Getting Back to Nature in Myrtle Beach
By Juanita Hawkins
Myrtle Beach is famous for its bright lights and teeming tourist offerings. We’re talking about extraordinary golf courses, boardwalk, amusement parks, live music, and restaurants. But it’s also a place any nature lover would feel at home. The beautiful sunrises and sunsets are reason enough to get out to the beach. But wander away from the beach just a little, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of some magnificent natural areas. Get back to nature on your next visit to Myrtle Beach by visiting some of these off-the-beaten-path areas. Find great places to stay on BeachHouse.com, Myrtle Beach Vacation Rentals.
Located in Murrells Inlet, across Highway 17 from Huntington Beach State Park, is one of the top 10 gardens in the country. Brookgreen Gardens is a historic site offering more than 9,127 sprawling acres of cultivated and natural landscape. You can walk beneath majestic oak trees dating back to the 1700s, explore a butterfly garden, and wander through a breathtaking array of sculptures and plants.
Explore Lowcountry history by taking a boat or vehicle tour deep into the preserve. The Lowcountry Zoo presents a large number of native animals in woods, swamp, and aquatic conditions that are close to their natural habitats.
For a deep dive into nature, Heritage Shores Nature Preserve offers a nature experience right in Myrtle Beach. You’ll find seven acres of walking paths, an interpretive trail, boardwalks, and observation docks to see wildlife and native plants. The park is uniquely situated on an island that extends into Cherry Grove Marsh.
To the ocean side of Highway 17, less than 30 minutes from Myrtle Beach, tucked into Murrells Inlet lies some 2,500 acres of pristine state parkland. Huntington Beach State Park boasts ample camping and picnic facilities and features educational programs year-round. Dogs are welcome, as long as they’re on a leash at all times.
Fishing aficionados flock to the park for the best surf fishing in the state. The fish also attract birds and bird-watchers eager to see the more than 300 species of birds in the park. Three miles of immaculate coastline provide opportunities to spot loggerhead turtles. The Kerrigan Nature Train gives you a glimpse of alligators in lagoons.
Myrtle Beach State Park
Located just south of Market Common, Myrtle Beach State Park is as far from the hustle and bustle of the main drag as you can imagine. On a mile-long stretch of Grand Strand beach, you’ll find a tranquil getaway far removed from the hotel-front beaches a few miles away. Ample hiking trails allow you to experience natural South Carolina habitat with the luxury of restrooms and beaches a short distance away.
Anglers can make use of a fishing pier that provides a perfect setting for Atlantic fishing. And visitors of all ages will delight in exploring the park nature center with interactive natural history displays, live reptiles, and saltwater aquariums. Park staffers offer nature education programs about the native habitat.
So, forget about all you’ve heard about the lively, loud, touristy side of Myrtle Beach. Next time you venture down to this neck of the woods, take a walk on the wild side and see what you can find. Book a Beach House for your family and friends at BeachHouse.com, Myrtle Beach Vacation Rentals.
Contributing writer: Juanita Hawkins is a writer and travel expert. She has a passion for trying new restaurants and new foods around the country. To work off the calories, she finds a hiking or jogging trail in every city she visits.