Saturday, October 10, 2015

My All-Time Favorite Beach Campsite

My wife would probably argue with me, but my all-time favorite coastal campground is the one at Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina. This is not to say that it's my favorite waterfront campground. There are some that I liked a little better at some of the springs and rivers and lakes in various other locales. But for a beachfront campground, this one was my favorite.

One thing I have to get out of the way is that generally I cannot stand South Carolina coastal parks. This is because of one of two problems that plague most of them.

First, I absolutely cannot tolerate Myrtle Beach. I can't stand the traffic congestion, the crowds, and the urban sprawl there. I understand that many people like that stuff...but I ain't one of them.

Second, a lot of beaches in South Carolina suffer horribly from beach erosion. So if the beachfront has been pushed back into what was maritime forest just a few years loses its attraction for me.

The thing that I like most about Huntington Beach is that it largely escaped both of these things. It's far enough away from Myrtle Beach that it doesn't have the monstrous crowds of humans. They do have a yearly art festival there that brings in droves of people, but that's the exception. And somehow Huntington Beach has kept its high dune fields. Don't ask me how, because I don't know. But the big dunes are still there protecting the area beyond the waves.

And the park is packed with wildlife. I have found few other places in South Carolina that offer as much in the way of bird life as I have witnessed there. One time Carole and I were there and watching the array of birds made me feel as if we had somehow been transported back to the age of dinosaurs. Everywhere we looked we saw all kinds of birds, filling any of a number of ecological niches.

The campground has two main areas. The part closest to the beach is open and grassy and is not the kind of spot that I like. But it's popular with people who like being very, very close to the waves (they're  just over the dunes), and who enjoy bathing in full sunlight. The second area is much more to my liking, sitting amidst myrtle and live oaks and awash in deep shade. Both sections have water and electric hookups which makes for very convenient trailer camping. Also, there are bathhouses with flush toilets, sinks, and showers.

So, all things considered, my favorite beachfront campground has to be the one at Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina.

This was our campsite in 2006 at Huntington Beach. I can't recall the site number. The campsites have water and electric hookups. The front of the camgpround is sunny, but the back half is in the pine and oak forest, which we much preferred.

Carole inspects the campsite as we set up.

Somehow, the dune fields at Huntington Beach are intact, which has eliminated beach erosion.

Great beach front facilities.

Broad, attractive white sand beaches. (Without the horrid crowds present in Myrtle Beach.)

See what I mean? No crowds!!!

Beside the short causeway leading to the beach there are usually a number of big alligators out sunning themselves.

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