Amazing Sunset Beach Photos: Quiet and Relaxing Family Time

Need some peaceful time at the beach, close to attractions and civilization yet away from the big city resorts crowds? Sunset Beach NC is your answer. The beach is located off highway 17 just 30 minutes drive from North Myrtle Beach and 1 hour from Wilmington NC.

Sunset Beach where the sky kissed the ocean

Tips to know before you go
1. If you stay more than 3 nights then rent a house on the beach. I use Sunset Beach Realty ; their website has good search and filter capabilities and lots of photos for each available house. Otherwise try Sea Trail Golf resort.

2. Get a house on 2nd or 3rd row and skip the ocean-front. You’ll save hundreds of dollars and not miss on the view and distance at all. Sunset Beach is really narrow; all houses are very, very close to the beach. Most “back” houses are newer, taller and have better amenities. As you can see from the slideshow below the ocean views and sunsets are incredible.

3. For food, best thing to do is to get super-fresh mouth watering fish from Bill’s Seafood (located on the island) and cook it at the house. I’ve had the most delicious, sweet and tender scallops ever. And I don’t even like scallops! 🙂

Shrimp Boats on the Rocks

4. There is only one old-fashion one-way bridge connecting the town (your best groceries option) and the beach. Every hour, 15 minutes exactly before the hour, the bridge closes to let the boat traffic pass thru. So plan accordingly…if you do get caught no worries the whole thing lasts for about 15 minutes and is quite entertaining to watch. Be mindful of the ongoing construction for the new four-lanes overpass bridge scheduled to open in 2010…that will bring lots more traffic, noise and commerce to Sunset Beach. So go now while it’s still peaceful and quiet!

5. Things to do for kids: At the beach: Body surfing on boogie boards (very popular with boys), biking, walk around the Bird Wildlife sanctuary and collecting shells (the beach is a shell Mecca, you’ll see full size beautifully colored oyster, clam, conk, and whelk shells); In and around town you can visit the Ingram Planetarium, the Museum of Coastal Carolina on Ocean Isle (10 minutes drive from Sunset) or go to Myrtle Beach and check out Alligator Adventure “The Reptile Capital of the World”.

If you’re brave enough take the 45 minutes drive to historic Wilmington to see the world’s largest collection of the rarest and most venomous snakes. It’s fierce and well worth the $8 admission price!

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Funny Signs and Encounters in Myrtle Beach and Lancaster

What’s a road trip without some funny encounters? In our recent Myrtle Beach family weekend and getaway on the picturesque South Carolina backcountry roads, we saw some funny signs and pets worth shouting about:

Ocean Creek Resort in Myrtle Beach close to Barefoot Landing and the Alligator Adventure zoo. We had a great time during the Easter weekend at this beautiful all inclusive private resort. Slow Security Funny SignOur 3 years old loved splashing around at the kiddies pool and the hot Southern style morning breakfast was terrific. I liked the intimate private beach and little canal (took some awesome sunset photos and videos) and the fact the hotel had free high-speed wireless Internet access throughout the complex.

They should probably revisit their signage…:-) don’t be fooled by it, the staff was very professional and there is 24 hour security patrolling all around the premises (in golf carts).

Alligator Adventure
If you’re in Myrtle Beach then you must visit the Alligator Adventure, Haired Tarantula Exhibit at Alligator Adventurethe self-proclaimed “Reptile Capital of the World”. Here is a list with an in-depth review of the zoo, incredible photos and an alligator feed-frenzy and galapagos turtle racing videos…just in case you need more ammo to make up your mind.
Check out the Rose Haired Tarantula exhibit and you may run nose to nose with…Spiderman!

Lancaster Indian Landing
This Funny Intersection in Lancaster is a cute little town (although growing very rapidly) close to Charlotte and near the North Carolina border. Some of the outdoor attractions in the area: Andrew Jackson state park, Great Falls Dam and Lake Wataree (awesome for fishing).

On the road again… A die hard biker maybe on its way to the lake. Dog Biker at Lake Wataree

Keep on laughing in South Carolina!

See the World’s Smallest Police Station in Ridgeway (on your way to Myrtle Beach)

Ridgeway, South Carolina is home to the world’s smallest police station. Originally built as a watering station for horses, it served as Ridgeway’s police station from 1940 to 1990. It’s as big as a toll booth!
Old Police Station in Ridgeway South CarolinaIf you’re lucky (or just plain smart!) to travel on scenic highway 34 on your way to Myrtle Beach make sure to check it out.

In case you are wondering, Ridgeway boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the state and the nation.

Old and new police stations in Ridgeway South Carolina

Don’t feel too bad about the size, the police crew was eventually upgraded to a bigger building, located right beside the old one. It has an extra room. Now that’s a raise 🙂

Travel tip #1: Make sure to go way below the speed limit (25mph) as you’re driving through Ridgeway. You can thank me later.

Eat at Olde Town Hall restaurant in Ridgeway South Carolina
If hungry, go to the Olde Towne Hall (can’t miss it, the big red brick building near the police station). The restaurant is located in the original Town Hall whihc was built in 1904 and it still has some of the jail cells in the back. The food is just good ole country cooking: plenty, juicy, meaty and delicious. The chicken wings are “made in Heaven” and the raw fries will bring you to tears (in case you must share).

Travel tip #2: Keep kids entertained by asking them to guess the numebr of Target trucks that will go by. This works best during dinner time. Believe it or not one dinner during Christmas week we counted 6 in row! Only in South Carolina backcountry in the little town named Ridgeway…the center of discount retailing!

Happy Travelling!

Seagulls Flying at Sunset in North Myrtle Beach

Sunset poetry in motion. Only at the Carolina beaches.

Shot this video at the Ocean Creek Resort in north Myrtle Beach located near Barefoot Landing attractions and shopping area.  

Peace at every step in beautiful South Carolina!

Alligator Adventure Looking for a Spot under the Sun video

Alligators coming off the water and scrambling to get a nice spot to bake under the sun at Alligator Adventure in North Myrtle Beach. See you later alligator!

Here are more fun things to do with the kids at Barefoot Landing.