Why You Can’t Miss Atalaya Castle at Huntington Beach State Park

Atalaya Castle South Carolina

We know what you’re thinking… A castle? In South Carolina? That’s right! Atalaya Castle at Huntington Beach is one of the great historical landmarks of South Carolina! The unique 1930’s residence of Archer and Anna Huntington is a great place to explore before a day at the beach. Join us as we take you inside famous the Atalaya Castle at Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina. 

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South Carolina Travel Inspiration 

Who Built Atalaya Castle in South Carolina?

Anna and Archer Huntington played a massive role in the shaping of this area of South Carolina. Archer was the only son of Collis Potter Huntington, who was best known for his part in building the Central Pacific Railroad. He was raised in New York City and was enamored with history, specifically from Spain. 

This led to a vast collection of Hispanic art and literature, and what some would call the most impressive of its kind. Following Archer’s marriage to the prominent sculptor Anna Hyatt in 1923, they donated much of his findings to some of the world’s finest museums.

In addition to their generous Philanthropy work, the Huntington’s former properties such as Brookgardens (where Anna’s sculptures are showcased) and Atalaya Castle make for some of the best places to visit in the Murrells Inlet. Much of the area they once called home is now open for us all to enjoy!

7 Fun Facts About Atalaya Castle 

1. The castle was built from 1931 to 1933 by the Huntington’s. They used Atalaya as their winter residence when Anna was diagnosed with tuberculosis. 

2. Atalaya Castle South Carolina has 30 rooms and was designed by Archer Huntington in the Moorish style of architecture.  

3. Atalaya means “Watchtower” in Spanish. It was named after the 40-foot tower that sits in the center of the courtyard. The structure is actually 300-gallon water tower that supplied the entire castle. 

4. The Huntington’s kept many animals on the property which Anna would model her sculptures after.

5. In the World War II years, the Huntington’s actually lent Atalaya Castle in South Carolina to the US Military. The US Air Corps maintained Huntington Beach and used the castle as their base. 

6. Shortly after Archer’s death the castle and much of the surrounding land were donated to the state of South Carolina.  

7. Atalaya Castle now plays host to many weddings and events in this part of South Carolina. It’s even the site of an amazing yearly arts and crafts festival!

Atalaya Castle History

Arriving at Atalaya Castle South Carolina

Atalaya Castle is located inside Huntington Beach State Park. It’s important to note that you have to pay to enter the park then buy additional tickets for the castle. You can get the $2 tickets at the entrance, and make sure not to miss the small gallery on the left. This area is filled with information on the history and life of Atalaya Castle with photos from the past.

When entering the castle the courtyard is filled with lush palm trees. Head inside and see how the rooms flow from one to another inside the single-story mansion. While the castle is now a museum, it has a unique feel of emptiness depicting what once was.

Atalaya Castle Room by Room

The rooms are not furnished so you’ll have to let your imagination run wild as you explore! However, one thing is for certain… When visiting Atalaya Castle you can see the Huntington’s love for Spanish architecture and life.

It was so interesting to walk by the coal-burning heaters, bathtubs, and modest bedrooms to see how they lived in the early part of the 20th century. The castle is a special piece of history that’s a must-see at Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina! 

Atalaya Castle SC

Atalaya Castle

Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina

Just steps from Atalaya Castle is the beautiful Huntington Beach. Here you’ll find 3 miles of white sand that rival any beach in the state. If you’d like to stay overnight there is plenty of paid campsites with full hookups! Just make sure to book in advance during the busy summer months. 

Besides visiting Atalaya Castle at Huntington Beach and swimming in the waves, there is also plenty of wildlife to see! Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina is home to over 300 species of birds, alligators, and even sea turtles! 

Huntington Beach State Park

Have any questions on Atalaya Castle in South Carolina or want to share your own experience at Huntington Beach State Park? Let us know in the comments below! 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

 Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

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Where to Stay in Murrells Inlet South Carolina

Fun VacationThe Inlet Sports Lodge – Located just a mile from the beach, these upscale rooms are stylishly decorated with a small kitchen and dining area. The hotel also has an outdoor pool and an onsite restaurant to enjoy.

Hotel StayHampton Inn Murrells Inlet – Spacious rooms with all the comforts of a hotel. Hampton Inn is close to all the best restaurants, and just a short drive from Myrtle Beach.

Beach Front – Holiday Inn Oceanfront at Surfside Beach – The Holiday Inn is just down the street from the attractions of Murrells Inlet, and a popular option for vacationers. Book a room just steps from the beach with a sprawling ocean view. 

For more places to stay around Murrells Inlet South Carolina you can explore the latest prices here! 

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USA Travel Planning 

 Information: Explore all our USA articles, amazing destinations around the world, travel planning tips, street food guides, and so much more.

 Flights: We always find great flights using Skyscanner and Kayak. This way you can plan your trip around the cheapest and most direct routes.

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld can be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Rental Car: We use Discover Cars when traveling. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic road trip! 

Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities around the country. Book a tour of Fenway Park in Boston, skip the line at the Empire State Building in NYC, or go on a Sea Cave Kayak Tour in La Jolla California! 

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

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2 Comments

  1. Molly
    February 22, 2022 / 2:58 pm

    Thank you. Check sentence in 2nd paragraph— it says … following the marriage to sculpture ?

    • Brigitte & Jake
      February 22, 2022 / 7:20 pm

      Thanks!

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