Discover Huntington Beach State Park, South Carolina

Along South Carolina’s picturesque coastline near Murrells Inlet, Huntington Beach State Park is a sanctuary for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Spanning over 2,500 acres, this park boasts pristine beaches, lush maritime forests, and serene salt marshes, creating diverse habitats for a rich array of wildlife.

Birdwatchers flock to the park to observe over 300 bird species, including osprey, herons, and painted buntings. The freshwater and saltwater lagoons teem with aquatic life, from alligators to various fish species. The historic Atalaya Castle, a Moorish-style mansion, adds a touch of history to the park.

Hiking trails, sunbathing on pristine beaches, and well-maintained campgrounds offer varied activities for visitors. Whether you’re a seasoned naturalist or seeking a memorable family adventure, Huntington Beach State Park promises an unforgettable experience amidst South Carolina’s coastal treasures.

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Top 3 Facts about Huntington Beach State Park

01

Birdwatching Paradise

Huntington Beach State Park is a renowned birdwatching destination, attracting enthusiasts from all over the world. Over 300 bird species have been recorded here, making it one of the best birding spots on the East Coast.

02

Historic Atalaya Castle

The park is home to Atalaya Castle, a unique Moorish-style mansion built in the 1930s. This historic landmark was the winter home of philanthropist Archer M. Huntington and his wife, sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. Visitors can tour the castle and learn about its intriguing history and architecture.

03

Sea Turtle Nesting Site

Huntington Beach State Park beaches are important nesting sites for loggerhead sea turtles. During nesting season, visitors may have the opportunity to witness sea turtles laying eggs or hatchlings making their way to the ocean, a truly magical experience.

Where to Sleep

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Mason Street Getaway

555 Mason St, Saugatuck, MI 49453, USA
Number of Guests 5
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 2
Sq Footage 1,165
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$475.00 / day
sparkles New

JP Rest House

V262+C5P, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Number of Guests 4
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 2,400
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$300.00 / day
sparkles New

Juniper Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$198.00 / day

Hemlock Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$194.14 / day

Greenash Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Dogwood Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Camping and transportation in Huntington Beach State Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach State Park is conveniently located along the South Carolina coastline, near the charming town of Murrells Inlet. Here’s how you can get there:

By Car

  • From Myrtle Beach (approximately 30 minutes):
    1. Head south on US-17 BUS.
    2. Continue on US-17 S for about 15 miles.
    3. Turn left onto Huntington Beach State Park Road. Follow signs to the park entrance.
  • From Charleston (approximately 1.5 hours):
    1. Take US-17 N from Charleston.
    2. Continue on US-17 N for about 76 miles.
    3. Turn right onto Huntington Beach State Park Road. Follow signs to the park entrance.

By Plane

  • Nearest Airports:
    • Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR): Located about 20 miles north of the park.
    • Charleston International Airport (CHS): Located about 90 miles south of the park.

You can then rent a car from the airport and follow the directions above to the park.

Places to Stay Near Huntington Beach State Park

When visiting Huntington Beach State Park, you’ll find various accommodation options to suit your preferences and budget. Here are some recommendations:

Vacation Rentals

There are numerous vacation rental options available in Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island. These range from cozy cottages to spacious beach houses, providing the comfort of a home away from home.

    Bed and Breakfasts

    1. The Pelican Inn
      • Location: 506 County Rd S-22-450, Pawleys Island, SC 29585
      • Features: Historic beachfront inn with charming rooms and a complimentary breakfast.
      • Distance from the Park: Approximately 10 miles.

    Campgrounds

    1. Huntington Beach State Park Campground
      • Location: Within the park
      • Features: Over 100 campsites with options for RVs and tents, many with water and electrical hookups. Amenities include restrooms, showers, and a camp store.
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    Driving

    Public Bus

    Public

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    Best Time to Go to Huntington Beach State Park

    Summer

    Summer

    Ready for some sun? Summer temps rise to a toasty 80-90°F, perfect for beachgoers like you who are craving that sun-kissed glow. Just remember to bring sunscreen and stay hydrated. Since this is peak season, it’ll be busier, but that’s just a sign of how much fun there is to be had!

    • Average Temperature: 80-90°F
    • Crowd Levels: High – it’s the busy season!
    Winter

    Winter

    Winter at the beach has its special appeal. It’s quieter, and the average drop to 50-60°F means you’ll want a cozy sweater while walking along the beach. The solitude is unmatched; for bird watchers, it’s a prime season for spotting migratory species.

    • Average Temperature: 50-60°F
    • Crowd Levels: Low – a tranquil, serene park experience awaits!
    Spring

    Spring

    Ah, spring! You’re shaking off the chill of winter, and what better place to warm up than Huntington Beach State Park? The average temperature hovers around a pleasant 60-75°F—ideal for those who prefer mild weather. The park is not too crowded, so you can enjoy the natural beauty without bumping into too many fellow nature enthusiasts.

    • Average Temperature: 60-75°F
    • Crowd Levels: Lighter than peak season
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    Fall

    Is there anything better than a beach in the fall? Those warm days still hang around with averages of 70-80°F, but the cool nights whisper of the changing season. The summer crowds have thinned out, making it a great time to explore the park’s trails and enjoy some peaceful fishing.

    • Average Temperature: 70-80°F
    • Crowd Levels: Moderate, as summer tourists leave

    Must-See Attractions

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    Atalaya Castle

    Atalaya Castle, a stunning Moorish-style mansion, is the former winter residence of philanthropist Archer M. Huntington and his wife, sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. Visitors can explore the unique architecture, wander through the courtyards, and learn about the fascinating history of the Huntington family.

    Huntington Beach

    Huntington Beach offers miles of pristine, wide sandy shores, perfect for various recreational activities. Whether swimming, sunbathing, or beachcombing, the beach provides a tranquil escape.

    Mullet Pond

    Mullet Pond is a serene, wildlife-rich area perfect for nature observation and photography. The pond is home to alligators and various bird species, making it a popular spot for wildlife enthusiasts. Its peaceful ambiance and natural beauty provide a quiet retreat where visitors can immerse themselves in the park’s rich biodiversity.

    Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Huntington Beach State Park

    Plan Ahead

    Plan Ahead

    Check the park’s website for current information on hours of operation, entrance fees, and any special events or programs.

    Pack Appropriately

    Pack Appropriately

    Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, comfortable walking shoes, binoculars for birdwatching, and a camera for capturing the park’s natural beauty.

    Respect Wildlife

    Respect Wildlife

    Observe wildlife from a safe distance and avoid feeding or approaching animals. Be mindful of nesting areas, especially during bird nesting seasons.

    Stay Informed

    Stay on Trails

    Stick to designated trails to protect fragile habitats and avoid getting lost. Trail maps are available at the park office and online.

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    Frequently Asked Questions about Huntington Beach State Park

    Yes, there is an entrance fee to access the park. Fees vary depending on the season and type of vehicle. Fees typically range from $5 to $10 per person, with discounts for seniors and annual passes available.

    Yes, pets are allowed in designated park areas, such as campgrounds and certain trails. Pets must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet. They are not allowed on the beach or inside buildings, including Atalaya Castle.

    Yes, swimming is permitted at Huntington Beach. The beach is popular for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. Be mindful of any posted advisories or safety warnings.

    Visitors can engage in a variety of activities, including birdwatching, hiking, wildlife viewing, photography, fishing (in designated areas), and exploring Atalaya Castle and its surrounding gardens.

    Yes, the park offers a campground with campsites suitable for tents and RVs. Facilities include water and electrical hookups, restrooms, showers, and a camp store. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons.

    Yes, fishing is allowed in designated areas of the park. Anglers must possess a valid South Carolina fishing license, and all state fishing regulations apply.

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