This part of the Southern coast is beautiful, historic, and sometimes, exclusive. With Charleston (Great American Things, June 7, 2009) 95 miles to the north and Savannah 20 miles to the south, Hilton Head Island is part of one of America’s most remarkable stretches of coastline.
Though it’s only been incorporated as a town since 1983, Hilton Head has a rich history, especially as a base for Union troops during the Civil War. Today, though, it’s known for strictly controlled land development to ensure the preservation of the coastal environment. While most of the island’s residential and vacation properties are located within gated communities, Hilton Head residents have consistently done what’s necessary to limit commercial development.
Hilton Head is not going to be your choice if you’re looking for a vacation bargain. While it has its own special feeling and fiercely loyal visitors, it’s designed to appeal to a sophisticated, affluent traveler. Golf and tennis enthusiasts love the island, and there is certainly no shortage of excellent restaurants. You won’t find high-rise condos or miniature golf courses; but you will find beautiful beaches, attentive service, and a respect for nature at Hilton Head. Just be prepared to pay for it.