Spring and summer events at Grand Strand state parks

flickr user Jason Barnette

South Carolina parks offer visitors much more than natural scenery and a nice place to spend the day. They also host educational and community events nearly all year long.

There's an old saying about the advent of springtime. March "comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." But for us on the Grand Strand this year, it seems like we've skipped the lion part completely, having had nothing but warm, pleasant days. All of this amazing weather has me thinking of South Carolina's wonderful state park system and the numerous events and activities going on. 

Below is a round-up of the regular events and programs happening at Grand Strand parks during the spring and summer of 2012. Please feel free to join the Open Community to add and update the list. And please share your photos and reviews from any of these events as well.

Coastal Kayaking
Where: Huntington Beach State Park
When: Mondays 10 a.m. - Noon, March 31, 2012 - October 31, 2012
Cost: $35
South Carolina State Parks website description: "Enjoy a two-hour guided tour of the salt marsh. Excellent for beginners, participants need to reserve a spot at the Education Center (843-235-8755) by 4:00 pm Sunday prior to the program. Under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring drinking water, sunscreen, and lace-up shoes that can get wet and muddy. Fee: $35/ person. Meet at the Education Center, then caravan to Oyster Landing. (2 hrs.)"
 

Atalaya Tour
Where:  Huntington Beach State Park
When:  Multiple times per day, March 1, 2012 - October 31, 2012. See schedule here.
Cost:  Park Passport Plus required
South Carolina State Parks website description: "Take a fascinating tour of the winter home of Anna and Archer Huntington with a docent from the Friends of Huntington Beach State Park. Along the way, you will discover how this home helped a community through tough years, inspired art and eventually became a National Historic Landmark." 

Park Palooza at Myrtle Beach State Park.
Where:  Myrtle Beach State Park 
When:  April 7, 2012, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. See our write-up here.
Cost:  Park admission 
South Carolina State Parks website description: "Get outside and have some fun while participating in an array of activities designed for the entire family! Various programs will run continuously from 10 am to 3 pm. Throw a cast net, create some nature crafts, observe butterflies, meet some sea creatures, learn to build a proper campfire, cook over a campfire, plant a tree and much more! Contact the nature center at 843-238-0874, email awilson@scprt.com or click here for a complete schedule."  You can also check out the write-up we did about this upcoming event here.

Coastal Birding Walk
Where:  Huntington Beach State Park 
When:  Every Wednesday 10-11 a.m., March 1, 2012 - August 31, 2012
Cost:  Park admission
South Carolina State Parks website description:  "Local birders, Phil and Sharon Turner, will lead a walk along the causeway to search the freshwater pond and salt marsh for a variety of birds. Depending on the season, we might observe herons, egrets, rails, woodstorks, shorebirds, ducks, bald eagles and more!"

"Feeding Frenzy" sea creature feeding
Where:  Huntington Beach State Park Education Center
When:  Tuesday - Sunday 11-11:30 a.m., January 6, 2012 - December 31, 2012
Cost:  Palmetto Plus membership
South Carolina State Parks website description: "Get up close and personal with the animals at the Education Center! Take part in feeding a sting ray and other sea creatures."

Wonderful Wildflowers
Where:  Huntington Beach State Park at the Nature Center
When:  Wednesdays 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., April 4, 2012 - April 25, 2012
South Carolina State Parks website description:  "What is meant by the term 'wildflower'? You may be surprised by the answer since SC is home is some 3,160 species of native and naturalized vascular plant flora! From showy annual and perennial herbs to trees, shrubs, vines and grasses, we have it all. Come explore the wonders of wildflowers!"

Sharks!
Where: Myrtle Beach State Park
When: Saturdays 10:30 - 11:15 a.m., March 10, 2012 - March 31, 2012; April 14, 2012 - April 28, 2012.
Cost: Park admission
South Carolina State Parks website description: "Discover the truth behind the numerous myths about these fascinating and important predators of the sea. They may not be as dangerous as you think!" 

Alligators
Where:  Huntington Beach State Park
When:  Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.,  March 1, 2012 - August 31, 2012; Fridays 6 p.m. - 7 p.m., June 1, 2012 - August 31, 2012.
Cost:  Park admission
South Carolina State Parks website description: "Alligators thrive in the ponds at Huntington Beach State Park. These secretive reptiles are commonly seen from the causeway feeding, sunning or cruising in the water. Find out what makes them special and on this 1-hour walk."

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