Joe's conference schedule on our recent trip to Hilton Head Island, S.C., gave me plenty of free time to scout out the best local shops. Then we enjoyed sampling the local cuisine in his off-time. A few of our favorite stops follow. I noticed the shop above as we drove into town, and it was the first on my list to explore.
And what a site to behold! The Antique and Collectibles Shop at The Greenery is housed in a former Baptist church. Built in 1873 on the mainland, the church was sold 100 years later and moved by barge to its present location.
The Antique and Collectible shop houses one-of-a-kind furniture, European gardenware and custom lamps.
Everywhere you look, pretty vignettes await discovery. Along with more substantial pieces, shoppers will also find a great selection of giftware with soaps, candles and herbs perfect for hostess gifts and souvenirs.
This shop is for the birds -- and the bird lovers. Birds of a feather are sure to appreciate the variety of birdcages, nests, eggs and decorative elements.
Creative inspiration abounds at The Greenery. This glass-topped antique crib gives me lots of ideas.
I had a wonderful time browsing The Antique and Collectibles Shop, but even more beauty awaited discovery outdoors.
The nursery at The Greenery is known for its European garden planters, which are filled with plants that thrive together.
Lush plants fill the greenhouse on the back of the property. With merchandise that changes weekly, The Greenery is definitely worth a visit.
Charlie's L'etoile Verte
Joe and I enjoy visiting new restaurants, and we ventured a few of the nearly 200 choices on Hilton Head Island. My favorite restaurant by far -- for food and ambiance -- was Charlie's L'etoile Verte. (Pardon the blurry picture above. I took this photo on a rainy day, and my camera had a difficult time adjusting to the humidity.)
An island favorite for more than 25 years, Charlie's writes a new menu daily based on the freshest local seafood available. I am still thinking about my dinner entree, Carolina trout with a light Dijon sauce served with deliciously creamy scalloped potatoes and perfectly seasoned steamed vegetables. The owner patterned Charlie's after L'etoile Verte (translated "Green Star"), his favorite cafe to frequent in Paris. With french country charm and attentive service, Charlie's exudes welcome to locals and tourists alike.
S.M. Bradford Co.
Across the street from Charlie's, The Village at Wexford offers plenty of shopping. I spent several hours browsing S.M. Bradford, a Lilly Pulitzer signature shop.
Entering this beautiful boutique feels like stepping into summer. With clothing, accessories and partyware, this colorful store will put you in an island state of mind.
I was so inspired by Lilly Pulitzer colors and prints, I picked up a few items at S.M. Bradford for an end-of-summer get-together with my "beach girls," the group of girlfriends I go to the beach with each year. We had our girls night last week, so look for details from that party soon!
Sweet Carolina Cupcakes
Y'all know I have a sweet tooth, and I found plenty of sugar at Sweet Carolina Cupcakes. I discovered this cupcake bakery online and appreciate owner Holly Slayton's passion for cupcakes. On her blog she says, "Sweet Carolina is an ideal as much as a person. The idea of Sweet Carolina is a pleasant southern breeze as sweet and warm as a cupcake fresh from the oven." With flavors that rotate daily -- ranging from classics such as very strawberry and carrot cake to special creations like lowcountry lemon and mocha latte -- Sweet Carolina Cupcakes is a bakery worth the trip.
Gifted Hilton Head
Back at The Village at Wexford, I found a lovely new gift shop called Gifted Hilton Head. The shop had only been open a couple of weeks when we visited, but I discovered treasures for nearly everyone on my gift list.
Along with jewelry from Chamilia, Mariana, Simon Pearce, Waterford and Vera Wang, Gifted Hilton Head also offers baby gifts, home decor and a great selection of island-inspired tableware. Whether you are shopping for souvenirs or special occasions, this boutique has your giftware needs all wrapped up.
I hope to return to Hilton Head Island someday and would love to know your favorite shops and restaurants if you have any recommendations. In my next post I will share photos of nearby Beaufort, S.C.