Saturday, July 20, 2013


I recently drove down to South Carolina for some beach fun.  While enjoying the splendors of Myrtle Beach, I decided to explore a nearby historical home.

Atalaya is the former winter home of philanthropist Archer Huntington and sculptor, Anna Huntington.  The history of the house is fascinating but I found the empty property chilling.
The view of the entrance of Atalaya.
In Spanish, atalaya means watchtower.  I found it amusing because in Portugal, there is a coastal city named Atalaia (pronounced the same way).  Random fact, but I just had to share.
The house resembles a Moorish castle and houses a beautiful courtyard.  Above is half of the courtyard.  In the top right, you can see part of the tower that is connected to covered walk ways.
There was also another sign that indicated that Mrs. Huntington was fond of bats. The tower also sheltered quite a few bats.
Above is a clear shot of the tower and the covered walkways.
A goofy pose under the covered walkways.  They were quite lovely to walk under...until you got under the tower, then it was slightly creepy.
Speaking of creepy...I found the shedding of a snake in the inner courtyard of the home.  I guess I should've known based on the first snake I saw.  My little Northern Virginia butt is not familiar with seeing snakes in trees...especially if that tree is above my parking spot!

Now back to the house.  The house itself is empty.  No furniture.  Nothing, just rooms which can feel a little creepy.  It is a very interesting home not only because of its unique architecture but the history behind it.  At one point, the Huntingtons vacated the home and turned it over to the government during WWII.  The house also features animals pens (nothing major...just!) for live models that Mrs. Huntington used as reference for her art.
Another goofy pose.
Did I mention the Atalaya is right by the beach?  After the tour, I headed to the beach for some fun.
I recommend if you are in Myrtle Beach, go checkout Huntington State Park for a tour of Atalaya castle.

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