When it comes to beach vacations, the South Carolina coast has a lot to offer. The weather is warm late into the fall and warms up in early spring. Dotting the coast near Garden City are a host of beach communities that offer everything from luxury condos on the beach with balconies to watch the sunrise to modest homes for families on a budget. With boardwalks and amusement parks to enchant you, each beach city offers its own vibe and sense of quirkiness. If you’re looking for a Garden City vacation rental custom-made for your family’s needs, use this quick guide to the best locations in and around Garden City to start your search.

1. Garden City

beautiful view of the sunrise
Source: Flickr / pixfixer01

Choose a vacation rental near Huntington Beach State Park to enjoy days combing the beach for unique seashells, splashing in the surf, and touring the Moorish-style mansion in the park. Dedicated to big cats and rare bird species, Waccatee Zoological Farm offers more than 100 species for you and your kids to see when you spend an afternoon at this small zoo, or take the kids to Fun Warehouse for some rollerskating and laser tag.

2. Murrells Inlet

cute entrance to the garden
Source: Flickr / Rain0975

Just south of Garden City, Murrells Inlet offers your family complete rest and relaxation with fewer crowds than one of the larger towns on the coast. While away the days spending time with your family as you fish, kayak, and try surfing the waves. Take the kids to Atalaya Castle for the chance to learn more about local history, and see the sculptures of Ann Hyatt Huntington.

3. Surfside Beach

tall grasses
Source: Flickr / fran.trudeau

Travel a few minutes north of Garden City up Route 17 to the town of Surfside Beach. This small town enjoys the nickname of the “family beach,” and you’ll find a lot of family-friendly fun. Take the kids to Wild Water & Wheels center, where you have to make the hard choice between go-karts and water slides, or split your time there with both activities.

4. Myrtle Beach State Park

people at the beach
Source: Flickr / stephen boisvert

In the area around the Myrtle Beach State Park, you’ll find fewer crowds while still remaining close enough to the action to walk the beach or bike to the hot spots. Keep an eye out when exploring Myrtle Beach State Park for the cordoned-off areas where the loggerhead turtles have their nests.

5. Myrtle Beach

seaside park
Source: Flickr / James Willamor

Myrtle Beach is the beach community with something for everyone in your family, from the stunning views from your beachside vacation rental to an evening spent walking on the boardwalk and enjoying amusement park rides. At Myrtle Waves, skip the salt water for a ride on a lazy river, or thrill as you shoot down a water slide. Choose from local mom-and-pop diners and boutiques to find a new place to eat out or enjoy some retail therapy.

6. Tidewater Plantation

horses and riders at the seaside
Source: Flickr / Alan Sterling

North of Myrtle Beach up Kings Highway sits the planned beach community of Tidewater Plantation. Your choice of vacation rentals here varies from luxury single-family homes to more modest condos a couple of blocks from the beach. Ride your bikes, play a couple of tennis matches, and hang out at the community pools. This planned community offers an award-winning golf course, so the golf lover in your family doesn’t get rusty while on vacation.

7. Arcadian Shores

beautiful beach resort
Source: Flickr / James Willamor

Escape the crowds of Myrtle Beach by selecting a rental in the laid-back coastal community of Arcadian Shores. For the shopaholic in your family, the Myrtle Beach Tanger Outlets are just a short drive away. If the weather turns overcast, a visit to the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach offers inside fun with its unique and sometimes odd water creatures.

8. Briarcliffe Acres

ocean waves
Source: Flickr / Alan Sterling

The further north you go from downtown Myrtle Beach to look for a vacation rental, the fewer crowds you encounter, and this is true in Briarcliffe Acres. Here, you’ll find plenty of down time to reconnect with your family while fishing, boating, biking, and playing on the beach. To test your puzzle-solving abilities, stop by Escapes, where you need to solve puzzles to escape a locked room.

9. Atlantic Beach

palm trees at the resort
Source: Flickr / Martin Labelle

If someone in your family loves to golf, then find your new home away from in the Atlantic Beach community. This beach town is within easy driving distance of both Beachwood Golf Club and Azalea Sands Golf Club, where you can spend the vacation practicing your swing. For some beachy fun, rent a jet ski for an afternoon, or arrange for a horseback ride on the beach.

10. North Myrtle Beach

long seaport
Source: Flickr / Rain0975

North Myrtle Beach, a separate city from Myrtle Beach, offers similar attractions at a slower pace with fewer crowds. For the kids, O.D. Pavilion Amusement Park features rides, games, and carnival foods. The adults in your party can head to Duplin Winery for a wine tasting.

11. Cherry Grove Beach

scenic view at the pier
Source: Flickr / Michael Au

In Cherry Grove Beach, you’ll feel time slow down as soon as you arrive. Take the family to the iconic Cherry Grove Beach Pier, walk out to the end, and see if the fish are biting.