Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hunting Island, U-haul Camper Style

Uhaul fiberglass camper at Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina
I feel like I left a part of me back in Hunting Island, SC after camping there for 3 nights. About a pint of blood to be exact. At least that's what I'm estimated the biting flies and mosquitoes took. That's right folks. There's a lot of wonderful things about Hunting Island, SC, but bring bug spray....lots of it!

Hunting Island South CarolinaWe had heard a lot of good things about Hunting Island but had never been there. So we planned a trip for 4 days and 3 nights. We hadn't been to the beach all year so we were excited to get the kids in the sand and surf. We ended up on site 121 at Hunting Island State Park. The campground is made up of 5 loops basically. There are two loops near the waterfront/beach. and 3 loops further inland. As I understand it, the breeze off the ocean helps the front loops not have so many problems with the biting flies and mosquitoes but the back 3 loops are in the trees and far enough inland that they don't get any breeze. Combine that with lots of swampy marshland, high humidity, and hot weather, and you have a perfectly blended biting insect smoothie - with you right in the middle of it. Granted this is the second weekend of October and they were having unseasonably warm temps (67-85F). A cold front should be moving in this week so maybe next weekend would have been a better pick. Next time we go, we'll try to pick a cooler time and a spot closer to the ocean.

Outside of the humidity and bugs, we did have a great time. The kids enjoyed the sand and surf. We had a fantastic time exploring the beaches. When the tide goes out, the beach extends way out. The kids really enjoyed walking around with the tide out collecting shells, watching hermit crabs and fish, and we even saw a horseshoe crab and a sea turtle nest.

Hunging Island Lighthouse, South Carolina
We got to climb the lighthouse and the view from the top was great since it was a clear day. You could see all the way north to Edisto Island. I learned a lot about the erosion issues they face on Hunting Island. Even some of my family in SC was telling me that when they were young, they would go there and stay at friends beach houses. But, none of those exist anymore due to the erosion. Now the whole island (what's left of it) is state park land.

We tried a couple of local restaurants while we were there. Johnson Creek Tavern is probably the closest place to eat. It's just over the bridge from the campground on Harbor Island (you cross Harbor Island on the way to Hunting Island) and serves seafood. The food was good and not too expensive. And it's super close the campground. We also tried some BBQ from Q on Bay in Beaufort. It was decent food also. We didn't really get to take in the atmosphere as we got ours on the run but it looks like a great place to sit and dine. Probably the best food I enjoyed was a burger from Fat Patties. This place has great food and an awesome atmosphere. This ain't your dad's grilled out back patties or fast food versions. These are half-pound patties with your choice of grass-fed beef, half beef/half bacon, shrimp, turkey, or black bean patty as a starter for a masterpiece. My wife was not disappointed in the Virginia V and I enjoyed the Who's Your Pattie?

Have you visited Hunting Island before? Do you have any pointers to share on best location to camp or time to go, or sites to see while there? Drop a line in the comments section below please, We plan to go back and I'd love to hear your opinions!