Atalaya Castle – Huntington Beach State Park

by | Sep 7, 2019

While camping at Huntington State Park near Murrells Inlet, SC, we discovered Atalaya Castle located between the campground’s north and south loops. If you are a follower of my past blogs and YouTube videos, you know that I am a huge history fan. I’m equally intrigued in places where unique architecture exists. Atalaya Castle filled both of these interests. Atalaya Castle was built as a summer resident by philanthropist Archer M. Huntington and his wife, the sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington in the mid-1930s.

The Watchtower

Atalaya Castle Huntington Beach State ParkAtalaya means “watchtower” in Spanish. The castle is a Moorish design made of brick and concrete containing 30 rooms in a U shaped structure. As you approach the grounds, you first notice a large tower that rises 40 feet in height in the center of the gardens. A covered walkway stretches from the main entrance of the gardens, under the tower, to the foyer entrance at the center of the home.

The Castle’s Location

I found the castle to be unique for someone of substantial means in the 1930s. Located on 1000’s of acres of pristine coastal forest, steps away from the beach dunes, living in this winter home must have been a welcome retreat from a busy New York life and the business demands of Archer and Anna. Thinking of this area located between today’s Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet, this must have been a place to escape. In the 1930’s, no bridges existed to the island with the only access provided by boat or ferry.

The Castle and Gardens

Atalaya Castle Huntington Beach State ParkIt is a castle, although small in design, the outer structure surrounds beautiful gardens. Now over eighty years later, these beautiful gardens continue to welcome visitors. One element I found interesting were the beautiful, ornate iron grills placed over the windows in the garden and outer walls. The grills added to the Moorish charm and displayed exception craftsmanship of the time. The rooms inside the castle were surprisingly small when one considers this to be the winter residence of one of the richest people in America. Thick masonry walls and large windows made the building tolerable for the hot temperatures. The castle contained:

  • a single bedroom for Archer and Anna with separate baths,
  • library,
  • office,
  • a very large studio and courtyard for Anna’s sculpting,
  • a secretary’s room,
  • small kitchen and dining, and
  • resident servant’s and housekeeper’s quarters.

There were no guest bedrooms or guest quarters on the property. The castle was meant to be a private place for escape.

All That Remains

Sadly, all that remains of the castle are the bear walls and ceilings. Nothing remains of the furnishings and the interior has weathered over time. Yet, the castle still displays a striking pose as to what it may have offered the Huntington’s for their winter stays in the 1930’s and ‘40s.

There is much more to see and experience of this unique American castle. Enjoy the tour in the video below and I hope you have the opportunity to visit Atalaya Castle in Huntington Beach State Park.

Additional information:

Atalaya Castle History –
Atalaya Castle Wiki –
Archer Huntington –
Anna Hyatt Huntington –
Huntington Beach State Park Campground –

RV AccessoriesNot sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel? Check out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life! Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the right side of the page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).


ilovervlife travel map

RV Accessories

Epoch Batteries

Active Control RV Soft Start

RV Mattress - Brooklyn Bedding

Haloview Backup Camera

Oupes Portable Power Stations

TST and TechnoRV

Antler Roots Outdoors

RV Mobile Connect

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

We are a participant in the affiliate advertising program for the following companies: Active Controls, Brooklyn Bedding, Epoch Batteries, BougeRV, ALLPOWERS, HOVSCO, CyCrown, TROXUS, LiTime, LANPWR, and Escapees RV Club. Each affiliate advertising program is designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to each company's affiliated sites.