ABOUT HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC
Not just beaches!
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is a world-renowned vacation destination receiving around 2.5 million visitors a year. There are 24 golf courses, 12 miles of beaches (with seven public beach parks), 14 community recreational parks, over 100 miles of bike trails, about 300 tennis courts, over 250 restaurants, and numerous land and water activities.
The Island has a year-round population of about 37,000. It measures 42 square miles; it is 12 miles long and five miles wide. The Island is comprised of about 28,000 acres of dry land and about 2,000 acres of wetlands.
These facts only partially account for Hilton Head’s ranking in Conde Nast magazine’s “Top 10 Best U.S. Islands.” It’s the Island’s ambiance that puts the icing on a very lovely cake.
Once you cross “the two bridges” you enter another world, thanks to some very wise people who decided to emphasize nature over asphalt.
What strikes first-time visitors the most is Hilton Head’s natural beauty. This is not Joni Mitchell’s “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
What impresses is the over-whelming tree canopy, year-round color, entwining waterways, numerous lagoons, and expansive sandy beaches.
You may notice that commercial signage and overhead streetlights are almost non-existent; neon lights are not permitted.
Roads are lined with trees, flowers, bike paths, and golf courses.
Yes, there is a Wal-Mart, however you may need a map to find it hidden within a pine forest.
Even the residential areas are hard to see.
This does not mean that you are entering a boring, off-the-grid world. Wi-Fi is available almost island-wide; shopping is plentiful but low-key, well-treed and landscaped; condominiums and homes can be rented at prices ranging from $800 to over $10,000 per week; hotels range from reasonably priced national chains to five-star oceanfront resorts.
And there are plenty of things to do in addition to sitting on the beach or playing golf; both of which Hilton Head is well known for; and there is everything from watersports to taking a history tour to playing miniature golf.