The fall in Myrtle Beach is the perfect time of year to get outdoors and explore the area. If you’re looking for a unique experience, venture down and spend the day at one of the beautiful state parks – Myrtle Beach State Park or Huntington Beach State Park. Although you can simply relax on the beaches or search for shells, there are also plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy while you’re visiting. Here’s a few to check out:
1. Search for Birds
Both Huntington Beach State Park and Myrtle Beach State Park are teeming with coastal wildlife including various species of birds that call the area home. Huntington Beach is known as one of the premier birding sites on the East Coast. Check out the causeway, the beach, and the jetty for bald eagles, ducks, hooded and red-breasted mergansers, razorbills and black guillemots, red-throated loons – just to name a few. At Myrtle Beach State Park you might spot a bald eagle, least terns and other various neo-tropical migrant birds. Spring and fall are the migration periods so can be the best time to go bird watching. So make sure to bring some binoculars and grab a bird checklist when you arrive to either park so know which species to keep an eye out for!
2. Take a Tour
Huntington State Park is home to Atalaya Castle, a stunning Moorish-style home that was once planned to be a winter retreat for Archer and Anna Huntington. Spanish for ‘watchtower’, this historic landmark is truly breathtaking. With it’s rustic appeal and teal painted iron bars over the windows, many modern day weddings have taken place here. Take a step back in time and go on a self-guided audio tour or take a guided tour where the docents help bring the castle to life.
3. Go for a Hike
There are plenty of trails between the two parks to spend a morning or afternoon exploring the grounds. Myrtle Beach State Park has the Yaupon Trail and the Sculptured Oak Nature Trail. The Sculptured Oak Nature trail is a half a mile long and gives you a taste of what the Grand Strand’s woodlands used to be like years ago. You’ll wander through a forest full of wax myrtles, hollies, poplars, magnolias, oaks. Huntington State Park has three trails including the Boardwalk, Kerrigan Nature Trail and Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail. The Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail is an easy two mile hike that leads you past the beach and over the boardwalk through a coastal forest full of oaks, red cedars and creeping vines. After the woods you’ll arrive at a saltwater pond where you’ll be able to observe many species of birds and other wildlife that call the park home.
4. Try a Scavenger Hunt
Explore Myrtle Beach State Park in a unique way by going on an educational scavenger hunt! They offer two hunts to try including the Maritime Forest Scavenger Hunt and the Park Scavenger Hunt. Either activity takes only an hour and involves around a one-mile walk – so it’s something the whole family can enjoy! And don’t worry, the answers are included. After completing the scavenger hunt – challenge the family to scavenger hunt bingo. You can choose between Maritime Forest Bingo or Beach-Maritime Grassland Bingo. To play simply wander through the nature trails and look out for posts that identify certain plants and trees so you can check them off your list!
5. Get Educated
Huntington State Park offers various Coastal Exploration programs where you can learn more about the different species living in the area. Certain programs include: Turtles’ Time Out, Bees and Butterflies, Spineless Wonders, and Snakes and Reptiles – to name a few. The park’s naturalists present information and then you get a chance to interact with some of the reptiles or animals. It’s a great way to learn more about what you’ll see in the park before you venture out and explore on your own!
Next time you’re visiting Brittain Resorts & Hotels, make sure to add Huntington Beach State Park and Myrtle Beach State Park to your places to check out while you’re vacationing in Myrtle Beach.