I find it hard to believe that I am the only one responding who prefers the "south end" over all the others. Our family has owned in both North Myrtle & on the South end and I can say with 100% certainty that Surfside Beach, Garden City and Murrels Inlet are definitely where we have felt most "at home". We have lived in Surfide Beach for 8 years and feel we are truly part of a "community" not typical in other areas.
We have 3 children (12, 13, & 14) who have attended Seaside Elem, St James Middle and our oldest is currently in his first year at St James High School. We could not have asked for a better experience for our children. Having come from north of the Mason Dixon line, we were definitely of the "private school mindset" upon arriving in SC. However, Seaside Elementary School came highly recommended and after an extensive amount of research and investigating, we decided to give it a try and could not be more happy with our decison.
The most important question is: where is it that you really want to be? If the beach is "your thing" then Surfside is a GREAT place to start your search. Several friends who live in and around Carolina Forest have often expressed regret in their decision to live so far away from the beach. They spend so much of their time commuting to activities at the beach and the summer season can make you feel like your taking a "road trip" just to get here. We lived all over the country prior to making the Grand Strand our home and getting into the area that attracts you most (keeping the school district in mind) is key. Now is the perfect time to secure a 6 month (or annual) lease while you check things out and decide where it is you really want to be before making that ultimate decision. Please let me know if I can be of assistance! We received some extremely valuable advice before making our decison and I would welcome an opportunity to share our experience with you.