Day 7 thru 11 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada

Day 7 thru 11 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada
St. George, SC to Murrells Inlet, SC 171 miles
5/7-5/11 Wednesday-Sunday

Entering Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet,
Entering Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, SC

Huntington Beach State Park is located on the Atlantic Ocean in Murrells Inlet, SC, just South of Myrtle Beach and just across from Brookgreen Gardens. The Park covers 2,500 acres and includes a camping area, day use picnic area, a large sandy beach with relatively few beachgoers, hiking/biking trails, and many places to enjoy birding and gator watching.

Huntington Beach State Park Ranger Station & Gift Shop
Huntington Beach State Park Ranger Station & Gift Shop

You’ll find a limited camp store/gift shop at the Ranger Station/check-in location near the day use area.

Campsites in the Huntington Beach State Park camping area
Campsites in the Huntington Beach State Park camping area

The camping area consists of 131 campsites nicely spaced for the most part. Maximum trailer lengths vary from 30’ to 40’. They are arranged in loops around a green space usually with a combined restroom/shower building in the center. There are access trails to the beach from the camping area as well as the picnic area.

The beautiful beach at Huntington Beach State Park
The beautiful beach at Huntington Beach State Park

The beach seems to extend forever and is unmarred by the proximity to the hotels and high-rises found along most sections of the Grand Strand. If nothing else it is well worth the $5 day use fee to make a visit just to enjoy the uncrowded beach in this part of the area.

Huntington Beach State Park's Nature Center
Huntington Beach State Park’s Nature Center

Nature lovers will enjoy the park’s Nature Center and wide variety of programming, including the chance to see alligators, loggerhead turtles and other endangered plant and animal species up close.

Huntington Beach State Park Boardwalks
Huntington Beach State Park Boardwalks

There are several boardwalks extending out into the lake and marsh area with interpretive signs to explain certain historical and ecological facts.

Huntington Beach State Park Causeway
Huntington Beach State Park Causeway

The causeway between the park’s freshwater lake (Mullet Pond) and Oaks Creek saltwater marsh area is a sure-fire place to see alligators, egrets, and birds of many kinds.

Atalaya Castle in Huntington Beach State Park Murrells Inlet, SC
Atalaya Castle in Huntington Beach State Park Murrells Inlet, SC

Atalaya Castle, also in the Park, is the picturesque, Moorish-style winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, philanthropist and sculptor, respectively, who left the park and adjacent Brookgreen Gardens as their legacy. Constructed to withstand hurricanes, it was built during the Depression giving much needed employment to dozens of local people.

The first evening of our stopover we had dinner at an old favorite, the 120 item China Buffet in Surfside Beach. The food was just fair this time. Perhaps it has changed hands but it used to be exceptional. The tab with tip was $27.17 for the 2 of us.

A picnic with old friends at Huntington Beach State Park
A picnic with old friends at Huntington Beach State Park

Our second afternoon we were very pleased to have two old Myrtle Beach friends, Patrish Blackstock and Wally Snider, join us for a picnic at our campsite. Many know the couple through Patrish’s exceptional website, funbeaches.com, an all inclusive guide to the Myrtle Beach Area. It was great fun catching up with what all of us had been doing.

Maggi D's Fine Italian Restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC
Maggi D’s Fine Italian Restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC

Our third afternoon we took Patrish’s and Wally’s suggestion and had dinner at Maggi D’s Italian Restaurant near the Coastal Grand Mall in Myrtle Beach. Exceptional service cheerfully prodded on by the jovial owner. We enjoyed the Chicken French and the Spaghetti & Meatballs. A piece of lemon cake for dessert topped off the meal nicely. The 2 dinners came to $43.96 with tip.

Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse in Myrtle Beach, SC
Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse in Myrtle Beach, SC

The 4th day ‘twas the night before Mother’s Day so we splurged and took Niki out to the Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse in Myrtle Beach. Neither of us is a big meat eater so we had just the salad bar which offers some 35 items that you don’t normally find on an average salad bar. The atmosphere is noisy and chaotic but we both enjoyed our meal. “The Kids” treat came to $66.14 for the both of us.

Barefoot Landing Boardwalk & Shops in Myrtle Beach, SC
Barefoot Landing Boardwalk & Shops in Myrtle Beach, SC

Before the Rioz we spent some time wandering around Barefoot Landing near the Intracoastal Waterway in North Myrtle Beach. Barefoot consists of over 100 specialty shops and restaurants around a 27 acre lake. Our stroll ended up with only the purchase of a $4 decadent cookie we bought to share from the River Street Sweets shop.

Sunday, our last full day, we spend repacking everything for our departure on Monday since rain showers are predicted for the next leg of our trip. It’s always better to pack on a dry day!
Our last dinner in Myrtle Beach is at Angelo’s, another favorite of ours. It’s a favorite for golfers as well; after a day of chasing the little white ball nothing beats a really good steak and Angelo’s serves close to 100,000 of them each year!

There are many who prefer to camp in the huge, reach-out-and-touch-your-neighbor, golf cart infested, mega campgrounds along the beach but we have found 2 with a slower pace and closer to Nature and the peace and quiet we like. One is this Huntington Beach State Park, which is about 16 miles South of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade. The other is Carrollwoods RV Park at Grapeful Sisters Vineyard in Tabor City, NC – 20 miles North of the City of North Myrtle Beach.

The best price we found for gasoline was $3.399 at the Circle K on the corner of Hwy 17 and 544 in Surfside Beach.

Our next stop will be Asheboro, NC.

More info about:
Huntington Beach State Park
16148 Ocean HWY, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
843-237-4440 huntingtonbeach@scprt.com

107 sites with Elec. & Water at $21-41/site/night.
24 FHU (Full Hookup Sites with Elec, Water, Sewer) at $24-47/site/night.
Call 1-866-345-7275 for reservations.

Huntington Beach State Park website:
http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/huntingtonbeach/introduction.aspx

Things to do & see on the Grand Strand:
http://www.myrtlebeachsnowbird.com
http://www.funbeaches.com

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