Now through April 30. Where Nature Meets Art, Spring Island Artists. Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. More info link.

March 23–25. Southeast Biking Symposium, Forging Pathways, The Beach House, Hilton Head Island. More info link.

March 26-27. Mendelssohn Italian Symphony. HH Symphony Orchestra. More info: 843-842-2055

April 23-24. Brahms A German Requiem. HH Symphony Orchestra. More info: 843-842-2055

May 20, Saturday: 21st Annual Rib Burnoff & Barbecue Fest. Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. 11:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Ongoing - HHI Travel Offers & Vacation Packages. More info link.

1. Outer Banks, North Carolina

This narrow spit of sand looks as if it were tugged out into the ocean from North Carolina’s mainland, leaving Pamlico, Currituck, and Roanoke Sounds behind. Rent a house and stay for a week to explore Bodie, Hatteras, and Ocracoke Islands.

2. St. Simons, Georgia

Picture historic architecture, moss-draped oaks, a relaxing community that never gets in a hurry, and long, flat beaches that stretch out for days at low tide.

3. Florida Keys, Florida

The sea surrounding the Keys is a particular shade of sunlit turquoise that’s hard to describe. And driving the Overseas Highway is a "bucket list road trip."

4. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Incorporated in 1983, Hilton Head is an upscale, planned vacation and residential community that’s great for family vacations. It has 24 championship golf courses and a whopping 324 tennis courts.

5. Chincoteague, Virginia

Don’t expect water parks, condo towers, or amusement rides. Come here instead for unspoiled beauty on Virginia’s only resort island.

 

6. Kiawah, South Carolina

A pristine island with an upscale resort and residential community, this sandy strip is separated from St. Johns Island by the Kiawah River, so it has river and ocean views. Kiawah Beachwalker Park is the only public beach access on the island.

7. Jekyll Island, Georgia

What once was a private retreat for the upper crust became a state park in 1947. The old Jekyll Island Club is now a hotel. Stay there to enjoy the expansive, unspoiled beaches, towering oaks, and marshlands.

8. Sanibel Island, Florida

This south Florida island’s east-west orientation makes its white beaches a magnet for shells washing in from the Gulf, especially after storms.

9. Galveston Island, Texas

Come for the water and fresh seafood, and then marvel at the historic architecture in the great old Texas city that shares this island’s name.

10. Tybee Island, Georgia

Hard to believe that this laid-back, bike-friendly island is just 30 minutes from one of the most popular cities in the South — Savannah.

 

Hilton Head's 10 Must-Play

Golf Courses Reach 'Epic Status'

TravelPulse.com magazine reports that “Hilton Head Island’s golf scene has vaulted to epic status among those who love to swing away for the day.”

The magazine notes that In 2016, Golf Magazine listed Hilton Head among the top five golf havens for retirees. Golf Digest recently ranked it in seven of the eight top categories for golf destinations in its “Top 10 Best Courses,” while the International Association of Golf Tour Operators recognized it as the 2017 Sustainable Golf Destination of the Year.”

According to the Travel Pulse, Hilton Head Island has “10 Must-Play Golf Courses,” and they’re all open to the public. Here you go!

1) Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines  -- “It’s the legendary course that literally put Hilton Head Island on the map,” and is home to the annual RBC Heritage Classic tournament each April.

2) Heron Point by Pete Dye at Sea Pines -- “…is considered one of the Lowcountry’s most exciting and exhilarating golf experiences."

3) Atlantic Dunes at Sea Pines -- Hilton Head’s newest course, 7,010 yards by Davis Love III, a complete re-creation of the historic Ocean Course.

4) Robert Trent Jones Course at Palmetto Dunes --The course’s par-5 10th hole changes with breezes rolling in from the Atlantic to make every shot play differently.

5) George Fazio Course -- Hilton Head Island’s only par-70 public golf course, Palmetto Dunes’ Fazio Course is an exhilarating experience with small greens and undulating fairways.

Palmetto Dunes' Robert Trent Jones par-5 10th hole looks out toward the Atlantic Ocean and is one of "10 Must Play" courses on HHU. (PD photo via HHI Chamber)

 

6) Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes -- Fairways wind through “towering pine and moss-draped oaks, the Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto was instantly named a classic by Golf Digest when it first opened in 1989.”

7) Country Club of Hilton Head -- “If only two words could describe the Rees Jones-designed Country Club of Hilton Head, they would be “beauty” and “variety.”

8) Golden Bear Golf Club -- “Settled on a gorgeous landscape of gently rolling terrain, thick woodlands and  beautiful lagoons, {it} is all about finesse and strategy.”

9) Oyster Reef Golf Club -- Immediately ranked as one of the Top 25 New Courses in America, the Rees Jones course is part of HHI's Heritage Golf Collection.

10) Planter's Row -- Designed by William C. Byrd, Planter’s Row is the youngest and toughest course of the Port Royal golf course trio…. It offers narrow, tree-lined fairways that lead up to small, undulating greens.

 

Gallup's Wellness Poll Places Hilton Head Island-area in Top 10

The Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Beaufort area ranks in ninth place among 189 communities nationwide in the annual Gallup-Healthways “Well Being Index.” Leading the top 10 was the Naples, Immokalee, Marco Island FL area.

 

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is the lowest, and 100 is the highest. The Well-Being Index for each community is made up of metrics within each of five essential elements of well-being:

  • Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  • Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
  • Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Community: liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community
  • Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

 

In most cases, a difference of 1.0 to 2.0 points in the Well-Being Index score of any two communities represents a statistically significant gap and is characterized by meaningfully large differences in at least some of the individual metrics that make up the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

 

The top 10 among the 189 reportable MSAs follow.

 

Community.................................Well-Being Score

Naples, Immokalee, Marco Island FL  = 66.3

Barnstable MA  = 66.2

Santa Cruz, Watsonville CA  = 65.9

Honolulu HI  = 65.4

Charlottesville VA  = 65.3

North Port, Sarasota, Bradenton FL  = 65.2

San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Arroyo Grande CA  = 65.2

Lynchburg VA  = 64.9

Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Beaufort SC  = .64.9

Boulder CO  = 64.7

The bottom 10 among the 189 reportable MSAs follow.

 

Community..............................Well-Being score

Montgomery AL  = 59.8

Erie PA  = 59.7

Beaumont, Port Arthur TX  = 59.5

Chico CA  = 59.5

Flint MI  = 59.4

Canton, Massillon OH  = 59.4

Topeka KS  = 59.3

Huntington, Ashland WV-KY-OH  = 58.7

Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton NC  = 58.6

Fort Smith AK-OK  = 57.5

 

Gallup tracks Metropolitan Statistical Areas' well-being on the basis of two-year rolling averages, allowing for larger sample sizes that improve the statistical accuracy of the data. About half of all 2015-2016 data in this reporting period overlap with the 2014-2015 index data.

 

The community-level data are drawn from more than 354,000 interviews with US adults across all 50 states, conducted from Jan. 2, 2015, through Dec. 30, 2016.

The full Gallup news release of March 7, 2017, is available at this link.

Heritage Runs April 13-16;

Boeing, RBC Remain Sponsors

The RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing is the only PGA TOUR event in South Carolina. Played over the Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines Resort since 1969, the event is celebrating its 49th year.

Since it was founded in 1987 as a non-profit organization, the Heritage Foundation has donated nearly $34 million to people in need.

For information on how to "Get Your Plaid On!”, call 843-671-2448 or visit RBCHheritage.com (link) or Facebook (RBC Heritage) and Twitter @RBC_Heritage

RBC has extended its role as the "title sponsor" of the Heritage through 2023 and Boeing has  extended its role as the "presenting sponsor" through 2021.

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 & 9. 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 Golf Classic. However, the commercial wharf 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 island's calm and beauty is evident in this reflected sunrise tht is seen looking west (not east) over the Calibogue Sound. This viewing sight was from the Schooner Court villas at Harbour Town.

(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

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.

49th RBC Heritage Welcomes Best Players

The 49th annual RBC Heritage Classic will welcome many of professional golf's best players with an entirely new green cloaking all reaches of th Harbour Town Golf Liks...for the second year despite Hurricane Matthew's best efforts.

Celebration Bermuda graces the tee boxes, fairways and roughs, while Tif-Eagle Bermuda greens the greens. The new irrigation system is helps ensure the grounds stay their intended hue.

At the center of it all is the 44,000-square-foot, $23 million clubhouse that's open to the public. Golf magazine named it the best “New Public Clubhouse of the Year.” Tee times 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 is 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