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the tide coming in at Huntington Beach State Park

Whether you’re wanting a day at the beach, a hike in the great outdoors, or a chance to explore the history and culture of the area, Huntington Beach State Park is a terrific destination for anyone who loves the beach, the outdoors, and history.

Located just a 30 minute drive from Myrtle Beach, the park is situated along the Atlantic Ocean and features miles of pristine beaches, sand dunes, and a variety of wildlife and habitats.

It is a popular destination for a range of outdoor recreational activities including beaching, birdwatching and fishing. In addition, the park also features several hiking trails that provide visitors with a chance to explore its unique ecosystems and observe a variety of wildlife, including sea turtles, alligators, and various bird species.

As well as these recreational opportunities, the park is also home to the Atalaya Castle, a former winter home of philanthropist and artist Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband, Archer. The castle, which is now a museum, is open to the public and provides a glimpse into their lives, as well as the rich history of the park.

With this South Carolina state park being so close to several cities and main townships in the state it is a popular weekend getaway spot.

It also provides a range of modern accommodation options for those who want to stay for a night or two.

sign for the nature center and marsh boardwalk at Huntington Beach State Park

Activities

The park provides visitors with several ways to make the most of its pristine landscape and scenery.

Showcased below is a handful of the many outdoor leisure and recreational activities you can partake in during your time at Huntington Beach State Park.

Beach at Huntington Beach State Park

As you would expect, the beach is the star attraction at Huntington Beach State Park.

Extending for miles, the pristine sands along the Atlantic Ocean afford visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy swimming and sunbathing surrounded by sand dunes, salt marshes, and forests.

As well as these activities, the park’s staff also runs several educational programs and guided walks that enable you to explore the diverse and beautiful coastal environment in more detail.

boardwalk to the beach at Huntington Beach State Park

Atalaya Castle at Huntington Beach State Park

While the beach gets all the plaudits, it is worth checking out Atalaya Castle.

Once the winter retreat of philanthropist and artist Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband, Archer, the castle, is now a museum that is open to the general public.

If you decide to tour it, you will get a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Huntingtons and the rich history of the park through its exhibits.

Fishing at Huntington Beach State Park

Anglers from all over South Carolina flock to the park for the opportunity to experience the thrill of catching fish in the Atlantic Ocean.

The park’s beaches provide access to some of the state’s best surf fishing, where visitors can catch a variety of species, including red drum, sea trout, and bluefish.

In addition to surf fishing, the park’s salt marsh creeks and inlets are also popular spots to cast a line, enabling fishing enthusiasts to hook flounder, black drum, and sheepshead.

If you want to fish in the park you will need to have a valid South Carolina fishing license. Should you require them, fishing equipment, bait, and tackle can all be purchased at nearby stores.

Great Egret looking for fish at Huntington Beach State Park

Hiking at Huntington Beach State Park

If you fancy stretching your legs away from the beach the park boasts several miles of hiking trails.

These trails showcase the park’s diverse natural habitats and scenic beauty. While they vary in terms of difficulty and length, you will be able to take in sensational views of sand dunes, salt marshes, forests and wildlife.

One of the park’s most trodden trails is the Atalaya Trail, a 1-mile loop that takes visitors through a scenic forest and past Atalaya Castle. Other trails, such as the Nature Trail, offer a chance for guests to learn about the park’s ecosystems and wildlife.

Whilst hiking, visitors are encouraged to wear an appropriate hat and footwear and bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and insect repellent with them.

They are also expected to be mindful of the park regulations, including staying on designated trails and respecting wildlife and natural resources.

couple biking on a paved road at Huntington Beach State Park

Pets

Huntington Beach State Park is a pet-friendly destination for those who love the beach and the great outdoors.

However, it is important to follow the park’s rules and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Visitors who bring their pets to Huntington Beach State Park are required to keep them on a leash no longer than 6 feet in length at all times, and to clean up after their pets. In addition, dogs must be well-behaved and not pose a threat to other visitors or park wildlife.

Within the park, dogs are allowed in designated areas such as the picnic spots, campground, and designated trails.

They are not allowed on the park’s beaches or in any buildings, including the Atalaya Castle.

The exception to this is service dogs who are allowed anywhere in the park.

Camping

For those looking to spend a night or more in the great outdoors, the park houses a very good camping facility.

Within it there are 60 campsites that can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs, many of which have electricity and water hookups.

Amenities at this campground include picnic tables, fire rings, and a bathhouse with hot showers. All of which ensure that park guests can enjoy a comfortable stay during their time there.

As it gets busy, especially in the summer, it is advisable to make a reservation as early as you can.

Park Location

Huntington Beach State Park
16148 Ocean Hwy
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Phone: 843.237.4440

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Huntington Beach State Park: