Famous Event Ushers Fall to the Lowcountry
Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival
by Kimberly Duncan
Parades, festivals, expos and all manner of merriment can be found all along Georgetown County’s Hammock Coast, and SC’s greater Grand Strand, the whole year through. The greater Myrtle Beach Area and its beautiful beaches were once considered a summer-only vacation destination, but that detail has changed in a very big way. There’s always something to keep residents and guests gratified, and the weather’s so mild there’s fun every day, all the time. Not surprisingly, that’s a detail that lures lots of savvy tourists, many of whom return year after year.
No Hammock Coast calendar would be complete without mention of the annual Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival at Huntington Beach State Park, located between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island. This highly acclaimed event has received consistent praise through four decades. In fact, 2015 marks its fortieth anniversary! Enjoy fine art displays, delicious cuisine, and the musical talents of popular area musicians. There’s so much for sale – paintings, jewelry, wood work, sculpture, photography, crafts of every kind and style – it’s prudent to plan to stick around for a nice, long spell. More than 100 fine artisans are featured – many on hand and happy to chat!
There’s much to know and anticipate about the Festival, not the least of which is its backdrop. The sheer natural beauty of the Huntington Beach State Park is stunning. It’s one of the East Coast’s best-loved beaches (and birdwatching sights). It is also home to a salt marsh teeming with wildlife, an age-old maritime forest, a campground, visitor center with fun exhibits, lots of trails and more. Perhaps best of all, it’s home to Atalaya – (pronounced “at-a-lie-a”) – a Spanish inspired castle that once served as the winter residence and studio of American sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. Atalaya is literally a story all its own.
It’s arguable but definitely possible that Huntington Beach State Park’s beauty is at its best during the year’s cooler months. Shoulder seasons make for great beach vacations. The pace is slower. The crowds are smaller. Every outdoor activity is pleasant. Prices are often more competitive, too. This year, plan a visit during the Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival and discover your own Best. Vacation. Ever.
For details about the Festival, call 803-734-0767 or visit AtalayaFestival.com. For more information on the Park and Atalaya, call 843-237-4440 or visit DiscoverSouthCarolina.com. For more information about splendid cool weather beach and golf vacations, visit HammockCoastSC.com.
The 40th Annual Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival will be held September 25—27, 2015 at Huntington Beach State Park near Murrells Inlet, SC. Hours are Noon to 6 PM on Friday, 10 AM to 6 PM on Saturday and Noon to 6 PM on Sunday. Admission to the park during the Festival is free. For adults, daily entry is $8 and a multi-day pass is $10. Visitors 15 and younger are admitted free. Pets are not allowed. Stroller and wheelchair access can be difficult due to uneven surfaces, stairs, crowds and narrow hallways.