Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Surfside Beach, South Carolina
An Easygoing Oceanfront Town, Surfside Beach is on South Carolina's Lively Grand Stand and Has Two Miles of Sparkling White Sand Beaches
Easygoing Surfside Beach is an oceanside town along South Carolina's Grand Strand and has two miles of beautiful white sand beach. The town's nickname is "Family Beach," and, as might be expected, it is popular with vacationing families.
Private homes, vacation rentals, beach bars, low rise hotels and a resort or two line the beach, which is often a busy place with 36 access points. The town boasts a number of good restaurants, including the River City Cafe and Crabby Mike's Calabash. Golf clubs in the area include Deer Track and Indian Wells. The civic center sponsors art and dance classes (and its sports complex has baseball and football fields). Residents enjoy an annual BBQ festival, outdoor movies and concerts. Neighborhoods range from a little bedraggled with ranch ramblers to nicely manicured with stilt homes. Most areas do not have sidewalks. Surfside Beach Club is a gated, single family home community popular with empty nesters and baby boomers.
Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park are within easy reach. Brookgreen has a zoo and a world-renowned sculpture garden, and Huntington is one of South Carolina's best birding sites. Myrtle Beach's amenities - shopping, dining, concerts, pubs, festivals and more - are less than 15 minutes away.
Population: 4,500 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 50%
Cost of Living: 9% above the national average
Median Home Price: $465,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s, 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 54 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Waccamaw Community Hospital in Murrells Inlet, six miles away, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Waccamaw Community Hospital in Murrells Inlet, six miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes, but it is limited.
Crime Rate: The violent crime rate is well below the national average, but the property crime rate is above it.
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 31%
Cons: This area has been hit by hurricanes at least five times, in 1893, 1954, 2016, 2017 and 2019. The beach and pier have both been damaged and repaired in recent years.
Is South Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Notes: Surfside Beach enforces rules to keep the beach safe (no drinking, no fireworks, no close-in Jet Skiing and more). Tents, though, are allowed on the sand. The town has maintained its population during the last decade, and home prices have decreased 5% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the hurricane threat is real.
South Carolina is nicknamed the Palmetto State and its motto is "Dum spiro spero," which is Latin for "While I Breath, I Hope." It is 40th in size in the United States and was the eighth state to be admitted to the Union on May 23, 1788. The largest city and state capital is Columbia.
Formerly known as the Province of South Carolina, the area was also one of the 13 colonies that declared its independence during the American Revolution. The state was the first to secede from the Union and was the first and founding state of the Confederate States of America.
South Carolina is in what is considered the Deep South and is bordered by the states Georgia on the south and North Carolina on the north.
The state does not host any major professional sport franchises. However, the Carolina Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes actually represent both North Carolina and South Carolina.
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