Gearing up for your next camping adventure near the gorgeous South Carolina coast? Our Huntington Beach State Park Camping Guide is here to make the process easy and fun! Read on to learn about what to expect at the park, the campground, and more!
What to Expect At Huntington Beach State Park
Spread across a glorious 2,500 acres in Murrells Inlet, Huntington Beach State Park boasts home to the National Historic Landmark, Atalaya—a castle once belonging to industrialist and philanthropist Archer M. Huntington and his wife, sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington—as well as 3 miles of beautiful beaches, over 100 camping sites, 3 picnic shelters for group gatherings, and the popular annual Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival. There’s something for everyone to enjoy at this wonderful state park!
The Complete Guide to Huntington Beach State Park Camping
Huntington Beach is known for its excellent camping sites with top-of-the-line commodities including water, electrical, and some sewer hookups, access to hot showers and restrooms, and even complimentary Wi-Fi! (Note: Check at the Visitor Center for Wi-Fi password.)
Best Camping Spots
Huntington Beach State Park camping accommodates both tent and RV camping (RVs between 30-40 feet can be accommodated) and is dog-friendly.
This scenic campground offers 107 standard sites with electric and water; 66 full-hookup sites with electric, water, and sewer; 6 designated, walk-in rustic tent sites, which include tent pads and central water; and 2 primitive group campsites with a picnic table, fire ring, and nearby restroom facilities (no showers) for organized groups (this is defined as a group that holds regular meetings and has a lead officer or elected/appointed officials).
Camping rates vary by season and demand and are subject to change. You can book a reservation up to the same day as your arrival; however, same-day arrivals must book by contacting the park directly.
To make a camping reservation, or to check the park’s current rates, you can call Huntington Beach’s toll-free number at 1-866-345-PARK, or book online.
To make a primitive group camping reservation, contact the park directly at 843-237-4440.
Things To Do At The Park
With such a great draw toward its marine attractions, it’s no surprise there’s plenty of maritime recreation showcased at Hunting Beach State Park!
Surf fishing and fishing from the jetty are both available to all visitors holding a current South Carolina fishing license. Saltwater fishing is included as well! Boating is available from the ramp at Oyster Landing, a mile from the park entrance, and swimming is open both with lifeguards (during the summer months at a designated location in South Beach) and in other areas of the Atlantic Ocean where no lifeguards are posted. Visitors also frequently enjoy shelling, beachcombing, and watching for marine life including dolphins, sharks, and more!
For those who prefer inland recreation, you can take advantage of the park’s two-mile Sandpiper Pond Trail or the 1/4-mile Kerrigan Trail and various boardwalks that stretch into the saltmarsh and freshwater lagoon, or go biking, geocaching, or birdwatching! You can also take a trip to the Atalaya Castle and explore this architectural masterpiece—and depending on the time of year you’re visiting, you can attend the annual arts and crafts fair at Atalaya, too!
Last but not least, don’t forget to drop by the park store and gift shop for souvenirs, grocery items to round out your campsite stock, crabbing nets for the coast, and more!
Huntington Beach State Park is home to a myriad of coastal creatures, particularly a vast variety of birds, crabs, and even alligators! One might spot sharks, dolphins, and other marine life in the ocean, while inland you may encounter minks and other small critters who call the saltmarsh and lagoon their home.
But the greatest natural draw in the park is its avian life. Due to its status as the top birding location in South Carolina—with over 300 distinct species having been observed within the park—Huntington Beach provides several locations to maximize your birdwatching adventures in particular! You can go birding along the causeway, the jetty, or the beach and enjoy the magnificent wildlife that calls this stretch of the coast home.
Vegetation / Geography
With its scenic stretch of oceanfront, Huntington Beach State Park offers a fantastic view of the breathtaking Atlantic Ocean, the shore rife with rocks, shells, and sand. Further inland you’ll encounter the famous saltmarsh, lagoon, and a plethora of trees including palm trees. There’s so much to see in this beautiful park, you’ll definitely want to bring your camera (and consider using the Public Uploader on the park’s official site to share the majesty of the park with other visitors!).
Make Sure To Bring
As you prepare for your Huntington Beach State Park camping trip, you’ll want to take special care to ensure you’re packed for southern heat and coastal adventures! Ensure that you have your sunblock of choice, proper swimming attire, and safety precautions such as lifejackets and flotation devices on hand if you plan to go boating or swimming.
Fishers will want to make sure all tackle is in good repair, and hikers and cyclists should check their gear for any wear-and-tear. Particularly if you plan to hike the interpretive trails near the saltmarsh, please make sure you bring an insect repellant and clothing to protect against mosquitoes in addition to sturdy footwear.
Camping fees at Huntington Beach State Park vary based on time of year and availability, so you will need to contact the park directly for current fees when planning your trip.
For group campsites, standard fees are as follows:
· Nightly rate – $80 (for the first ten campers in a group, with an increased rate of $8 for each additional camper, up to the maximum of 25. Tax not included).
Admission fees for Huntington Beach State Park are as follows:
· Adults – $8 adult
· South Carolina Seniors – $5
· Children aged 6-15 – $4
· Children 5 and under – FREE
Admission fees to visit Atalaya Castle are as follows:
· All guests ages 6 and up – $2
· Children 5 and under – FREE
Highly regarded at a 4.5 out of 5-star rating, Huntington Beach State Park camping is exceedingly popular among day visitors and campers alike! The greatest struggle most campers seem to have is difficulty in booking reservations—this park fills up fast! Otherwise, it’s praised robustly for its beauty, recreational opportunities, accommodations, and a generally uncrowded feel despite its popularity—a great place for solo or group camping!
Wrapping Up Huntington Beach State Park Camping
Are you excited for your Huntington Beach State Park camping trip? We sure hope our Huntington Beach State Park Camping Guide has helped you prepare! Let us know what sight—or critter!—you’re most looking forward to seeing on your camping adventure!
Looking for more South Carolina camping adventures? Check out The Complete Guide to Camping in Congaree National Park!
- About the Author
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Renee Dugan is a lifelong writer, professional editor, and lover of the great outdoors.
A Midwest girl born and raised, Renee has always enjoyed the deep, life-giving inspiration that connection with nature brings.
In addition to channeling the awe of outdoor life into her prolific novel-writing career, she currently enjoys sharing it with her son and spreading knowledge of safe, fun outdoor life with Beyond the Tent readers and anyone she can help face-to-face.
Renee can be reached at email@example.com