Welcome to Hilton Head Island
Since development began on Hilton Head Island just over 50 years ago this 12 mile long and five mile wide coastal island has become renowned as one of America’s best year-round vacation destinations. Located just 10 minutes from the front entrance of Hilton Head National RV Resort, the splendid attractions of Hilton Head Island await your discovery – including broad Atlantic beaches, exceptional boating, world-class golf courses, nature trails, historic sites, 60-miles of bike paths plus superb shopping and dining opportunities.
Hilton Head Island boasts one of the world’s “Best 25 Beaches” according to the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler Magazine. Here 13 miles of uninterrupted Atlantic beachfront is yours to enjoy. Broad, pearly-white sand offers plenty of room to spread out. The surf is mild, and all beaches are public from the ocean to the high water mark. The Town of Hilton Head has eight designated public beach access points with restrooms, changing areas, sand-showers and vending availability. Some, like Driessen’s Beach, are laid back and restful, while others, like Coligny Beach, are more popular for the younger set. For more information: hiltonheadisland.org/ourisland/frequently-asked-questions.
Being an island, it would be expected that boating activities would become one of the most popular activities for visitors and residents alike. But, on Hilton Head Island the water experience is elevated even higher because of the exceptional local environment for fishing and spending time on the water. Here there are more than 80 species of saltwater fish for anglers both inshore and offshore plus another 40 species of freshwater fish in local creeks and lagoons. Add to that there are numerous opportunities to explore with kayaks, waverunners, parasailing, dolphin tour boats and yachts for sunset cruises. All very special.
More than anything, it’s the natural beauty of Hilton Head, and the focus by developers to not spoil the environment or frighten the wildlife, that transformed this “resort town by the sea” into a world famous vacation destination. Whether it’s the marvelous 60 miles of biking pathways, canopied with majestic oaks, or the multiple nature preserves and bird sanctuaries, or splendid marinas designed to look west across the Intracoastal Waterway toward magnificent sunsets, you’ll know this place is special. Bicycling and long walks are popular here – as are the two-dozen, tree-lined, championship golf courses. Take time to relax, explore and enjoy the soft, gentle southern breezes that have a freshness that’s sublime.
The Charm of Bluffton
Hilton Head National RV Resort is not inside the 52 sq. mile town limits of Bluffton, but bears a Bluffton address. The town is both one of the oldest and one of the newest in South Carolina. Having been virtually destroyed by the Union Army in 1863, it has been resurrected over the past 25 years with trendy new construction adding to the original antebellum appearance. The original one square mile town limit is now known as “Old Town.” It’s situated on high banks alongside the lovely May River, and just a quick 8-minute drive from Hilton Head National. Despite its serious heritage, it has an off-beat vibe and the folks who live near Old Town seem to love the local arts and culture that has given it a reputation of being “funky, quirky and laid back.” The flavor of Old Town Bluffton is captured by the following:
Stroll Calhoun Street, The Promenade and nearby lanes. It’s a pedestrian friendly, delightfully charming locale with several historic and cultural highlights replete with little art galleries, boutiques, eclectic shops and restaurants for casual fare or fine dining. Among the many shops, be sure to check out Jacob Preston Pottery or the Bluffton General Store on Church Street or Al & Harry’s Home Fashions on Calhoun for some exquisite, one of a kind purchases.
The Bluffton Farmer’s Market held each Thursday along Calhoun Street has been recognized as one of the best Farmer’s markets in the Southeast, and for good reason. Purveyors showcase the very best from local growers in surrounding counties as well as unique artwork, jewelry, apparel, spices and gift items. On the day of market Calhoun Street is lined with small colorful tents showcasing the goods with live music to accompany the festive atmosphere.
Near the end of Calhoun Street are two historic sites. The first is Heyward House, built in the 1840s for a local Plantation baron. Preserved by the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society it includes exhibits, artifacts plus tours. The second is Church of the Cross, a handsome cruciform Gothic styled structure completed in 1857, that has withstood both war and hurricanes. As you step through the heavy pine front doors you are immediately transported into a time long gone.
Dining and Shopping
As one might expect with a destination populated largely by vacationers, second homeowners and retirees, both Hilton Head Island and Bluffton are packed with a wide range of dining and shopping possibilities.
The choices are enormous and range from upscale fine dining to funky and authentic local eateries. Seafood is often requested by newcomers and there are many choices. Two that have been popular for many years are Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks on Hilton Head and Bluffton Family Seafood House near Old Town Bluffton. Other non-seafood, long time favorites on Hilton Head Island, often mentioned in national magazine reviews, are Reilly’s Grill & Bar (since 1982) and Signe’s Heaven Bound Bakery Café (since 1972), which has also been featured on The Food Network and CBS. In Bluffton, The Cottage on Calhoun Street and Cahill’s Market and Chicken Kitchen are authentic and popular. For details about nearly every eatery in the Hilton Head Island/Bluffton area visit the Fork & Fun online restaurant guide which is updated twice a year: ForkandFun.com
From major outlet malls to national brand big box stores, to chic boutiques and quirky consignment stores the area surrounding Hilton Head National RV Resort is chock full of selections to shop. The largest choices for our guests, however, are virtually right across the street at two large but separate Tanger Outlet Malls. On the island there are several shopping plazas and specialty stores that can be explored. Our best advice is simply hit your search button on Google to find what you are looking for and how to get there.