Sleepy Cypress Trees and the Silvery Ocean: Myrtle Beach State Park

Sleepy Cypress Trees and the Silvery Ocean: Myrtle Beach State Park

When we pulled into Myrtle Beach State Park, Wesley was fast asleep.  His twin brothers, however, were not.  So we found a parking spot between the playground and the beach so Wes could rest and the boys could play.  Max informed me that I was going to be “the bad pirate” and that he and Theo were going to be “the good pirates.”  Then he informed me that I had to go over to the kiddy playset because that was my pirate ship and they were both about to raid it.  Things were not looking good for dad.

Much to my relief, the boys soon become engrossed on the larger of the two play sets—which allowed me to become engrossed in the warm southern charm of this majestically wooded state park.  While the boys ran and screamed I soaked in the stunning contrast of the sleepy cypress trees and the cool silvery ocean just beyond the dunes.




I was hoping to run up to the beach for my first ocean swim of the season, but Wesley was awake and we decided to go for a stroll and check out the campground and the nature center instead.  We are staying at the Myrtle Beach KOA, and we have really loved it, and plan on coming back again, but this state campground looked fantastic too.  The sites were spacious and there were dozens of families riding bikes and making the short walk up to the beach for sand, surf, and sun.  The campground had no vacancy and was filled with a nice mix of tents, pop-up campers, travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes of all shapes and sizes.




The Myrtle Beach State Park Nature Center is tucked away in a cozy little corner at the south end of the campground near the horseshoe and bocce ball courts.  Stephanie commented that all campgrounds should have bocce ball courts.  They are cheap, easy to build, take up little real estate, and can provide hours of family friendly fun.  We also decided that every campground should have a nature center.


Our whole family loved this place.  It was charming on the outside and colorful on the inside.  The boys were particularly attracted to the chalk board wall and each one of them drew a masterpiece or two before we all decided to head up to the beach.





It was a little windy, but warm, and we were all so thankful to be in South Carolina, instead of back home in New Jersey, where it was 20 degrees colder.



While Max and Theo played with their sand toys, Wes showed off his sweet new Myrtle Beach hat.  But the fun really started when the boys saw a teenage girl dribbling a soccer ball on the wide open sand.  She inspired them.  They asked to play soccer and I was happy to oblige–I had left a ball in the bed of my pick-up trunk for just such an occasion.



Stephanie and I kicked the ball around with them for half an hour and had a blast.  It had been a perfect day and I couldn’t imagine it getting any better.  But I still had something that I really wanted to do.  As mommy played with the boys I waded out into the sparkling ocean for a quick swim.  It was a little cooler than I had imagined.  When the waves started crashing around my knees I was shivering and contemplating heading back to the beach.  Why was I hesitating? After all, I have surfed all winter long in New Jersey in 30 to 40 degree water temps–and I have always loved a cold water swim.  Maybe because the day had been long and fun and I was tired?  Or maybe because I was in an unfamiliar place?

Just then I looked to my right and saw an eight or nine year old boy swimming further out than I was.  He was diving under the waves and laughing.  He inspired me.  I dove under the next wave and popped up feeling cold but invigorated.  Another wave rolled in and I swam over to it, turned towards the shore, and bodysurfed it all the way back onto the beach of my new favorite state park.


Myrtle Beach State Park costs five dollars per person for a day pass, which can also be used at Huntington Beach State Park for free admission on the same day.  Ages five and under are free at both locations.  If you want to camp make sure you book early–the campground is very popular–and for good reason. Peak season rates run from 27 to 42 dollars.  They offer full hook up sites, water and electric sites, rustic tent sites, and cabin rentals. Don’t forget to visit the nature center and bring your bathing suits and bocce balls!





  1. Bill & Claudia

    I am so glad that you are having great weather! Yes, it’s a bit cooler than normal for this time of year, but it’s still jacket weather up in NJ right now, so you’re in the right place!
    Also a great plus that you’ve got twins (Yup, bet you never thought you’d hear that!! LOL!!), but the boys have each other to play with, and that is priceless! And in a couple of years, Wes will be joining them, so that you can go for those swims without feeling like you are taking away from the kids.

    Great blog….I hope to get down to MB again this summer, though we’re thinking of heading down to Charleston in a couple weeks, to spend the day, and some time at another Children’s Museum. 🙂

  2. Bill & Claudia

    Another great Blog….and of course a few comments from me…LOL!!

    I’m so glad that you are having good weather….much better than up here in NJ…where I’ve had to wear a coat since I’ve gotten up here on Wednesday. Yes, it’s a bit cooler down south than normal, so that is even better news for next year, if you decide to make the trip again!

    Your Blog has us wanting to make another trip to Myrtle Beach again soon….to check out the State Park as well as the KOA (if we head down with the RV)….but I think we’ve got plans for a visit down to Charleston, and another Children’s Museum when I get home in a couple of weeks.

    I envy you having the twins….our grandson, MJ is on his own most of the time, and I do my best to make his adventures exciting and enjoyable, but having a brother there has got to be a huge advantage…heck, it allowed you to go swimming! And in a couple of years, Wes will be running around with them…..

    You guys are doing GREAT by your kids, though I’m sure you feel that it’s the other way around, they are making your lives GREAT!

    Have Fun!

    • livelylittlecampers

      Hey Pap Pappy,

      We have had a really great week here in Myrtle Beach. Though it is pouring rain now on our last night. The KOA had a movie night in their rec center and the boys were plenty happy despite the rain. Everyone keeps apologizing for the cool weather down here and I have to remind them that it is twenty degrees colder in NJ. This may just be our new favorite campground and we will almost definitely be back next spring. Though I want to explore Wilmington as well. Charleston sounds fantastic. Wish we could push it down even further south for a visit there–but these ten hour trips pretty much push Wes to the max. We are stopping in Virginia on the way home to break up the trip. Stay warm in NJ!


      • Bill & Claudia

        An Oops on my part….a double post! But that is the problem with the delayed posting, though I also understand how you would want to monitor them too.

        As for Charleston, I’d suggest an overnight stop in VA or NC on your way down….so as to allow Wes some decompression time…LOL!! I can’t think of anything off the top of my head, but I’m sure that there are plenty of kid friendly and interesting stops along the way. It would reduce your time at any one place, but that may be good too…LOL!!

        Another option might be a day trip down to Charleston from MB….it’s only about 2-hours down there, so you could spend a good part of a day visiting what that area has to offer.

        I’ll try and remember (it’s getting harder as I age…sigh!) to send you guys a review of what we see, if we head down there next month.

        Take care…..enjoy the rest of the vacation.


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