Murrell’s inlet is one of our favorite areas. For that reason, this post is a bit longer, with more photos. We like it because it isn’t too crowded, there is a lot to see and do, it’s scenic and there are countless really good, casual restuarants.
Huntington Beach State Park, 2500 acres of land, includes a freshwater lagoon, saltmarsh, maritime forest and beach. The park has a nature center a campground, boardwalks, hiking trails, beach and an historic landmark, and Alytalia Castle. It was originally the land and summer home location of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. The “castle”, their home, is open to the public to tour and also for weddings and events.
The campground includes 173 campsites with water and electricity. There is a newer section which is all fully paved sites with full-hook-ups (water, electricity and sewer). Those sites are closer together and that section has a laundry facility. We stayed in the older section at a spacious, fairly private site.
The park is a popular birding destination , with over 300 bird species that have been seen in the park. We saw people walking around everywhere with binoculars and very expensive cameras. I am just an amature, beginner birder, but was thrilled to see a swallow-tailed kite and a painted bunting, the most colorful bird I have ever seen in nature (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Painted_Bunting/id). There is other wildlife in the park, including alligators, jelly fish, turtles, oysters, many types of crabs and shrimp.
The day after we arrived, we went to the local Walmart for our first Moderna COVID vaccine. It was the nicest Walmart we had ever been to and the vaccine was painless. We felt great except for a slightly sore arm for a couple of days. It was such a relief to have that taken care of.
One afternoon we drove to Georgetown, SC, about 30 minutes south and west. It is a very cute, historic town with restaurants, shops, museums and harborwalk. It is a popular stop for people traveling by sail boat. We really enjoyed walking around town on a warm, sunny day. We did not enter any shops or museums, since we were not fully vaccinated, yet. We did stop at an open air microbrewery, with views of the harbor.
We explored the park every day, toured the “castle”, walked on the boardwalks and the beach. Sitting on the beach required wearing a jacket (for me) but it was beautiful and we had the place to ourselves.
We visited the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk on a couple of weekdays. When we had visited in July of 2017 it was about 98 degrees with 90% humidity. This time it was 65 – 70 degrees and breezy. We walked around, listened to some live music and had a beer or 2. We reminisced about the local crab cakes and she-crab soup at the restaurants, but continued our routine of cooking and dining at the campground to avoid the risk of getting sick. We were able to find some fresh local fish and crab cakes, so it was not too disappointing.
We already have reservations for next year, when we return on a shorter snowbird trip.