High Times in the Low Country
Hilton Head is an island destination unlike any other.
Welcome your Saturday morning arrival by checking into your accommodations and you’re certain to notice the decompression that generally accompanies escaping the mainland to Hilton Head. Enjoy breakfast at your hotel or ask staff for a recommendation (always a good idea in Hilton Head), and then plan for a day enjoying the beauty of the heavily wooded barrier island. A beach day is in order, and Hilton Head has almost nine miles of scenic beaches, all of which are accessible to the public, including several waterfront public parks. Ask at your hotel about the closest beach access and take to the shore for a morning of sun and surf. For a taste of local and historic flavors, consider A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant and favorites like crab cakes or shrimp and grits. You’ll either want a nap or to get a little exercise after lunch, so more active sporting might be in order. Bicycling is always a Hilton Head favorite. If the weather is mild, exploring the Sea Pines Forest Preserve on elevated walkways is an adventure worth considering. A more active adventure can be found at Palmetto Bay Parasail. It is Hilton Head Outfitters, though, that offers some of the most distinctive opportunities on the island. They can outfit you for surfing, fishing, kayaking and more; and arrange fishing charters and other tours. Among the most popular tours are the dolphin watch cruises and sunset cruises. Boat charters and tours to destinations off the island are also available. You’re sure to be pleasantly tired by the evening, so consider enjoying dinner at Bistro 17 for French fare or the eclectic flavors of the Sea Grass Grille and its beach house setting.
Hilton Head golf is legendary, and Sunday is all about the links. Among the best options are the public Hilton Head National, the George Fazio Golf Course, Arthur Hills Golf Course and the Robert Trent Jones Course. Alternately, the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center is highly regarded, although it may be the beach once again that is most alluring. Sunday’s farewell dinner should be memorable and the Jazz Corner is a good bet to provide that. She Crab Soup and other seafood specialties are prized but the menu is diverse. Robert Irvine’s Eat! is another sure-fire culinary memory maker, and also a terrific way to wrap up a weekend in Hilton Head.
Stay In Style
This popular seaside vacation destination has an array of accommodations including these options:
The Inn at Harbour Town – Sea Pines Resort pairs the luxuries of the finest European boutique hotels with the distinctive look and feel of the Carolina Low Country. This Forbes Four-star, AAA Four-Diamond Hilton Head hotel within the resort’s 5,000-acre estate is walking distance from Harbour Town and showcases the natural splendor of the island. Comprehensive amenities include butler service, gym and complimentary trolley transport to numerous destinations. www.seapines.com
Marriott’s Grande Ocean’s two-bedroom, two-bath villas are ideal for families or larger traveling parties. In addition to the amenities one would expect from a Marriott property such as spa services, top-notch attentiveness and concierge service, guests are also just steps away from the warm sands of Forest Beach. www.marriott.com
Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort is a warm home-away-from-home, fashioned after a 1940’s hospitable hunting and fishing lodge, combining Carolina charm with simple pleasures and outdoor fun for the whole family. Expect Disney-level service and kitschy charm combined with a beautiful natural setting and an impressive array of eclectic activities for children, teens and adults. www.disneybeachresorts.com/hilton-head-resort
Bike: Bicycling is one of the great ways to enjoy the natural beauty and quaint appeal of Hilton Head. All main roads and most major roads have companion bike paths perfect for daytime travel and rental shops are plentiful.
Tee off: Golf courses are ubiquitous on the island, but Harbour Town Golf Links permits players the chance to golf the same course as the professionals, since it hosts the Heritage tourney every April.
Ride: Take a break from mechanized transportation of all sorts and take to horseback at Lawton Stables at the Sea Pine Resort to explore the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. Guided tours and pony rides also available.