Getting Crafty at Atalaya

August 2023
Written By: 
Angela Robertson
Photographs by: 
courtesy of

For nearly a half-century, the popular Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival has been held at Huntington Beach State Park’s Atalaya Castle, a national historic landmark and the former winter residence of Archer Huntington and his wife, sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington. The impressive Moorish-style home and sculpture studio was built on the coast during the Great Depression by the New York philanthropists, who also founded Brookgreen Gardens. 

This perpetually well-attended, three-day event in Murrells Inlet will host more than 100 artists and their work, with live entertainment from well-known local musicians, an expansive food court featuring delicious, local seafood and barbecue, as well as other culinary delights certain to keep visitors coming back.

According to Gwen Davenport, manager of state parks marketing and coordinator of the Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival for the S.C. Parks and Recreation Department, this festival, in its 48th year, draws about 7,000 people during the weekend. 

The art portion of the festival will take place in the interior rooms and courtyard of Atalaya. In addition to the festival, guests can explore the natural beauty that surrounds this state park’s grounds. 

The 2,500-acre park’s freshwater lagoon, maritime forest, pristine beach, and salt marshes are fine examples of South Carolina’s coastal environment, and the park is widely regarded as one of the best birding sites along the East Coast, as more than 300 species of birds have been identified. 

48th Annual Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival
September 22-24, Friday, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. 
Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Huntington Beach State Park
16148 Ocean Highway, Murrells Inlet, SC
$10 festival admission (16 and over)
(843) 237-4440,