We found Huntington Beach State Park as we were traveling down the east coast line on vacation. Just about 20 to 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach and right in the beautiful Murrells Inlet (separate reviews). I called last minute and they had a campsite to accommodate us for a one night stay.
Everything about this 2,500 acre state park is just an exceptional experience. It's such a well kept secret and looks so pristine and preserved of any evidence of crowds or the typical beach traffic and noise. A rare and secluded paradise!
The check in process at the office/store was a breeze. A very warm and welcoming young lady checked us in and shared pertinent information about the campground and activities with us. She was extremely knowledgeable, polite and professional. The store was filled with a HUGE inventory of camping supplies,snacks, drinks, souvenirs, educational reading materials about the park and surrounding areas. I loved the unique and beautiful crafted jewelry and other items that were indicative of the area. There was a wealth of information about their trails, coastal exploration program, wildlife and habitats that reside in their diverse and unique environment.
The expansive beach access is right across from the store so we took time to check it out before settling in our campsite. The parking lot is HUGE and there is ample parking for RV's, trailers and cars. There is a wonderful pavilion/house structure right by the beach that provides shade, picnic tables, benches, showers, bathrooms, information, water and a beautiful butterfly garden to admire. The most impressive and helpful amenity was the boardwalks that extended from the pavilion to the beach. Extremely helpful for elderly people, handicapped and families with strollers, beach carts and wagons!
The beach was extremely clean, expansive and inviting! It was not crowded when we got there but the following day families were out enjoying the beautiful weather. The waves and current were gentle so young kids could play without to much concern. We had just traveled to the Outer Banks were the rip tides and current were dangerous to inexperienced swimmers. I still cant believe what a virtually undiscovered paradise this beach appears to be!
Right off the parking lot for the beach access is this mysterious and almost randomly placed castle called Atalaya. Just another fun and quirky place to visit while you are there. Apparently there is an annual festival that features Atalaya and provides the history of the castle and other local area information. What a treasure to find something cool like this at the beach! I read that the castle is equipped for weddings too...how fun!!
The hiking trails are rich in history of the area, habitats and wildlife. YES, even alligators! We saw one right near the causeway as you drive in and out of the park. Kerrigan Nature trail is just a quarter mile trail and has a boardwalk over a lagoon. Just delightful and beautiful! Sandpiper Nature Trail is 1.2 miles and has a viewing deck that is just as scenic and captivating as the entire park. In addition to the trails is a marsh walk, bike trails near the Welcome Station (entrance to the park) and an interesting and educational Oyster Landing.
Our campsite was well marked and paved roads are always a plus when in beach areas. Each site is embedded in the wooded atmosphere and offers just enough privacy without making you fell completely secluded. We had no trouble landing our 30 foot RV in our site comfortably with enough rooms for slide outs and awnings.
The campground was peaceful and very family oriented. The bath house was close by, accessible and clean.
Honestly, this is by far one of the top 2 cleanest campgrounds we have ever been to. The environment and peacefulness of the surroundings are so rare these days. i consider this a rare hidden gem! My family and I would definitely return here!!
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