Camping on the Coast

It was my father who introduced me to the adventure and beauty of nature. Our family vacations were wonderful, but my favorite trips were with my dad. He opened up my heart and soul to magic of nature and adventure at a very young age. We went on camping and canoeing trips; we loaded the canoe (we packed what we could and parted with what we couldn’t); we told stories, made food on a Coleman stove, and spent the entire day canoeing down the river.  

Dad and I canoeing on the Powell River in Lee County, VA during early May 2000.

Of course it was just a matter of time until I passed that same love onto my children and thus began an amazing family tradition: Camping on the Coast.

Yes, you can camp on the beach.  
No, it’s not ON the beach, but the site is typically within a short walking distance.
Yes, it’s just as unique and incredible as it sounds.

The first time we went camping on the coast, we went to Myrtle Beach State Park and stayed in a rustic little tent site for $30/night. In case you’re wondering, site 249 in the overflow campground is a sweet spot. It’s beautiful, private, and about 75 yards from the shoreline. At the time, I was pregnant with Lincoln and our daughter had a blast.
   

For our most recent trip, my husband and I took our two kids, Lincoln (1) and Amelia (5) camping over fall break. The second time we went camping, we decided to try somewhere different. This year we stayed at Huntington Beach State Park. It’s only about 15 miles from Myrtle Beach. Our site was absolutely incredible; there were huge trees (perfect for climbing of course!), a ton of shade, and wide open spaces for the kids to play.  

     

   

The mornings were cool and breezy, but come high noon, the beach was calling our name. Huntington Beach State Park has a private beach access; it was never crowded or rowdy. The beach was clean and beautiful. There’s even a marsh walkway (don’t worry, it’s guarded!) on the way to the coast where we saw a real alligator hiding in the marsh! It was such a cool experience.

       

After a long day at the beach, we put the baby to bed in the tent and told campfire stories with our daughter. I know it sounds clich√©, but it was one of the best parts of our trip. We roasted s’mores, had family time, and just enjoyed each other’s company. It was nice to unwind and just be present in the moment.

    

I highly recommend the Pirates show at Myrtle Beach. It was about a 25-minute drive from our campsite and Amelia was dying to go. It ended up being one of the highlights of our trip! (Dolly Parton, is there anything you CAN’T do?!) Amelia was transformed into a mermaid for the dinner show and I don’t think I have ever seen her so amazed and full of imagination. The dinner and the show are both excellent.  

       

We ended the week by booking a local photographer for a family photo session. We relied on our iPhones for the majority of the trip, but wanted to get some good photographs as a family of four. After searching online, we got in touch with Kara Stovall Photography and she worked around the weather and our schedule to give us some beautiful family photos.  

Any vacation with my family is precious, but our camping trips will always be a real treasure in the memory bank. We had a blast at Huntington Beach State Park this year and I can’t wait to see where next year brings us!  

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