Huntington Beach State Park – Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Georgetown County Photos | Huntington Beach State Park
A lovely ocean vista beckon visitors to Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet. The park features three miles of undeveloped beachfront – an uncommon treat on South Carolina’s heavily developed shores.
Huntington Beach shares its history with Brookgreen Gardens, located just across US 17. The two properties make up more than 9,000 acres of property once owned by Anna and Archer Huntington. The Huntingtons came to Georgetown County in 1931. They built their winter home, Atalaya, on what was then known as Magnolia Beach.
Today, Atayla still stands guard over the beach that was renamed in its owners’ honor. The rambling fortress is separated from the ocean only by dunes and low thickets of vegetation. In the Huntington’s time, it was even nearer the sea.
Huntington Beach State Park is also home to a great trail system and meanders through native forests, hammocks, and wetlands. Sandpiper Pond, pictured below, runs for more than a mile behind the dunes. Photographer Ralph Preston describes the scene: “The first time I found this view there were hundreds of swallows feeding. I have returned three times and no swallows. It’s the only place I’ve found around here where you can see the fresh-water marsh, dunes, and ocean in one view.”
On the subject of wildlife, John Bernabeu (also of Murrells Inlet) adds, “My wife Sharon and I are relatively new retirees to this wonderful area and simply love to walk the beach at Huntington all year long. We are both amateur photographers and try to capture wildlife as we find it. All my life I have been fascinated by ‘sea foam’ and when I could get a Sanderling included I almost fainted! Huntington Beach State Park played a serious role in our decision to retire to this area.”
Finally, Mel White, a contributor from nearby Pawleys Island, writes that “Huntington Beach is an excellent location to photograph birds, water fowl, and alligators. I go there often and am never disappointed in what I find. Although you can find interesting subjects all year, the spring and summer are very good times to photograph. The causeway offers an excellent location to get close to the wildlife and take some very good photos. Get there early in the morning as that is when you will find the most activity.”
Address: 16148 Ocean Highway, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
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