State Parks Perfect Setting for Picnics
Experience the natural beauty of South Carolina coast by visiting one of two state parks along the Grand Strand oceanfront.
Myrtle Beach State Park
Myrtle Beach State Park, located on the south end of Myrtle Beach, and Huntington Beach State Park, situated between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island on the South Strand, serve as refuges for native woodlands, wetlands and wildlife. They also make great retreats for humans who need a little rest and relaxation. Both parks offer plenty of both, plus a whole lot more.
Myrtle Beach State Park is a 312-acre recreational facility marked by pristine beaches, large natural dunes and surrounding maritime forests with hiking trails. Visitors can stroll through the woods just a short distance to where the nature trail lets out directly to the beach.
Myrtle Beach State Park features camping, cabin rentals and public picnic areas where guests can enjoy a picnic lunch by the beach or stretch out for a nap to the sound of the ocean waves. A nature center serves as a hands-on educational where children and adults can learn about the native terrain and wildlife, and a fishing pier allows anglers to get out in the ocean by foot.
Huntington Beach State Park
Huntington Beach State Park provides a different experience despite being just 15 miles south of its sister state park. Located in the Lowcountry section of the Grand Strand, Huntington Beach State Park occupies 2,500 acres of beautiful beach, salt marshes, swamps and hardwood forest.
Located across Highway 17 from the popular Brookgreen Gardens art and nature display, Huntington Beach State Park is home to the historic Atalaya, a Moorish-style castle built on the coast by the owners of the former plantation land. Tours are available of the castle during regular hours of operation and the venue is available for private functions, such as weddings.
Huntington Beach also features camping, picnic shelters, a country store, hiking trails and a nature center, which sits above the salt marshes. Visitors can see exhibits of native flora and fauna, or spot wildlife for themselves from an observation deck. Alligators and rare species of birds are visible along the causeway and sprawling live oak trees are among the abundant plant life.
Both state parks have varying hours based on the time of season, but they are generally open from sunrise to sunset. Admission is $4 per person for daily visitors while camping and cabin guests are included in rental fees. For more information, visit www.scstateparks.com.