- Ashley Daniels
Spend the Day at a State Park!
Updated: Jan 5
photo source: southcarolinaparks.com
You’ll find more than 10,000 state parks across the country, and we’re proud to host two, Huntington Beach State Park and Myrtle Beach State Park, that are tucked right along our coastline – and just a few minutes away from Grand Palms Resort. The great outdoors is our biggest amenity in Myrtle Beach, and we’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of two natural beauties that will leave you breathless (and completely embraced by peace and tranquility).
photo source: atalayacastle.com
Must-See Landmarks Unique to Each Park
The Pier at Myrtle Beach State Park: The perfect place to throw a fishing line and hook into the Atlantic (no South Carolina fishing license is needed, just a daily fishing fee of $5), shop for souvenirs at the bait shop or cool off with an ice cream cone from the snack stand.
Atalaya Castle at Huntington: You’ll not want to miss touring through this Spanish Moorish-style castle (admission is $2), designed by philanthropist and Spanish scholar, Archer Huntington. Atalaya served as the winter home for Huntington and his wife, Anna Hyatt, a renowned sculptor whose sculptures are on display across the street at Brookgreen Gardens.
photo source: visitmyrtlebeach.com
Both parks boast beachfront – a unique feature that many state parks don’t across the state and country. Within the 2,500 preserved acres of Huntington Beach State Park, 3 miles sweep across a wide beachfront; you can choose to park at either the south or northend beach areas. The much smaller 312-acre Myrtle Beach State Park, the first state park in South Carolina in 1936, offers 1 mile of undeveloped beachfront on the other side of a maritime forest. Myrtle Beach State Park is patrolled by Horry County lifeguards mid-May through mid-September; there are no lifeguards on duty at Huntington Beach.
Myrtle Beach: This state park offers oodles of camping options: choose to stay in any of the six cabins located 200 yards from the beach or at any of the 204 campsites (66 have full hookups and 30 are designated seasonal tent sites) that can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet long under the shade of the park’s towering trees. The two- through four-bedroom cabins, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, are furnished, heated, and equipped with A/C, bath and bed linens, basic cooking and eating utensils, and TV.
Huntington Beach: Choose from one of 107 standard campsites accommodating RVs up to 40 feet long, 24 of which have full water, sewer and electric hookups; six walk-in sites are designated for tent camping only.
Myrtle Beach: Fish or crab off the park’s giant pier or anchor your rod in the sand to surf fish for flounder, king and Spanish mackerel, whiting, trout, drum and more (no license is needed for pier fishing, but a saltwater fishing license is needed for onshore). You can rent fishing rods from the pier gift shop for $10/day.
Huntington Beach: Surf fishing on the jetty is prime here; just be ready to roll your fishing gear along 1.2 miles of sand on the north end of the beach.
photo source: southcarolinaparks.com
Sculptured Oak Trail: Length is an easy .5 miles, so it’s primed for a casual stroll through while experiencing nature.
Yaupon Trail: This .4-mile trail winds through a forest of oaks and wax myrtles and leads to the beach.
Equestrian Trails: These are open starting in November on Saturdays; there’s nothing like horseback riding on the beach!
Bike Trails: Take your two wheels on any of the nature trails throughout the park, just watch out for pedestrians; no bikes are allowed on the beach May 1 through Labor Day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Huntington Beach: Thousands of acres here are meant for walking, hiking, running (and biking,) so here’s what Huntington Beach has to offer:
Kerrigan Nature Trail: This nice-and-easy 0.3-mile hiking trail beginning from the boardwalk and extends onto the freshwater lagoon.
Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail: Hike 2 miles on a boardwalk that passes over a coastal forest and saltwater pond.
Bike Trail: This 26-mile bicycle trail curves through the maritime forests and lagoons from Murrells Inlet south to Litchfield Beach. Perfect for all ages and bike skills!
Myrtle Beach: Bird watching is also a popular pastime here at the park; ideal times are the spring and fall migration periods. You may also witness loggerhead sea turtle nesting activities over the summer, along with the ways the park protects their nests on the sand.
Huntington Beach: This is one of the best birding spots on the beach, with more than 300 species sighted – most often in the winter – from the causeway, the jetty and the beach! The park also offers programming to educate you on the resident loggerhead turtles, alligators and minks.
Myrtle Beach: Myrtle Beach State Park has a whopping seven picnic shelters to choose from, available for reservation.
Huntington Beach: Three picnic shelters are available to be reserved by your large group for a picture-perfect gathering.
video source: discovercarolina.com
Myrtle Beach State Park offers playtime for the kiddos in the form of two playgrounds and a schedule of free year-round programs in the Nature Center, including three patch programs for kids – the only one of its kind in the state!
Mark your Maps:
Myrtle Beach State Park is located at 4401 South Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach. Hours are 6 am to 10 pm through November and through 8 pm through February. Visit http://southcarolinaparks.com/myrtlebeach/introduction.aspx for more info.
Huntington Beach State Park is located at 16148 Ocean Highway in Murrells Inlet. Hours are 6 am to 6 pm daily. Visit http://southcarolinaparks.com/huntingtonbeach/introduction.aspx for more info.
Be Sure to Visit a State Park During Your Vacation at Grand Palms Resort!
There are so many great places to enjoy along the Grand Strand! We want you to get out and explore our state parks! We offer free state park passes at Grand Palms Resort, available at the Front Desk and Activity Center. There is a limited amount, so it’s first come, first served. These parks are only a short drive from Grand Palms Resort. To reserve your stay with us, call 888-913-4477.