Vacation Spotlight: Hilton Head Island

I am very excited to be sharing a fun guide to one of my all time favorite vacation destinations, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina! My grandparents purchased a timeshare about twenty five years ago, and Mary and I have been going for one or two weeks in August ever since we were born! Vacationing in Hilton Head is probably my favorite of our many family traditions, as I have had so many unforgettable memories growing up vacationing on the Island! I can't wait to share some of my favorite outdoor activities, restaurants, shops, and pictures from my Hilton Head vacations! Mary and I have really gotten to know the in's and out's of the Island over the years, and it almost feels like another home for both of us. 

Outdoor Activities: 
Though Hilton Head has its share of amazing restaurants and shops, nothing beats the amazing outdoor activities that the Island offers! The beaches are gorgeous and yes I could probably spend most of the week simply spending time at the beach, but there are so many other great activities that are so enjoyable, educational, and showcase the uniqueness of the Island! Two of my favorite Hilton Head activities (aside from the beach!) include kayaking and biking.

Broad Creek Marina, Shelter Cove
1. Kayaking: Every year my family takes a dolphin kayaking trip around Broad Creek Marina in Shelter Cove, and we always have the best time searching for dolphins, birds, and enjoying the ocean life! We always take our tours through Outside Hilton Head, a great company with very knowledgable guides who make the kayaking experience so fun and interactive! I think we have seen at least one dolphin on every trip we have gone on, and sometimes the dolphins have come right up next to our kayaks! Kayaking is a must do activity if you're vacationing in Hilton Head!

2. Biking: Hilton Head is a very bike friendly island with countless bike trails and so many places to rent bikes! We rent bikes every year and have lots of fun taking long rides to our favorite spots across the Island! One of my favorite bike trails is the trail through Sea Pines, where you can really get see the beauty of the island and ride among the big live oak trees covered in Spanish moss! The Sea Pines  trail can also lead you to the Salty Dog Cafe, a fun touristy spot with the famous Salty Dog t-shirts! Though the cafe isn't the greatest in my opinion, most people honestly go for the shirts and the ice cream and it's worth a trip!

There are so many other great outdoor activities available on the Island, including lots of golf courses, tennis, boat cruises, parasailing, and zip lining, and many others. Mary and I love heading to the driving range to get some lessons from our grandpa, and each year we love taking tennis lessons at our timeshare! (The tennis instructor actually knows us pretty well now that we've been coming for so many years!)

Cotton candy sky!
Sunset on Broad Creek Marina
Shopping on Hilton Head Island is another one of my favorite activities and they have greatest unique, local stores that we must visit each year! I love shopping in Harbor Town at Sea Pines, and at Coligny Plaza, both which showcase many little shops from which sell anything from fun beach clothing to shells, jewelry and souvenirs! The Lily Pulitzer signature store at Wexford Village is another one of my favorite spots, as they have all things Lily imaginable! Mary and I also check out the Tanger Outlet mall each year, which is right before the bridge you take to cross onto the Island!

Harbor Town Sea Pines Lighthouse

Restaurants: The Hilton Head food scene is so great and I love having both old favorites and also trying some new places that open each year! Here are some of my favorite Hilton Head bites. 
1. Truffles Cafe- Truffles has delicious New American food and really such a diverse menu! The fish options on the menu are all great, and the food never disappoints!  
2. The Crazy Crab- Eating at the Crazy Crab has become a family tradition and I order the crab legs every year! Though there are quite a bit of fried fish options on the menu, not my personal favorite, the crab legs are delicious and fresh! 
3. The Sea Shack- Mary and I found out about this place a few years back, and now try and stop every year! It is definitely more of a "dive" environment-wise, certainly not a fancy place, but the fresh seafood is delicious and you can order it cooked to your liking! It is a very small restaurant and the lines can get very long (the first time we visited we waited over an hour in line!) but if you're strategic about the time you go you can get a great, inexpensive meal with local flair! 
4. Alexander's-  Alexander's is another restaurant we visit every year, located in Palmetto Dunes! The food is great, and our family typically goes for the early bird special which always has a delicious and varied menu! My personal favorite is Alexanders' key lime pie! I don't really eat key lime pie anywhere else but at Alexander's! 

If you're in the mood for ice cream or another sweet treat, Hilton Head has some great local bakeries and ice cream shops! Hilton Head Ice Cream Company is a quirky place with great homemade ice cream that my family loves to visit! Pino Gelato is another favorite located in Wexford, they have so many flavors of creamy gelato! Lastly, Signe's Heaven Bound Bakery and Cafe has really good cookies, cakes, pies, and other baked goods! Last year we bought a Chocolate Raspberry cake from Signe's for my cousins's birthday, and it looked beautiful and tasted excellent! 

Hilton Head is really a great vacation spot with options for people of all ages and interests! Though I've been vacationing on the Island for nineteen years, each year I am all the more excited to check out my favorites and the new experiences and memories the Island has to offer!

I am already looking forward to my two weeks in Hilton Head in August! Have a great week everyone!


1 comment:

  1. Hilton Head is my favorite East Coast vacation spot! The bike paths are the best feature. Next time you're there, try the painted desert soup at Sante Fe Cafe - so delicious!

    Alex | Mrs. Mason Dixon