That’s my dad and me racing towards the surf in the summer of 1984. It was one of many memorable moments that I had as a kid while vacationing on Sunset Beach. The many memories thereafter has transformed into a deep love for this little island community. It is the perfect place to relax and spend time as a family. I’ve been fortunate to experience this feeling growing up and completely appreciate the lure of this unique place.
Every June, my family of six (4 boys plus my mom and dad) would pack up the Volkswagen Van and head down to Sunset Beach. The drive from eastern Ohio to Sunset Beach is a good 13 hour drive - you can imagine what fun that was. Through the many years of traveling this familiar route, I had experienced traditional characteristics of a family road trip: nagging, loud music, classic travel games and constant stops for candy and restroom breaks. Geared with cheap entertainment, my brothers and I were subject to the musical likes of my parents. The Beach Boys, James Taylor, and Peter Paul and Mary were on repeat the whole way down.
My parents loved vacation because of the beach, this was paradise to them. Both Mom and Dad worked hard for the money and supported a good sized family. They didn’t go to any great expense choosing a vacation home. Most years, we stayed in the traditional one story shot-gun style home with dark, wood panel walls. There would only be one television that might not even have a VCR. We would spend the whole day out on the beach, setting up the cabana early in the morning and taking it down at night. No need for TVs or fancy accommodations; we just needed a VACATION!
We usually stayed on the beach instead of going out to eat. Ella’s and Beck’s were always great options in Calabash if we went out. My parents would boil fresh local shrimp, seasoned with Old Bay. Mix up a little salad to go with that, and there we’d have our traditional beach meal. I always looked forward to the sweet sun tea that took all day to brew out on the corner of the deck
Sunset Beach has the perfect formula. The island has a gorgeous unpolluted white sandy beach for unwinding and family beach activities. Myrtle Beach is just a short drive away for fun in the evening or a day trip idea. There was a few times when my family would spend a day at the Myrtle Waves Water Park and lay low on the beach the rest of the week. Barefoot Landing and Broadway at the Beach were also favorite after sun activities for us.
I never wanted to leave Sunset Beach and go back home to Ohio. It was so great being at the beach everyday and not having to worry about school or a summer job. My love for Sunset Beach is so great that I chose to go to college just down the road. I graduated in 2004 from Coastal Carolina University and found my present day career here. Very little has changed in over 25 years that I have known about the island. It is a beautiful, calm and quiet place that still brings a simple magic to the traditional family vacation.
Written By: Jake Foutz - Marketing, Sunset Properties