Longer days are here and while it’s not officially summer yet, I know the hotter weather has got you thinking about that next beach trip! Luckily for us Charlotteans, we do have a few beach choices within at least a three and a half hour drive (or you can book a non-stop three to four-hour flight to the Caribbean…but that’s another post!) Everyone’s heard of Myrtle Beach, also known as “The Grand Strand” or by its less favorable nicknames of “Dirty Myrtle” and “Redneck Riviera.” Spring breakers, bikers, golfers, and families have been visiting the 60 miles of beaches for lounging, shows, shopping, and dining. But if you’d like to avoid the touristy spots and the crowds this summer and go for some classic, family-friendly beach time, venture just twenty to thirty minutes south towards Surfside Beach, also known as “The Family Beach.”
From Charlotte, this little beach town is about a three and a half to four hour drive (depending on traffic) and while it can still get busy during peak summer season, it’s not quite as crazy as Myrtle Beach. It’s a golf cart-friendly town, so getting around as you lug your beach essentials or to just “cruise” to smell the ocean air is a breeze (see what I did there!). Luckily for us, my in-laws own a beach cottage in town, but luckily for y’all, there are many beach rental properties…so go ahead and book your next trip. Here are a few of my favorite spots you should check out if you’re ever in town!
Quick Breakfast Spot: Benjamin’s Bakery Cafe
All the baked goods you need–you can come daily to pick up something quick or make it part of your grocery run on day one as you stock up for the week! I highly recommend the ‘dossant’–donut meets a croissant. I know we have the ‘cronut’ from Sugarrmann’s at Coco and the Director, but there is a difference!
Best cheap eats: Dagwood’s Deli & Sports Bar
There are two locations in the Grand Strand, and the Surfside Beach location is a fully-stocked sports bar. We do enjoy hanging out at this spot, but we also love it for a quick take-out, especially after hitting the beach. You can’t go wrong with any option you choose, but we always get the “Smoking Joe” Frazier fries and the hubs always gets the Bumstead Club (pictured on the right below–so huge it takes up its own large to-go container!)
Cutest Specialty Market: Kudzu Bakery & Market
You do have to go another 20 minutes south for this local gem, but it’s worth it! I promise! Grab yourself a freshly baked sweet treat, a bottle or two of rose, and some of the best ingredients for a fancy or no-fuss meal for one of your nights when you choose to stay in. I snagged a slice of the strawberry rhubarb pie, and let’s just say no one else got even a bite! I don’t even have a picture of it because I forgot to take one as I couldn’t wait to dig in!
Iconic Local Restaurant: Lee’s Inlet Kitchen
Avoid the seafood chain joints–or at least do yourself a favor and stop by Lee’s Inlet Kitchen. I mean, it’s literally been there for 70 years, and with restaurants just consistently opening and closing, that tells you a lot about this place!
Well, now I’m really hungry as I wrap up this post! So let me just leave you with a few of our fun moments from our last trip over Memorial Day. If you stop by any of these places, let me know what you end up enjoying–and also let me know your favorite places for us to check out on our next beach trip!
When did he grow up to a little boy?!?
Grayson didn’t have all the fun…I snuck some pool time in on a baby tube while he napped. (And it was #nationalwineday so I had to have a glass of moscato in hand!)
P.S. There are so many beach toys that you can lug with you, but this little thing was enjoyed by everyone–who comes up with these cool toys? You literally toss it out into the ocean, and surfer dude comes right back to you riding the waves!
These beach tips and post recommended by Kriska!