My husband and I enjoyed Hunting Island Beach State Park in South Carolina so much that we ended up there for a day and a half instead of just one day. It’s just a short distance away from Beaufort, South Carolina, and across the inlet from the more well-known Hilton Head so I think a lot of people would be more likely to go there instead. However, if you like a more camping-and-wilderness feel to your seashore, this is the place for you! I almost started talking with a Southern accent because that is all I heard while in the park, and all the license plates of the cars in the parking lot were from SC or a state that borders SC.
There is a lighthouse located in the park and you can actually climb the stairs inside and look out the top.
Here is the view from the top. Although I totally enjoyed the view, if anyone decides to go, you might want to wait to do this at the end instead of right off the bat like I did because my calves hurt the rest of the vacation.
Unfortuantely this is the only picture of the beach I got because I did not take my camera out there when I went. There are a lot of shells, and there are no lifeguards. The water was so warm! I just couldn’t get over that. I guess it’s usually winter when I go to beach areas..ha! It appeared you could walk forever along the beach and there were no concession stands or anything so I loved the undeveloped feel, and yet as you entered and exited, they protected the sand dunes with mats and still had modern showers to wash the sand away. I really wished we had camped here although they do pack the campers in like sardines!
I waded while Rock fished on the fishing pier and then I later joined him and watched him have fun. What a nice fishing pier! That was mainly why we came back on the second evening. First picture is hubby waving and looking from the shore down the fishing pier.
This is at the end of the pier and now looking back towards the shore. About two hours before the tide comes in this dock gets pretty busy with fishermen.
We also went on numerous trails. It was amazing how much water comes in and fills in the marsh areas when the tide comes in. When we first got there the tide was out and everything looked so dry and reminded me of a desert or a drought going on. Then when we left, everything was under water and looked like a flood does in Iowa. They had a boardwalk out into the salt water marsh that was interesting. All the birds singing made me wish I knew the different calls of the birds so I could say what I heard!
This is when the water was out so we could see all these baby crabs scuttling around and then sinking down into the mud. They reminded me a bit too much of spiders so I quit staring at them, but I couldn’t help be fascinated how they just disappeared into the sand at will only leaving a small hole behind.
I would have loved to see Beaufort’s waterfront that they have developed, but we mainly just drove through town to get to the park and were exhausted by the time we’d leave. We did get to Dockside in Port Royal for our meal as was recommended. Wow, that was a treat although I was dressed pretty grubby after hiking all day. It was great eating right on the dock and looking out the huge windows at the parked shrimp boats right outside as the sun set behind them.
On the second evening we stopped at the Crab Shack along side the road for some delicious breaded seafood baskets. At first I thought I was going to be under dressed again because there were twinkling lights all along the banister into the place. However, when you get inside, it was the kind of place where you go to a window and order and then sit at long benches to eat. I saw others coming in all cleaned up and taken aback at how casual it was inside. It was delicious, though, and worked out great for us. We also stopped at a store that sold all kinds of cider. You could sample them before you bought them, and we ended up with a jug of blackberry cider and a jug of bing cherry cider.
It was a great two days except for all the driving we ended up doing going back to Columbia for the evenings but well worth it. We definitely will plan a trip where we can stay in Beaufort and get to see everything.