Wonderful Hilton Head Memories from Island Visitors and Locals

Hilton Head Island is a popular vacation destination that welcomes millions of visitors to its pristine beaches each year. Hilton Head Island holds many fond memories for our guests, and below are a few we'd like to share with you!


2011 was a stressful, challenging year considering the economy. Managing a charitable non-profit organization during these economic challenges is quite the demanding job.  A colleague and I needed a de-stressor weekend away so we chose Hilton Head Island which was the PERFECT choice!  We stayed in the affordable Holiday Inn Oceanfront, rode bikes and watched birds on the beach, enjoyed absolutely delicious food, shopped and laughed so much!  I am a bird watcher, so we spent one morning at Pinkney Island Refuge and what a lovely site that is.  Got some great photos of blue heron, and the most quaint photo of a tree canopy hanging over a dirt road/trail that is just so special.  We left having had a GREAT time surrounded by beuatiful nature.  What a de-stressor!

Pat Stewart
Statesville, NC

My husband, Ken, and I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Hilton Head over Easter Weekend in 2011.  We had just moved to NC from WI (think brrrr, cold winter) and really wanted to ensure we would have sun and warmth for Easter.

I had been to HHI about 15 years ago and stayed at the Hilton Hotel but Ken had not.  This was his first experience so we wanted it to be special.  We decided we should stay at the same Hilton Hotel so I put it in my GPS and in a few minutes we were there.

Now to the point--our favorite experience was on Saturday -- dusk to midnight.  We walked the beach just beyond our hotel.  I took some pictures even though it was getting dark.  Then we sat around the outdoor fire pit just taking it all in and meeting very friendly people. Soon we had worked up an appetite and  decided to have dinner at the Hotel.  It was fabulous--I had shrimp and he had a fish entree.
BUT, the pièce de résistance was the vocalist who sang song after song, reminiscent of the Sinatra era.  It echoed within the garden area and soon we were caught up in the romantic atmosphere, along with every one else.

We couldn't have asked for a more memorable excursion to HHI!!

Sue Laufenberg
Huntersville, NC

My family stayed at the Marriott Grande Ocean on South Forest Beach.....Wow now that is a  VACATION!!!!! Very nice facilities.....Very nice rooms, the best..just the best.  We enjoyed everything it had to offer, the pools, the pool bar (Jim, Sue and the guys are the best!!!), fantastic, the hot tubs, the gym, the market, very friendly staff, enjoyed absoutely everything they had to offer.  We love going to South Beach and Harbortown, lots of fun things to do.  My son walked onto the 18th fairway of Harbortown and loved it!!!  Loved eating at Also Remy's best buffalo shrimp around and love the Salty DogCafe is great for hamburgers, fish, shrimp they are all good!  Loved being outside at the Salty Dog and listening to the live entertainment.  And also enjoyed Scotts Fish Market with the outdoor dining and live entertainment.  Plantation Cafe has the best breakfast but we love Skillets also- Ther eis so much to do on the island and with each visit we learn new places and meet new friends.   We love to come back, in fact have visited the island in June, July and August.... Only place we want to come for vacation...its our home away from home.

Tammie Norman
Lincolnton, Georgia


My husband and I have been coming to Hilton Head Island for the last six years. It started when I worked at a newspaper and a resort inside Shipyard Plantation was advertising with us. A co-worker of mine had been there several times and suggested we go. She made it sound like there was nothing on the island. She was saying you'd have to drive off the island for food/groceries but she did express how peaceful and beautiful the island is. We decided we would give it a try. We came to HHI that first year and absolutely fell in love with everything from the beaches, to the resorts, to the foods, just everything. Like I said, we've been going 6 years now. We have always stayed inside Shipyard but have driven thru other plantations. Everything is just gorgeous. The landscaping is so well maintained, flowers everywhere, color standing out everywhere you look. Nothing is without beauty. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza our first year - just a short walk to the beach, after that we've stayed at different condos inside the Plantation. Each one is always decorated just right. All the things you can ask for - it's like being at home only having the beach access right there. We always ride our bikes along the many paths and try to find new things to explore. We've been to the lighthouse, and done a dolphin excursion. This last year dolphins were visible almost every day while we were on the beach. We always eat a Wild Wings! and Longhorns has the best steaks!! Guiseppi's is the place for pizza - the best!! We plan our meals out before we even get there lol. Hilton Head is the best no questions asked. Nothing else even comes close. If you're thinking of trying it - come once to try it and I promise you will be coming back every year because you love it.

Michele Horner
Greeneville, TN


Hilton Head Island was the perfect setting for our wedding!  My (now) husband and I had visited Hilton Head Island many times on vacation.  We always had so much fun experiencing all the island events and activities like deep sea fishing, jet-ski's, wine-tasting and even putt-putt.  Our favorite restaurant is on the island too, The Jazz Corner.  When we started the actual wedding planning, it was obvious to us we should share this important day somwhere with our family and friends that was so special to us.  The day of the wedding, we played volleyball in front of the Tiki Hut, had some NYC Pizza, went swimming, and I walked on the beach with my mom.  Our perfect ceremony was on the beach at sunset.  Three years later, we still visit Hilton Head as often as we can.  The friendly people, beautiful island, and special memories will keep us coming back.

Christy Dunaway
Oxford, AL

The best part of living in Hilton Head full-time is that when people ask you how you are doing, you have no choice but to answer - "Living the dream."

Ryan Douglas
Local Resident
Hilton Head, SC

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful, relaxing, resort area right "down the street" !  When vistors come in, its one of the first places I take them.  Although I love Savannah, Hilton Head cusine is unmatched in my eyes, and tummy!

First we start out with some hot flavorful coffee, and some tasty pancakes at Skillets!  On the way to the beach we stop into Michael Anthony's to see what Michael has whipped up for his cooking class.  The demo kitchen is like nothing I have ever seen!

Next up is retail therapy!  Off to the Wexford Village!  Pick up some new wine glasses at Le Cookery, a lovely pink and yellow skirt from Lilly Pulitzer, and squeeze in a pedicure at Faces.

After all our hard work, we are in need of a juice break. A grape juice break!  Off to Wine Times 4.  No need just pick out one wine, we can try several!  This is one of my favorite places to bring guests.  Wine time 4 has a tasting set up that you can't experience for hundreds of miles around!  How's that for a special treat!

We have worked up an appetite, onto dinner! Chef Russell always has something cooking at Wise Guys!  Delicious small plates, and whistle wetting beverages are pleasing to our palate.  Sometimes the chef whips up something special, just because!

After a hard day, we could use a laugh.  To the Hilton Head Comedy Club we go!  Its always a good time when we and cocktails make the laughs even louder!

No need to drive back over the river, the Marriott always seems to have a room when we need one.  A view of the water, and nice friendly staff, we always feel welcomed when we visit Hilton Head.
Don't worry I am not far away, until next time...
Keep Hilton Head Beautiful!

Joyce Crowder, Savannah, Georgia

We began vacationing in Hilton Head from Chicago thirty years ago.  One summer, when our children were 6 and 9, we stayed in a lovely home in Sea Pines at  Calibogue Cay.  A very large alligator lived in the watery marsh not far from our back door.  On the first night we were there, we had a furious thunder and lightening storm.  The four of us watched through the glass doors, admiring the "heavenly fireworks".  Suddenly, lightening struck a tree on the far side of the marsh.  When the tree caught on fire, the flames shot up and began to burn the grass around it.  My husband called the Sea Pines Fire Station and the firemen were there instantly.  The only way to reach the burning tree was through the water.  Bravely, one of the firemen walked into the water to make his way to the burning brush.  Our little six year old son began to cry and scream out, "He's going to be eaten by the alligator!  Dad go warn him!"  My husband ran outside and yelled out that there was a gator in there.  The fireman shrugged his shoulders as if to say, "That's one of the drawbacks of this job that we have to deal with."  Moments later, the fire was out, the fireman was safely back on shore and he gave us a friendly wave as he walked to the firetruck.  A wonderful Hilton Head memory that we'll never forget.  To this day, that fireman is a true hero in our eyes.

Charlotte Moore
Local Resident
Hilton Head, SC


Hilton Head has been my home away fro home over the last 15 years! The coast calls to me a couple of times a year where I have to leave all my cares behind and let HHI romance me and I can unwind & rejuvenate my spirit ! My husband and I enjoy the people of the island , like Clay & Julie @ Endanger Arts. We have to go to Charley's Crab and The Docks to get our seafood craving fix. And no trip is ever complete until we make it to Sea Pines ! We enjoy having cocktails outside The Quarter Deck listening to the local bands !

Linda Kelly
Knoxville, TN