Jim FannonSEABROOK RESIDENT HAS A PASSION FOR ISLAND HISTORY

Jim Fannon, a resident of The Seabrook of Hilton Head, lectures once a week at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn on two of his favorite subjects: the 1861 Battle of Port Royal during the Civil War, and Gullah culture.

He speaks from memory to his audience because he knows the subjects so well, but he does keep note cards handy, just in case.

niners2

TIDEPOINTE COUPLE SPENDING MUCH OF RETIREMENT ON THE ROAD

Lee and Liz Niner love TidePointe almost as much as they love their British MG autos — it’s close. Let’s just say the Niners love retirement here and their MGs in equal measures.

“We’re drivers,” Lee said. “Serious, serious drivers and rallyers.”

jackydSO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE? SEA PINES WOMAN HAS THE TROPHIES TO PROVE IT

In 2012, James Dout approached his wife, Jackie, with an idea. Their son was getting married, and James wanted the parents of the groom to take a few dance lessons to prep for the big day.

Three years after that first fateful trip to the Hilton Head Island Fred Astaire Dance Studio, the Douts are still dancing — and Jackie has the trophies to prove it.

A visit to Daufuskie Island can feel a bit like being transported back to a time before bridges and causeways opened the Lowcountry's Sea Islands to both development and the outside world. Despite the presence of a luxurious resort and four gorgeous golf courses, the largely undeveloped residential island maintains a blissfully rustic and intoxicatingly timeless feel that attracts as many as 150,000 visitors each year.

In my opinion, PR people have never done right by Bluffton. Bluffton needs to do what my mother once admonished me to do after I had quit a pretty good job on Hilton Head to do something that I thought more important. I was explaining that to a puzzled acquaintance while my mother was with me, and with a stage whisper that could be heard from the lighthouse to ships at sea, she coached me, “Tell him who you used to be!”

That’s kind of how I feel about Bluffton. Do you, the passing average reader on the street, even know who Bluffton used to be?

It’s a great time to live, work, play and love Bluffton. As a town, we know who we are and where we are going. Bluffton has recently been recognized as a municipal leader in areas such as financial management, economic development and revitalization. National and regional media outlets, such as Money Magazine, continue to bestow titles on our town as one of the best places to retire and live. Garden & Gun Magazine recently named Bluffton  “A Southern Dream Town.”  As a municipal leader, I am proud of our town and the people who work so diligently to create a place which many want to be a part.

ADVENTURE COVE
18 Folly Field Road

A miniature golf course featuring 36 holes on two Caribbean-themed courses, plus an arcade.

ARTS CENTER OF COASTAL CAROLINA
14 Shelter Cove Lane

Located in the middle of Hilton Head Island, this 349-seat main stage house along with a smaller black box venue puts on professional and visual arts performances, as well as festivals and educational programs. From musicals to comedies and dramas, the arts center does it all and also brings in visiting performers. Stop by for an entertaining night that will enlighten you.

At first blush, it’s easy to see the appeal of Hilton Head Island: The beach, the golf courses, the restaurants. You certainly can enjoy those attractions as a visitor.

So why live here? Because there is another side of Hilton Head that only residents get to see.

Only living here can you see how the greenery changes by the season, especially the color spectrum of spartina grass as it transitions from vivid green to darker green then fades into a glowing golden hue. 

Bluffton began as a Native American enclave where tribes could fish and collect oysters, then trade them along the May River. Later, it became a retreat for wealthy cotton, indigo and rice plantation owners who enjoyed the river breezes from the town’s bluff. Thus its name, Bluffton.

That life revolving around gentle breezes continues today, earning the town the designation of  “one of the last true Southern coastal villages.”

There are lots of ways to tell a story, even a history, with an almost passing glance. This is one of those: a quick peek mostly at people groups who have been part of the story of this very special island.