Huntington Beach State Park

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Huntington Beach State Park
Ardea herodias -Huntington Beach State Park, South Carolina, USA-8.jpg
Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) at Huntington Beach Park
Nearest city Murrells Inlet, Georgetown County, South Carolina
Coordinates 33°30′50″N 79°3′40″W / 33.51389°N 79.06111°W / 33.51389; -79.06111
Latitude and Longitude:

33°30′50″N 79°3′40″W / 33.51389°N 79.06111°W / 33.51389; -79.06111
Area2,500 acres (10.1 km2)
Camp sites107 standard campsites
6 walk-in tent sites
Hiking trails2
Website Official website

Huntington Beach State Park is a small coastal preserve and state park near Murrells Inlet, in Georgetown County, South Carolina. It has a large sandy beach, few beach-goers, and numerous wild birds to watch over the seasons.


The park, originally property of Anna Hyatt Huntington and Archer M. Huntington, was leased after his death and takes its name from him The 2500 acre (10 km2) tract was leased to the state in 1960 for use as a state park. Mrs. Huntington died in 1973. Atalaya was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, and was included in the designation of Atalaya and Brookgreen Gardens as a National Historic Landmark in 1984.

Atalaya and Brookgreen

He and his wife's winter home, Atalaya Castle, is located in the park. Built during the Great Depression by only local workers, the residence was designed to withstand hurricanes.

The studio of his wife, the noted 20th-century American sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, was part of the compound. Many of her significant sculptures are in nearby Brookgreen Gardens, an extension of the former Huntington estate, now a public sculpture garden.

Afternoon view across the expansive salt marsh at Huntington Beach State Park in the fall
Huge tree swallow flock preparing for fall migration takes refuge from the rain on a snag in front of Atalaya


The Friends of Huntington Beach State Park offer scheduled tours of Atalaya Castle, and operate the Atalaya Visitor Center with exhibits about the house and the Huntingtons.


Local birders frequently refer to the park as "HBSP" in communications. The park features various species of birds of the Southeast coast of the United States for bird watching.

It hosts many types of ducks and waders like roseate spoonbills in winter in both fresh and saltwater marshes. It has a jetty where oceanbirds like gannets, loons, scoters and occasionally alcids like razorbills and murres can be found. The large tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) flocks here.

Nature Center

The original Education Center featured natural history displays and live animals, including a saltwater touch tank and a live baby alligator among its exhibits. Park naturalists offered free programs about the park's wildlife and habitat. The center, previously located at the marsh boardwalk, was destroyed in a fire in the early morning hours on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, likely caused by a lightning strike. All of the animals on display within the Education Center were lost in the fire.

Other park features include: the beach and jetty, hiking, and nature trails and boardwalks, the gift shop and a public campground.

See also

External links

Media related to Atalaya Castle at Wikimedia Commons