Hilton Head Island Magazine and News

The name Spanish Wells conjures up images of galleons and wooden buckets — a romantic vision that seems far removed from the Hilton Head Island of today. But you wouldn’t be far off of the origin of the island community’s name — or the names of several other island landmarks.

Shaded by live oaks and nestled beside Campbell Chapel A.M.E. Church, Bluffton Boundary celebrates the culture of Old Town Bluffton — the art and history that give the town its identity.

That culture is on clear display at the new center: A colorful mural stretches from the building almost to the street, painted at a paint-by-numbers party over the summer by local residents, and picnic tables dot the sandy yard for monthly gatherings that celebrate the region’s Gullah heritage.

SHORT-TERM SALES TAX INCREASE COULD HAVE LASTING IMPACT

Of all the choices Hilton Head Island and Bluffton voters face in this month’s election, deciding whether to approve a 1 percent sales tax increase may have the most impact on their quality of life over the long term.

The transportation sales tax referendum would fund a project designed to ease severe traffic congestion between the mainland and Hilton Head — but could cause uncertainty for property owners along U.S. 278 between Moss Creek Drive in Bluffton to Squire Pope Road on Hilton Head. Expanding U.S. 278 could encroach upon their land.

FIND THE BEST HOLIDAY PRESENTS

Like thousands of other people, Jim Ritterhoff fell in love with almost everything about Hilton Head Island when he first began visiting years ago — the island’s natural beauty, the unhurried way of life and the warmth of the local people he befriended. Being on a Sea Island whose residents cared about protecting the environment was a good fit for Ritterhoff, who leads an organization dedicated to saving one of the planet’s most precious natural resources: coral reefs.  

Billed as the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida, is rich in history and filled with old-world charm. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, the city’s National Historic Landmark district features narrow cobblestone lanes, unique shops, innovative dining, museums and activities on every corner. Lace up your walking shoes and get ready to explore the hidden gems of this walkable city.

COURT ATKINS GROUP WELCOMES NEW TEAM MEMBERS

Michael Moss and Preston Bussard have joined the firm at Court Atkins Group as senior architects. Tim Hazelbaker, Chris Rivalsky and Sara Cannon have also joined the team.

Moss, a project architect at the firm’s Hilton Head Island studio, has worked with notable national firms including Wade Weissman Architecture of Santa Barbara and Historical Concepts of Atlanta. He specializes in historical preservation and has been recognized by the Missouri Historical Society and by the annual Palladio Awards for his traditional designs.

VOLUNTEERS IN MEDICINE HELPS PIANO MAN RETURN TO LOCAL STAGES

Musician Sterlin Covin knows first hand that nothing in life is guaranteed. For years, he performed around the world, ultimately making enough money to settle on Hilton Head Island so that he could spend more time with his young family.

But after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when the entertainment industry found itself struggling, Covin was forced drastic financial moves — including dropping his health insurance. Seven years later, two freak accidents left him financially ruined, living in Section 8 housing in a wheelchair, and unknowingly facing the possibility of never being able to walk again.

“Hilton Head Hotties” Angela Rummans and Tyler Crispen may not have won the top prize on the 20th season of CBS’ hit reality show “Big Brother,” but it appears they won each other’s hearts.

Ohio native Crispen, 23, lived on Hilton Head Island until recently, working as a lifeguard. Rummans, 26, grew up on Hilton Head, graduating from Hilton Head Island High School and attending the University of South Carolina before moving to California, where she works as a model and runs a company that makes personalized art pieces.

After more than 20 years as one of Hilton Head Island’s premier caterers, Lori Craven is is also making her mark on the dessert world. Her company Palmetto Sweets was created to showcase her signature honey pecan bars — originally a thank-you gift to clients and now a regional favorite. Made with local honey and pecans, sweet cream, butter, brown sugar and molasses on top of rich shortbread, they embody some of the best-loved tastes of the South. 

NEW WESTIN GM LIKES WHAT HILTON HEAD OFFERS AND COURTS MORE GROUP BUSINESS

When hotelier Michael Scioscia eyes his competition, he is not looking around Hilton Head Island, or even toward Savannah or Charleston. He’s focused on Florida and the huge number of conferences held in resorts in the Sunshine State.

Finding an “optimal mix” between business and group travelers and vacationers is a priority for Scioscia, who became general manager of The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa in May. He wants to attract more groups to the island, especially in the off-season months.

FOUR WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR EMPLOYEES

Attracting and retaining top talent is the not-so-secret weapon of every successful business. When employees feel they’re cared for and respected, that good energy is transferred to customer care.

We can all agree that employees are the backbone of your business — without their support, your company falls apart. Essentially, their success is your success. But do you have an employee engagement plan that strengthens the “bones” of your organization while helping them grow?

When you look around your home, you may find yourself feeling like your furniture and decorations look a little dated or dull. Luckily, there are ways to create a fresh look without breaking the bank. Here are a few times to help give your home a whole new look for less.

CORA BETT THOMAS LAUNCHES PHILANTHROPY PROGRAM, ADDS MARKETING DIRECTOR

CEO and Founder Cora Bett Thomas has announced a new philanthropy program called Team Cora Bett Thomas Cares. All Cora Bett agents will donate to the philanthropy program fund at each closing. The brokerage will match each agent’s donation. Nonprofit organizations interested in applying for Team Cora Bett Thomas Cares should contact CBTCaresFund@corabettthomas.com.

Smart technology is really, really smart in luxury homes these days.

Nearly everything in your home — including air-conditioners, thermostats, lights and garage doors — can be connected to the internet and be remotely controlled with a mobile device or smart speaker. 

CREATING A GREAT WEDDING VIBE WITH A MOOD BOARD

Once upon a time, when a couple decided to get married they set the date, bought a dress and a cake and picked colors they liked — traditionally two — to use in everything from bridal party attire to reception décor. While that still happens, these days couples are thinking more about the mood they want to set than the colors they’d like to use.

COUPLES STILL FALL IN LOVE WITH TRADITIONAL WEDDING CAKES

The sweetest part of a wedding is, of course, the moment when two people who love each other make that lifetime commitment with the words “I do.”

A close second, however, is the dessert guests are served hours afterward. And despite the national trends of candy stations, cookie-and-milk shooters and late-night sugary cereal bars, the traditional wedding cake still holds court at Lowcountry wedding receptions.

WEDDED BLISS AT WEXFORD

From the groomsmen arriving by boat to the sea glass blues and greens of the décor and dresses, Christine and C.J. Steedley’s wedding had a true coastal wedding vibe. And Mother Nature contributed with the very best island weather.