Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Exploring Hilton Head Island, South Carolina


Joe and I recently spent several days exploring Hilton Head Island, S.C. A law school conference gave us this opportunity for our first visit to the South Carolina coast, and I hope we can return one day with the children.


 



Our hotel in the Palmetto Dunes Resort area provided plenty of opportunities for me to unwind while Joe was occupied with conference events.




And when he had a break in his schedule, we hopped on bicyles to explore the island on wheels. The beach is so wide and flat that bicyclers, like the couple pictured above, can ride along the shore with ease.




In most cities you put the pedal to the metal to get around town. But with more than 50 miles of bike trails on the island, Hilton Head encourages visitors to put the sandal to the pedal. Joe and I enjoyed canvasing the resort area on bicycles, and I hope the children can join us on a future visit. Bicycle rental shops like the one pictured dot the island, allowing everyone to find a set of wheels.





And when you are ready to slow things down, miles and miles of beaches offer a perfect spot to relax.




I took a walk on the beach one morning while Joe was tied up with conference activities. Dipping my toes in the sand was a great way to relax, but watching children frolic in the surf made me miss my four who spent the week with Joe's parents.




With a bag full of books to read and so many sites to explore, I wasn't lonely for long.




Besides the lovely beach vistas, our resort offered a well-manicured courtyard with opportunities for swimming, dining and more. Trees dripping with spanish moss ooze southern charm, while palmettos and lush florals bring coastal breezes. 




A few bright spots in our hotel's courtyard.

 




"I find myself at the extremity of a long beach.  How gladly does the spirit leap forth, and suddenly enlarge its sense of being to the full extent of the broad, blue, sunny deep!" -- Nathaniel Hawthorne


 
A Visit to Harbour Town

 


Joe and I spent an evening at the Sea Pines Resort, which boasts 5,000 oceanfront acres that span a third of Hilton Head Island. Sea Pines has four distinct neighborhoods. We drove through the other three, but spent most of our evening in Harbour Town. The Harbour Town Lighthouse is Hilton Head's most famous landmark.




Toursists can shop and dine along the shore in Harbour Town.




Then climb to the top of the lighthouse to catch a sunset view of the marina. Hilton Head is a golfer's dream, with more than 25 golf courses on the island (pictured above, Harbour Town Golf Links).



Ship-shape in Harbour Town.




Harbour Town Bakery & Cafe was recommended as a must-stop, but it was closed when we visited. Maybe we will grab lunch here on our next visit.





Still to come, shopping and dining in Hilton Head plus an excursion to beautiful Beaufort, S.C. Congratulations to Rachel Lenda, who won the Shabby Apple dress giveaway!




"A greeting and a homage to the Sea!  I descend over its margin, and dip my hand into the wave that meets me, and bathe my brow.  That far-resounding roar is the Ocean's voice of welcome.  His salt breath brings a blessing along with it." -- Nathaniel Hawthorne






9 comments:

Lois Evensen said...

Hilton Head is truly beautiful and relaxing, isn't it. Lovely images. Thank you for sharing.

julie said...

how nice! i have a cousin that lives there! i have been wanting to visit! i guess i need to get planning! glad you had fun!

Sandy @ God Speaks Today said...

I've been to Hilton Head many times and love it. Your pictures really do a nice job of capturing the beauty of the island.

I have warm memories of vacations there when my children were very little. My 12-year-old took her first steps there. :)

Blessings,
Sandy

Becky W said...

I have never been but want to go . . . I want to know what books you read!!!!

Sophia said...

Hilton Head Island was our favorite vacation spot when we were living near Atlanta, Ga and the kids were small. In fact, my daughter's first trip to the beach was to Hilton Head. Beautiful pictures. Precious memories!

Wateringen said...

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Love Marijke
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Kristi said...

We went to Hilton Head last summer and really enjoyed it. We climbed the lighthouse too! Man, was it hot! But, the view was worth it. It was fun seeing the pictures of what we saw last year. Good to have you home.

Martha said...

We love,love, love Hilton Head. There's a restaurant there near the lighthouse with the best sea scallops..YUMMY

Paul Zhu said...

We went to Hilton Head last summer and really enjoyed it. We climbed the lighthouse too! Man, was it hot! But, the view was worth it. It was fun seeing the pictures of what we saw last year. Good to have you home.

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