Huntington Beach State Park#7 in Best Things To Do in Myrtle Beach
A peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the hectic main beaches, Huntington Beach State Park features a private 3-mile beach, hiking and bike trails, picnic areas, a nature center, and campgrounds. In addition, the Moorish-style Atalaya Castle is located here and offers a fascinating look into the lives of Archer Milton Huntington, a railroad tycoon, and his wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington, during the mid-20th century. The Huntington family also founded nearby Brookgreen Gardens.
Fishing off the jetty and off the beach is another popular activity, as is bird-watching – a particular highlight for past visitors. Others also recommend visiting the castle for its history. The park also offers various nature programs that focus on the area's loggerhead turtles and other endangered plant and animal species.
Huntington Beach State Park sits about 15 miles down the coast from Myrtle Beach State Park. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 6 or 10 p.m., depending on the season. Entrance to the park costs $5 ($3 for children ages 6 to 15). An additional fee of $2 is charged to visit the castle; camping fees also apply. For more information, visit the park's website.
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#1 Myrtle Beach
The main reason families flock to Myrtle Beach is to swim in the mild waves and play along the light brown sand. Some spots along the Carolina shore offer opportunities for water sports like Jet Skiing or deep-sea fishing, while other areas are better for relaxing or playing with your children. You'll also find a few spots perfect for casting a line for a fresh catch.
Most who visit the shore of Myrtle Beach do so directly in front of the hotel or rental property where they're staying. So keep in mind that if you're not a beachfront lodger, you might have more trouble finding a public bathroom, but ample metered street parking is available. Some parking lots are also available, most of which are also free and are an easy walk over the dunes at beach access points. Some sandy areas along Ocean Boulevard do have shops and restaurants. During the summer months, lifeguards are on duty along many of the Grand Strand beaches. Access to the beach is free 24/7, though swimming after sunset is not recommended.
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