Although geographically very close to downtown Myrtle Beach, Huntington Beach State Park is a whole world away from the hustle and bustle of the busy northern beaches. The park offers a variety of outdoor activities including camping, hiking, fishing, touring Atalaya, but the main reason to go there is to enjoy the tranquility of the scenic and relatively uncrowded seashore.
Location and Access
Huntington Beach State Park is located at 16148 Ocean Highway, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, which is about midway between Myrtle Beach and Georgetown, i. e. less than 20 miles from either of them.
The park has a daily fee of $5 for adults and $3 for children (6–15). Children under 5 can enter for free. Admission to Atalaya is $2 (ages 6 and older). The park hours are from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for Daylight Saving Time and from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the other months.
There are more than 100 tent/RV camping sites with water and electricity at the park’s campground. Campers also get access to hot showers and bathrooms. The prices start from $17 per night.
Huntington Beach State Park has a wide sandy beach that stretches for more than 3 miles along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline. You will see no hotels or condos, the beach is very serene.
There is the main access point from the central parking lot and several minor access points from the campground, along the trails, and at the end of the northern park road. Note that most of the beach is relatively remote.
The sand is white, hard-packed, super smooth, and well-kept. There aren’t many shells. The water is clear. There are lifeguarded swimming areas in high season. However, when lifeguards aren’t there, swimming is at your own risk.
If you need to use a bathroom, change into your swimsuit, or take a shower, go to the central parking lot – there is a large building with numerous amenities there. You can also find restrooms and shower stations at some other locations. If you want to have a picnic, there are abundant picnic areas with tables and grills.
While staying away from busy swimming areas, you can leisurely fish from the surf along the park’s beach.
Hiking and Wildlife
Huntington Beach State Park has a number of trails for various needs. There are longer trails for hiking and shorter for birdwatching and wildlife viewing. You’ll get a chance to see alligators and some of the plentiful bird species that inhabit the park.
Pets are allowed on a six-foot leash only. If your pet is noisy or harassing wildlife and other people, you may be asked to leave.
- 1 hour 40 minutes from Charleston, SC
- 1 hour 55 minutes from Wilmington, NC
- 3 hours 40 minutes from Charlotte, NC
Hotels and rentals
If you're considering staying for one or even a few nights, there are plenty of options available near the beach. Chose your preferred accomodation type and your favourite room provider:
- Nearby rentals from VRBO.
- Nearby rooms and properties from Booking.com.
Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Huntington Beach State Park which you can visit:
- Magnolia Beach (Litchfield-by-the-Sea) (3 miles)
- Litchfield Beach (4 miles)
- Garden City Beach (5 miles)
- Pawleys Island Beach (7 miles)
- Surfside Beach (South Carolina) (8 miles)