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Hilton Head Travel

     Thanks to the timeshare we own and can trade to go to various travel destinations, we selected Hilton Head, South Carolina.  This is one of our favorite places to visit. We traded for a timeshare located in the Shipyard Plantation Resort.

     We were extremely pleased with our home away from home.

     Our dear friends, Dick and Ann, were with us on this trip.  We had decided to have breakfast and dinners "in," and go out for lunches. Because we drove from Virginia to our destination, we were able to bring most of the items we needed to prepare the wonderful meals we had at "home." You can always find a way to travel and keep expenses to a minimum with just a little imagination and creativity.

     Hilton Head, located in Beaufort County, South Carolina is situated on 12 miles of beachfront property on the Atlantic Ocean.  It is 40 miles northwest of Savannah, Georgia and 95 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina, day trips to both cities would be enjoyable . The island gets its name from Captain William Hilton. Captain Hilton, in 1663, discovered the island, claimed it for the British Crown and he named it "Hilton's Head” after himself.  Please don't ask if it was named after the Hilton's of hotel fame and please don't mention Paris Hilton, the islanders get very offended!)

     If you are a history buff, you could immerse yourself in the rich history of the island.  Years ago, the native Americans lived on the island.  They were driven out in 1500 by the Spanish.   It also was an important base of operations for the Union blockade of the Southern ports during the Civil War and headquarters to plan attacks against the Confederacy. Once the island fell to Union troops, hundreds of ex-slaves flocked to Hilton Head, which is still home to many "native islanders," many of whom are descendants of freed slaves known as the Gullah who have managed to hold onto much of their ethnic and cultural identity.  They celebrate their culture with Gullah Geechee festivals, their own language, food and sweetgrass basket weavings.  They do not want to have their picture taken.

     I am always impressed with the "eco-friendly" development of Hilton Head Island.  The moment you are on the island you become very aware that there had to have been a master planner/developer and indeed there was, Charles Fraser. Charles purchased 5,300 timber-rich acres at the island's south end of the island from his father, now known as Sea Pines. His father was only interested in harvesting the timber on the island, bur Charles had a vision for the land. Fraser was living and practicing law in Augusta , Georgia.  He quit his law practice and moved to Hilton Head to begin his radical dream of turning a rundown outback island into a world class travel/golf resort and residential paradise while embracing all of the islands natural aspects.

     The Sea Pines Company began in 1956 and Fraser realized he would have to be in control of every aspect of planning from street locations to the design of individual houses and because of his brilliance, Hilton Head has served as a model for community planners everywhere.  Approximately 70% of the island, including most of the tourist areas is located inside gated communities and has an unusual amount of tree cover relative to the amount of development. The thing you don't miss are the billboards and all the unappealing trapping of commercialism.

     Charles Fraser's vision became reality with the finished design of the Harbour Town Golf Links that hosts The Heritage golf tournament on the PGA tour.  The course is located in the Sea Pines Plantation and is rated #1 in the Golf Magazine in the state of South Carolina.  The course opened in 1967, Pete Dye was the architect with the help of Jack Nicklaus.  The tournament is usually played one week after the Masters Tournament. 

     Arnold Palmer was the winner of the inaugural Heritage Classic at Sea Pines Plantation tournament in 1833, ending his 14-month long loss streak.  His win brought instant national recognition to the Harbour Town Golf Links and Hilton Head was established in the list of the world's top golf destinations.

Dick, Ann, DeeDee Dave

     The golf course is distinguished by the 200-foot tall candy-striped lighthouse, known as Fraser's Folly.  I guess he just wanted a lighthouse of his own.

     There are 24 magnificent golf courses, tennis courts, bicycling paths (even on the hard packed sandy beach), horseback riding, shopping, restaurants featuring fresh caught seafood and art galleries on the island.  There is so much to do or not to do.  Just sitting on the beaches warmed by the Gulf Stream is as good as it gets.

Copyright © 2008-2015 DeeDee MacDonald

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