Beach Town Declares Itself an Autism-Friendly Travel Destination


The town of Surfside Beach, South Carolina, has declared itself an autism-friendly travel destination.

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On Tuesday, January 12, the town council released a proclamation saying it would cater to families who had special needs children to make vacationing in Surfside easier and more enjoyable, WBTW News reported.

Becky Large, a local woman whose son has autism, has lead the charge in getting her town to declare itself autism-friendly. Surfside plans to offer accommodating restaurants to families with special needs and fun sensory-friendly events at the local aquarium and movie theater.

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“[We’re] creating opportunities for people to be able to leave their homes and feel comfortable and if their child has a meltdown, everyone around them gets it and it’s OK,” Large told the outlet.

Large says that as far as she knows, no other town or city has made a declaration like Surfside’s, making it the first autism-friendly vacation destination, WYFF 4 News Reported.

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The mayor of Surfside Beach, Doug Samples, says his town is a great fit for catering to special needs because its relatively low density of people and its family atmosphere.

“We’re trying to create a judgment-free zone, and not just for a few hours but for a couple of days,” Large told WYFF 4 News.

Get more on Surfside, South Carolina, in this video.

By Melissa McGlensey

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