Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head - An Island Paradise in South Carolina

Hilton Head Island located in South Carolinas' Lowcountry is the largest resort island on the East Coast, and is famous for it's commitment to maintaining Mother Nature's balance while still offering discerning visitors all they could ask for in a luxurious beach and oceanfront vacation with many recreational diversions, mild temperatures and spellbinding natural beauty.

Within driving distance of Savannah, Georgia and Charleston and Beaufort, South Carolina, this boot-shaped island exudes all of the charm and lifestyle of these grand old Southern cities, while at the same time providing a destination for the vacationer and resident who is looking for a quiet stroll along the shore, a challenging round of golf on one of the 23 golf courses, tennis, or biking and walking trails. Some of America's best inshore fishing and gulf stream charters await you. You can enjoy a dolphin cruise or a day of biking, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, sailing or power boating. The Island boasts many fitness clubs and spas that help you to tone and pamper your body and soul. Nearby restaurants beckon with diverse menus and wine lists to please gourmets and casual diners alike. Shoppers love Hilton Head's famed designer-label outlet stores and boutiques. Kids of all ages can pack so much healthy fun and discovery into each day that they're dreaming of the next one not long after dinner.

Hilton Head Island was named for the famous English Sea Captain, William Hilton, in August of 1663. While exploring the Port Royal Sound, he sighted the high bluffs of the Island and named it for himself, "Hilton Head." The word "Head" refers to the headlands visible to them as they sailed the uncharted waters. Here he lingered several days, making note of the trees, crops, and also the sweet water and clear sweet air. The first English development in the Low Country began in 1698.

Hilton Head has a rich history that includes the Revolutionary War and the Civil War when there were more Union troops on the island than our current population. It was also home to Mitchelville, the first town developed specifically for freedmen and to this day the strong heritage of "Gullah" culture thrives.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the island experienced a rebirth after a group of timbermen recognized great potential in the island's tall straight pines. Popularly calledsea pines, the trees produced lumber for a variety of uses. These lumber associates from Georgia, including General Joseph Fraser, bought 20,000 acres on Hilton Head's southern end for $60 an acre. Electricity was brought to the island in 1950.

In 1956, Charles Fraser, son of one of the families who owned part of the island, realized that Hilton Head Island had more to offer than just timber. He created a master plan for a resort community, Sea Pines Plantation. That same year, a two-lane swing bridge was constructed, opening the island to the mainland. It was replaced in 1982 with the current four-lane bridge.

Today the Island looks much like it did back when Captain Hilton first spotted it thanks to the vision of Charles Fraser. Hilton Head Island was the first environmentally planned destination in the country and that spirit still remains today as the Town of Hilton Head keeps the landscape free from visual clutter by restricting the trappings of the modern world.

Hilton Head is now home to several environmentally planned resort and residential communities. While these communities are often called "plantations", the cotton fields have been replaced by lush green golf courses, tennis courts, lakes and lagoons, and beautifully designed resorts and villas. We also have areas that are less formal in their planning but just as desirable because they are right over the dunes near the ocean. To find out more information on the ocean and water related areas please link here

Sea Pines
North Forest Beach
South Forest Beach
Palmetto Dunes