Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thanks Hilton Head... See You Next Summer

I have to say it is nice to be back after taking a much needed vacation with my family. Now, you are probably sitting there thinking how could I be looking forward to a so called "vacation" that involved a six hour car ride, a 3 yr old, 2 yr old, and a 7 month old and sharing a summer rental with another family. But even with all these crazy facts we all had an amazing time. Don’t' get me wrong we had our share of tantrums, and potty training mishaps, but this was one of those vacations that we will look back on and have great memories to relish for a lifetime.

We chose Hilton Head Island in South Carolina as our vacation destination, and rented a home on Sea Pines Plantation. I will admit that getting onto the island can be a bit taxing due to heavy traffic, but once you arrive you can kick back and begin to relax. Sea Pines Plantation is one of the more well known plantations on Hilton Head, but once you pass thru the main gates you are surrounded by never ending tree canopies, and all the beauty that the costal Carolina's have to offer. And the best part is, you never have to leave the plantation once you arrive.

Sea Pines Plantation is unique for so many reasons, but the main thing that made this location attractive as a vacation spot is its reputation for being extremely family friendly. Now, don't get the wrong idea, just because I said it is family friendly, does not mean the kids run the joint and there is little for adults to indulge in. In fact it is quite the contrary with beautiful beaches, world class golf/ tennis, spas, shopping, biking, and restaurants this is hardly a mouse like attraction. The following are just some of our personal favorites of what Hilton Head had to offer.

Gregg Russell:
Every night at 8pm with the exception of Saturday it is a Hilton Head tradition for families to meet under the old liberty oak tree in Harbour Town. It's under this old oak tree you'll be entertained with Gregg's summer concerts. His performances are reminiscent of the children's TV show "Kids Say the Darndest Things" with games, interviews, sing-a-longs and a quick wit that makes for great entertainment for the whole family. There is a reason that generations for over 30 years return each summer with their families night after night to see Gregg play under the old oak tree in Harbour Town. Gregg Russell is an absolute must when visiting Hilton Head, and don't be surprised if it becomes a new tradition with your family.

The Salty Dog Cafe:
In a fishing village at South Beach lived John Braddocks and his dog Jake. John earned his living as a fisherman. Jake shared his love of the sea. Early one Friday morning, John powered up their 36 foot fishing vessel and headed for the deep blue sea. After being tossed out of their boat the Salty Dog, so the story goes that Jake headed west and swam for 3 days and 3 nights with John holding onto his collar. No one knows how Jake could have known the way back to his home port. The townspeople built a gathering place in the village and named it The Salty Dog Cafe - in honor of Jake's heroic feat. Portraits of Jake wearing his yellow sou'wester hat adorn the walls. His place in nautical history is assured.

The Salty Dog Cafe, sits in the South Beach Marina on Hilton Head, and offers great casual food with great indoor/outdoor dining options (and they make a great vodka tonic). Along with the great food there is live music, and plenty of sites to keep your little ones entertained. Don't forget to visit the Salty Dog Cafe Shop to pick up a t-shirt, hat, and a printed handkerchief for your favorite four legged family member.

The Sand Box:
What to do with the kids when your husband and his friend leave to play golf? You take them to the Sandbox, and I don't mean the one that your child is most likely to get a nasty case of ring-worm from. The Sandbox is an interactive children's museum that is dedicated to the positive development of young children through play. This unique non-for profit museum offers quality educational and family-oriented exhibits and programs. Children can let their imaginations run wild as they shop, buy, and prepare exotic meals in the International Bazaar or play with the magic sand in the Loggerhead Sandcastle. Whether taking a trek across the rock challenge course to track the T-Rex or painting a picture and playing an instrument in the Rhythm and Hues room, The Sandbox offers endless possibilities for fun!

Lawton Stables:
Be sure to bring your family to visit the small animal farm which is free to all visitors. They have a petting farm of small animals, including goats, sheep, donkeys, pot-bellied pigs, llama, miniature pony, chickens and rabbits. Be sure to stop by to meet, feed, and pet these adorable animals yourselves, and for the more adventurous members of the family there are horse and pony rides.

Harbour Town:
This is definately the heart of Sea Pines Plantation. Harbour Town offers shopping, casual eateries, entertainment for the entire family, a beautiful marina and the historic lighthouse. Harbour Town is the place where families meet at the end of there beach filled days to enjoy live music, and some of the most delicious icecream you will ever eat.

So if you are still on the fence on where to spend summer vacation with your family, I would strongly consider Hilton Head. We had an amazing time and look forward to going back next year.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your vacation with us. We look forward to having you on Hilton Head Island again next year!
    Have a great Summer,
    Best regards,
    Susan Ochsner