Beach,” Surfside Beach makes up part of South Carolina’s Grand Strand. At just 2 square miles, Surfside Beach packs tons of exciting attractions into its small space. Whether you’re escaping the Northeast snowstorms or just looking to enjoy some fun in the sun, Surfside Beach is the ideal relaxation destination for your family. The town sponsors family-friendly events throughout the year, and there are plenty of shops and restaurants to keep you busy for days on end. Check out our favorite Surfside Beach vacation rental locations to get your family vacation underway.

1. Surfside Beach

Cozy up in a Surfside Beach vacation rental, but don’t get too comfortable, because adventure awaits right outside your front door. Grab breakfast at Omega Pancake House, then cool off at the Wild Water & Wheels water park. Spend the morning looking for treasures at Hudson’s Surfside Flea Market, and make sure you visit Valentino’s Italian Restaurant for dinner. Before you head to the beach, pick up any gear you need at Eternal Wave Surf Shop.

2. Myrtle Beach

Also located on the Grand Strand, the city of Myrtle Beach lies only 8 miles from Surfside Beach. From golf and fishing to art and museums, Myrtle Beach has something for everyone. Spend your mornings catching rays on the sand, and in the afternoon, shop until you drop at Broadway at the Beach, the city’s huge shopping mall. Take in the incredible views from atop the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, and enjoy a fun family dinner at The Melting Pot.

3. Georgetown

The history-rich city of Georgetown sits 25 miles from Surfside Beach, serving as the first settlement of North America. The city’s Harborwalk is home to a huge variety of shop and eateries, and Downtown Georgetown is a historic gem. Take a horse-drawn carriage tour of the 16-block area listed on the National Historic Register, or step inside one of the magnificent plantation homes. If seafood is a family favorite, be sure to try River Room Restaurant for dinner.

4. Murrells Inlet

If your family thrives on adventure, a vacation rental in Murrells Inlet is just what you need. Brookgreen Gardens offers art, a small zoo, a butterfly house, and beautiful botanicals. Visit Huntington Beach State Park for relaxation on the powdery sand, and take a stroll along the MarshWalk after dinner. When adventure calls, choose from snorkeling, paragliding, kayaking, or whale watching, or head to the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway for a scenic ride.

5. Atlantic Beach

Only a 20-mile drive from Surfside Beach, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, is called “The Black Pearl.” Offering food, fun, and relaxation, Atlantic Beach has something for everyone in the family. Send the adventurous ones to Crystal Coast Bicycles for some rentals, or hit up AB Watersport Adventures for some jet skiing. Those looking for a quiet time can peruse the titles at Beach Book Mart or explore Fort Macon State Park. Meet up for dinner at Beach Tavern Bar & Grill and stop for dessert at AB Ice Cream & Candy Shop before retiring to your vacation rental for the night.

6. North Myrtle Beach

Vacation rentals in North Myrtle Beach range from luxurious condominiums with spectacular views to cozy beachfront cottages. Lying 21 miles from Surfside Beach, North Myrtle Beach offers a small-town feel along with 9 miles of pristine beaches. Nature-lovers are sure to appreciate Alligator Adventure or T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station. Cherry Grove Beach is a top-rated family favorite, and Barefoot Landing offers a variety of reasonably priced souvenir shops as well as breathtaking sunset views.

7. Conway

The coastal city of Conway sits 15 miles north of Surfside Beach. This picturesque town offers historic homes along quaint tree-lined streets. The Conway Riverwalk makes the perfect spot for a picnic lunch with the family. Browse for treasures at Southern Pickers Antiques or the Carolina Marketplace Antique Mall, and grab lunch at the Rivertown Bistro.

8. Pawleys Island

Snag a vacation rental in Pawleys Island to enjoy this serene town at the southern tip of South Carolina’s Grand Strand. Golf is a huge attraction here, so be sure to pack your clubs. Relax by day on Litchfield Beach, and spend the afternoon exploring the Atalaya Castle. In town, several art galleries and museums await.

9. Wilmington

Not far from Surfside Beach, Wilmington, North Carolina, is situated along the coast, boasting a lively riverfront and three magnificent island beaches. Grab lunch at The Peppered Cupcake, or, if you’re up for Japanese, try Genki Sushi. Historical buffs are sure to love Airlie Gardens and the Battleship North Carolina military museum. Wilmington’s Riverwalk offers stunning sunset views, and the Cape Fear Serpentarium is a must-visit destination for families with teens.

10. Florence

Located inland, Florence, South Carolina, offers true Southern charm along with plenty of attractions right outside your vacation rental. Take your history lovers to the Florence National Cemetery and the War Between the States Museum. Antique shoppers love Thieves Market and Palmetto Peddlers Antiques Mall. The city also boasts several golf courses and tranquil parks.

11. Garden City Beach

Just down the coast from Surfside Beach, Garden City Beach is another great destination for families. The Pier offers free admission, so stroll along, listen to the live music, watch the fisherman, or grab a bite to eat. Be sure to stop at Grilled Cheese & Crab Cake Co for dinner, and take the kids to Gilligan’s Island Funland Golf before heading back to your vacation rental.