The lighthouse at Hunting Island Beach and State Park, SC

Hunting Island Beach and State Park, SC

Hunting Island Beach and State Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Carolina. Located on the southern tip of St. Helena Island, it is one of the few public beaches in the area. With five miles of pristine beachfront, Hunting Island Beach is the perfect place to spend a day relaxing, swimming, and enjoying the fresh ocean breeze. The beach is also a great spot for wildlife watching, with a wide variety of birds and marine life to be seen. Visitors may be lucky enough to spot dolphins and sea turtles swimming in the water. The park also offers a wide range of recreational activities, including camping, fishing, kayaking, and hiking. In addition to its beautiful beach, Hunting Island Beach and State Park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers. Visitors can explore the park’s maritime forest and marshlands, which are home to a wide variety of wildlife. Make sure to check out the only public historic lighthouse in South Carolina while you are there. The views from the top will be worth the climb up. It is hands down one of the most unique opportunities to experience the beauty of South Carolina’s coastline. The park is open year-round and offers a variety of amenities and activities for visitors of all ages.

Reflections of palm trees on hunting island south carolina

General Information


6 a.m. – 6 p.m., daily

Open until 9 p.m. during DST


$8 Adult

$5 SC Seniors

$4 Kids 6-15

Free for kids under 5


No dogs are allowed beyond the signs on North Beach in order to keep the shorebird habitat safe. They are not allowed on the pier or in the lighthouse complex. Pets are allowed to be taken to other outdoor places as long as they are restrained or on a leash that is no longer than six feet.

Overhead shot of Hunting Island Beach and State Park, SC


  • Single most visited beach in South Carolina
  • Only historic lighthouse in South Carolina that allows the public to climb its 167 steps. It is 132 feet in the air, was built in 1859 and was rebuilt in 1875 after it was ruined during the Civil War
  • 5 miles of beach
  • 1 saltwater lagoon
  • Wildlife includes: Loggerhead turtles, alligators, deer, raccoons, diamondback rattlesnakes, pelicans, oystercatchers, skimmers, herons, and more.
Branches on the beach at the end of sunset, Hunting Island Beach, SC
Photo by Barbara Foy


  • Walking the beach for shells and sharks’ teeth
  • Visit the nature center
  • Visit the Mark Boardwalk – Take a stroll or dish off the pier
  • Enjoy a ferry ride from Hunting Island to St. Phillips Island where one can enjoy trails and wildlife
  • Picnic Shelters to have parties and events
  • Walking trails
  • Camping – Includes 102 regular campsites and 25 rustic rent sites
  • Dolphin Tour
Hiking trails surrounded by woods - Hunting Island Beach State Park - SC

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