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Overview

Nature has always given a command performance at Huntington Beach State Park, the home of more than 300 species of birds, plus alligators, loggerhead turtles, and other animals. The park publishes a "bird checklist" and directs visitors to the best places to view the various species that live in the 3,000-acre park, considered one of the top birding destinations in the eastern United States. The salt marshes, part of the South Carolina Heritage Trust Program, teem with marine life, birds, and animals. Boardwalks over the marshes and the freshwater lagoon make viewing easier. From March through November, visitors may enjoy the Coastal ...

Nature has always given a command performance at Huntington Beach State Park, the home of more than 300 species of birds, plus alligators, loggerhead turtles, and other animals. The park publishes a "bird checklist" and directs visitors to the best places to view the various species that live in the 3,000-acre park, considered one of the top birding destinations in the eastern United States. The salt marshes, part of the South Carolina Heritage Trust Program, teem with marine life, birds, and animals. Boardwalks over the marshes and the freshwater lagoon make viewing easier. From March through November, visitors may enjoy the Coastal Exploration Program, which focuses on the park's remarkable ecosystem. The education center has interesting nature exhibits, and nearby Myrtle Beach State Park partners with Huntington Beach to offer educational programs on the area's flora and fauna. In addition to being a mecca for birders and other nature lovers, the park at Huntington Beach offers boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, and excellent oceanside tent and RV sites, plus space for groups. Groceries and other supplies are available at the park store/gift shop. The park has another interesting side, thanks to the generosity of philanthropists Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, who made it a destination for art. Atalaya, their Moorish-style home in the park, is the setting for the juried Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival featuring more than 100 artisans, Lowcountry food, and music every September. (To see Anna Hyatt Huntington's sculptures and the work of other renowned artists, exit the park and go directly across highway 17 to Brookgreen Gardens, a world-class sculpture garden, that was a rice plantation during the 1800s. A visit to the 9,200-acre gardens is well worth the time and admission.) Huntington Beach is located halfway between Myrtle Beach and Georgetown, about three miles south of Murrells Inlet, the state's seafood capital.

Carol Timblin
About the Expert

Carol Timblin has contributed to numerous guidebooks and authored four editions of Houghton Mifflin's Best Places to Stay in the South.

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Carol Timblin for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The park is open year-round, but the best times to visit are spring, summer, and fall.