Huntington Beach State Park is a great place for bird-watching. Huntington is visited by over 500,000 visitors a year, one of the sites they like to see is Atalaya, a castle at Huntington Beach State Park.
Atalaya was built by Archer Huntington and his wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington. It was built from 1931 to 1933 as their winter residence.They were looking for a warmer winter climate to help Mrs. Huntington recuperate from tuberculosis. They found the property from some newspaper clippings about rice plantations for sale along the coast of South Carolina. They came down from New York around January of 1930 to look at the property which included four plantations and they purchased them. They loved the oak trees, big vines, and all the life around the Waccamaw River.
The Huntingtons were the founders of Brookgreen Gardens, the largest outdoor sculpture garden in the world.
Atalaya is a Spanish-style home and it resembles what Mr. Huntington saw on his trips to Spain. He loved the Spanish architecture and history, and atalaya means "watchtower" in Spanish. Visitors can view Anna's indoor and outdoor studios as well as living quarters used by the Huntingtons. Anna was famous for doing sculptures of animals, and she had horses that she did sculpting from.
Huntington Beach has a saltwater marsh on one side and freshwater marsh on the other. The park offers programs for people to learn more about the alligators who live in the freshwater marsh.
Beginners can learn about bird-watching through the park's birding program.