A 2,500-acre coastal nature preserve, Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet features educational programs; camping; a pristine, rarely crowded beach; the Atalaya Castle, a National Historic Landmark that was the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, founders of Brookgreen Gardens; and some of the best birding in all of South Carolina, with more than 300 bird species logged at the park.
For campers, there are more than 170 campsites; 104 standard campsites with water and electric and 66 full-hookup sites with water, sewer and electric; and six rustic tent sites for tent camping only. There are also three picnic shelters available for group gatherings. Atalaya is open for self-guided tours, but it also offers guided tours.
There are several hiking trails throughout the park, with each trail serving different needs. Some trails are long and offer decent hiking routes while others are geared toward bringing birders and other nature enthusiasts to areas that offer good wildlife viewing opportunities.
Open 6 a.m.-6 p.m., daily (extended to 10 p.m. during Daylight Saving Time)
Office hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., daily (extended to 8 p.m. during Daylight Saving Time)
Atalaya hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., daily (extended to 5 p.m. during Daylight Saving Time) Please note: Atalaya is used for many large events throughout the year and may be closed during those times. For current information, please contact the park office.
Park admission: $8 for adults; $5 for S.C. seniors; $4 for youth ages 6-15; free for children 5 and younger.
Atalaya admission: $2 per person ages 6 and up; free for children ages 5 and under
Location: 16148 Ocean Highway, Murrells Inlet