The Lowcountry was tailor-made for evenings spent watching the sunset with a beer in hand. But island beer connoisseurs’ options have increased dramatically over the past few years, as craft breweries and suds frontiersmen have sprung up all over Beaufort County. Here’s a look at five of our favorite places to find just the right libation.

The-Lodge-Beer-and-Growler-Bar

Paradise is all around us, but even the locals know that the ultimate relaxation on the island is a great meal with a stunning water view. Fortunately for you, this list of Lowcountry proprietors has perfected this unbeatable combination.

ELA’s Blu Water Grille

The 2014 Taste of the Season winner has also been recognized by Monthly as the perfect date night and special occasion spot, and for good reason. Freshly caught seafood and perfectly cooked steaks are the mainstays of chef Ryan Alpaugh’s menu, and the casual but intimately romantic garden patio and artwork of local artist Pete Karis accent the waterfront views perfectly.

elassbluewater

saltydogFor many, a trip to Hilton Head Island or Bluffton isn’t complete without a stop at one of the region’s many landmark restaurants. Here are 18 places loved by both locals and visitors from all over the world.

Salty Dog Café

Simply put, this is the island’s premier iconic restaurant. There’s a reason why you can find Salty Dog T-Shirts from Africa to Alaska – people come from all points of the globe to sample the delicious seafood, get their picture taken with Jake, and soak in the waterfront views.

 

Quality and creativity are common themes among area’s 250 restaurants

If there is any doubt about Hilton Head Island’s credentials as a food destination, just watch the Food Network, the Travel Channel or pick up a copy of Travel + Leisure or Conde Nast. None of their segments or articles about Hilton Head and Bluffton gets more than a paragraph or two without gushing about the variety and quality of this area’s 250 restaurants.

APPLE-WALNUT-STUFFED-PORKAPPLE WALNUT STUFFED PORK ROAST

8 servings, prep 25 min., cook 1 hr.

Ingredients
• 5 tablespoons butter
• 1 apple - peeled, cored, and chopped
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 celery stalk, diced
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 5 cups dry bread crumbs
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

The snuggly comforts of the holidays come from familiar smells that waft through the kitchen and the anticipation of special dishes that only come around once a year. In this house, it’s not Christmas without these: