Garden City lies on the northern coast of South Carolina, a few miles from Myrtle Beach to the north and Charleston to the south. Home to the Atlantic Ocean, white sand beaches, and wildlife preserves, Garden City provides everything you need for an unforgettable family vacation. After booking your Garden City vacation rental, check out these top kid-friendly activities for a memorable getaway.
1. Go Swimming
Garden City boasts plenty of beach space open to the public, which in turn means plenty of access to the Atlantic Ocean. Spend a day swimming in the water with the kids. When you need to recharge your weary muscles, consider heading to Conch Cafe for lunch with a beachfront view, or buy some local seafood for a family meal back at your vacation rental.
2. Visit Huntington Beach State Park
Just a few minutes down the coast lies Huntington Beach State Park, which combines all your favorite coastal activities into one place: swimming, fishing, and hiking. Take the family on one of the hiking trails, such as the Kerrigan Nature Trail, which is an easy 0.3 miles walk along a boardwalk and ideal for young kids. The 2-mile Sandpiper Pond Trail takes you through coastal forests and spartina grass to a saltwater pond. Climb the observation tower for a great view of local birds, which include red-throated loons and bald eagles.
3. Explore the Pier
The Pier at Garden City offers numerous activities, including an arcade and shopping. Take a family stroll down the pier and enjoy the ocean air. Stop in at Sam’s Corner for lunch, or hop next door to Gigi’s Grill or Yum Yum Shop. An ice cream cone at Painters Ice Cream completes the experience. You can also fish from the pier, perfect for cooking a freshly caught meal back at your vacation rental.
4. See the Loggerhead Turtles
Loggerhead turtles nest on South Carolina’s beaches. Considered the state reptile, they’re easily recognized by their log-shaped heads. Take a family stroll along the beach, and keep an out for nests. You might even see the babies making their way to the ocean. Just make sure to fill in any holes you make, and leave the nests alone. Enjoy turtles from a distance.
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5. Go Boating
Grab a couple of kayaks or canoes and explore the wetlands on the edge of town. Wind your way through Murrells Inlet and Woodland Creek where you can view all the local birds up close. Tie up at Crazy Sister Marina, and grab lunch at Dead Dog Saloon or Drunken Jack’s Restaurant. You can even boat all the way down to Huntington State Beach.
6. Go Surfing
Bring or rent a surfboard to ride the waves. If surfing isn’t your thing, then you can also give your older kids a thrill with an afternoon of windsurfing or kitesurfing. The Village Surf Shoppe offers everything you need from equipment rentals to expertise.
7. Go Golfing
There’s golfing for everyone in the family at Garden City. At Tupelo Bay Golf Center, you can play a regular game or golf by foot. Golfing by foot includes large holes, soccer balls, and kicking the balls into the holes. Another option is miniature golf at Gilligan’s Island Funland Golf.
8. Play Room Escape Games
Add a twist to your vacation with room escape games at Carolina Escape. The Island Dungeon Escape game gives you and your family 60 minutes to get out of your shackles and escape a dungeon. Other escape options are available. Challenge yourself and build family relationships with this unique activity, which is sure to give your family a lot to talk about on the drive back to your vacation rental.
9. Go to Wild Water and Wheels
Enjoy a little family time at Wild Water and Wheels, which is a combined water park and go-kart track. Challenge the older kids to a race down the speed water slides or grab a tube or mat and enjoy a more leisurely ride. Buddy up with the little kids and make the trek along the lazy river. The 950-foot river takes you under waterfalls, around frog island, and under raindrop fountains. Once you swim yourself out, stop at the race zone for some go-kart fun. Children as young as six years old can try out the karts.
10. Go Fishing
Whether you want to fish off the pier, in the river, or in the ocean, Garden City has nothing but options. The Pier offers a tackle and reel shop and a cozy place to wait for a nibble. Reel Fly Girlz lies on Murrells Inlet for some local fishing. If you want to really challenge yourself or treat your family to an adventure, pack up your gear and go on a deep sea fishing tour. Ocean Ranger Fishing Charters takes you out on the Atlantic Ocean. Other options include Underdog Sport Fishing Charters and Reel Salty Fishing Charters.
11. Go Dolphin Watching
Take the kids on a dolphin watching tour at Blue Wave Adventures. The 90-minute cruise goes from Murrells Inlet to the Atlantic Ocean where you view not only dolphins—of which there are more than 40 known locally—but turtles, jellyfish, and stingrays as well.
12. Explore Brookgreen Gardens
Brookgreen Gardens combines art and culture with nature to create a fun all-inclusive experience for the whole family. Stroll through the 100-acre gardens that include anything from 300-year-old oak trees to roses. The separate gardens include the Live Oak Allee Garden, The Fountain of the Muses Garden, the Labyrinth at Brookgreen, and the Dorothy P. Peace Garden Room for Children. After touring the gardens, stop by the zoo to see the baby foxes, otters, deer, and Marsh Tacky horses. Then jump on the pontoon boats for a cruise through Waccamaw River and overland excursions to Civil War sites.
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