Hilton Head Island Magazine and News

CULTURAL TOURISM INCLUDES HILTON HEAD ISLAND’S STORIED PAST

Long before golf courses, tennis courts, sprawling resorts, and rows of beach umbrellas turned Hilton Head Island into a premier vacation destination, something perhaps even more special was woven into the island’s fabric: rich history and a unique culture that still endures.

Hilton Head’s cultural past has not only survived but has become a valuable asset for an island whose economic lifeblood is tourism. And like other places blessed with colorful history, Hilton Head increasingly looks to “cultural tourism” as a resource important to the island’s prosperity.

LOWCOUNTRY RESIDENTS HELP THE BAHAMAS RECOVER

When Hurricane Dorian ravaged The Bahamas in early September, a pair of Lowcountry residents reacted swiftly and decisively. 

The two — Hilton Head Island resident Jane Janiak and state Rep. Bill Herbkersman of Bluffton — had watched uneasily as the devastating storm raked the islands. After seeing what was left behind, they resolved to help the recovery.

SeaWorld Orlando and Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute helped rescue a distressed manatee in Palmetto Dunes Resort on Hilton Head Island in November. The 856-pound manatee had minor skin abrasions and was underweight. She was taken to SeaWorld Orlando for treatment and rehabilitation before being evaluated for return to the wild. 

Welcome to the Hilton Head Monthly’ 2019 holiday gift guide, where you can find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS ARE A FAVORITE LOWCOUNTRY TRADITION. HERE ARE SOME OF MONTHLY'S FAVORITE PLACES TO ENJOY THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON ON HILTON HEAD ISLAND.

MONTHLY CELEBRATES LOCAL BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITIES WITH THE 2019 READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS.

Are you looking for the best of the Lowcountry? You’ll find it here. These are the “best of the best” places to shop, dine, live, party and more, as voted by you, our readers. If you don’t find your favorites here, make sure to cast your ballot next year. Congratulations to this year’s winners, and special thanks to all who voted.

CHAMBER PARTNERS WITH SCHOOLS TO GRANT TEACHER WISHES

The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce’s business education partnership committee helps enhance the quality of education in the Lowcountry by creating and supporting partnerships between local businesses and schools. Project Connect is a community-wide program that connects community businesses and individuals with teachers and their wish lists for classroom supplies. Since the program’s inception, over $35,000 has been used to purchase needed school supplies. If you would like to donate an item from a teacher’s wish list, contact 843-785-3673.

TAKE A BREAK: BRING IN A PERSONAL CHEF FOR YULETIDE FEASTS

During the holidays, it’s easy for the family cook to get caught up in the flurry of meal preparation and barely have time to relax with guests. Hiring a personal chef can solve this common dilemma for harried hosts.

Lowcountry personal chefs handle all aspects of putting together memorable meals, including menu planning, shopping, food prep, setting the table, serving hors d’oeuvres and presenting each course with a description of ingredients and preparation.

LOCAL REALTOR ENTERTAINS A HUNDRED OF HER CLOSEST FRIENDS

On Hilton Head Island, there are parties and there are parties. That second type is the kind that people look forward to all year long. They mark their calendars well in advance, arrange for babysitters, and watch the days roll by as their excitement builds.

Paula Traver’s annual Christmas do is just such a party. 

BRUNO LANDSCAPE & NURSERY IS A FAMILY AFFAIR

This month Bruno Landscape & Nursery will be celebrating 30 years in business on Hilton Head Island. A small landscape business started by Gary and Mary Ann Bruno in 1989 has blossomed into a booming operation that has far exceeded their expectations. Their once young children (Steven, Jenna & Nikki), who tagged along from job site to job site, are now all working in the family business.

 25 YEARS AND $82 MILLION LATER, COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF THE LOWCOUNTRY IS STILL GROWING

The world’s first community foundation was set up in Cleveland, Ohio in 1914. Eight decades later, the Lowcountry established one of its own, seeded with $20 million from the sale of Hilton Head Hospital.

Now, with a quarter century under its belt, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry continues to grow, having invested more than $82 million in grants and scholarships since 1994.

LOCAL PHILANTHROPY IS ALIVE AND WELL

With the passage of federal tax cuts and the Jobs Act in late 2017, nonprofits held their collective breath to see how charitable giving would be impacted. They worried that contributions would decrease as a result of the higher standard deductions allowed under the new tax law. The old law allowed standard deductions of $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for married couples filing jointly; the new law nearly doubled that, raising the standard deductions to $12,000 and $24,000, respectively. 

LOOK OUT YOUR WINDOWS FOR GREAT DECORATING IDEAS

With its year-round natural beauty, the Lowcountry offers abundant choices for holiday decorating — endless colors, fragrances, textures and other elements that can be used to welcome the season. 

Inspiration for making and decorating garlands, wreaths, Christmas trees, planters, mailboxes, mantels and front doors is everywhere — in your yard and the nearby woods as well as at local nurseries. 

WEICHERT REALTORS OPENS NEW LOCATION, ADDS FOUR

Weichert Realtors Coastal Properties recently cut the ribbon to its new office in Old Town Bluffton, at 1250 May River Road. Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bill Miles, Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka, agents, clients and staff gathered to celebrate the grand opening. 

Weichert Realtors Coastal Properties also welcomes Kathryn Hickey, Darlene Johnson, Kim McElman and Evie Schoepf as real estate professionals. 

AREA GROWERS HELP RESIDENTS EAT LOCAL

Thanks to the nationwide focus on health and wellness, many Lowcountry residents want to know where their food comes from and want to support the local economy by supporting nearby family farms. Eating locally can both reduce your carbon footprint and ensure that your fruits and vegetables are as fresh and tasty as possible. 

Luckily, there are several farms producing fresh food right here in the Lowcountry. Here are just a few: 

The 13th annual Hilton Head Bridal Show will be the premier event of the year for brides, grooms, families, and wedding parties. Come see the best vendors Hilton Head has to offer to give you the wedding of your dreams! You can taste cakes, view wedding portraits, and see the latest in bridal fashions - including bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos, and suits.

2020 Hilton Head Bridal Show

Sunday, February 16, 2020 1:00PM – 4:00PM, Sonesta Resort Hilton Head

FRIENDSHIP FOLLOWED BY MARRIAGE IS A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS 

There is something to be said for marrying your best friend. Combining romance with companionship brings out the best qualities in both types of relationships. It seems couples that have this connection have it figured out — couples like Jennifer and Vinny Matalavage.

Jennifer and Vinny met in college at Penn State Hazleton, sitting next to each other in class and working together on group projects. They really connected as friends and when Vinny began looking for a roommate in 2014, he was excited to learn that Jenny had a job in the same area: “We cleared it with our parents first and then became roommates.”

OUT OF TRAGEDY COMES A SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE

The Lowcountry is a small community where lives intersect in wonderful and terrible ways. For example, take Bluffton resident Daniel Harms, who was battling cancer in the summer of 2017 when he and his wife, Holly, heard about a three-car accident on Buck Island Road that took the lives of local teacher Jesse Floyd and her unborn son, Eli.

Daniel was overcome with emotion after hearing of the tragedy. He didn’t know Floyd’s husband, Ryan, but he told Holly that he could feel his pain.