Not California, but South Carolina! Huntington Beach State Park features an array of year-round activities and accommodations for nature lovers, beachgoers, and anyone looking to get out of the house for a day or weekend. It's no wonder why the East Coast's Huntington Beach is such a highly traveled destination for residents of the Southeast.
Outdoor enthusiasts should look no further than Huntington Beach State Park. This South Carolina state park is an easy, scenic trip for individuals, small groups, or families. SC residents and tourists from nearby states like North Carolina and Georgia most often visit this park.
What to Do at Huntington Beach State Park
Simply sightseeing throughout this zone is enough to make the trip worthwhile. This Park is a beachgoer's dream with three miles of beautifully preserved beach stretching between Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island. This beach area offers the perfect day for visitors who'd like to soak up the sun, walk the nature trails, or see the Huntington Beach jetty--part of Murrells Inlet.
For visitors with boats, the park is accessible via Murrells Inlet. Once at the park, visitors can choose to chill on the beach or walk the various hiking trails the park has to offer. While hiking, visitors will notice an abundance of wildlife in the park. This state park is home to a diverse ecosystem filled with local plants and animals. Park-goers should watch for loggerhead turtles, alligators, mink, and more. There are also more than 300 species of birds and waterfowl found in the park. For this reason, birding or bird watching is a common occurrence in this region.
Fish are also in abundance in this state park which makes it an excellent stop for fishermen. There are options to fish in the freshwater lake, salty marsh, or in the Atlantic. Cast off the beach or by boat to catch species like flounder, black drum, red drum, sheepshead, redfish, and more. Crabbing is also popular in this area, so visitors can expect to pull up some dinner when they bring their crab traps.
For those who'd like more than just day use at the park, campsites for tents and RVs are available for reservation through the park's website, over the phone, or upon entry at the park.
RELATED: Explore Columbia: Why South Carolina's Capital City Deserves More Love
How to Get to Huntington Beach State Park
The Park is located on 16148 Ocean Hwy, Murrells Inlet, SC. Huntington Beach State Park can be found right off Highway 17, with parking available at the beach lot and near the Office, Nature Center, Gift Shop, and camping area. Visitors need only enter the park and follow the causeway for beach access, parking lots, camping registration, etc.
Travelers should also check out nearby towns like Georgetown, Litchfield by the Sea, Pawleys Island, Garden City, and Myrtle Beach. These local hubs often provide shops, breweries, restaurants, and live entertainment after park-goers have their fill of Huntington Beach State Park. For example, visitors at the park can see the legendary Drunken Jack Island and then exit the park for dinner at Drunken Jack's Restaurant & Lounge.
Planning Your Trip
The Park was established after Archer Huntington and Anna Hyatt Huntington left the 446-acre park area and adjacent Brookgreen Gardens to South Carolina. Since then, SC residents and tourists have been able to use the park year-round at their leisure. The Moorish-style, Winter home that the Huntington's lived in is still on park premises and is known as the Atalaya Castle. Visitors of the park can tour Atalaya on any given day. This site is still the venue for the Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival, held each September.
Booking online or calling ahead is usually a safe bet when visiting Huntington Beach, SC. However, the park is often open and accessible to drive into on any occasion. Otherwise, the park is fun for the family and is pet-friendly. Not much holds travelers back from an awesome experience at Huntington Beach State Park. Whether individuals are looking for hiking, beaching, boating, birding, camping, or fishing--this is the spot for their next outdoor adventure.
Have you ever visited Huntington Beach State Park? Share your adventure at our Wide Open Roads Facebook!
READ MORE: Walk Through History on Your Visit to Charleston, South Carolina
Enjoy reading about the open road?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.