Huntington Beach State Park, Pawleys Island earn spots on prestigious list

August 2, 2023

Southern Living, one of the most respected names in lifestyle and travel journalism, has unveiled its list of “Our 25 Favorite Fall Beach Destinations,” and, according to the venerable publication, two of South Carolina’s premier beaches are located along the Hammock Coast.

Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet was ranked 10th on the prestigious list while Pawleys Island checked in at No. 18, making them the Palmetto State’s two highest rated destinations.

“The beaches of the Hammock Coast have a timeless appeal, combining the natural beauty of the coast with the casual environment that has long made the area so popular,” said Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce. “It says a lot about the attraction of our beaches here along the Hammock Coast that an authority like Southern Living has ranked them as the best in South Carolina for travelers looking to enjoy a fall trip.”

Southern Living editors were singing the praises of Huntington Beach State Park and its natural appeal.

“Camp among the sea breezes at Huntington Beach State Park, a greenspace along South Carolina’s coast where you can find sandy beaches, salt marsh, sea turtles, egrets, and herons,” Southern Living wrote. “Bring your walking shoes to explore the Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail and Kerrigan Nature Trail. Visit Atalaya, the Huntingtons’ home and a National Historic Landmark, at any time, or plan your visit for the Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival in the fall.”

The magazine was no less effusive in its assessment of Pawleys Island, perfectly capturing the virtues that have long made it one of the most popular vacation spots in the South.

“Pawleys offers a serene Lowcountry experience—the kind of place where you rent an oceanfront cottage for a week and completely forget what you do for a living,” the magazine gushed. “Sounds like a dream, right? When you’re ready to pull yourself out of your beach chair, check out the kayaking, fishing, shopping, and island nightlife.”

The Hammock Coast is one of South Carolina’s leading destinations, wowing visitors with some of the South’s premier beaches, Lowcountry charm and abundant eco-activities. At the heart of the area’s popularity is the relaxed environment it provides, delivering a surplus of family friendly activities without the crowds its nearby neighbors – Myrtle Beach and Charleston – attract.

With average high temperatures of 77 degrees in October, 70 in November and 63 in December, the Hammock Coast is an ideal location for a fall trip. From golf groups to couples in search of a weekend escape, the Hammock Coast has something for everyone.

The accolades are another in a long line of them for both HBSP and Pawleys Island. HBSP has been lauded by AAA and USA Today as one of the South’s premier state parks, while Country Living Magazine recently ranked Pawleys Island among the “The Top 30 Most Magical Island Getaways in the United States” and its “30 Cutest Seaside Towns in the South.

For more information on a Georgetown County vacation, visit


About South Carolina’s Hammock Coast

Georgetown County’s casual charm and Southern hospitality earned it the nickname Hammock Coast. Adventure and relaxation blend together in perfect harmony, like the flowing and ebbing of waves on the county’s famed beaches. With six communities – Garden City, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, Pawleys Island, Georgetown and Andrews – comprising the pristine coastal area between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, visitors can experience South Carolina’s Hammock Coast like never before.

For more information about all of the Hammock Coast, visit