Hilton Head Island, SC

Hilton Head's mixture of world-class golf courses, wide beaches, and great restaurants has lured our family back year after year. It has been an excellent place to relax, play a few rounds of golf, visit some shops and eat loads of exceptional seafood. The biking on the wide beaches at Sea Pines Plantation on the south end of the island has been tremendous fun for the whole family. Hilton Head is a good destination for active families who like a wide variety of things to see and do.

The island is big in size, the largest island off the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas. Located just 40 miles from Savannah, Georgia, Hilton Head has also seen substantial development. Fortunately, Hilton Head has been tastefully developed with strict zoning laws and as a result, it doesn't have that "tacky" feel of some overdeveloped beach towns. For a 12-mile island that has over 30 golf courses, 10,000 hotel rooms, 6,000 rental houses, and 14 plantations, it has kept the natural beauty of the beach. We enjoy the activities interwoven into the fabric of Hilton Head and the basic attraction the gently sloping beach offers. If you go, don't miss biking on the hard-packed beach at low tide -- it's great!

If you're looking for a great place to stay, here are some suggestions:

Westin Resort: This is a wonderful choice for families, with its beautiful ocean setting, excellent landscaping, great views, kids programs, and friendly service. The Westin is located on the ocean at Port Royal Plantation. It is very expensive, but sometimes offers some good specials. The resort's amenities include pools, golf, tennis, restaurants, shops, and a full children's program during the summer months and holidays. For more information, call 888-625-5144 or 843-681-4000 or visit their website at: www.westinhiltonhead.com.

Hilton Oceanfront Resort, Hilton Head Island: This beachfront Hilton property located in the exclusive resort community of Palmetto Dunes offers a host of amenities, including several large pools, one just for families, restaurants, a fitness center, and a full children's program. It also features one of the widest beaches on the island of Hilton Head. For more information, call 1-843-842-8000 or 1-800-774-1500. Hilton Oceanfront Resort Hilton Head Island .

Fairfield Inn & Suites Hilton Head Island: For one-fifth the price of many on the beach properties, this inexpensive off beach property helps make a great vacation affordable. For more information, call 843-842-4800 or 1-800-833-6334, or visit their website: Fairfield Inn & Suites Hilton Head Island.

Many families visiting Hilton Head enjoy renting a condominium, villa or private home for their stay. The full kitchen facilities can save money, and the extra space comes in handy with the kids. There are a large number of resorts and rental agencies that rent homes and villas on Hilton Head. Some of them include:

Sea Pines Resorts: These resort properties are located in the southern tip of the island on an expansive plantation and offer condos and homes for rental. For more information call 888-807-6873 or 803-785-3333 or at their website at: www.seapines.com.

Hilton Head Oceanfront Rentals: This agency offers properties for rent throughout Hilton Head island. For more information, call (800) 845-6132 or (843) 785-8161 or visit their website at: www.oceanfrontrentals.com.

Island Getaway Rentals: This agency specializes in the rental of oceanfront and oceanview homes on Hilton Head island. For more information, call Toll Free (800) 608-8364 or (843) 842-4664, or visit their website: Island Getaway Rentals.

The mall at Shelter Cove contains 55 upscale shops and two department stores, a good place for those shoppers in the family. Also, check out the factory outlets, rent a boat from Harbour Town Yacht Basin or go on a cruise. After a long day of sun, we have basked in the open air concerts at the Harbour Town marina at Sea Pines Plantation and had a great time.

For more information on places to stay and attractions in the area, call the Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce at (843) 785-3673 or visit their website at: www.hiltonheadisland.org. They will send you a complete vacation planning package with detailed information on all aspects of your trip.

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