Although Hilton Head, South Carolina, is only 12 miles long, it includes everything needed for a wonderful getaway. The island retreat is one of the most family-friendly destinations in the country and is filled with a calm beach environment exactly the opposite of bustling city life. It lies in the southern part of South Carolina, just 20 miles north of Savannah, Georgia. After a visit, visitors will see why it is consistently rated as one of the top beach resorts in the world.
Hilton Head is home to 12 miles of pristine white sandy beaches. Some of the most popular include Burkes Beach, Folly Beach and Forest Beach. Each beach is open to the public and provides the opportunity to play in the ocean, build sand castles, and admire the beautiful surroundings. If you are feeling adventurous, try parasailing for an overhead view.
Hilton Head is famous for its world-renowned golf courses. It is ranked one of Golf Digest's best golf resort picks. Numerous championship courses have been designed by famous names in the sport like Jack Nicklaus. No matter which course you select, you're sure to have an unforgettable round.
Hilton Head has a rich and varied history. To uncover its roots from the Revolutionary War, visit the Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery. Explore the grounds to learn about the hardships faced by patriot families.
Another great place to visit is the Sea Pines Shell Ring in the Forest Preserve. A Native American structure built more than 4,000 years ago, this historical site contains piles of shells made from oysters, clams and mussels, and provides insight into some of the first settlers in the area. It is a curious, awe-inspiring cultural marvel.
Some of the best shopping exists in Hilton Head. It offers a unique blend of boutiques and nationally recognized chains. One-of-a-kind art and jewelry is available in scattered marine shops and plaza centers. The stores in the Coligny Plaza offer great local goods. Visit one of the dessert shops for a decadent sweet treat. For conventional shopping, Tanger Outlets lie over the bridge in Bluffton.
Guests will have a wide variety of food options to sample on Hilton Head Island. Besides common fast food, there are a number of family-friendly and upscale restaurants available. Hilton Head has wonderful seafood, and Alexander's Seafood Restaurant has been an island tradition for over three decades. Select from over 100 wines to go along with the freshest seafood and steaks in the area. For a more relaxed atmosphere, head to one of the Carolina barbecue restaurants.
There are two dozen Hilton Head hotels and resorts in town. For extreme luxury, consider the Inn at Harbour Town, an elegant boutique hotel next to the lighthouse and marina. Major amenities include a PGA golf course, tennis facilities and top restaurants. Thanks to budget hotels, staying at Hilton Head does not need to cost a fortune. For instance, the Red Roof Inn offers clean accommodations at half the price of most beachside venues.
Since golf plays an important part of leisure time at Hilton Head, the MCI Classic Tournament is held at the Heritage of Golf at Harbor Town Golf Links. It attracts the biggest names in the PGA. In the fall, check out the Hilton Head Oyster Festival. This three-day event provides food, live entertainment and crafts. In the spring, visitors look forward to the Wine & Food Festival, where guests participate in six days of tastings, lectures and various competitions.
Summer is by far the most popular time to visit Hilton Head, especially for beach lovers. Temperatures approach the 90s daily. However, spring and fall bring more comfortable weather, with low humidity, becoming the perfect time for golfers to enjoy a few rounds. Hotel prices are also lower, and the area is less crowded. Since temperatures remain in the 60s during winter, it may be a great time for a short getaway from the cold northern weather.