Attracting more than a million visitors yearly, Hunting Island State Park offers a nature center, lighthouse, fishing pier, ocean inlet, hiking trails, a vast array of marine and land wildlife, and about five miles of the serene Atlantic shoreline.
Location and Access
Hunting Island is a secluded barrier island located between Fripp Island and Harbor Island, which is about 15 miles east of Beaufort, South Carolina. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. during Daylight Saving Time and from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in other seasons.
Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for children (6–15), and free for children of 5 years old and younger. Handicap accessible. There are several parking areas in the park and parking is usually ample.
There are public restrooms, showers, changing areas at various locations. There are also picnic tables and shelters.
Hunting Island State Park offers 100 campsites with water and electricity and access to showers, restrooms, beach walkways, and a children’s playground. The minimum reservation is for two nights.
The park boasts several miles of pristine white-sand beaches. The sand is hard-packed, making the beach convenient for long walks. If you are into shell collecting, you might be happy to find various shells and sharks’ teeth that are there galore.
The beach slopes down into the water slowly so there is a big shallow area with warm water – good for kids and those who feel uncomfortable swimming in the deep water. There are no lifeguards so please exercise more caution in the water and pay attention to flags indicating the swimming conditions.
Sunrises are spectacular – you should see one on the beach if you’re an early bird. If not, don’t worry, there is the Marsh Boardwalk that is the best spot in the Lowcountry to watch sunsets. If you’d like to get a more active vacation experience, you can explore eight miles of trails running along the lagoon and through the maritime forest.
Additionally, there is a publicly accessible historic lighthouse near the beach and a nature center with live reptiles (including alligators) and exhibits highlighting the park’s natural resources on the southern tip of the island.
Leashed dogs are allowed in many outdoor areas of the park including the beach. However, dogs are not allowed on the pier, in the marked section of North Beach, and in the cabin area.
- 1 hour 20 minutes from Savannah, GA
- 1 hour 50 minutes from Charleston, SC
- 4 hours from Charlotte, NC
Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Hunting Island State Park Beach which you can visit: