Hilton Head Island Family Vacation
Why Hilton Head Makes For The Best Family Vacation
Hilton Head Island in South Carolina has a certain something magical about it that we have encountered nowhere else. Our Hilton Head Island Family Vacation was set in Sea Pines Resort. Located in the southern part of Hilton Head and offering over 5000 acres of oceanfront bliss, you can not be farther away from it all while surrounded by the best of everything. We were tucked inside the Sea Pines Forest Preserve.We could open the door to our villa to be greeted by a Great Blue Heron. We could cross the street and encounter a five-foot alligator lazily relaxing on the banks of the marsh. Lizards were almost always playing on the screen to the front door and turtles knowing they are treasured here, make every nook and cranny home. It was amazing!
Let me share with you some of our most memorable experiences from our time spent on Hilton Head Island. This is a vacation we will always count as among our very best.
Hilton Head Island – The Alligator Incident
We noticed signs that said, ‘DO NOT FEED OR HARASS THE ALLIGATORS’. These signs were posted all around the water. Still, we almost accidentally fed T to this guy.
On our very first walk, T and I were out exploring Sea Pines Forest Reserve and loving every inch of it. As we walked I started to tell T about the importance of not going near the water’s edge and was about to get to the dangers of certain reptilian wildlife when he saw a bunch of crabs and over the bank he went. I should have cut the prelude and just spit out my message. Faster! Because I had taken two more steps before I noticed that he had gone down. I turned my head to find him and instead spotted this guys tail! T was standing less than four feet from him and hadn’t even noticed him! I screamed, T flew up the bank and we said a prayer of thanks. From then on, T respected the water’s edge and so did I.
For the record, this guy also landed right next to an alligator without noticing him so apparently, it happens to all kinds.
Hilton Head Island – Sea Pines Resort Forest Reserve
We averaged 13,000 steps a day while we were in Hilton Head. T took almost every one of them barefoot. Even though our Villa was gorgeous, knowing that we could step outside and see so many water birds, or walk for a few minutes and be standing at the water’s edge, made it impossible to stay inside.
We walked for hours every day, discovering birds of every shape and size. Some as tall as four feet tall. Some as white as snow. Some wearing golden collars. Everyone, beautiful! Flowers bloomed everywhere and most of them we had never seen before.
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Hilton Head Island – The Shark Incident
My favorite part of any vacation is the ocean. I love to swim in it, stare at it, close my eyes and listen to it, smell it, and walk its shores. It’s the Mainer in me. I adore the Atlantic and every time I see it, I feel like it is welcoming me home. There is nothing that compares to it. Living in Tennessee is lovely but I wish every day it would sprout its own ocean.
T and I both love to comb the shore for seashells. The shoreline here had only the smallest of versions but they were beautiful all the same.
We had been swimming and having a ball for over an hour when all of the sudden I heard T yell out, “Shark!” He began frantically swimming for shore. So did everyone else. His Dad and I were the only ones swimming out deeper as T was about ten feet deeper in the water. As I went I watched in horror as a black fin rose just behind him and then a second fin emerged. I grabbed T’s arm and was dragging him to shore as fast as I could go when I dared turn to see how close this threat had come. When I did I saw the creature jump from the green waters and reveal itself as a dolphin. It was all grace and beauty and we had evacuated the beach for the nothing. There were five dolphins in total and they swam within twenty feet of us on two separate days. It was magical and for me, the highlight of our vacation. They were so lovely leaping into the air playfully. It was a dream come true. We swam with dolphins! Hilton Head had my heart in its entirety after that experience.
We were all relieved that T’s sharks were dolphins but we did encounter several stingrays that needed to be avoided. These little guys also swam with us but they didn’t leave us with the same sense of wonder that the Dolphins had. Mr. Wondeful also ended up with a fierce sunburn after the second day and so he wasn’t able to join us for our long walks along the shoreline. We ended up getting lost a few times. It turns out that most of the places to exit the beach look just like ours.
We could never seem to get enough walking the beach. We ended every day with time together oceanside.
We watched the sun setting and while we ached to see it go it wasn’t something we would wish away. Every sunset was gorgeous. We ended each day restored.
We would text our family images like these with the message – Good night with love from Hilton Head.
And then a new day would find us and we would begin with another walk through the Reserve. We found so many cool things like bamboo!
We loved every day in Hilton Head. The food was amazing and while you generally had a pretty long wait for big meals, it was always worth it. We all agreed that our favorite food came from The Salty Dog Cafe.
We really enjoyed Harbour Town where a trip up the lighthouse delivered beautiful views!
On our final day in Hilton Head, we went for one last walk and as we watched the sun sink through the palm trees we committed to returning to this place which had blessed us so much!
We highly recommend Hilton Head Island for a family vacation. The Island has so much to offer and the beauty there owns a unique charm.
Please share your thoughts below in the comments section. If you have had an experience in South Carolina’s low country we would love to hear all about it. We also invite you to sign up for our monthly newsletter to enjoy more family friendly posts and inspiration. Thank you so much for visiting our blog today! Come back soon 🙂
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