My what a great week I just spent in Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island (HHI). If you’re not sure where Sea Pines is located just check out the coast of SC. It’s smack down in between Charleston and Savannah. A great southern state and typically referred to as the “lowlands” in this part of the USA! But that’s not why it was perfect.
The location is close to a huge part of the US population and in most cases can be an easy drive. From Louisville, KY it’s about a 10.5 hour drive which is about as quick as you can get to the ocean from our city. Florida (gulf side) is the same as well a few locations further north. But that’s not why it was perfect.
The two cities of Charleston and Savannah are awesome places to visit while you make your home base in HHI. Each one has its own fantastic charm. Charleston is perhaps one of the best preserved and oldest cities still operating as a port city in the US. It has one of the best eating scenes in the world, as well as Ft. Sumter and the River Dogs baseball team (Bill Murray shows up all the time since he is part owner). Savannah is a little closer to HHI and has a cool river scene, great eating including Paula Dean’s original restaurant, and the Sand Gnats baseball team. Yes I’m a baseball fan. But that’s not why it was perfect.
The beach is wide, flat and hard at low tide on HHI. Great for riding your bike or exploring what the tide left. The fishing from the shore is outstanding and I would bet that in the evening you will catch something. The waves are mild and great for kids (assuming there are no storms), and rarely will you see a jelly fish. The water is much warmer than even a little further north. The beach is so awesome and a great place to spend the mornings or the late afternoons. Midday will be hot, right!? The beaches are not crowded unless you are at the Beach Club or by one of the hotel complexes. It’s also a great kite flying beach. But that’s not why it was perfect.
The island is covered with pine trees. As well as bike paths. Riding bikes is second nature on the island. It’s fun, relaxing and with the tree cover pretty comfortable because of the cooling shade of all the trees. The nature preserve is in the center of Sea Pines and is a great place to fresh water fish at two large lakes and to hike. The tree line goes all the way to the beach which also enhances the beauty and the wildlife attraction. But that’s not why it was perfect.
There are not a lot of hotels and the ones that are there are low rise and hidden from the roads. The island is mostly residential and it’s quite easy to find rentals from condos to beautiful houses. We had a great house just off a path to the beach. No roads to cross and a short walk to beach relaxation. The house had a pool and plenty of room. All the houses in Sea Pines are restricted to a color scheme and design that blends into the natural surroundings. The speed limits are slow and so is the pace of living. It’s just what you look for in a relaxing beach vacation. But that’s not what made it perfect.
I like to fish with my son-in-law on the beach and deep sea too. We did both and had fun catching all kinds of fish from the shore at night and at sea on a charter. I caught the largest fish ever this year, a 6ft, 150 lbs shark. I’ll never forget the experience of working so hard to reel it in to the boat. It wore me out and took most of my strength to get it to the boat but the exhaustion was quickly replaced with exhilaration and accomplishment. Thanks Jimmy for letting me take the first fish! But that’s not what made it perfect.
What made it perfect was that I was surrounded by my gorgeous wife, three lovely daughters, great son-in-law, my wonderful grandson and my tremendous granddaughter. My other terrific son-in-law was unable to make the trip this year and I really missed him, but still felt good to have the rest of the family together. We were together in a large beach house, hanging out together all week, playing on the beach, enjoying afternoon pool parties, and cooking dinner for each other. We shot basketball and rode bikes. We went out for some meals but a couple of years ago we started sharing home cooked meals together that we all prepared. It was relaxing and delightful in that it put a good meal and good conversation together at the end of the day. We hung out in the evening watching movies or baseball or playing cards to wrap each day up in a perfect package. That’s what was perfect about this year’s HHI beach vacation. I loved every minute of it because I was enjoying it with the ones I love so much. Thanks guys for giving me such a great vacation!