Here are highlights of Town of Hilton Head Island manager Steve Riley's latest (at +three weeks) post-Hurricane Matthew status report.

  • During the weeks since Matthew attempted to destroy Hilton Head Island, the focus has been on returning to normal through damage assessment, clearing of debris on roads, restarting beach re-nourishment, emergency permitting, assisting those in need, reaching out to state and federal agencies for assistance, and other actions.
  • Of 19,600 structures on HHI, damage assessments have been completed on over 9,000.
  • Damaged structures account for <18% of the total, and <2% of those structures suffered 50% damage.
  • Three Citizen Drop Off sites were set up at Chamberlin Drive, Leg-O-Mutton Drive and Coligny Beach Park.
  • More than 2,500 loads -- 114,400 cubic yards -- of roadside debris have been deposited by contractors at the Town’s two Debris Management Sites at Honey Horn and Chaplin Park; this was collected by 64 truck crews.
  • Nearly 1,000 leaning or dangerous trees were cleared each day during the week of Oct. 15-22.
  • Officials responsible for the storm water system inspected 25+ miles of major drainage channels; 43 of 86 primary control structures; 32 priority culverts; and all pump stations. Work is prioritized and repairs in progress.
  • All traffic signals have been inspected and repairs completed or are underway
  • Inspections have been completed of all fire stations, parks, public facilities and town lands. Repairs have been prioritized or are underway.
  • Beach re-nourishment was restarted on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Vote Hilton Head Island the Happiest Seaside Town In America, NOW!

Coastal Living Magazine is in the midst of its annual popular vote for the Happiest Seaside Town in America. And, as they say in the South, we suggest that you "vote early and vote often," which is allowed.


The place to vote is here,

The competing communities are the following in alphabetical order.

  • Camden, Maine
  • Cape May, New Jersey


  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
  • Dana Point, California
  • Fernandina Beach, Florida
  • Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Langley, Washington
  • Orleans, Massachusetts
  • Sarasota, Florida

SC Lists in the Top 10 Retirement States in the USA

If the mild weather and southern charm of the Palmetto State aren't enough of a retirement draw for you, surely the cost-of-living can tempt you, says Kiplinger. On top of the low living costs, the tax situation goes easy on a fixed income, too. South Carolina doesn't tax Social Security benefits and offers generous exemptions on other types of retirement

income. It also does not levy an inheritance or estate tax. Property taxes tend to be very low.


Listed below are the top 10 states and their cost of living above/below that national average, and finally their tax ranking as a "tax friendly" state. HHV photo.


1.   South Dakota, 10% below, Most tax friendly

2.   Utah, 8% below, Not tax friendly

3.   Georgia, 6% below, Most tax friendly

4.   Tennessee, 2% below, Tax friendly

5.   Alabama, 9% below, Tax friendly

6.   South Carolina, 12% below, Tax friendly

7.   Washington, 1% above, Tax friendly

8.   Florida, 10% below, Most tax friendly

9.   Arizona, 1% above, Most tax friendly

10. Idaho, 0% below, Mixed

Sea Pines Atlantic Dunes Now Open


A year in the making, the total rebuild of Sea Pines’ Ocean Course is complete and has been rechristened as Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III. The first official tee times were planned for Monday, Oct. 3, the day Hurricane Matthew made landfall in The Lowcountry. The formal grand opening would have been Sunday, Oct. 9.


First opened in 1962, the new Atlantic Dunes course was to have been

the result of a $10 million makeover that took nearly a year to accomplish. How long it will take Sea Pines management to repair then reopen The Atlantic Dunes course is now mere conjecture. Sea Pines Resort Photo.

RBC & Boeing Extend Heritage Sponsorship through '23, '21


RBC has extended its role as the "title sponsor" of the Heritage Classic through 2023, and Boeing has signed an agreement extending its role as the "presenting sponsor" of the classic tournament for five years, through 2021. Therefore, the tournament's official name, RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, remains unchanged and funding assured.


RBC president and CEO Dave McKay said the sponsorship extensions “reflect our leadership position in our home market, while our support of the RBC Heritage demonstrates our strong and growing presence in the US.” News release.

12-Month Hilton Head Island Real Estate Overview

The following statistics are for the 12-month period from September 2015 through August 2016, and are the most current available (as of October 2016).

Median HHI region sales price was up 6.6% to $290,000.

Median HHI sales price was up 6.2%, to $301,670.

Pending residential sales for the region were up 7.6%.

Largest property type price gain was Single-Family Homes, up 8.4% to $319,780.

The price range that tended to  sell the fastest was between, 100,001 and 225,000, with 116 days.

The price range that tended to sell the slowest was above $650,000, with 197 days.

Market-wide, inventory levels were up 6.0%.

The property type that gained the most inventory was Single Family, up 7.5%.

Seniors Are a Valuable Economic Addition to HHI

...In addition to Charleston, "another fast-growing South Carolina destination that is popular with retirees is Hilton Head Island, which is aging three times as fast as the national rate," reported The Jewish Week of New York City.


"Like many resorts, Hilton Head welcomes its silver-haired newcomers, who arrive with incomes nearly twice the local median and don’t add costly children to the public schools. About one-third of island residents are currently older than 65 — up from 24 percent in 2000 — and just 17 percent were born in the state, with more than a quarter of new arrivals coming from the Northeast."


Here's their full report, The Jewish Week newspaper. (Photo: Jewish Week)

Karis Art & Design Gallery


...represents American Contemporary Artists with a wide diversity of styles and methods in painting, sculpture, photography, fine jewelry, glass and art wearables.


Namesake artist Peter Karis was an expressionist, who painted people, flowers, trees and objects as he interpreted them. He worked in acrylic and the subject matter was interpreted with maximum color, conveying emotion and power. Peter Karis passed away in January, 2016, but his work, like "Beach Umbrella Trio," lives on,


Karis Gallery is located in the Village at Wexford, and is open Monday through Saturday. 843-785-5100.

HHI Among 10 "World's Best" Islands for 2016


Hilton Head Island lands a place among the 2016 Travel & Leisure magazine's list of “The World’s Best Islands” to visit, and is the only winner in the continental United States.


“What all [10] of these award-winning islands have in common, to be sure, is a transcendent beauty and an ability to coax any traveler into a state of bliss,” according to the magazine’s editors.


The editors describe our island: “Hilton Head, off the shore of South Carolina, is all plantation-style architecture, golf courses, and Lowcountry cuisine. And, as a key stopover on migration routes, Hilton Head is a birder's paradise."


The full list of island winners is: 1. Palawan, Philippines; 2. Boracay, Philippines; 3. Ischia, Italy; 4. Waiheke Island, New Zealand; 5. Santorini, Greece; 6. Cebu, Philippines; 7. Maui, Hawaii; 8. Hilton Head, South Carolina; 9. Kauai, Hawaii; and 10. Bali, Indonesia. (Photo: RM Miles/HHV)

Hilton Head Island Misses DUI Label


Myrtle Beach, SC, ranks number one as America’s Drunkest Beach Town, with Norfolk, VA, taking the title for second place. This according to Vinepair, which ranked areas based on documented blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measured from June 1 through August 31, 2015, using a BACtrack device and app.


Hilton Head completely missed the list that enumerated the top 20 drinking-est beach areas. Here are the top 10:


1. Myrtle Beach, SC  0.117; 2. Norfolk, VA 0.104; 3. Charleston, SC 0.102;4. Wilmington, NC 0.091; 5. Pensacola, FL 0.09; 6. Palm Bay, FL 0.088; 7. Ocean City, NJ 0.08; 8. Delray Beach, FL 0.078; 9. San Diego, CA 0.077; 10. Santa Cruz, CA 0.074.


While DUI laws vary by state, the says, “Legally, in all states you should not be operating a motor vehicle with a 0.08 [or higher] percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC).” (Image: MADD)

Hilton Head Population Growth


The just-released Hilton Head Island population growth numbers show that the town grew in proportion to other similar South Carolina beach resort communities, such as Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island.


However, HHI lagged behind nearby Port Royal and was a substantially slower grower than Bluffton and Hardeeville. That's a plus or a minus, depending on your perspective. Here are the numbers and percentages as provided by the US Census Bureau.


The permanent population of HHI is about 40,000, but swells in summer to 250,000+/-.

Best Barbecue on HHI


The HHI Kiwanis Club annually raises money for children's charities by sponsoring their "Burnoff," where area barbecue joints compete to determine who is the best in preparing the South's favorite food: grilled and smoked ribs and pork butt (or shoulder).


For us non-competitors, the winners' list serves as a guide to the places that we need to visit during the ensuing year--until the next Burnoff's results are determined. So, above is this year's list of just-crowned winners.

HHI Named to TripAdvisor's Top 10 List


TripAdvisor has named Hilton Head Island one its Top 10 US island destinations in its 2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards. The island's among-the-best listing is based on readers' reviews, which were collected at the Website.


TripAdvisor says Hilton Head Island is “a golfer's paradise” and  lists 275 other activities for visitors -- with the top five being the bike trails, Coligny Beach, boat tours, Sea Pines Forest Preserve and the Coastal Discovery Museum.


The top 10 are: Maui, HI; Key West, FL; Oahu, HI; Hawaii, HI; Mt. Desert Island, ME; Hilton Head Island, SC; Amelia Island, FL; Marco Island, FL; Chincoteague Island, VA; Mackinac Island, MI. (Photo:  Trip Advisor)

Harbour Town Golf Links & Clubhouse


...are in full-swing after after hosting this year's Heritage Classic... and undergoing a series of course enhancements over the summer.  Celebration Bermuda is now greening the tee boxes, fairways and roughs. Tif-Eagle Bermuda was planted on the greens. A new irrigation system also was installed.


At the center of it all is the new 44,000 square foot, $23 million HTGL players' facility that was named the best  “New Public Clubhouse of the Year” by Golf Inc. magazine. Open to the public, tee times available at 843-732-7463. (Photo: RM Miles/HHV)

Hilton Head Wins Readers' Choice AwardsTravel Magazine cover with Sea Pines winner Readers Choice Award


128,000 readers voted in the 28th annual Readers’ Choice Awards

by Conde Nast Traveler -- and Hilton Head is a winner!


The Inn & Club at Harbour Town took two awards:

  • 5th among the Top 24 Hotels in the USA, and
  • 58th among the Top 100 Hotels and Restaurants in the World.

The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton ranked

  • 62nd among the Top 100 Hotels & Restaurants in the world.

Hilton Head Island itself ranked

  • 7th among the Best Islands in the USA.

Surging Seas logo from Climate CentralAre Rising South Carolina Sea Levels for Real


...Maybe. Take a look at what is speculated for Hilton Head Island here, or navigate the interactive map--link at right--to see which South Carolina areas will be below  sea level rise and at what times.


The Surging Seas tool also provides statistics of the populations, homes and land areas that might be affected by city, county and state. It also offers links to fact sheets, data downloads, action plans, embed-able widgets and more.  (Image: Climate Central)

Dog(s) Rule(s) on Hilton Head Beaches


WINTER ~ Oct. 1 through March 31

Dogs allowed on beaches at all times provided they are leashed or under voice-control.


SPRING ~ April 1 to Thursday before Memorial Day

Dog allowed on beaches at all times; however, between 10 am and 5 pm they must leashed or under voice-control.


SUMMER ~ Friday before Memorial Day to Monday after Labor Day

Dogs NOT allowed on beaches between 10 am and 5 pm; however, at other times dogs are allowed when they are leached or under voice-control.


FALL ~ (i.e. late Summer) Tuesday after Labor Day to Sept 30

Dogs allowed on beaches at all times; however, they must be leashed between 10 am and 5 pm; at other times, voice-control is sufficient.


Exceptions ~ (There are always exceptions!)

Mitchelville Beach Park, Fish Haul Park and on Hunting Island State Park

Dogs are allowed at all time but must be leashed.


Maintenance: At all times owners MUST pick up after their dogs and dispose of it in the appropriate bins, which often are placed at public beach entrances. Source: Town HHI Rules.


If you have a great idea or new information that you think we should add to our Website, let us know.

Email us at

Or use snail-mail and send your thoughts to us at the following address.

Editor, Hilton Head View, PO Box 8051, Hilton Head Island, SC 29938-8051


Copyright 2008 - 2016. Hilton Head View. All Rights Reserved.

Header Images: RM Miles/HHV


Low Country Has Nation's Friendliest Cities


128,000 readers of Conde Naste Traveler magazine have voted Charleston, SC, the nation's (and world's) friendliest city! Neighboring Savannah took third place in the USA and seventh in the world.  Read the magazine's story here.  Conde Naste Traveler photo.