Where is the perfect island vacation Where the beaches are pure white sugary sand and completely pollution free, and the semi-tropical climate fosters year round flora and fauna in which to delight Where you can go crabbing one day, jet skiing the next, and attend a Broadway musical for some nighttime entertainment Where you can relax on the deck of your luxury vacation rental home or take in some local music at a hotel night club Stay clear of the over-zealous Miami crowds, and join us a little further up the coast on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, USA. I have been a "resident" of this gem of an island for several years now. I say this with a bit of whimsy because nearly all of our resident population actually hails from somewhere else. We all came here on vacation and fell in love. When speaking to folks outside this area we call the "Low Country", I always find it hard to describe all of the reasons why you should choose Hilton Head for your next, and hopefully many more vacation getaways. So through much soul searching, and many healthy arguments, I mean discussions, with fellow islanders I have come up with the "Top Ten Reasons for Choosing Hilton Head Island" I'm sure once you visit, you will want to add some of your ownˇ¦
10. Climate and Indigenous Flora and Fauna
Hilton Head Island has a semi tropical climate, perfect for all kinds of great plants and animals to make it their home. One of the first things that struck me about this place is that in any one area, you may see pine, palm and 200 year old Spanish Moss - draped oak trees. It took me a minute to adjust, but now I cherish this unique setting. The weather allows for vacations year round, with abundant activities available even in January. Which is a great time to visit if you like a little more piece and quiet. Deer, Dolphins and Alligators all live in harmony (Ok, everyone gives the ˇ®gators their space) and island residents take special care in making sure you experience our island just like we do everyday of the year.
I mentioned them in #10, but a must-do when you are visiting us is a dolphin tour. Take a kayak or a fast boat out to their favorite spots, and let a seasoned guide introduce you by name to the 200 resident bottle nose dolphin that live here. Some kids whose families come here every year can identify them now too. It is an experience you will never forget.
Hilton Head Island is home to some world class tennis facilities and instruction. There are hundreds of courts, mainly clay, that are located throughout this 12 by four mile paradise.
Hilton Head has great little specialty boutiques, lovely art shops and galleries, and even an outlet center located in nearby Bluffton. You know you need to bring a little of the island home with you. Sand and ocean water does not travel well. And if you decide you want to buy a house or condo, we've got a few real estate specialist to help you out too.
6. Culture and History
You can't imagine what a large part Hilton Head Island and the surrounding areas of the Low Country played in US history, especially during the US Civil War. Make sure to take a tour or two through the Coastal Discovery Museum to learn all about our beginnings, including some eye opening information about our local Gullah population, which is descended from slaves freed during the Civil War.
Hilton Head is world renown for it's championship golf courses. With over twenty private and public from which to choose, you will never get bored chipping from the sand trap. Check out the 18th green at Harbourtown Golf Links, home to the Heritage Classic each April.
4. Bike Paths
More than 53 miles of public pathways allow you to meander all over the island at your speed. There are also plenty of beach bikes for rent also, if your in for a workout.
I travel quite regularly and am always amazed at the quality and management of the vacation rentals on Hilton Head Island. It is filled with quaint condos and golf villas, lovely single homes and gorgeous beach front mansions, all available for your vacation stay. How many times has a seemingly perfect vacation been tarnished by sub-standard accommodations We take where you stay very seriously, and provide several reputable vacation management companies that will make sure everything is just right.
We love them. We take pictures of them. We respect them. We NEVER feed them. They help make this island unique and special. By the way, feeding them (or trying to "catch one" as I witnessed two teenagers try to do one time) is against the law. Admire from afar.
1. Atlantic Ocean
Whether you spend a majority of time on the water boating, skiing surfing or swimming, or just like to look at it from your beach chair, the Atlantic Ocean still has me catching my breath at the sight of it. There are many other bodies of water, such as Calibogue Sound and the nearby May River that also provide you with any and all sorts of water fun, but there is something about digging your toes into the white sand and just staring at the rolling tides. Take a moment to thank yourself for choosing Hilton Head Island. Now you know why you did.