The resort has superb sandy beaches, a very popular children's play park on the clifftop, cafes, fabulous views sweeping from the Isle of Wight across Poole Bay to the Isle of Purbeck, a shopping centre, pubs, restaurants and a range of holiday hotels. There is a mainline railway station at Pokesdown.
Southbourne is busy but being apart from central Bournemouth it offers a more peaceful holiday environment as you would expect.
Hengistbury Head is a promontary to the east with the remains of an iron age fort, complete with ditch and dyke earthwork defences - if you climb to the top the views get even better and further. This is a wildlife reserve so tread carefully.
The land train runs across Hengistbury Head from the bus terminus to the beach. There is a golf course here (a number of Bournemouth hotels run special golfing breaks) and kite flying is a very popular activity with championship flying all year round. Open top buses may run via Boscombe to central Bournemouth and beyond - so let the breeze run through your hair!
The sand spit has a cafe and the passenger boat ferry plies across to Mudeford where there are family holiday attractions and facilities.
Not far from Southbourne: Christchurch