Garden City Beach tops list of hidden gem vacation getaways

Garden City Beach topped the list of TripAdvisor’s top 10 affordable “hidden gem” vacation getaways this winter beating out cities in snowbird-heavy Florida and skiing destinations.

The list was based on affordable rental home prices, available shopping and a variety of dining, plus outdoor activities such as biking and kayaking. Mild to warm temperatures was also a factor in making the list, except for in the skiing spots.

“The best thing about being here in the winter, is there’s nobody here,” said Thomas Phipps, who has worked at Sam’s Corner in Garden City Beach since 1977.

No. 2 on the top 10 list of destinations was Banner Elk, N.C., followed by Carolina Beach, N.C., Chelan, Wash., Fort Pierce, Fla., Sandwich, Mass., Redmond, Ore., Navarre, Fla., Cody, Wyo., and Depoe Bay, Ore.

Garden City Beach’s score of 4.06 out of 5 was based on more than 500 reviews, Ashlee Centrella, TripAdvisor spokeswoman, said in a statement.

The rental rate for a two-bedroom Garden City vacation property with vast Atlantic Ocean views was averaged by TripAdvisor at $709 a week.

“Just 10 miles to downtown Myrtle Beach and part of the famous Grand Strand, Garden City is a delightful alternative to Myrtle (or) Surfside Beach,” the TripAdvisor review said. “There’s shopping malls, outlets and specialty boutiques, delectable eateries serving fresh-caught seafood, plus an arcade and live music regularly on the famous pier.”

TripAdvisor is a planning and booking travel website that will be promoting Garden City on its list of “wondrous sights of America’s diamonds in the rough” through its media outlets during the winter months.

Hudson can be reached at 843-444-1765

Twitter: @AudreyHudson