Friday, May 31, 2013

Huntington Beach State Park

After our 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.

For McClellanville beach house rentals click here
 
We had 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.

 
We 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.

 
Benefits 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.
 
On our 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.

 
After 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 Charleston…

 
Entrance 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.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Liene,

    What a wonderful trip you guys are having!!! I've always wanted to visit that part of the States - I've been up North to NY and down south to Florida but haven't done the middle bit of the East Coast....one day!! Mel x

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    1. Our "middle bit" is packed with awesome places - from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, to the area we just visited, to the barrier islands and Okefenokee of Georgia... Now if only it weren't for the hurricanes!

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  2. Ah I wish we lived near a beach! This post is making me quite jealous that I'm landlocked!

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    Replies
    1. Amber, we make do daily with a kiddie pool and a beach chair - maybe a possibility for you?

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