Adults don’t get a spring break. However, this year I took one. My brother is a freshman in college, so my family still gets to vacation in March or April. Last year, I joined them for several days during their trip to New Orleans. But this year I took the whole sticking week off and it was magical. I made this decision because flying in halfway through the week would have cost me an arm and a leg. But also because life is too short to not take advantage of spending extra time with your family.
We spent seven days on Hilton Head Island in a fantastic vacation home just a few boardwalk steps away from the ocean. While we did spend the week there, most days we relaxed and only ventured away from our neighborhood for shopping or a dinner out. So, it’s entirely possible to experience everything I did in a long weekend if you wanted to try and fit it all in.
Here are some musts for your trip to Hilton Head Island:
Harbour Town is inside a gated community, so while you have to pay $6 to get through the gates, it’s entirely worth it. The harbour is filled with little shops, the marina, lots of sites.
The Salty Dog
There are countless places to eat all over the island, however, we went to the Salty Dog twice and would have probably gone a third if had the time. The main draw of the salty dog is the atmosphere. It has a bar and seating out on the pier with live music to give you that “ocean town” vibe plus a fire pit for when the nights get cold. There is a bunch of other stuff on the other end of the boardwalk that is worth checking out too (like the Salty Dog t-shirt company and an ice cream shop)
A boat ride
Hilton Head is an island so you’d be grossly missing out if you don’t spend some actual time on the water. Harbour town, in particular, has options for shark fishing, jet skiing, island tours, and even a pirate ship. Personally, we went sailing on a trimaran. This is a bit of a luxury option but was worth every penny. Even though the Atlantic can be quite chilly in the spring it was still a very enjoyable few hours.
There are several plantations you can visit within an hour or so of driving from the island. However, if you’re planning to stay in Hilton Head Stoney-Baynard is the stop for you. What’s left of the Baynard estate dates back to the late 1700’s. The site includes remnants of slave quarters and the main house. It was abandoned after being taken over by Union troops during the civil war, but you can imagine what it looked like back in the day. It’s also rumored to be haunted William Baynard himself.
No vacation is complete without a bit of shopping. If you’re looking the get the best bang for your buck, look no further than Tanger 1 & 2. The sister campuses for the outlet mall have a little something for everyone.
Savannah is only 30 miles from the island, so a day trip to the city is a must. Savannah is home to great food, nightlife, and architecture. Make sure you spend some time in the countless squares, walking down historic Jones Street, or visiting some Forrest Gump filming spots.
Burkes Beach (or any of the beaches)
Our house was right off Burkes Beach and each day we ventured down the boardwalk to the water. During low or high tide, the landscape is beautiful and a great way to relax.