South Carolina in the Off Season

While many people love to visit South Carolina beaches in the summer, fall and winter are incredibly beautiful times to escape to the coast. Blessed with beach weather well into autumn, even January and February can be quite comfortable for outside activities.

Looking for a break from the seemingly never-ending snow in the Mid-Atlantic last winter, a February trek to the beach was thankfully uneventful weather-wise. The smell of the salt air upon arrival, almost forcing deep breathing and relaxation, was a welcome respite from the smell of snow.

Even though swimming was not in the cards on this visit, it was pleasant sitting on the beach, watching the waves. The customary cache of seashells on the sand from the receding tide, and the seagulls squawking further acknowledged the coastal locale.

The pace of the town slows in the winter months, but with the exception of typical tourist pursuits – think Jet Skis and pirate voyages – not too many enterprises close altogether. The fishermen still come in to the inlet with their fresh catch. Shops, movie theaters, and arcades remain open at the Market Commons on the old Air Force base. And a Surfside icon and must-visit establishment, Painter’s Ice Cream, is open most days, with much shorter lines.

Located close enough to Myrtle Beach to access all of the big shopping and entertainment options, but removed enough to be quiet and less expensive, Surfside Beach proved a revitalizing break from a relentless, snowy winter.

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