Explore the 47: Huntington Beach State Park

*This post is very delayed. Our internet service was not 100% so I had trouble uploading the photos while there. I planned to relocate to write the post and we ended up evacuating the island. So, please forgive the delay but I hope you enjoy the post. FYI, we are back in Greenville, safe and sound and keeping our island friends/family in our thoughts and prayers*

Hello from Pawleys, friends! We arrived in town this morning and suffocated from the heat the second we got here. The thermometer registered at (only) ninety-one degrees, but OH. MY. GOSH. We were sweating like crazy as soon as we got out of the car.

IMG_9665I would do it all over again to experience the views from the Marsh Walk in Huntington Beach State Park.

IMG_9669The boys LOVED, LOVED, LOVED watching the (literal) hundreds of crabs walking through the marsh.

IMG_9667Don’t forget to click HERE to purchase your Park Pass! It is 100% an investment.

IMG_9786JP and Preston are learning SO much about nature, history and wildlife. We wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything in the world.

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IMG_9680The oversized adirondack chairs are always fun!

Aside from the beach, the really big (really nice) gift shop and all the science and nature stuff, the biggest attraction at Huntington Beach SP is Atalaya Castle.

For all my history buffs out there:

Atalaya Castle was built by Archer and Anna Huntington between 1931 and 1933. Archer designed the house to be a summer home after Anna was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Anna was an artist and sculptor. She designed the wrought iron grills that are on the windows to serve as protection from hurricanes.

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IMG_9689There are thirty rooms in the castle. In the middle of the courtyard stands a forty foot tall water tower, in which the castle got its name. Atalaya means Watchtower in Spanish.

Because Archer was a philanthropist, he insisted the home be built by local laborers in the hopes that it would boost the economy during the Depression years. The house is by the ocean and originally consisted of over 9,000 acres of mixed land. Part of that acreage is home to the first public sculpture garden, known as Brookgreen Gardens. The Gardens were built to showcase Anna’s work.

The Huntingtons left Atalaya during World War II to let the United States Air Corps use it as a barracks. A radar unit operated from the house and, other than a crashed plane on the beach, the house was completely unaffected.

In 1960, the property was leased to the state of South Carolina for free and Huntington Beach State Park was formed.

“Atalaya Castle was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 to preserve the history of Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband Archer Huntington.”

*Thank you to SC State Parks for sponsoring this post*

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