Hilton Head Monthly's 2011 Locals' Guide
30 Aug 2011
GET BUSY: Looking for something to do in this little corner of paradise? Here are 21 ideas for locals, by locals
Go to Happy Hour at the Black Marlin Hurricane Bar: Sit outside and order discounted drinks and the sweet potato fries with blue cheese dressing. This spot is best during the spring and fall, when it’s not so hot and the pterodactyl-sized mosquitoes are not quite at full assault strength.
Indulge in “Fatterday.”
It’s one of the best treats on the island: Slip into Truffles (under the guise of enjoying the BLT salad, which is awesome) and actually order the “Blondie,” a massive blond brownie crowned with Hilton Head Ice Cream caramel and chocolate sauce. Warm and ooey gooey — need we say more?
Hop the boat to Daufuskie.
Take a trip to Freeport on Daufuskie, where you can grab shrimp quesadillas, fried okra and a beer, and listen to the band Spare Parts as the sun goes down.
Get a fish taco from Roastfish & Cornbread.
If you don’t want to wait for a table, order takeout! These tacos travel surprisingly well.
Hit the locals’ beach.
If you’re looking for tourist-spotting, Coligny is the clear winner (and the one with a tiki bar and play fountain for the kids). But if you’re looking for a quieter, more Southern-paced experience, try Driessen Beach Park at Bradley Beach Road. The boardwalk to the water is especially lovely.
Kayak in Broad Creek.
The 7-mile saltwater river is the heart of Hilton Head Island and the prime place to watch dolphins, water birds, and watermen harvesting crabs the traditional way.
Get a new perspective on Hilton Head – standing right there in the water. It requires all kinds of balance, and you may take a tumble or two into the drink, but trust us — it’s easier than you think, and you can do it.
A thrift store is only as good as the people who supply it, and as luck would have it the well-to-do on Hilton Head have plenty of fancy stuff they are constantly getting rid of. Shopping the island’s secondhand stores requires some foraging skills, but the bounty of castoffs is well worth it.
Order the blackened mahi at the Sea Shack.
If you can sneak past the often insane lines — thank you very much, Rachael Ray — it’s one of the best bites on the island.
Eat healthy(ish) at the beach: Hot Dog Harbour at Coligny offers one of the few treats for vegetarians: You can sub veggie dogs for anything on the menu. Ask for extra Harbour Sauce. 843-785-5400
Shop downtown Bluffton: The term “quaint” sometimes means “small,” as in, “Bluffton has a quaint downtown.” But it doesn’t mean it’s not awesome. Dining, art galleries, lots of outdoor activities – think of it as a mini-Charleston.
Get a little history (and a lot of seafood): Visit the Old Fort Pub restaurant and explore Fort Mitchel, a Civil War earthwork battery built by Union Forces in 1862 to protect Hilton Head Island’s northwestern flank from Confederate attack. The rebels never showed.
Say OK to your kids the next time they ask to go to a movie: Parents, if the kids are begging you to see a movie or if you want to beat the summer heat (or storms), Park Plaza’s your new best friend—it has a full bar and tapas. Turn to Page 62 for the lowdown on all the island’s theater options.
Get right with a bamboo Thai massage at Fountain Day Spa: Massage therapist and yoga instructor Marti Crocker will get every knot that was, is and will ever be out of your body in one hour. www.fountainspahhi.com
Play in the Sandbox. The Sandbox, An Interactive Children’s Museum, is a non-profit, hands-on museum geared for kids under age 8. The museum, located on Pope Avenue on the south end, is open most days, but it offers a host of special events, Parents Nights Out and Family Fun Nights. thesandbox.org
Stroll along The Great Lakes in Sea Pines Forest Preserve: These scenic manmade waters are breezy, sunlit and loaded with fish and wildlife. Stop by Lake Joe, the first lake created in the Preserve, and take the bike trails to Fish Island. Quiet and often deserted, this preserve has preserved its magic.
Tour de Bluff: Load up the bikes, grab some bottled water and head over to Palmetto Bluff. Spend the afternoon getting lost, un-lost and then lost again. Scenery so beautiful you’ll totally forget you’re exercising.
Grab a cold one at the Dispensary: While you’re coming back to the island, stop at this downtown Bluffton hangout. Whether it’s the chatty bartenders or the Strongbough on tap, once you’re there it’s tough to leave ... literally. facebook.com/oldtowndispensary
Break in a new pair of running shoes on the Bluffton Parkway: Currently stretching from Burnt Church Road to S.C. 170, the smooth pathway is perfect for biking, running, walking or crawling — hey, no one’s judging.
- Next >>