Updated: Sep 2, 2020
Why I chose HHI...
I was craving a beach vacation, and during the Covid pandemic I wanted to go somewhere drive-able, beautiful, and less crowded. Also, I'm from Ohio, and apparently if you're from Ohio you vacation at Hilton Head (I had no idea how many Ohioans go to HHI Island until I was there!!).
Where we stayed...
It took us 10 hours to get there, which isn't bad at all! (yes, that was sarcasm). We drove in the middle of the night and got there around 10am. Our Airbnb was located in Sea Pines on Deer Island. Let me tell you about Sea Pines... please, please, please just stay there, or at least visit it. When driving through, you do have to purchase a parking pass at the gate. It's $8 for a daily pass and $20 for a weekly pass. I fell in love with the area the instant I saw it. Spanish moss trees galore along with tall pines. I just never imagined to see this much untouched area of nature right next to a touristy beach.
Sea Pines has a ton of bike trails, a huge nature preserve, marsh land, golf courses, fishing ponds, and beautiful beaches. Now, let me tell you about our airbnb on Deer Island. It's right next to Harbor Town, which is full of restaurants and shopping. Once you cross the cutest little bridge to Deer Island you feel so secluded by the dense tress and nature, but so close to Harbor Town. The houses on Deer Island are like tree houses. They all sit up high in the trees and overlook the Marshy area. The reason why it's called Deer Island is because there are deer everywhere! It was relaxing to sit the patio and watch the deer graze so close. You will feel like Snow White. I would 1,000% stay here again.
We rented bikes for the week and had them delivered to our airbnb. There are a ton bike rentals all over HHI and most of them will deliver and pick up to the place your staying. The bike trails are so nice- all 2 way lanes and it was only a 10 minute bike ride to get to the beach from the area we were staying. Our bikes even came with basket to hold our stuff.
That morning we got up early and went for a bike ride to the Sea Pines nature preserve. It's absolutely beautiful there. I highly recommend doing this in the morning or evening because as time went on it kept getting hotter and hotter. The preserve is 605 acres. It has a Wildflower field, lakes, fishing ponds, marshes, a historic 4,000 year old Indian Shell Ring.
The bike trail also goes along Lawton Stables, which you can stop and pet some cute, friendly horses. When we got back, we packed up for the beach. I believe all the beaches in HHI have umbrellas and chairs for rent, which is exactly what we did!
When we got back to our airbnb and ate our glorious take out, we packed up some Prosecco and and head to South Beach. South Beach is breathtaking. It's very secluded and we pretty much had the whole beach to ourselves. It's the type of beach I think about when I think of HHI. Tall grassy areas and white soft sand.
There's a ton of day trips you can take from HII. We decided to explore Savannah, GA. It's about 50 minutes away, and well worth it! Savannah is full of history, cobblestone streets and Victorian houses. the humidity was insane that day so we drove to our destinations instead of walking (we are vacation, right?). It was so empty- Covid was hitting hard there, so we didn't go in any stores or dine in. We did get to enjoy the breathtaking parks. We also visited Wormsloe Historic site. When you enter, just the driveway is amazing to look at. 400 Oak trees strategically line the drive. It kept going on forever. there is a $10 fee per person to get in. It's worth it!
We woke up early and went horseback riding at Lawton Stables. I absolutely love this place. It's a must if you visit Sea Pines. We rode our horses on a trail through the Sea Pines Preserve. It was so relaxing. The guides were great and spoke about the history as we rode. After, there is a farm you can walk through.
We spent our last day exploring Daufuskie Island. It's a very secluded Island between Savannah and Hilton Head, and you have to ferry to get there. The population is 400. It has 3 restaurants, a market, community farm, coffee shop, old school house and a historic church. Did I mention it also has 3 miles of secluded beach? The funnest part, is everyone gets around on golf carts. We rented one for the day and away we went. After exploring, and almost somehow throwing my husband from the golf cart, we stopped at Lucy Bells cafe and had grilled pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes. We sat under a huge shaded oak tree and relaxed food coma style. Then we headed to the most empty beach I've ever seen. We ended the day there getting the best frozen lemonade and iced chai from the coffee shop. If you visit HHI, this is such a good day trip.
Have you visited Hilton head? Tell me in the comments what you love about it, and your favorite things to do there. This defiantly won't be the last time we visit!
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