First Things...

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Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation Arts Center of Coastal Carolina RBC Heritage golf classic at Sea Pines Resort Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn
King Tide Guide, when and how much to expecgt



Getting to Hilton Head

Is about as easy as it gets


This Low Country community is a day's drive from everywhere in the Southeast, and a two-day drive from the eastern half of the US. By air, a number of flights are non-stop from urban centers like Boston and New York, or a one-stop trip through Boston or Charlotte. The details are below.








Savannah/Hilton Head Airport


The Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is the primary and closed significant airport serving the Hilton Head Island and vicinity. It is 45 minutes south of the Island. The Charleston Airport can be considered to serve Hilton Head, but it is about 95 miles away.


Serving the Savannah Airport are....

  • Allegiant
  • American Airlines
  • Delta
  • jetBlue
  • SunCountry Airlines
  • United

Together these airlines offer numerous daily flights with non-stop service to over 17 US cities.


To and from the Savannah Airport, the Airport Express shuttle offers transportation to six locations on Hilton Head Island, plus two stops in Bluffton.


Savannah airport car rental services

  • Alamo — 800-327-9633
  • Avis —  800-831‑2847
  • Budget — 800-527‑0700|
  • Dollar —   800-800‑4000
  • Enterprise — 8000736‑8222
  • Hertz — 800-654‑3131
  • National — 800-227‑7368
  • Thrifty — 800-367‑2277








Hilton Head Island Airport


On a smaller scale, the Hilton Head Island Airport is located on the north end of the Island, and is served by Delta Express connecting through Atlanta and US Airways Express connecting through Charlotte and Washington DC.



Hilton Head airport car rental services

  • Alamo — 843-689-9845
  • Avis — 843-681-4216
  • Budget — 843-689-3737
  • Dollar — 843-689-9970
  • Enterprise — 843-689-9910
  • Hertz — 843-681-7604
  • National — 843-681-7368
  • Thrifty — 843-689-9990


Hilton Head airport car and limo services

  • A Taxi — 877-524-4940
  • A-2-Z — Transportation 843-342-7778
  • Advantage Transportation — 843-683-7348
  • Ferguson Transportation — 843-842-8088
  • Giddyup Taxi — 843-682-4887
  • Gray Line Low Country Adventures — 843-681-8212
  • Palmetto Taxi — 843-683-4279
  • S & J Expressway — 843-686-3333
  • Yellow Cab — 843-686-6666








Driving onto Hilton Head Island


From Interstate 95, take Exit 8 onto US 278, then follow the highway signs to Hilton Head Island. The distance from I-95 to the HHI bridge is18 miles.


Once you cross the island bridge, you have two options.


If you are going to the south end of the island to Sea Pines Plantation, Shipyard Plantation, Forest Beach and the Coligny Circle area after you cross the bridge stay left and take the Cross Island Expressway. The toll is $1.25.


If you are going the other parts of the island, once across the bridge keep right and stay on 278-Business.


After you cross the bridge onto Hilton Head Island, the Welcome Center and Coastal Discovery Museum on your right.










"Where to stay?" is complicated only by the variety of accommodation, the location and level of luxury you desire, or can afford. Overall the island has about 3000 hotel rooms and 6000 villas for rent. After dealing with those options, the rest is a snap! For a relatively small island, the options are enormous.


Guest lodging choices range from basic — even though nothing is "basic" on Hilton Head Island — national chain motels to the truly sumptuous. But what truly differentiates HHI is the availability of suites, villas and estate homes, the apex of which are found on Sea Pines Plantation.


  • Adventure Inn — South Forest Beach Dr. 785-5151
  • Beachwalk Hotel — 41 Waterside Dr. 842-8888
  • Comfort Inn — South Forest Beach 2 Tanglewood Dr. 842-6662
  • Crown Plaza Resort — Shipyard Plantation 842-2400


  • Disney's HHI Resort — 22 Harbourside, Shelter Cove 341-4100
  • Hampton Inn — Hilton Head 1 Dillon Rd. 681-7900
  • Harbour Town Resorts — 149 Lighthouse Rd. 671-1400
  • Hilton Garden Inn — Hilton Head 1575 Fording Island Rd 837-8111


  • Hilton Head Beach & Tennis Resort — 40 Folly Field Rd. 842-4402
  • Hilton Head Quality Inn & Suites — 200 Museum St. 681-3655
  • Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort — 23 Ocean Ln., Palmetto Dunes 842-8000
  • Holiday Inn Oceanfront — 1 South Forest Beach Dr. 785-5126


  • Inn at Harbour Town — Lighthouse Ln., Sea Pines 785-3333
  • Island Club — 85 Folly Field Rd. 785-5221 Main Street
  • Marriott Grande Ocean — South Forest Beach Dr. 800-228-9290
  • Marriott Monarch at Sea Pines — North Sea Pines Drive 800-228-9290


  • Marriott Resort & Spa — 1 Hotel Cr. 686-8400 in Palmetto Dunes)
  • Marriott at Shelter Cove — 800-228-9290
  • Metropolitan Hotel — 36 South Forest Beach Dr. 800-228-9290
  • Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort — 686-9623


  • Players Club Hotel — 35 DeAllyon Rd. 341-4229
  • Quality Inn & Suites — Highway 278 681-3655
  • Sea Pines Resort — 32 Greenwood Dr. 785-3333
  • South Beach Inn — 232 South Sea Pines Dr. 671-6498


  • Westin Hilton Resort & Spa — 2 Grasslawn Av. 681-4000 in Port Royal-
  • Bluffton off-island accommodations
  • Fairfield Inn by Marriott — 105 Okatie Center Blvd. 705-2300
  • Hampton Inn & Suites — 29 William Pope Dr. 705-9000


  • Holiday Inn Express — 35 Bluffton Rd., 757-2002
  • Inn at Palmetto — 476 Mt. Pelican Rd. 706-6500
  • Extended Stay Hotel — 1376 Fording Island Rd. 837-9494








Real Estate & Timeshares


Single-Family Homes & Villas


The median sales price for homes in Hilton Head Island from July 15 to October 15, 2015, was $307,500, according to data collected Trulia, a division of the Zillow Group. This represents a decline of 9.6%, or $32,500, compared to the prior quarter and a decrease of 5.4% compared to the prior year.


Sales prices have depreciated 10.9% over the last 5 years in Hilton Head Island.


The average listing price for Hilton Head Island homes for sale on Trulia was $579,699 for the week ending Oct 21, which represents an increase of 0%, or $36, compared to the prior week and a decline of 1.1%, or $6,368, compared to the week ending September 30.


Average price per square foot for Hilton Head Island was $195, a decrease of 1.5% compared to the same period last year. .






More than 1,000 timeshare units are available on Hilton Head Island, according to Chamber of Commerce figures. And there is no shortage of new sales as well as re-sales.


Timeshares as a vacation option have been controversial for as long as the concept has existed. Purchase of a new unit can be quite expensive, but buying a resale can be a bargain. In either case, it is important to remember that you are not only buying a piece of real estate, you are buying annual financial obligations.


Like all real estate contracts, it is vital that you read the "fine print" because as good as a deal may seem, there are no free rides. Consulting an attorney specializing in real estate is advised


A search on Google or Yahoo will turn up literally dozens of opportunities to sell, buy or rent a timeshare.








Plantation Communities


Most of Hilton Head's "plantation" communities are carefully planned and usually gated, allowing access only by property owners, guests, realtors and service personnel. One notable exception is Sea Pines Resort, which sells visitors day passes that let you browse, shop and dine in Harbour Town, South Beach and along Lighthouse Road.


Visitors have unrestricted access to the numerous shops, businesses and restaurants along William Hilton Parkway US 278), the Coligny area and other shopping/dining enclaves.


Others, especially communities off-island in Bluffton, are more readily accessible and offer areas with extensive shopping, dining, and recreational facilities which welcome the public. Even off-island, however, most major, upscale communities are gated.


Listed below are the most prominent developments on Hilton Head Island, which are private.


  • Haig Point, Daufuskie Isalnd
  • Hilton Head Plantation
  • Indigo Run
  • Long Cove Club
  • Palmetto Dunes / Shelter Cove
  • Palmetto Hall
  • Port Royal
  • Sea Pines Plantation
  • Shipyard Plantation
  • Spanish Wells
  • Wexford Plantation
  • Windmill Harbour



Realtors on Hilton Head Island are no different than realtors anywhere else, they always believe that now is time to buy. However, a quick look at the Zillow Home Value Index, below, would tend to validate such a claim as well as the belief by some HHI realtors that prices have finally hit bottom and, indeed, are on their way back up.





Haig Point, Daufuskie Island


Haig Point on Daufuskie Island is a half-hour ferry ride from Hilton Head Island, and is a land where "traffic is utterly non-existent." Bike and golf carts are the main modes of transportation for residents. Home prices on Daufuskie range from  $200,000+ to well over $1 million. The Calibogue Club provides access to golf, tennis, boating and horseback riding. A new neighborhood of a dozen single-family homes is coming to Daufuskie, and will be priced from $550,000 to $650,000. As an island community, visitors and residents must use the public ferry service, a water taxi or their own boat for transportation to their homes, recreation and essentials like shopping for groceries and goods. Because of this level of privacy, and exclusivity, planning becomes a valuable ability for visitors and residents alike.





Hilton Head Plantation


Hilton Head Plantation is located at the juncture of the intra-coastal waterway and Port Royal Sound at the north end of the island. It has two miles of beach and is a diverse community of 4000 homes and 500 villas on its 4000 acres of land. Short-term rentals are not permitted. Hilton Head Plantation boasts the full-scale amenities of a country club haven with four golf courses, miles of bike and jogging trails, two nature conservancies, tennis courts, boating facilities, a community recreations center, swimming pools, the Seabrook Farms for gardening and two miles of beaches on the Port Royal Sound. Homes, town homes, villas and home sites, prices range from $250,000 to over $1,000,000.





Indigo Run


Indigo Run is the last private residential and golf community developed on Hilton Head Island, and is located directly across Highway 278 from Hilton Head Plantation. The development features are two private golf clubs — the Golden Bear Golf Club and The Golf Club. A centrally located community house hosts special interest group and property owner functions. There is a community park that features an Olympic-sized swimming pool, sun decks, a children's wading pool, six clay tennis courts, and a children's playground. With approximately1,700 acres, homes, town homes, villas and home sites, prices rage from $500,000 to about $2,225,000.





Long Cove Club


Located on Broad Creek toward the south end of the island, all Long Cove Club property owners are members of the Club and has full use of the golf, tennis, pool and clubhouse facilities. The Pete Dye golf course is consistently ranked among the best in the state. The Club is a blend of retired, semi-retired couples, working families. Residents have access to 60 boat slips and 45 kayak storage spaces at the Long Cove Club. Long Cove's nearly 600 homes are priced from $500,000 to $3,500,000.





Palmetto Dunes


Near the middle of the island, Palmetto Dunes is both a resort and residential community. Palmetto Dunes has 5000 residences on 1800 acres, three miles of beaches, and an 11-mile lagoon system. The Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center offers 25 courts, three public 18-hole golf courses and the Hilton Head Marriott Beach and Golf Resort. The championship courses were designed by George Fazio, Robert Trent Jones and Arthur Hills. Palmetto Dunes also encompasses the Shelter Cove development, which is located across Highway 278 from the Plantations itself. On the ocean side and within Palmetto Dunes is the private community of Leamington. Among the three areas, home prices range from under $600,000 to $7,000,000  and villas from $175,000 to $4,500,000.



Palmetto Hall


Palmetto Hall is a non-resort  development with one mile of beach on the north end of the island. The community's 500+ lots with 400+ homes occupy 750 acres of low country and includes two golf courses designed by Arthur Hills and the Robert Cupp. Property owners receive full Palmetto Hall Club membership providing access to the 14,000 square-foot low country-styled clubhouse, which offers private dining, card rooms, pro shop, a club room, a large swimming pool, children's playground, and tennis courts.

Palmetto Hall residence prices range from $400,000 to around $1,000,000.





Port Royal


At the "heel" of the shoe-shaped island, Port Royal has two miles of beaches and is located where Highway 278 turns west toward the mainland bridge. The development is Hilton Head's only purely residential oceanfront residential community; no hotel or commercial rental facilities are available. However, the Westin Resort is adjacent to the development. Port Royal has 1024 acres that include nearly 900 single family residences and 80+ undeveloped home sites. Port Royal has three 18-hole golf courses — the Barony, Planter's Row and Robber's Row. In addition, there are championship croquet courts, and a 16-court racquet club featuring grass, clay and hard court. Homes are priced from from $450,000 to $5,000,000, and lot sizes range for one-quarter acre to one acre. Like Hilton Head Plantations, Port Royal does not allow short-term rentals.





Sea Pines Resort


On the southern tip of the island, Sea Pines is Hilton Head's first planned community "plantation." Known worldwide as a premier residential haven and resort destination, Sea Pines has five miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches and two marinas — Harbour Town Yacht Basin and South Beach Marina. Encompassing 5,200 acres, Sea Pines also has a 605-acre Forest Preserve; four championship golf courses including the famed Harbour Town Golf Links (home of the Heritage Tournament), dozens of tennis courts, and 15 miles of walking and biking trails. Sea Pines' single-family home prices range from $300,000 to $8,500,000, and villas prices from $200,000 to $1,750,000. In all, there are 5,900 homes and villas within this plantation.





North of Sea Pines and North Forest Beach on the south end of the island, Shipyard has no homes with direct beach frontage. However, all residents have access to the ocean through the Shipyard Beach Club. The community has three nine-hole golf courses, the Van der Meer Shipyard Tennis Resort with 20 championship courts, and tree-lined trails for walking, biking, roller blading and jogging. Fresh water lagoons are scattered throughout the development. Shipyard's single-family residences are priced upwards from $400,000, while the plantation's villas range from $200,000 to $800,000.





Spanish Wells Plantation


The second to last community moving off the island is Spanish Wells, which is situated at the juncture of the intra-coastal waterway and Broad Creek. With 340 acres and 200 homes, the Spanish Wells development is a non-gated community protected by patrolling security guards. Homes are situated on lots of a minimum of one acre, many with deep water access and private docks. The community has a clubhouse, semi-private nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, pool, and beach area. Spanish Wells' home prices range from $600,000 to $5,000,000.




Wexford Plantation


Toward the south end of the island on the Broad Creek side of William Hilton Parkway (Highway 278), Wexford is a very private, sophisticated community. With 525 acres and 450 homes, the community is fully developed, offers no public resort activities and has a 37 acres locked yacht basin and harbor. Additionally, Wexford has tennis facilities, an 18-hole golf course, lawn and racquet club, community pool and bike and walking paths. The community is approximately one mile from the Atlantic beaches, which are across the parkway from the plantation. Single-family homes and villa properties are priced from $800,000 to over $5,000,000.





Windmill Harbour


The first private community glimpsed after crossing the bridge to Hilton Head Island is Windmill Harbour, which is located on the Intra-coastal Waterway and Broad Creek, where breathtaking sunsets can be witnessed. Windmill Harbour is known for its technologically advanced lock system, protecting the 260-slip basin from wakes, currents and silting while affording direct boating access to the Intra-coastal Waterway and the Calibogue Sound. Windmill Harbour is home to the area's award-winning South Carolina Yacht Club, which ahs 260 boat slips. A waterfront sports center provides excellent recreational amenities as well. Windmill Harbor residences range in price from $450,000 to $4,000,000.





Off-Island Low Country communities


Belfair, gated in Bluffton 5 miles from Hilton Head Island


Berkeley Hall, gated community 7 miles from Hilton Head Island


Bluffton, abuts Hilton Head Island and is home to many competing planned communities


Callawassie Island, about 22 miles from Hilton Head Island and northeast of Bluffton


Colleton River Plantation, gated in Bluffton 2 miles from Hilton Head Island


Daufuskie Island, water access only, on the Intra-coastal Waterway next to Hilton Head Island


Hampton Hall, gated off-island in central Beaufort County


Hampton Lake, in Bluffton 15 minutes from Hilton Head Island


Moss Creek, gated in Bluffton and on the Intra-coastal Waterway


Oldfield, gated on the Okatie River 15 minutes from Bluffton and Beaufort


Palmetto Bluff, at 22,000 acres, the state’s largest gated community, 20 minutes from HHI


Rose Hill, gated, 5 miles from Hilton Head Island


Spring Island, a small community halfway between Beaufort and Hilton Head Island


Sun City Hilton Head, gated adult 55-plus-community 7 miles from Hilton Head Island






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