KARE Project Update – Hangin’ Out on Hilton Head Island. As we have traveled around our great country the last almost two years many of our RVer friends we have met have asked us if we have ever been to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.
Up until now the answer has been no. So on our travels up the east coast this Spring we took the time and spent 10 days over the Memorial Day weekend to “Hang Out on Hilton Head”.
Here is a little history of the island. Hilton Head Island is named after Captain William Hilton, who in 1663, identified a headland near the entrance to Port Royal Sound which he named “Hilton’s Head” after himself. The island features 12 miles of beachfront. Hilton Head Island is sometimes referred to as the second largest barrier island on the Eastern Seaboard after Long Island. The island has a rich history that started with seasonal occupation by native Americans thousands of years ago, and continued with European exploration and the Sea Island Cotton trade. It became an important base of operations for the Union blockade of the Southern ports during the Civil War. Once the island fell to Union troops, hundreds of ex-slaves flocked to Hilton Head, which is still home to many “native islanders”, many of whom are descendants of freed slaves known as the Gullah (or Geechee) who have managed to hold on to much of their ethnic and cultural identity. The beginning of Hilton Head as a resort started in 1956 with Charles E. Fraser developing Sea Pines Resort. Soon, other developments followed, such as Hilton Head Plantation, Palmetto Dunes Plantation, Shipyard Plantation, and Port Royal Plantation, imitating Sea Pines’ architecture and landscape. Sea Pines however continued to stand out by creating a unique locality within the plantation called Harbour Town, anchored by a recognizable lighthouse. Fraser was a committed environmentalists who changed the whole configuration of the marina at Harbour Town to save an ancient live oak. It came to be known as the Liberty Oak, known to generations of children who watched singer and song writer Gregg Russell perform under the tree for over 25 years. Fraser was buried next to the tree when he died in 2002
Stayed at a very nice park . . . Hilton Head Island Motor Coach Resort.
Everyone told us to stay at this park . . . it is the closest to the beach and all the attractions. Indeed, it was a very nice park. Each site is owned and landscaped according to how the owner likes it. We had a very nice and private site.
Our first venture was to the beach – Coligny Beach . . . Naturally :-). Being it was a Holiday weekend it was very busy. We walked up and down the beach and then settled at the Tiki Hut to listen to some local bands and sip a Margarita and Rum coolers . . . or two :-).
After the holiday the beaches were almost empty and provided me with miles of great beach walking.
Some days the tide was low like the pictures above and other days it was high tide which made for some fun beach walking playing tag with the waves.
When the tide was low I often encountered some of the unfortunate casualties that got left behind in some tidal pools that didn’t last long enough for the next high tide.
On my walks to the beach I would pass through Compass Rose Park where this plaque was.
There was also a statue of Charles E. Fraser . . . the Developer of the Sea Pines Resort. It depicts the photograph that appeared in the March 3, 1962 edition of the Saturday Evening Post showing Fraser walking with an alligator on the Sea Pines Ocean Course.
Just down the bike path from this park I would cross a wooden bridge and almost everyday I would encounter this real 6ft gator.
There are many cycling trails on the island so one day we hooked up the “Kids” trailer to one of the bikes and biked down by the Sea Pines area. The trails are very nice and you can go almost anywhere on the island. Had a great time and so did the “Kids”! You can rent a bike almost anywhere on the island too.
Took a day to explore Harbour Town. It is located at the Southwest corner of the island where the Calibogue Sound and the Harbor River meet. A very cool small harbor with lots of cool boats. This is where the Liberty Oak is and the Harbour Town Lighthouse I mentioned in the history of Hilton Head. Lots of cool shops and restaurants. We spent most the day here and had supper at The Crazy Crab.
On one of our bike outings with the Kids we stopped at Daniel’s Restaurant and Lounge next to Coligny Circle for a cocktail and a beer. We sat outside were there is a small plaza. A young man was setting up band equipment for the evening’s show. Turns out he was “the band” and we got to listen to him sound checking all of his instruments . . . numerous guitars, standup bass, steel drums, flute and more . . . even a banjo. He played a few songs just for us . . . very cool!!
We took the Kids home and came back in the evening for a bite to eat, cocktails and to listen to this young man perform. He is a very talented musician and a great young man. We met some new friends had a great time that evening and the show was great!!!
Check him out . . . Darryl E. Van Horne as Tha Sole Mate on Face book.
Thanks Darryl for the Great Time!!
We ended up our stay on Hilton Head with a dinner at Captain Woody’s Bar & Grill.
We had a great time “Hanging Out on Hilton Head Island” but it was time to move on, next stop . . . Williamsburg, VA. Stay tuned for the next WCH blog . . . “Visiting Virginia” coming soon.