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Huntington Beach State Park gets stamp of approval from AAA magazine

7 Jan

Huntington Beach State Park gets stamp of approval from AAA magazine

Huntington Beach State Park – one of the biggest attractions on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast® – has earned accolades from AAA.

In the January/February 2022 issue of AAALiving magazine, the state park was lauded in an article titled “Do the Outdoors in Style” that noted that the park offers exceptional birdwatching and is a great destination for those who choose camping as the way to get away.

“RV and tent campers will find plenty to do, including some of the best birdwatching in the state, at this dog-friendly park in Murrells Inlet,” AAALiving wrote.

Huntington Beach State Park recently opened a new Nature Center. The original building was destroyed in 2016 after lightning struck the building and caused a devastating fire. (Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

Paul Bourne, retail sales manager for the state park, described Huntington as idyllic for those seeking to commune with nature along the South Carolina coast.

“During the days,” Bourne told the magazine, “you can spot plovers and loons, which come south for the mild weather; nights are perfect for long campfires with inky black skies full of stars.”

For those looking for the best beach and fun things to do in South Carolina, Huntington Beach State Park checks lots of boxes.

Huntington Beach State Park is named after philanthropists Archer and Anna Huntington, who also founded Brookgreen Gardens, which is located just across Ocean Highway from the state park. Combined, the two locations offer the public more than 10,000 acres of protected and pristine areas to explore. Brookgreen, one of American’s premier sculpture gardens, is celebrating its 90th anniversary. South Carolina’s Hammock Coast® is the tourism moniker for Georgetown County, South Carolina, and is located south of Myrtle Beach and north of Charleston.

Huntington Beach State Park is often cited as one of America’s best state parks. Southern Living magazine says the park offers the best birding opportunities not only in South Carolina but on the entire East Coast.

Southern Living also added the Murrells Inlet park in its “7 South Carolina Beaches Perfect for a Relaxing Lowcountry Getaway” list in 2021. The article, written by Kaitlyn Yarborough, states that beaches in South Carolina feature broad stretches of sand and remind people of “porch sipping, beach cruising, and shag dancing.”

In the article, Yarborough urges beachgoers to try Huntington Beach State Park for “more than three miles of milk-white sands that make up the best-preserved stretch of the (South Carolina Coast).”

Huntington Beach State Park offers three miles of pristine beach along South Carolina’s Hammock Coast. (Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

Brenda Magers, park manager at Huntington Beach State Park, said that the undeveloped beach is just one of the many great reasons to visit the park.

“Nature lovers also will enjoy the park’s wide variety of programming and wildlife viewing, including the chance to see loggerhead turtles (currently nesting) up close,” Magers said. “Huntington is also a birding destination with over 300 species of birds having been spotted in the park. The park’s freshwater lake is a sure-fire place to see alligators and sometimes even a mink or two.”

Huntington has twice been singled out, in 2020 and 2021, by USA Today/10Best as one of the best state parks in America for RVers. In both years, HBSP was named as a Top 10 state park.

And MatadorNetwork.com, a leading lifestyle site for travel and adventure, named Huntington as one of “Nine epic places in the U.S. to visit on your first #vanlife trip.”

Beyond its pristine beach, exceptional camping facilities and w0rld-class birding opportunities, the state park is also home to Atalaya Castle, the picturesque, Moorish-style winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. Atayala is open for tours daily. The park also recently opened a new Nature Center.

Mark Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce, said he hopes more people will discover Huntington Beach State Park and all the beach communities that make up South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®.

“If you haven’t experienced the amazing beaches of the Hammock Coast, you can experience it in any style you’d like — from camping or one of our many rental homes, condominiums or hotels,” Stevens said, “but, certainly, no matter where you choose to lay your head here, visiting Huntington Beach State Park should be part of your stay with us on the Hammock Coast.”

Other beaches located along the Hammock Coast include Pawleys Island, DeBordieu Colony, southern Garden City and Litchfield Beach, which was named in 2020 by Tripadvisor as one of the Top 10 beaches in the United States based on its consistent 5-star reviews.

CAMPING RESERVATIONS

To make a camping reservation or view current rates at Huntington Beach State Park, call toll-free 1-866-345-PARK or visit the reservations page by clicking on Make a Reservation at the top of the park’s website at https://southcarolinaparks.com/huntington-beach. Rates vary by season and demand and are subject to change. Reservations requested less than one day in advance of check-in must be made directly through the park. It is open from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily (extended to 10 p.m. during Daylight Saving Time).

Atalaya Castle is a National Historic Landmark and is available for touring at Huntington Beach State Park. (Photo by Chris Rogers/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

American Automobile Association is a federation of motor clubs throughout North America. AAA is a privately held not-for-profit national member association and service organization with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada. Samantha Brown, host of the PBS show “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love,” is featured on the cover of the Jan./Feb. 2022 issue.