The Perfect Combination – Hilton Head Island And Fabulous Restaurants!

It is often said by the locals that HHI has a lot of golf courses, banks and real estate agents. We also have many great restaurants that fit everyone’s taste and budget, from elegant eateries for celebrating that special occasion to local haunts all with amazing food. Living on Hilton Head Island for 19 years I have seen restaurants come and go and with this economy a lot of places are reaching out for customers like never before.

Winter is a good time for a local to take stock of what restaurants had a good summer and will be sticking around for next season. I am always asked what I recommend as a local and the first thing I ask is what a person is looking for. Everyone knows what they like and taste is so subjective that is often hard to please everyone. Things that do stay constant are places that have stood the test of time.

When you are looking for that special evening some places to try are:
Michael Anthony’s, Alexander’s, HH Prime, Aqua, Sage Room, Old Fort Pub, Crane’s, and CQ’s.

When it is a bit more casual try:
Frankie Bones, 211 Park, Truffles, Marley’s, Il Carpaccio, Bistro 17, Black Marlin, Santa Fe, Island Bistro, Bonefish and Alligator Grille.

For the local haunts try:
Amigo’s, Sea Shack, Kenny B’s, Palmetto Bay Sun Rise Caf? Harold’s, It’s Greek to Me, Street Meet, and Captain Woody’s.

We have great sushi at Hinoki & Ichiban, good Thai at Ruan Thai, fine French cuisine at Claude & Uli’s, fantastic BBQ at The Smokehouse and the 33 flavors of wings can’t be beat at the original Wild Wing.

The number #1 question is “Where is the best Seafood?” and I can’t think of restaurant that doesn’t have fish but Hudson’s and both Crazy Crab’s are island institutions that really concentrate on it (especially if you like it fried).

This is of course just a small smattering of restaurants on the island so if after you pick up the Restaurant Guide or see a place that looks interesting go ahead give it a try, I bet it will be good.

Bone Appetit!

*Restaurants are in no particular order (or by any means the only ones with good reputations) and the names are the shortened version the locals call them.

Thanksgiving And Christmas Is A Great Time For A Family Get Together On Hilton Head

What better time than the holidays to plan a getaway and spend quality time with family and friends. As it off season there are accommodation prices that will fit into anyone’s budget. You can get a large family together for the week in one house or choose multiple villas in the same complex while still allowing everyone their privacy. A company like Resort Rentals of Hilton Head Island can find the perfect fit for your family’s need. Vacation rentals are ideal to make you feel at home with well equipped kitchens so you can fix that holiday meal if you are so inclined. And because they are larger than hotel rooms, guests still have a feeling of getting away even when surrounded by family.

Hilton Head’s weather is still delightful and perfect for a walk or a bike ride on the beach. Golf prices go down but the courses are still in great condition. The Lowcountry is a mecca for shopping too, from specialty shops on the island along with outlets on and off the island. The calendar is full of events varying from holiday concerts, Santa sightings and the not to be missed drive through a winter wonderland on Dove Street off North Forest Beach Drive.

The island slows down at this time of the year to a nice pace. It is easier to get around as there isn’t as much traffic. Shops and restaurants are still open but not quite as busy. In fact a lot of times you can meet more islanders since they come out when the crowds die down. Oyster roasts are in abundance usually with some of the proceeds going to a good cause and on Thanksgiving the 11th annual Community Dinner takes place at Hudson’s, this is free but donations are accepted and you can even volunteer to be one of the servers. Islanders and visitors alike are welcome with the idea that no one is alone on this day of bounty.

Talk to your relatives and friends and make a date to visit Hilton Head Island and reconnect.

Happy Holidays!

2009 Hilton Head Island Concours D’Elegance Motoring Festival

As the leaves turn and the days get just a bit chillier it is time again for the premier car event in the Lowcountry. Hilton Head hosts a world class event -The Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance and Motoring Festival. The eighth annual multi-day event takes place October 29 – November 1, 2009 with activities at Hutchinson Island and downtown Savannah, Georgia, on the grounds of the Coastal Discovery Museum and at receptions hosted by Windows on the Waterways on Hilton Head Island.

The Concours features races by historic automobiles managed by Historic Sportscar Racing, Ltd., a Car Club Jamboree with 15-20 local and regional car clubs displaying their best representatives, motorcycle exhibits, educational displays, and ride & drive events from automotive sponsors. On display this year is a special exhibit of “Life on the Road” showcasing how Americans slept along the road before motels and hotels. The pinnacle of the Festival, the Concours d’Elegance, concludes the festivities with 150 cars and motorcycles competing for Best of Show.

There are different levels of tickets available for the event including a $52.00 three day advance-purchase pass good for both venue events. Kids under 12 are free, 12-18 year olds are $5 with student ID and active military save 50% off the gate price. This year’s event also has many ways to meet the drivers and owners, from a Happy Hour in the Square to a Southern Belle Fashion Show that also benefits the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra League, and a Lowcountry Oyster Roast.

While this is a superb event by any standard, it is also very special to the community. Part of the mission for the Concours d’Elegance is the Driving Young America Charitable Fund that was established in 2007 and distributes funds to local non-profits that meet the selection criteria. Some of the other groups that benefit are the youth-oriented programs of the Hilton Head Island Symphony Orchestra, the local Boys and Girls Club and the Coastal Discovery Museum. The first scholarships also were awarded this past year.

Take advantage of the lower accommodation prices at this time of the year to come and enjoy a truly memorable experience!

Hilton Head Art Galleries And Restaurants The Perfect Compliment To A Fall Day

Lots of people ask if there is anything to do as the days get a bit chillier and shorter on Hilton Head Island. The fall in the south is exceptional! While the north is already in winter coats one can get away with just a heavy sweater and still take a splendid walk on a very un-crowded beach. You can also attend one of the myriad of festivals happening on a weekend, catch an art flick at a movie theatre, go on your own personal art gallery tour or cheer on your favorite sports team at any number of bars and restaurants.

Speaking of football – you can find a place to celebrate your team whether you are a college or pro fan. Try Mangiamo’s for OH State, Captain Woody’s for Kentucky, Kenny B’s for Georgia, Vic’s for Michigan, Hinchey’s for Notre Dame and Wild Wings for USC (Carolina) to name a few. For the pros if you are a Steelers fan you will feel welcome in quite a few places from Casey’s, Callahan’s to Wild Wings but any of these three are great for all kinds of sports and they have good food too.

If sports aren’t your thing and you feel more comfortable surrounded by beauty, than an art gallery tour would be great for you. Between Hilton Head and eclectic Bluffton there are over 15 galleries that will please the eye and every taste. There are art classes that you can take, listen to a lecture by a prominent author, or enjoy a guided walking tour through Audubon Newhall Preserve.

To round out your day you can have a wonderful meal at over 200 restaurants that run the gamut of styles and prices. From Lowcountry funky to upscale and elegant we have it all here. Look at the Calendar of Events to see what is happening and visit soon and often.

Enjoy!

Last Minute Trips To Hilton Head Island Festivals

During the summer season most vacation rental companies want guests to stay Saturday to Saturday but they have a bit more flexibility during other times of the year. Companies usually require a 4 night minimum on houses and three nights for villas (not available on all properties). So if you have the time to visit on Thursday and depart on Sunday the fall season is perfect for that getaway. Hilton Head has lots of things to do from nearly week long festivals to one day events that are not meant to be missed. Here are just a few to entice you to come to the Island during some of the best weather of the year!

The Seafood Jazz and Brew Festival is a week long event 9.14-9.19.2009 hosted by the Hilton Head Area Hospitality Association. Events that should be enjoyed are the Seafood Showcase at Island restaurants throughout the week. Go to the Beer and Food Pairing at Aqua Grill & Lounge on 9.16. then the Beer Tasting at The Westin Resort & Spa on 9.17. The festival winds up on Friday and Saturday with two outstanding events Jazz at the Park at Shelter Cove Community Park on 9.18, 6-8:30PM. Brews on the Harbour at Shelter Cove Harbour on 9.19, 2-8PM. For more information visit hiltonheadhospitalityassociation.com.

October hosts a couple of great events. Fall is the time to taste test the perfect chili and the 25th Annual Kiwanis Club Chili Cookoff at Honey Horn 10.10.2009, is where you can do it all at once. From 12-4PM vote for the best chili in both the amateur and professional categories, plus enjoy live entertainment and children’s activities. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the gate. 70 Honey Horn Drive contact www.hiltonheadkiwanis.com for more information. During the middle of the month (10.17.09) spend the day at the 5th Annual Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival. Enjoy luncheons, tours, dinners, tournaments, an Iron Chef Challenge and a street fest showcasing locally-harvested seafood, Lowcountry cuisine, local history and great art. blufftonartsandseafoodfestival.com for more details.

The month ends with the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival 10.29 – 11.1.2009 at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa on Hutchinson Island and the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. Historic automobile racing, a Car Club Jamboree, special automotive displays and exhibits and 150 cars and automobiles competing in the “Best of Show” competition make up this unique four day event. For complete details on this not to be missed event visit hhiconcours.com.

See you there!

Play Golf With Celebrities While Vacationing In Hilton Head

Hilton Head Island and some of the best golf courses on the island will once again host the Celebrity Golf Tournament over Labor Day Weekend. This event puts amateur golfers and celebrities together for a weekend filled with camaraderie and fun for the main purpose of raising funds for the island’s local children’s charities.

The Tournament is free and open to the public to watch. To date, the tournament has contributed over 3 million dollars to children’s charities on the island. Watch the fun at the following courses:

Friday 9/4/2009 @ Arthur Hills Golf Course in Palmetto Hall
Saturday 9/5/2009 @ Robert Trent Jones Course in Palmetto Dunes
Sunday 9/6/2009 @ Harbourtown Golf Links in Sea Pines
Some of this year’s celebrities are coach Bobby Cremins, actors Clifton Davis and Davy Jones of the Monkees, musician Branford Marsalis, sports figures Sterling Sharpe and Earl Morrall and also special guests NYC Firefighters and Marines who have served in the Middle East.

Golfers who do participate enjoy a generous gift package, food & beverages on the course and three days of golf with a different Celebrity each day. Golfers can join as an individual, a twosome or a foursome and can substitute players during the 3 days of golf. This is a great way to entertain clients, colleagues, friends & family and get a tax deductible donation at the same time. Those that don’t have the time for the whole weekend have the ability for the first time be a one day participant.

Every year the tournament has culminated with a Celebrity Auction during the event’s gala dinner but this year they are trying something new so that more people can be involved. Everyone with an internet connection can join the Online Celebrity Auction that will have amazing items and the chance for unique experiences. Preview of the auction will start on Wednesday 9/26/09.

Unforgettable Views Of Hilton Head Island Water Ways

Wow did our family have fun the other day! We went out on the Pau Hana the biggest sailboat on the Island for a fabulous sunset cruise. Captain’s Jeannie and John provided entertainment and information about the nature we were seeing, along with the dolphins we watched as they swam by. The Pau Hana holds up to 49 people but will go out with less. With unbelievable 360?views it is the environmentally friendly way to see the water ways of Hilton Head Island. It is safe and very stable and has lots of deck space to walk around on.

One of the very best things about the Pau Hana is that you can bring along a cooler with your own food and drinks (including alcohol) and sit back and enjoy a stress free 2 – 2 ?hour sail. Kids are made to feel so welcome that some may even get to help steer! Captain Jeanne said that they “don’t just have families but also host wedding and anniversary parties, birthday celebrations, group social outings, corporate groups – absolutely everyone who wants to have fun – after all Pau Hana means Happy Hour.” She can assist in setting up outside catering if you want to take over the whole boat. While we took the sunset cruise (gorgeous!) they also have an afternoon sail at 2 PM.

If you are looking for a more intimate sail they also run the Flying Circus five times a day. This smaller boat holds up to 6 + the captain and goes out at 9 AM, 11:30 AM, 2 PM, 4:30 PM and 7 PM. This fast and very safe sailboat is 27 feet wide by 16 feet wide with comfortable padded cushion seats plus a forward trampoline.

Either of these sailboats as Advanced Sail has been in business for 21 years on the island. Call Jeanne today at 843.686.2582 to set up a sail. They are centrally located out of Palmetto Bay Marina underneath the Cross Island Expressway Bridge.

May – The Perfect Time To Visit Hilton Head Island!

Now that the Easter break and the RBC Heritage Golf tournament (congratulations to Graeme McDowell), are over, now is the PERFECT time to visit Hilton Head Island.

May is one of my favorite months here on the Island. Not as busy, warm weather and the traffic is a breeze. Beaches are not as crowded and there is not that 90 minute wait at some of the favorite restaurants here on the Island.
The Hilton Head Island Farmers Market kicks off May 1st and runs through the end of October. The location has changed this year. It will be at the Shelter Cove Park every Wednesday from 9am-1pm. Be sure to stop by to check out our local produce and local art.

May 11th is the Bluffton Village Festival. Taking place in Downtown Bluffton, the festival includes music, art, food and the “ugly” dog contest. The festival will be from 10am-4pm.

The 17th Annual Rib Burn off takes place Saturday May 18th from 12pm to 4pm at Honey Horn Plantation. Come by and experience some of the best BBQ on the Island! There will be a band and a bounce house area for the kids. Call us for information on tickets!

As always you have the miles upon miles of bike paths and beautiful beaches to enjoy. Also make sure to check with the Coastal Discover Museum at Honey Horn to see what programs they are offering while you are here. From the butterfly garden, bird watching and crabbing, they will have something for everyone. http://www.coastaldiscovery.org
If you have any questions about any of the Island events or to make a reservation for Hilton Head Island, give us a call at 800-845-7017.