on January 10, 2005
The actual beach in Garden City Beach is located just south of Surfside Beach and approximately 8 to 9 miles south of Myrtle Beach. Compared to the beaches in Myrtle Beach, Garden City Beach is much cleaner and a lot less crowded. We spent most of our time on the stretch of beach located between the Garden City Beach Pier and the Surfside Beach Pier. Unlike a lot of beaches in Florida, Garden City Beach (along with the other beaches in and near Myrtle Beach) does not allow any vehicles to drive around on the beach. Not only does this cut down on pollution and garbage, but you will also feel a lot better knowing that your children won't be accidentally run over by careless drivers. The water temperature during mid-July to mid-August is perfect; not too warm, not too cold. For the more adventurous types, there are plenty of great waves for surfing and body boarding. There is also a local marina where you can rent jet skis, but as they are in many tourist hot spots, they are quite expensive to rent. Even during high tides, there is plenty of beach left over for building sand castles and playing volleyball (you may have to bring your own net, however). There are lifeguard towers located every 1/4 mile or so along the beach that are manned from about 8am until dusk. I would not recommend swimming before 8am, given that there are no lifeguards on duty, and on several occasions, we saw quite a few families of stingrays from our balcony, swimming around near the shore, looking for breakfast. The stingrays always seemed to be gone, though, by the time we would hit the beach at around 9:30am. Throughout all of the trips we have made to Garden City Beach, we have never had a problem with strong undercurrents or rough waves. Thus, Garden City Beach is a perfect spot for young children and weak swimmers to have a great time. All things considered, Garden City Beach is a great beach to visit if you are bringing your family along and you want to avoid all of the hustle and bustle that is apparent everywhere in Myrtle Beach.
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