Tuesday, November 19, 2013
One could easily cruise by the entrance to Huntington Beach State Park on Highway 17 between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, South Carolina and never have a clue that they have missed a little piece of paradise. Just south of Myrtle Beach lies a hidden gem where the locals love to spend time.
The actual address is 16148 Ocean Highway (17) Murrells Inlet, SC 29576.
As you enter the park (after stopping at the booth to either pay or display your park pass), you will venture across a causeway that is worthy of an incredibly slow drive for the purpose of viewing amazing birds and possibly alligators sunning themselves on a small sandbar.
A left turn after the causeway will take you to the campground area, but a right leads the visitor to a large parking lot and two buildings that house restrooms. The structure on the right also offers a gift shop and information on the park’s programs and activities.
The gigantic, colorful Adirondack chairs located just outside the gift shop building are a busy photo op venue for tourists and locals alike. Youngsters are frequently seen climbing into the large chairs while Mom or Dad snap a souvenir photo.
A stroll through the picnic grove deposits you onto a short, narrow boardwalk that leads to the most spectacular ocean view imaginable. Every time I step into the sand on that beach, I feel as though I have come into possession of my own private island, particularly when the busy summer season is behind us and the sunny fall days provide us with an outstretch of endless beach that is breathtaking. And it is right in our own back yards if we live along the Grand Strand of the South Carolina coast. How blessed are we?
Located on the grounds is Atalaya, the remains of the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. There are bike trails, hiking trails, scheduled programs and events at Huntington; however, the very best activity is a simple, extended beach walk--guaranteed to diminish miles of stress from your shoulders.
Visit http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/huntingtonbeach for more information, history and a list of upcoming events.
I'll be back soon with another Grand Strand, South Carolina favorite location!