The 2019 South Carolina sea turtle nesting season has smashed all records, and visitors to the Myrtle Beach area might be able to see baby sea turtles emerging from nests.
With a few weeks remaining in the nest laying season, as of July 22, there were 7,915 sea turtle nests along the South Carolina coast. The previous record of 6,446 nests was set in 2016.
Myrtle Beach State Park has a total of 29 nests it is monitoring. Most are loggerhead turtle nests, and several are from one persistent green sea turtle that kept returning to lay her eggs.
It takes about 60 days, give or take two weeks, for sea turtle eggs to hatch. Usually the nests hatch at night, and then three days later turtle volunteers do an inventory of the nests to see how many eggs hatched. Often there are still a few live baby turtles in the nests when the inventory is conducted.
Staff at Myrtle Beach State Park will make announcements inviting the public to these inventories, and that’s the best chance for people to see a live, wild baby sea turtle and watch it crawl to the sea. You can call the park at (843) 238-5325 to ask if a nest inventory is scheduled during your visit to Myrtle Beach.
Seafood House, which has a 105-foot buffet that looks like a wooden sailing ship and private rooms, serves crab legs, prime rib, oysters, stuffed shrimp, Calabash style fried shrimp, scallops, flounder, steamed shrimp, southern cooking, salads, sides, desserts and a lot more. Servers are dressed as pirates, and in the summer mermaids swim in a 10,000 gallon indoor pool. It’s located at 2000 Highway 17 Business North in Surfside Beach, just minutes from oceanfront hotels in Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach State Park.