Island beaches are nature’s blessing

0610_summerfun_beachWhen you get down to brass tacks, there is one major reason Hilton Head Island is a beautiful Southern oasis. And lucky for us, we own it and it’s free, making it not only the best, but also the most economical source of summer fun.

We are blessed with 12 miles of pristine beach that is home to loggerhead sea turtles, crabs, starfish, sand dollars, dolphins, pelicans and armies of little prancing birds like the red knot. Because of our geography, the water is mostly gentle and it is most definitely soothing.

Our main attraction isn’t really low maintenance, we just had the foresight to make it seem that way.

In most spots, homes and condominiums were built well behind the dunes. When guests aren’t here, the town works to renourish areas Mother Nature wants to keep for herself. Volunteers monitor sea turtle nests. Beachcombers pick up trash. Dogs take care of the skanky remains of unfortunate critters.

Pack a picnic and explore the reason most us live or visit here. It’s balm for a frazzled soul, a source of soon-to-be cherished memories and the only summer activity that quenches our inner-most need to be in a place that feels like the edge of the earth, a place where time is irrelevant.

Take time to appreciate our beach this season and take care of it while you’re there. It is a gift for us all to enjoy regardless of where we’re going or where we’ve been.

Best of all, admission is free (although parking is not).



My favorite spot

As a general rule of thumb, I tend to head north of Coligny to get away from the masses, although the newly refurbished Coligny is ideal for those with families because of its ground-level fountain and updated changing facilities.

Tucked away at the end of Bradley Beach Road on the middle of the island is Driessen Beach Park. The park includes a playground, restrooms, charcoal grills and a shelter.

The beach sits at the end of a long wooden boardwalk through a pine forest. It is usually quiet because there are only a couple of mansions and one condo complex nearby. Low tide is usually ideal for finding sand dollars and starfish.