A Tale of Two Beaches in Hunting State Park, South Carolina

the historic lighthouse visitors can climb at hunting state park near beaufort, south carolina

the Historic Lighthouse

Although Beaufort, South Carolina is technically on the water, to get to an Atlantic Coast beach one must still navigate to the ocean and for such beach-goers the best place to put your toes in the sand is Hunting Island State Park. Just sixteen miles from historic downtown, the 5,000 acre State Park provides a surreal setting for nature lovers with “amenities” such as showers, a campground and rental cabins, a marsh boardwalk, rustic nature trails, a lagoon and a historic lighthouse visitors can climb for panoramic views of the coast.

A Tale of Two Beaches

Well, it wasn’t … “the best of beaches, the worst of beaches,” but the beach itself seemed to be two very different experiences, and both quite treasurable too. Maybe it was “a beach for regulars and a beach for first time visitors” or maybe it’s just two great beaches.

the beach access point from the a boardwalk nature trail at hunting state park near beaufort, south carolina

Beach Access Point

the tree line at hunting state park near beaufort, south carolina

Notice the tree line on the beach

I discovered the first beach access point after walking through the tree covered parking area and hiking a short boardwalk nature trail along the internal South Carolina woodlands to find the beach. With the tall tree line as the backdrop and soft sand to the sea, the family friendly place can be a perfect way to refresh in South Carolina heat. And although populated with people, it still seemed as if nature kept this place a secret from man.

Woman and Child enjoying a stroll on the sands at hunting state park near beaufort, south carolinaChild plays on the water's edge at hunting state park near beaufort, south carolina

the roped off Loggerhead Turtle Nest inside the beach at Hunting State Park near Beaufort, South Carolina

Loggerhead Turtle Nest

Then a short walk along the water’s edge, passing sand dunes and marked Loggerhead Turtle nesting sites you walk around to a mysterious place. Here the trees are toppled over in the ocean. Natural beach erosion creates a maze of tree limbs and roots with some containing oyster shells for when the tide rises. Visitors can climb on the trees as the waves crash against the salt water aging wood. As kids run and play, the adults watch and also ponder the magic and mystery the place holds.

the trees, part of the beach erosion at Hunting State Park Beachin near Beaufort, South Carolina

the trees, part of the beach erosion at Hunting State Park Beachin near Beaufort, South Carolina

Kids enjoying the tree on the beach

So which ever beach you visit, prepare for a unique day inside Hunting State Park, South Carolina.

Travel Tip:

the Shrimp Burger from the Sheimp Shack on the route from Hunting State Park to (or from) Beaufort, South Carolina

the Shrimp Burger

To and from downtown Beaufort, South Carolina it’s essentially one main road that takes you to the South Carolina State Park. Along the road a small place serving food called the Shrimp Shack, provides a chance to taste true southern style shrimp.  Stop there and order the Shrimp Burger (get the large, worth the small up-charge). Trust me if you like shrimp, you will be happy you made a pit stop here on the way back to town before freshening up for cocktails, dinner and the sunset on the Beaufort, SC waterfront.

stay adventurous, Craig


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  • William Kailiher

    Hey–I live about 90 miles away and have often gone there–it is nice–Ironically, earlier today I was telling a friend about a strange, and sounds horrible to me, fire that swept through the Palmetto trees back in the 1930s– interesting history on that island–you sure captured it and I agree with you on the shrimp shack–darn you made me hungry now–bill

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ craig zabransky

      great island park and great eats at the shack…. absolutely. Still learning South Carolina has SO much to offer… next time I’m through your next of the woods, I’ll make sure we get together. stay loving-SC, Craig

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