Hilton Head Island Magazine and News

KNOW LOCAL LAWS TO HAVE A HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

With public fireworks displays cancelled this summer, locals and visitors may be tempted to shoot off their own to celebrate Independence Day. And while nothing says summer fun like an evening of brightly colored pyrotechnics, it’s important to know and respect local laws.

Laws vary according to where you are in the Lowcountry. The Town of Bluffton prohibits the possession, sale and discharge of fireworks within town limits, according to Bluffton Police Department community relations manager Joy Nelson. Anyone caught breaking this law can receive a maximum fine of $500 and 30 days in jail, Bluffton Police Department’s Capt. Joseph Babkiewicz said. 

The 2020 Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance Motoring Festival has been canceled because of the coronavirus. The event brings classic cars, planes and thousands of visitors to Hilton Head Island. It was scheduled for Oct. 23-Nov. 1, but is now set for Oct. 29-Nov. 7, 2021. “While all of us will sorely miss seeing you in 2020, we are immediately shifting our focus to organizing an especially amazing event for the fall of 2021,” a statement on the event’s website said. 

PETITION TO DROP THE WORD “PLANTATION” FROM LOCAL COMMUNITY NAMES STARTED 

At least 4,300 people have signed a petition on change.org saying the county’s resorts and gated communities should not be called plantations due to the association with slavery. “There is no place for the term “plantation,” a word that conveys generations of racial violence in modern Hilton Head, outside museums telling the absolute truth about the horrors of slavery on plantations,” the petition states. The issue dredges up a painful past for some and disdain of political correctness for others. Managers of some communities balk at how expensive or intricate removing the word would be. Others say it’s nearly impossible to correct 50 years of legal documents.

HEAD OUTDOORS IN NATURE ON HHI TO HAVE A GREAT TIME

In the Lowcountry, there’s no limit to the good times you can have without getting sand in your shoes. Whether you’re looking to improve your handicap, spend a little quality time with the family or discover the island’s history, enjoyment awaits. Get out there and find it.

A WHEEL GOOD TIME

Hilton Head Island recently saw its Gold-Level Bike Friendly Community status re-affirmed, with the added bonus of being named the most bike-friendly community in South Carolina. It’s a well-earned title; the island boasts 6 miles of bike lanes, 117 miles of shared-use pathways, 108 miles of paved shared-use paths, 14 miles of planned pathways, and 1 mile of single track stretching across the island. Bikers of all abilities are sure to find the perfect path for their two-wheeled exploration of the island.

LOCAL SCUBA FANS TAKE EXPLORATION TO NEW DEPTHS, URGE BOATER CAUTION

The first time Matt Garbade went scuba diving in the May River, the darkness was unsettling. But coming back up to the surface was even more harrowing. 

Garbade is one of a growing number of divers who brave the Lowcountry’s murky waters in search of treasures, and while he’s grown accustomed to exploring the river bed with limited visibility, he still feels uneasy about coming back to the surface because of boaters who don’t always heed the warnings that divers are in the area. 

PREP EARLY FOR HURRICANES TO STAY SAFE

Recently, Gov. Henry McMaster warned residents of the Lowcountry and the rest of the state to get ready for an active storm season. 

“Here we are, in hurricane season in the middle of a pandemic,” said McMaster, who called the next five months “a heavy hurricane year” because forecasters predict an above average number of hurricanes with greater than normal strength.

WOMEN IN PHILANTHROPY HELPS HAMPTON COUNTY

This spring, when tornadoes ripped through Hampton County and locals lost their jobs due to the novel coronavirus, nonprofit giving circle Women in Philanthropy sprang into action. The group that usually serves only Beaufort County needs issued special appeals to its members, who responded generously to both fundraising drives.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY FULL SPEED AHEAD AT THE GLEN

Carolina Ramirez usually has a smile on her face, and she giggled when she said, “We’re calling this ‘the waiting house.’”

Her home at Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity’s The Glen neighborhood is months behind schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she and her three kids never lost hope that they’d soon be living under their own roof. Now their dream of homeownership is becoming reality: The family will move in this month.

SWEETGRASS INN COMING TO HILTON HEAD HEALTH 

Weight loss resort Hilton Head Health expects to open the Sweetgrass Inn by January 2021. The 18,000- square-foot property will have 30 guest rooms, a game room and theater room. It will also include a rocking chair porch that overlooks Hilton Head Health’s heated pool. 

REBUILT MARINA IS AN INSPIRATION TO BUSINESS OWNERS, AREA RESIDENTS

In the quiet calm of the early morning, before the sun rises, Leslie Stewart drives to her business at Palmetto Bay Marina and is guided by the light.

“The landscaping is all lit up,” said Stewart, who owns Palmetto Bay Sunrise Café and often arrives at the popular eatery at 5 a.m. “It’s beautiful. I can’t even describe the difference.”

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE FOR REMOTE WORKERS

Many of us find ourselves working at home thanks to the novel coronavirus, and more than a few find it challenging. The current situation is already stressful enough without sitting through a conference call where one coworker is chewing ice and another has a terrible connection. 

This does not make for a productive work environment. 

SPARTINA 449 EXPANDS ITS OFFERINGS TO CLOTHING COLLECTIONS

When Kay Stanley decided to get into the accessories business in 2009, she took her cues from her surroundings: the laid-back Lowcountry lifestyle of Daufuskie Island, where she had recently come —supposedly—to slow down in early retirement.

Spartina 449 is named for the lush sea grass that grows along the South Carolina coast. Stanley’s brand of upscale designer handbags, accessories and now clothes flourished, quickly becoming popular in the Lowcountry and beyond. Her plan for a life of leisure evaporated as quickly as a puddle on a Lowcountry summer day.

KELLER WILLIAMS ADDS AGENTS 

Keller Williams Realty Lowcountry welcome agents Amanda Gossett, Hunter Wear, and Tanya Sjodin. All are based in the company’s Hilton Head Island office. 

ATTORNEYS OFFER TIPS FOR A SMOOTH CLOSING

You’re about to make the biggest financial investment of your life: Buying a home. It sounds stressful, but you can keep your anxiety in check if you know what you’re getting into from start to finish. And by finish, we mean knowing what to expect when you hire a real estate attorney. Here, local experts offer tips on how to ensure your real estate purchase goes smoothly. 

POOL TRENDS THIS YEAR ARE ABOUT STYLE AND EASE

Considering adding a pool this summer? Here are a few trends to keep in mind:

A SUNSET WEDDING CELEBRATES THE BLENDING OF TWO CULTURES

Alyssa Gillis and Humberto Garcia Cruz got lucky: their wedding took place just before South Carolina’s Gov. Henry McMaster prohibited large gatherings due to the coronavirus. But the bigger stroke of luck, according to the Hilton Head couple, is that they found each other at all.

Gillis grew up on Hilton Head Island with her twin sister and parents. Garcia Cruz grew up in Morelos, Mexico, just south of Mexico City. Her determination to become fluent in Spanish brought them together as co-workers at a Mexican orphanage in 2013.

Every destination wedding requires a fabulous wedding destination, of course. But it takes a savvy couple like Lucie and Kyle Duffy to truly honor and capture the magic of both. 

The Duffys, who met in Chicago and now reside in London, were married at Sea Pines Country Club on May 4, 2019. But playing the role of good Hilton Head Island hosts to their 130-plus guests began days earlier. From rounds of golf to beach outings, as well as a cocktail reception, an intimate bridal luncheon and a wedding-eve welcome dinner for 125 people at Dockside, the couple helped their loved ones take full advantage of the getaway and the island before the wedding day even dawned.

The types and combinations of popular wedding flowers come and go, but one trend with staying power is the bridal bouquet. We asked local wedding florists for the inside scoop on today’s trends, inexpensive alternatives, timeless wedding flowers and the latest ways couples are letting nature beautify their nuptials.