The Old South meets the Atlantic seaboard at Hilton Head. This laidback but upscale beach, golf, and tennis resort has broad, tawny beaches, warm seas, palm trees and rolling dunes. Graceful sea oats, anchoring the beaches, wave in the wind. The subtropical climate makes all this beauty the ideal setting for golf, tennis and for some of the Southeast's finest saltwater fishing.
Hilton Head's public beaches have been ranked among the most beautiful in the world. Flat, broad beaches provide a firm surface even for biking and jogging. In summer, endangered loggerhead turtles lumber ashore at night to bury their eggs. Coligny Beach is the island's busiest strip of sand. Alder Lane is the choice for a less crowded outing.
Things to Do
Hilton Head has more than 50 miles of bicycle paths. The rolling greens of the local golf courses make this fairway heaven for professionals and novices. Tennis is a big draw, with Hilton Head hosting major tourneys on the pro tour. Horseback riding through beautiful maritime forests and nature preserves is reason enough to visit Hilton Head. And if all that outdoor activity is getting to you, head north to Charleston or south to Savannah; Hilton Head is about an hour from two of America's most charming historical cities.
Eating and Drinking
Local seafood is the specialty, with sweet creek shrimp boiled in beer in summer and fresh oysters roasted on open pits in the cool months. Expect to pay resort prices in Hilton Head, however, especially for shellfish. Budget options include delicious chopped pork barbecue sandwiches (ask for yours with fresh slaw), Southern fried chicken and Low Country favorites like seafood gumbo and shrimp perloo.
Dust your binoculars: Wildlife thrives here. Prime observation sites are on the south end at the Audubon-Newhall and Sea Pines Forest Preserves. Make your acquaintance with the bottle-nosed dolphin. Alligators are a prosperous lot here -- no danger if you keep your distance. You'll see a nature magazine's lineup of waterfowl -- the snowy egret, the large blue heron, and the osprey are front and center. Mammal inhabitants include bobcat, otter, mink, and wild boars.
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.