Bet you cannot resist! I surprised myself by completing the adventurous spiral of 167-steps! The view of ocean, beach, marsh, forest and neighboring islands was worth the effort. The historic Hunting Island Lighthouse is one of eight along the South Carolina coast, but the only one which is open.
The original purpose of the lighthouse was to guide vessels along the coast between Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC. The first one was destroyed by Union soldiers and replaced in the 1870s. It was taken apart piece by piece and moved a mile from its original site which was damaged by erosion. Since 1933, it has been a beacon for tourists rather than guiding sailors. A dedicated group of energetic volunteers, the Friends of Hunting Island, has renovated buildings within the compound and continues to collect lighthouse artifacts and support the preservation.
The forested beach is somewhat unusual with white sand and interesting remains of serious storm erosion.
We love relaxing on this beach anytime whether it’s hot summer beach weather or during cooler days for luxurious walks. It’s clean and safe for family outings, and the historic aspect makes it more than a day at the beach.
Hunting Island takes reservations far in advance for its beach cabins and oceanfront campground, but the beautiful maritime beach welcomes us daily year-round. South Carolina’s most visited state park, attracting more than a million visitors each year, has earned its reputation honestly.
Let us know if you need any help finding Hunting Island in the northern portion of Beaufort County or planning your trip for the coastal visit. Hunting Island was reviewed in our book Hilton Head: A Guide to the South Carolina Lowcountry, but the photos are a better showcase than the book could offer.
This is the first in a short series about Hunting Island. Watch for following post with a visit to the Nature Center at Hunting Island. We also have suggestions of great restaurants enroute to or from Hunting Island.
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