Hunting Island State Park

Located just 16 miles east of the historic town of Beaufort and is one of the most popular and beautiful beaches in South Carolina. This 5,000 acre park and it’s 3 miles of natural beach hosts more than a million visitors a year. It’s a place where you can truly find yourself again. It’s a place where humans and nature have always seem to co-exist.

From Pirates to State Park, Hunting Island got its name when the island was once used by the locals for hunting deer, waterfowl and raccoon. Hunting Island, as well as Beaufort, were a popular layover spot for sailors and pirates, including Blackbeard and his crew.

In the 1930’s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built the State Park. Hunting Island has remained very conservative with the natural environment, but that does not mean you have to rough it. There are showers and dressing rooms on the beach, a campground, rental beach cabins, marsh boardwalk, rustic nature trails, lagoon, fishing pier and a county boat landing. In the center of the park stands a historic lighthouse, the only SC lighthouse open to the public, which gives a magnificent view of the shoreline.

Hunting Island is a popular nesting ground for the endangered Loggerhead turtle. The park maintains a hatchery for the study and preservation of the species. The weather is nice most of the year and the cool Atlantic breeze helps to keep the summer heat to an enjoyable level.

Hours & Admission Fees:

State Park Hours: Monday – Suuday: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. (extended to 9 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time).

Park Office Hours: Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Park Admissions Fee – cost per person: Adults: $5.00, SC Seniors: $3.25, Children 6-15: $3.00, Children 5 & Under: Free.

*SC Resident Annual Park Passport: Annual Passport: $50.00 per year. Palmetto Passport: 65 & older & disabled SC Residents: $25.00 /year.

* Annual Passports allow admission for all persons in vehicle, providing vehicle seats 15 or fewer persons. Owner of passport must be present. Good for all SC Parks that charge admission fees.

The Palmetto Passport is a great way for SC residents and their guests to explore all of the SC State parks. The hangtag pass is valid for one year from the date of purchase and can be transferred from one vehicle to another.