Once Empty, Harbour Town Yacht Basin Welcomes Boats' Return...


Harbour Town Yacht Basin was emptied of its boat population shortly after Hurricane Matthew damaged the moorings on Oct. 8. Now, repairs have progressed enough to allow many of the boat slips to be reopened. Beyond "the reader," you can see a crane working from a barge. Completion of all HTYB slip repairs is expected before the Heritage. However, the commercial wharf, extending into Calibogue Sound, likely won't reopen until June. (HHV photo.)


EOY 2016 Real Estate Statistics:

Short Supply, Increasing Prices


"After several years of housing market improvement, 2016, as predicted, was not a pronounced triumph but more of a measured success," according to the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors. The year was characterized by short supply and increasing prices.


The Association also noted that, not surprisingly,  "millennials continue to command attention as the next wave of home buyers," yet their rate of entry into the housing market has been "less than stellar."


Looking forward, the Association predicts that "baby boomers are expected to make up nearly one-third of all buyers in 2017. By and larges, this group is not looking to invest in oversized homes, yet we could see improvement in higher price ranges as a hedge against inflation and risk. Shifting wealth away from the stock market into valuable homes may be seen as a safer bet during a transition of [Presidential] power and a period of pronounced change," the Association wrote in its annual report. Selected statistics appear in the chart above, and here's the Association's link.

A Special Reflected Sunrise... Looking West!


After a wild weekend storm in late January -- absolutely nothing compared to Hurricane Matthew -- the calm and beauty of a reflected Hilton Head sunrise can seen looking west over Calibogue Sound. (HHV photo)



The North and the South of It, Fabulous Blue Sky at the Beach Club


As Spring approaches, you still have the Hilton Head Island's beaches largely to yourself! The clear blue-sky and seemingly endless miles of beach that typify Hilton Head Island are seen in these photos, which were taken from in front of the the Beach Club at Sea Pines Resort. This solitude is typical of a morning before Spring Break and during the middle of the week. A little more activity erupts on weekends. Regardless, Hilton Head's beaches, in our opinion, are unsurpassed. And a number of travel and leisure magazines agree with us; see articles below. (HHV Photos)


Open for Play! A Return to Golf Normalcy

Heralded as the golf mecca of America, the lush public and private courses on Hilton Head Island have largely return to normalcy, with only a few aesthetic changes courtesy of Hurricane Matthew.


A year in the making, the total rebuild of Sea Pines’ Ocean Course was completed in late last year, and rechristened Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III (Sea Pines graphic at right). While the first official tee times were planned for an early Monday in October, 2016, Hurricane Matthew changed that.


Now, the $10 million makeover of the Ocean Course that created the new Atlantic Dunes Course is in its full glory and open for play. So, too, are the Heron Point Course and the Harbour Town Golf Links. Other course such as those at Palmetto Dunes, Port Royal and other plantations are also open for play.

HHI 7th "Happiest Seaside Town In America"

Coastal Living Magazine just released their annual popularity survey of readers to determine the "Happiest Seaside Town in America," and the results place Hilton Head seventh out of 10 (even though an earlier, incorrect list left out HHI).

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

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.  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

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

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.

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. (Jewish Week photo)

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. (Karis Gallery photo)


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. (HHV photo)

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 DUI.Drivinglaws.org says, “Legally, in all states you should not be operating a motor vehicle with a 0.08 [or higher] percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC).” (MADD image)

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+/-. (HHV Chart).

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. (HHV chart)

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. (Trip Advisor photo)

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.

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. (HHV photo)

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.  (Climate Central logo image)

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.

Final Update on Cleanup

From Hurricane Matthew

  • This our last weekly update on recovery from Hurricane Matthew. This report will be move to "bottom of the Page One stack" on Friday, Feb. 3.
  • All areas of the Town have completed their first pass for roadside debris clean-up with the exception of Sea Pines, Hilton Head Plantation and the roads recently denied by FEMA. Sea Pines is expected to be completed Jan. 28-29 and Hilton Head Plantation roughly a week late.
  • Through January 24, a total of 1,893,264 cubic yards of vegetative disaster debris have been collected. For  specifics by location, please follow this link.
  • Town Manager Steve Riley reports that "an interesting statistic on debris clearance regards the amount of debris collected in comparison to the land area of the community. For Beaufort County, the 1 million cubic yards that they collected equals about 2.cubic yards per acre. On Hilton Head Island, the 1.8 million cubic yards collected translates to 93 yards per acre."




  • Also, to date 612,968 yards of mulch have been hauled to various locations, including a paper mill, local farm, landfill, firewood company and lumber company. Some logs were exported to Vietnam.
  • The State Department of Natural Resources is notifying owners of abandoned boats of their responsibility to remove them from the waters and marshes of the State. They will also initiate the process to have boats declared abandoned if no owner can be found. For additional details, please review the Town's Hurricane Matthew website.
  • A recent estimates of potential storm-related costs exceeds $82 million. This includes $55 million for roadside debris clearing, $8.25 million in beach-related damages, $4 million for storm water repairs, and $8.5 million in damages to parks, pathways and roads. We have not yet developed an estimate for marine debris.

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)


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

Email us at Editor@HiltonHeadView.com

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


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Header Images: RM Miles/HHV