Huntington Beach State Park
A 2,500-acre coastal nature preserve, Huntington Beach State Park is a humble South Strand showpiece that boasts sweeping Atlantic Ocean views and scenic marshland vistas. The park also offers a dog-friendly beach, hiking and nature trails, and three picnic shelters.
Its pristine, rarely crowded beach draws sunbathers and swimmers. Other attractions include the Moorish-style Atalaya Castle, which was the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington (founders of Brookgreen Gardens). A great post ahead.
At Huntington Beach State Park you can enjoy pristine beaches, a freshwater lagoon, salt marsh, and maritime forest. These natural habitats are home to hundreds of bird species making this park one of the best East Coast sites for bird watching. The park also offers many hiking trails, including a section of the East Coast Greenway and the famous Atalaya castle, the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. This Moorish-style house is now a National Historic Landmark and attracts visitors from around the country each year.
The park has 173 RV campsites, including 107 standard sites with water and electricity, and 66 full hookup sites with power, sewage, and water. There are also three picnic shelters and six rustic tent sites. Campground facilities include a store, a modern bathhouse, and a laundry room. There are also bike racks at the campground, nature center, Atalaya, and beach accesses. Dogs are permitted on the beach at their owner’s risk but must be on a leash.
With miles of uncrowded beach, pristine marshes and woodlands, and some of the best surf fishing in the state, this coastal preserve is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Camping, educational programs and the historic Depression-era Atalaya Castle (the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, founders of Brookgreen Gardens) are also available at this 2,500-acre park.
The park’s three easy hiking trails are a great way to get in some exercise and see the beauty of the environment. Hikers can enjoy a short walk out to the jetty or a longer trek up the dunes on the Kerrigan Nature Trail, which features boardwalks over spartina grass and black pluff mud.
All trails are rated easy and the park’s staff offers guided hikes in season. Make sure you’ve packed your sunscreen, bug spray, and beach gear! And don’t forget to pick up your South Carolina Ultimate Outsider stamp at the gift shop. It’s a great souvenir for your trip. More places to also visit by clicking here.
Over 300 species of birds call Huntington Beach State Park home at times throughout the year, and birders visit from across the South to see them. The park’s pristine beaches, three miles of wetlands, and 173 campsites draw visitors and locals alike, but it’s the wildlife that makes the park truly remarkable. Loggerhead turtles nest here, mink frolic and alligators roam through the area. And if you’re lucky, you might spot the eagles and ospreys that swoop down from the skies and trees to catch their prey.
The best birding locations at the park include the pond (known as Sandpiper Pond) and the jetty at the north end of the beach, which is about a 1.2-mile walk from the parking lot. The pond has been known to host least terns and common laughing gulls, while the marshes have seen wood storks and black-necked stilts. The jetty is a good place to look for Ruddy Turnstones and Purple Sandpipers in winter, and rarer birds like the Fulvous Whistling Duck and Hudsonian Godwit have been seen here too.
With three miles of pristine beach, salt marshes, and maritime forests, Huntington Beach State Park is truly one of the Grand Strand’s most remarkable places. A secluded paradise that neighbors the acclaimed Brookgreen Gardens, this 2,500-acre South Carolina showpiece is a quiet escape with sea-breeze camping, some of the best surf fishing, and top birding in the region.
The park’s centerpiece is the Moorish-style winter home and studio of Anna Hyatt Huntington, a 20th-century sculptor, which is open for guided tours year-round. Known as Atalaya, this 30-room castle features a 40 ft tower and is perched high above the beach on the southern end of the property.
Visitors can also enjoy an evening of amusement and adventure during the Atalaya Sleepover offered at the castle in November. Participants can camp in the castle courtyard or stay inside this National Historic Landmark while enjoying a variety of fun activities like a scavenger hunt, house tour, s’more roasting around a campfire, and a morning wildlife walk in search for alligators and other wetlands creatures. Next article.
Driving directions from Bird Dog Power Washing to Huntington Beach State Park
Driving directions from Huntington Beach State Park to Atalaya Castle