Huntington Beach State Park, in South Carolina, is the perfect vacation destination for RV campers. Not only will you have access to three miles of perfectly pristine beach, sand, and sea, but you’ll also get to see the national historic landmark, Atalaya. Atalaya was the winter estate of Archer and Anna Huntington, of whom the park came to be named after. The couple was very well-to-do, as Archer was a philanthropist, and Anna was a sculptor. Although they were originally from up further north, they loved this region in the wintertime and would migrate here to this Moorish-style home to get away from the cold.
Nowadays RVers come from all over to get a view of the pretty scenery and wildlife that makes this park so special. There are many endangered plants and animals that call this park their home, and you can see it all for yourself when you visit. If you're into arts, then the Arts and Crafts Festival that they hold every September is an event that you don’t want to miss out on. If you love to fish, the ocean brings plenty of opportunities for fishermen and boaters alike.
The park also has great accommodation options, like 66 RV and tent sites with full hookups, 107 sites with electrical and water hookups, six tent-only sites, and three primitive camping sites. There is so much to discover and enjoy at Huntington Beach State Park, and you can experience it all for yourself when you bring your RV here.
Getting to the park is quite easy and is just off Ocean Highway 17. If you need extra supplies or a quick bite to eat, you can find it at the nearby town of Surfside Beach, in Horry County. The town is approximately 10 miles away from the park and is quite easy to reach via the Ocean Highway 17.
RVers traveling along the Ocean Highway 17 won't experience any obstacles or heigh restrictions, as they are on a highway with lots of space. Once in the park, the roads remain paved and large enough to comfortably navigate with your RV. There are no driving restrictions; just make sure to follow South Carolina laws and you’ll be good to go. Go ahead and park your RV at your campsite if you are going to be staying a couple of nights, before heading out to explore the rest of the park and the activities available on foot or by bike.
You shouldn’t have any problems finding parking for your RV. If you are just visiting for the day, you can find ample parking for your RV or car by the South Beach, North Beach, and at the beginning of the Sand Piper Pong Nature Trail. If the park begins to get full and there is not enough parking, they have you covered with overflow parking. Another great thing about parking at Huntington Beach State Park is that is it completely free once you’re inside.
When you choose to bring your RV to camp at Huntington Beach State Park, you’ll be guaranteed to have all the amenities you could need. There are 107 standard campsites with electric and water hookups and 66 full hookup campsites that also have sewer hookups along with water and electricity. These campsites are divided between the North and South Campgrounds, both of which offer beach access. The North Campground is closest to the Sandpiper Pond, while the South Campground is near Atalaya.
RVs and trailers up to 80 feet long can be accommodated. You’ll also have hot showers conveniently located nearby, so that you can continue to feel clean, no matter how long you choose to stay at the park. Flush toilets are another luxury you can be certain of during your RV camping trip to Huntington Beach State Park. If you don't get a full hookup site, don't worry, there is also a dump station in the area that is open for you to use. Wi-fi is available during your entire stay as well, so you won’t have to leave the rest of the world behind when you come camping.
You’ll need to make reservations at least a day in advance, and you'll need to reservations for at least two nights in order to stay at this welcoming campground. Reservations can be made up to 13 months in advance. Pets are welcome to join you during your stay and must be kept on a leash not longer than six feet at all times. Please also make sure to clean up after your dogs during your visit.
While reservations are highly recommended you might be able to snag a spot on a first-come, first-served basis if there are any available.
If you changed your mind about bringing your RV along with you, you can choose to go tent camping instead. There are six rustic tent sites located at the North Campground that have tent pads to make your area more comfortable. They also have communal water available for you to drink and wash up with. If you'd prefer, you can also just set up a tent at one of the other sites that offer electric and water hookups, but these amenities probably won’t be of any use to you.
The tent campground is situated in the North Campground, and tent campers can make use of the communal restrooms with hot showers and flushing toilets nearby. Tent camping is a great way to get more in touch with nature as you feel the ground beneath you and the elements all around you. Huntington Beach State Park is a dog-friendly park, and you are welcome to bring your dog along with you on your camping trip. Rules for reservations still apply for tent camping, so if you’re making reservations, be sure to do so at least a day ahead and reserve two or more nights, but there are first-come, first-served options available as well.
If you are looking for a group campsite to really rough it, you can try out the Primitive Group Areas at the park. There are three sites to choose from and each can accommodate up to 25 people. There are restroom facilities close by, but no showers are available. Each primitive camping site has picnic tables and a fire ring. Your dog will also enjoy roughing it with you since you are welcome to bring your dogs along, as long as they are kept on a leash no longer than six feet. The primitive group camping sites are ideal for organized groups like scouts, church retreats, and family reunions.
Built in 1931, Atalaya was the winter home of Anna and Archer Huntington, whom the park is named after. This gorgeous castle was built with Moorish architecture design, inspired by the Spanish Mediterranean Coast. During the summer you can take a tour of this stunning mansion, learn about its architecture, and hear stories about the interesting lives of the Huntingtons. This beautiful remnant of history is a must-see when you visit the park, so make sure to bring a camera along in the motorhome.
While there are a few short nature trails here that offer great views, such as the Boardwalk and Kerrigan Nature Trail, the best trail for a great hike is Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail. This trail is two miles long and easy to trek, making it ideal for a walk on the beach, while also allowing you to experience red cedar and oak forest. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled along the trails so that you can take in the abundant wildlife that calls the park home.
The three miles of open beach is perfect for going for a dip. Just think about it—you have the opportunity to swim in the giant Atlantic Ocean—all right here at Huntington Beach State Park. The summertime is the best time of the year to go swimming at the beach, not only because the water is warmer, but also because lifeguards are on duty during this time so you can stay safe. Lifeguards are situated at the South Beach only; you can swim anywhere else along the Atlantic Ocean, but at your own risk. So once you're ready to dive in, head out of your camper and over to the sunny shores of the beach.
Feel free to take the boat out on the water, if you’ve brought it with you on your trailer. You can use the boat ramp that’s located at Oyster Landing, just one mile from the park’s entrance. This will give you convenient access to the inlet here. You can bring your kayak, canoe, or paddleboard along with during your visit to the park and enjoy exploring the lake. Boating can be an excellent way to enjoy the park and the ocean in the summertime.
Here at the park, you’ll find three miles of beach that is completely open to you. This can serve as the perfect opportunity for some saltwater fishing, and you stand a good chance of enjoying your catch over the fire in the evening. You can also try surf fishing or fish along the shore or from the jetty if you prefer. Make sure that you have a valid South Carolina fishing license in your possession before heading out.
Throughout the off-season, the park hosts some thrilling events that you can attend. Every year in March the park hosts the Three-in-One Day where you can join the celebration of Anna and Archer Huntington's birthdays and wedding anniversary. The park is named after the Huntingtons who used to live on this land. If you decide to visit the park in your RV in the fall you might be able to catch an annual arts and crafts festival or the fall festival at Atalaya.
There is nothing quite like riding your bike across the beach with the wind flowing behind you. Many people bring their bikes to the park so they can do just that. Plus, it’s a great way to great some exercise without making your feet sore. If you decide to go bring your bike in your RV during the off-season you won’t have to worry as much about crowds and other cyclists. Sunrise biking along the beach is absolutely breathtaking and well worth getting up early to enjoy.
Geocaching—a modern-day version of the treasure hunt game, that uses GPS coordinates to find different geocaches—is allowed here. You can get more information at the Information Center. All through the park are hidden caches that are there for you to find - how many can you find before it’s time to leave the park? Make sure to leave each cache exactly as you found it so that others after you can enjoy the adventure too. Bring along plenty of water and snacks to fuel you along the way!
It just so happens to be that Huntington Beach State Park provides birdwatchers with some of the best bird-viewing opportunities in the Southeast. There are three observation decks along the marsh area and the ponds where you can enjoy a wide-angle outlook during your birdwatching adventures. You may even see a bald eagle, which commonly nests in the park. They are constantly out hunting for food for their young ones and you might catch them in action. When you visit during the off-season when it’s colder everywhere else, you can see the migratory birds that come to stay here for the winter. If you are very keen on keeping track of the different birds that you see at the park, make sure to print out this bird checklist before you head off to the park.
There are three picnic shelters throughout the park available for visitors to use during their visit to the park. If you’re looking for a place to have a family gathering or special celebration, reserving one of these shelters is never a bad idea. The shelters are located close to the beach, so children and adults can enjoy swimming and playing on the beach while they picnic. You will also find communal restrooms and suitable parking near to the picnic shelters. If the picnic shelters have not been reserved, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’d like to make reservations to secure your area though, you can easily do so.