Suzan R. Brentwood, Tennessee
This was the vacation of a lifetime for us. We had our entire family consisting of 8 adults, 2 toddlers, plus my brother's entire family consisitng of 8 adults, and 7 children staying in one home for a week. It was magnificient. We played on the beach, swam in the pool, visited sites, and most of all enjoyed each other. As a matter of fact we only ate out once, because we had so much fun being together and working together making meals. This was the first time that all of us were able to spend a vacation together. It was so much fun that the older children thought it would be great if we did it again in a couple of years.
Thomas V. Indianapolis, IN
We have been taking family vacations for the last several years with 15-16 of us traveling together. We had been on several cruises and decided to try something different, and are we glad we did. They found us the perfect house, on North Forest Beach, just three houses in from the beach. They made it very easy for us to pick up keys, gave us great tips on the area and really eliminated the vacation planning stress. We had great accomodations and are ready to go back.
One of my favorite family traditions is going to Hilton Head Island for a week every summer. These are the people who usually come: Mom, Dad, my little brother Drew, me, Nannie, my cousins Sam and Savannah, Uncle Ek, Aunt Susan, and their nieces, Hannah and Haley. We all stay in one big house with a pool because it is so hot in August. However, August is my birthday month, so I get to celebrate my birthday at the beach. We always go to Marley's, our favorite seafood restaurant. We also eat Rita's Italian ice every single day. Boogie- boarding is our favorite ocean activity, but we have to watch out for jellyfish. We like to build sandcastles, too. All the girls go on an annual outlet mall shopping spree and buy clothes for the school year. Our family never misses Gregg Russell, a man who sings under a big tree for kids in Harbour Town. This tradition is so much fun that I wish we could go more often.
Karen S., Catlettburg, KY
I visited Hilton Head Island for the first time in October 2009. I was a stow a way of sorts with my parents, their friends and my aunt and uncle. I hadn't had a vacation in a number of years and I dearly love the ocean, sand, sun and surf. I had always wanted to go to HHI but had never been able to. I really would love to get the opportunity to get back down there and take my husband. I know that he will fall in love with HHI as much as I have. I dearly love HHI it was a remarkable experience.
Katie P. Urbandale, Iowa
What can I say about Hilton Head Island? We love going there and have been there numerous times. I went there for the first time 10 years ago with my future husband and future in-laws. Since that time ten years ago, I married my husband and we now have two wonderful girls. This was the first year that we went with both of our girls, my husband's parents, and one of my sisters. We had a blast and so did our girls! It's such a relaxing vacation for everyone. My father in-law and husband spent time on the golf course, as they usually do, while my mother in-law, my sister, my daughters, and I spent lots of time on the beach and at the pool. It's a vacation for everyone and I can't wait to go there many more times in the future.
KAREN L. SOUTH SOLON, OHIO
I had spent the months of Nov and Dec 2008 in the hospital after two surgeries. My sister and her husband have a time share with the Marriot in Hilton Head. She insisted that I go in their place. Due to medical expenses I had not had a vacation in years. My doctors said go so I took my daughters and grandkids and went. Never in my life have I ever seen such a beautiful place. It is so clean. Every place on the island is clean and beautifully landscaped. We went on tours for dolphins and other historical culture events. The people are so friendly. We attended a church event to meet the animals of Hilton Head that was very nice. Some day I hope to be able to go back. I actually dream of being there again whenever I have a bad day. I have been to other beaches but nothing in the world compares to Hilton Head from the food to the hospitality to the many interesting sites and activities for all ages.
Vincent G. Medford, NY
We rented a huge house in Sea Pines, 14 rooms. We stayed with my Father-in-Law, his brothers family, my wife’s grandparents, their Brother and sister. We spent days on the beach or golfing and the nights eating and hanging by the pool. We had a tropical depression over us for the last 4 days of the week, but still managed to get out for 2 rounds of golf and enjoy the pool and beaches. We loved the fact that you could ride bikes on the beach! We played Great Bear and Hilton Head Plantation. Loved both courses and watched the Harbortown course from under the lighthouse, but didn’t get a chance to play. I love Hilton Head and can't wait to return
Kelli K. Darnestown, Maryland
Hilton Head Beach vacation has allowed us the opportunity to experience a new beach resort as we connect with family and friends. We are typically Maryland beach goers, but have been fortunate to travel to Hilton Head 3 summers in a row.
Two of those vacations we shared an awesome house with some good friends and one year we stayed in a condo next to cousins who were in their own condo. How lucky we were to share some great days on the beach an wonderful evenings on the town with such amazing friends and family.
It was so nice to just relax and experience the warmth of Hilton Head. There are places we dream about all year and can't wait to get back to such as the pizza at the Mellow Mushroom, bike riding on the beach, the shops in Coligny Plaza, crazy ice cream cones at Hilton Head ice cream, and musical nights under the stars with Greg Russell.
One of our favorite friends to visit is Jake at the Coligny Plaza Hardware Store! This past summer we vacationed in California and even though we enjoyed ourselves, we still thought about Hilton Head and what we might be missing there! Looking forward to getting sand in our toes in Hilton Head in the Summer of 2011!
Maegan H. Pottsville, Arkansas
My family and I gathered for a vacation together FINALLY!
My younger brother, Richie and I hadn't been on a vacation together since he was 11 and I was 14. Our parents divorced and the two of us went to live in seperate households, so that neither parent would have to live alone. As he grew older, Richie stayed on the move for many years , but eventually settled down at the age of 35.
Richie has always been the best uncle, ''fun, care-free and tender'' to my three children and they adore him. We were all desperate for some ''solo'' time with him. So, he and his wife, Brooklyn, joined my family for a week's vacation at Hilton Head Island. We all got to be kids again...with swimming, volley ball and cycling. We enjoyed the scenery, the food and fun, but most of all the company!!! Hilton Head Island was the perfect setting for our family to FINALLY spend some much needed, quality time with each other.
Robin K. New Albany, Ohio
Our tradition started in 2000. My husband and I were in college at the time. We had just gotten engaged and decided to take our first trip together. We took a road trip to Hilton Head. Having such a memorable time, we've made it an annual trip. Since then, we've converted other family members, friends, and now-our bringing own children.
Our last trip we went with high school friends and their children. It was so nice to sip a coffee on the beach each morning, watching the next generation run around us. The group we had gone with we had know for 20+ years. How many people can say that?
We love going to the local shops, hole-in-the wall restaurants, beach-of course-who can beat that! We also do many of the commercialized activities. We do everything HHI has to offer and our kids wouldn't have it any other way!
Charlene D. Cincinnati, Ohio
Our HHI vacations started when my oldest was only 2. We have continued coming back to HHI for past 11 years. Sometimes twice a year. We have brought grandparents, frends, & other families. Everyone loves the walks on the beach, building sand castles, chasing sand crabs, riding the waves or taking bikes rides to Harbor Town or the Salty Dog. My children have grown from babies to boys and now a days they want to ride Jet Skis, go Kayaking, Deep Sea fishing or walk to Coligny, withOUT their parents. All of which they can on Hilton Head Island. They may have grown up but they have not OUT Grown HHI
Judy M. Graniteville, SC
My son has two close friends that can find us no matter where we are. We never tell them where we are going but somehow they magically appear wherever we are. My son says that they must have a homing device attached to him because they can always find him. When our son graduated high school we wanted to schedule a vacation that was relaxing as well as a graduation celebration for him. We chose to stay at Shipyard Plantation in a two bedroom condo. No one but our immediate family knew exactly where we were staying. Everyone else only knew that we were on vacation in Hilton Head.
One night after dinner our family walked to the beach to go fishing. While we were there we heard, "hey, there's the Moultons'." It was my son's friend! Apparently he had traveled to HH with a friend and was walking on the beach at the exact same time we were fishing. He had walked several hours on the beach in one direction without realizing how far he had traveled. When he turned around to go back he found us. It was almost dark so we took him in, fed him dinner and then took him back to his condo. He and his friend came back the next day for a visit.
Our daughter is graduating from high school this year and we would really like to win this vacation so we can make more HH memories. However, she doesn't have friends with homing devices!
Shana D. Willard, Ohio
During the summer of 2008, my family rented out a house in Palmetto Dunes for a week. This was the third time to Hilton Head Island for me and part of my family. This vacation was special though, it included my parents, both of my dad's brothers and their families and my new boyfriend. It was the first vacation outside of Ohio my parents had taken probably in 10 years. It was the first time my whole family had ever been on vacation ever. It was amazing. My family relaxed, shopped and become avid beach bums..
As for me and my boyfriend, we took a day to ourselves were we went sight seeing, jet-skiing in the ocean where we saw dolphins jumping behind us in our wakes, then ate a early dinner at the Crab Shack where we dined on King Crab Legs and Champagne. We then returned back at the house and found the rest of the family had gone out to eat so we had it all to ourselves. We decided to take a moonlit swim in the pool and we were blessed with a jazz band playing next door at someone's wedding reception. It was a magical evening like out of a movie or something.
While our day was special and unforgettable, the vacation itself was the ultimate and the last one my entire family has taken. We unexpectedly lost one of my uncles later that year to illness. This vacation was by far the best one ever and the fact that my entire family could share one last horah together made it unforgettable!
Jenny M. Columbus, OH
This vacation was more than just a time to get away from everyday life...this vacation for me was a defining moment. A moment that showed me what a bright future is ahead!
I love the beach...LOVE LOVE LOVE the beach! As a parent I wanted to be able to pass this along to my two children. About 2 and 1/2 years ago I went through a divorce and so many things in my life changed. One of my fears was that I would not be able to give my children experiences such as going to the beach...or any traveling experiences due to money...or just being uncomfortable doing it by myself. I prayed about this situation because I wanted to be able to find a way to have these experiences in an independent, yet safe way...in our OWN way. Hilton Head and a very good friend provided the answer.
Last August my friend Shawna and I loaded up her SUV with our 5 kids total and we were on our way to Hilton Head. We picked Hilton Head because although we weren't the "traditional" family so to speak...we wanted to go somewhere where there would be traditional families and we would feel safe. I have never laughed so hard....or cried so many "good tears" in all my life. When we made it to our condo it felt like we conquered the world because we knew we found a way to give our kids our dream beach vacation in our OWN way...that suited our needs. From the beach...to eating out....to crafts on the beach....to the man who sings under the big old tree....to enjoying a "Mama Margarita" while the kids played in the sand...it was perfect...simple...relaxing...safe...perfect.
As I stated before this was more than just a typical vacation...it was a defining moment for me that so many wonderful things are ahead for both myself and my children. We love looking back at our pictures and talking about the memories that were created. We have many more to look forward to but I'm not sure anything will ever top that vacation and what it meant to us. The SINGLE MOMS GETWAY as my friend and I call it...with kids in tow...we wouldn't have had it any other way:)
Kelly S. South Lyon, MI
My husband and I took our two children (5 and 4) to Hilton Head for their first time. After vacationing every year as a young child on Hilton Head, my husband wanted to start a tradition with our family. We went and visiting Greg Russell and tried to explain to the kids that Daddy used to come see him but it all came to life when he got called up as an adult to sing.
The Island never disappoints and is an environment where memories can be created. Being from Michigan, we don't get to experience beach life often, so it tickles me to hear my kids ask to go back to Hilton Head in the dead of winter!
After working full time, spending two weeks in Palmetto Dunes allowed my family to spend quality time together and starting a tradition of our own.
Amy W. Lexington, South Carolina
I first fell in love with HHI as a child in the late 70's. My family stayed each year at Adventure Inn on South Forest Beach. We came each year throughout my childhood. We built friendships that lasted well past our yearly vacation. As a family, we looked forward to seeing the many familiar faces; friends. Our families would gather under the live oak by the pool and catch up on the past year. There was always music and dancing. Us kids had a little more freedom than usual to explore the beach, Coligny, and make new friends. And there was that wonderful waterslide park we loved. It was just a glorious time for me.
I recently began a tradition with my family. The first time we crossed the bridge, I smiled and began pointing out certain landmarks that have remained through the years. We visit the same places my mother and father took us as children including Hudson's on the Bay(my favorite). - Although my heart sank to see Adventure Inn and Fitzgerald's are no more, I do have so many fond,happy and wonderful memories to keep.
There is a moment of anticipation when you reach that bridge. A moment when you hold your breath and your heart picks up. Then you smell the marsh air: fresh and salty. You can't get your toes in the surf fast enough. It is like coming home.
Holli S. Pittsburgh, PA
For 33 years our family has gone to Hilton Head Island to vacation. Many of those years we would go during the 4th of July. Every 4th we would all dress in our red, white, and blue and bike to watch the fireworks at Harbor Town. On the way back we would gear up with glow sticks, battery operated Christmas lights, blinkers, and headlights. There would be on average 15-20+ bikers all in a row to head home. The grown-ups would constantly yell to close the gap between bikers so no one would get separated and to watch out for alligators. It was a true blast. The leader of this tradition (my father) suddenly passed away, but the tradition must continue as our family grows. Hilton Head will always be a place of special memories for our families, in fact, it was where my brother found his beautiful wife.