Consider a Tour of Atalaya on Your Litchfield Escape

It’s one of the most intriguing physical structures on the east coast.

Atalaya stands near the shore at Huntington Beach State Park. Its original owners, Anna and Archer Huntington, did more than build a cool house. They were influential in the region’s history and culture.

Atalaya is a neat place to visit, for many reasons. Here are five. But first …

Interesting Facts About Atalaya

It’s often referred to as Atalaya Castle, but officially, it’s Atalaya. Here are other things you might not know.

  • It took from 1931 to 1933 for the Huntingtons to build it. It became their winter home in 1947 when doctors diagnosed Anna with tuberculosis.
  • When Archer died in 1955, most home furnishings went to New York. Anna’s studio supplies went to a new location at Brookgreen Gardens.
  • Atalaya has four wings that form a square around a courtyard. There are 50 rooms in all, and the outer walls extend 200 feet.

Atalaya: An Institution of Huntington Beach State Park

It has the feel of a fictional setting, but Atalaya is very much a historical site. Here are five reasons you should visit next time you’re at the beach.

1. You’ll Learn Something

The scope and love story behind Atalaya is incredible. Did you know the Huntington’s donated it to the U.S. military for use during World War II? And that Anna created structures you can see at Brookgreen Gardens today here?

RECOMMENDED: Rooms have placards with facts about daily life. But a guided tour is also a great way to learn more about Atalaya.

2. Photo Ops

There aren’t many bad spots for a selfie or well-composed photograph here. Atalaya’s lines and architecture make for an uncommon backdrop for your feed and camera roll.

RECOMMENDED: Golden hour photos are eye-catching here. Come a bit after sunrise or at sunset for gorgeous photos.

Huntington Beach atalaya castle

3. You’ll Get To Spend Time in Huntington Beach State Park

There’s a separate charge for park admission before you get to Atalaya, and a small fee to visit the home. Enjoy some of the area’s most beautiful beach, prime viewing for incredible wildlife.

RECOMMENDED: Hike the Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail. It’s a 2-mile out-and-back track, with an observation tower for birding.

4. Appreciate the Architecture of Faraway Cultures

The Huntington’s delivered Spanish-Moor architecture with a bang at Atalaya. Some of Spain’s most treasured buildings came from Moorish hands. The arches and floor plan harken to this blend of cultures in Spain.

RECOMMENDED: Visit Brookgreen Gardens for more of a taste of Anna’s contributions. Her sculptures are world-class.

5. It’ll Boost Your Imagination

The more you learn about Atalaya, the more you can imagine living there. Rooms aren’t furnished, but descriptors on the walls tell of their uses for them. Imagine a penned bear, ornate furniture, Anna’s sculptures in progress, and more.

RECOMNENDED: Give yourself plenty of time to walk the grounds. Stay a while in rooms that appeal to you. Read as many descriptors as you can.


Find a Degree of Hospitality Expertise at Litchfield Inn

It’s easy to recommend accommodations that provide for your every need. It’s exceptional when the place also allows you to relax and recharge. Stay close to home with a visit to the Cabana Cafe. Litchfield Inn is a place you’ll return to many times — and one you’ll want to extend your stay while you’re here.

Tower Queen Room