Pack a picnic & explore Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach State Park is such a fun and breathtakingly beautiful place to visit with kids! Last week, we packed a picnic and spent the afternoon exploring. There are plenty of picnic tables in the shade by Atalaya Castle. We did not pack anything fancy – crackers, animal crackers, chicken salad – but Love & Lemons picnic food ideas will make you want to step up your picnic game.

Huntington Beach State Park is located in Murrells Inlet, directly across Highway 17 from Brookgreen Gardens. Admission is $8/adult; $5/ S.C. Senior; $4/youth age 6-15; Free for children 5 and younger. There are plenty of beaches, walking trails, piers, and picnic areas plus Atalaya to explore for a day.

Atalaya Castle is GORGEOUS and arguably the best spot in the Grand Strand for beautiful instagram photos. It’s $2 admission for anyone older than 6. We skipped it this time.

Instead, we walked through the swampy woods to the pier to look for alligators. I got some gorgeous photos… but it was kind of hot and icky on the walk to the pier. Once we got to the pier, the kids LOVED spotting all of the wildlife, especially the alligators. Ickiness was worth it.

Then, we hopped in the car and headed to the other boardwalk – and we stayed here for a LONG time pointing out crabs. The kids just loved being outside. I was actually surprised by how long we looked into the water watching the crabs scoot around. We spotted plenty of birds, too.

When there are no distractions, its crazy how something uneventful like looking for crabs can be endlessly entertaining.

Photography note: you can see the different cameras I used for these photos if you click and scroll through the albums – my fancy Fuji xt30 and my iPhone 11 – see if you can tell the difference. I’m going to write a post about this later, and I love love LOVE my Fuji camera, but the new iPhone is a game changer.

If you’re looking for a fun afternoon of exploring, check out Huntington Beach State Park! We had a blast.

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