long day in the sun on Bulls Island I didn’t have much planned for the
following day. I figured we would wake up, see our friends off on whatever
adventure they had planned for the day (you can read about their day trips to Myrtle
Beach and in Charleston here) and see where the wind would take us. Another
sunny day; our luck with the weather so far was holding. Although the
beach house we had rented was comfortable with great views of the Intercoastal
Waterway and coastal marshes, it seemed imperative to do something, we had driven all this way after all.
thought to stop in Charleston on our way home that Sunday, and so instead chose
to head north to Huntington Beach State Park. Another excellent beach, although
this one was quite crowded compared to the experience of the previous day. The
State Park boasts of its surf fishing and bird watching, and within the Park is
a Moorish-style mansion, Atalaya, a
National Historic Landmark which was the winter home of the Huntington family
that also designed nearby Brookgreen Gardens.
spent our time on the beach, building sand castles that one by one were swept
away by the incoming tide. Mikus preferred the tidal ponds to the surf, but
both boys squealed in delight when we took them into the waves. The beachgoers
who had so carelessly set up their flotilla of chairs, umbrellas and gear
blocking our view of the ocean hurriedly evacuated when the tide came lapping
at their feet. We would have been content to laze all day, but by late
afternoon the crackers, dried fruit and other snacks I had brought were not enough
to keep hunger at bay.
of visiting Huntington Beach SP vs. Bulls Island are the amenities. It was nice
to be able to rinse all the sand and saltwater off before jumping in the car,
and a Nature Center and restrooms are available if needed.
way out we once more crossed the large freshwater lake, full of alligators
sunning on the shores, egrets and herons doing their one-legged dance in the
shallow waters. Continuing north on Highway 17 is Murrells Inlet, which is
where we stopped for a late lunch, and just south of the Park are Litchfield
and Pawleys Island, more beach communities, each with its own distinct flavor.
Visitors to the area could also visit Myrtle Beach, however The Carolina’s
largest motorcycle rally, Myrtle Beach Bike Week was ongoing. We opted to point
our family sedan in the other direction.
another relaxing evening spent hanging out with our friends we turned in for
the night, already dreaming of the seafood we would eat the following day in
to park: $5/adult, $3 each ages 6-15 and free for children under 5. There is a
separate charge to take the tour of Atalaya.