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Friday, January 07, 2011

Exploring Hilton Head Island

About 10am, we hit the road with Gene & Judi and headed to Hilton Head Island. It took less than a half an hour to get to the Visitor Center. We were fortunate that the woman on duty was very knowledgeable about the island, having lived there for over 30 years. She shared lots of antidotes about the island and its history.

I learned about Mitchelville, a town that was created on the island for escaped slaves. It was named for a Union general, Ormsby Mitchel, who helped the slaves build the town. Mitchel helped emancipate these people before Lincoln ever gave his famous proclamation. You can read more about it here if you'd like. Very interesting part of our history that is not well known; at least it wasn't to me.

We left the Visitor Center and headed to the beach. There are some phenomenal homes along the way.

Beach houses at Hilton HeadP1120971

And the sun was shining beautifully on the water. Although it was rather windy, the weather was gorgeous.

Dunes & seagrassJudi coming up from the oceanRandy, Judi & Gene

From the beach we decided it was time to grab some lunch. The woman at the Visitor Center told us about a local “hole in the wall” restaurant called The Sea Shack.

Sea Shack-where we ate lunch


In the summer folks are lined out the door at this place. Randy & I love these local places and Gene & Judi agree. We found that the recommendation was right on! Gene, Judi & I got shrimp platters; Gene, broiled; Judi, fried; and I got blackened. Randy got broiled scallops. All of our food was just scrumptious! Even the sides were good.

We left there very happy. :)

After such a great lunch, we needed to do some walking. Our next stop was the Harbor Town area of the island. There are many different neighborhoods on the island, all of them with their own personalities. Harbor Town is located in the Sea Pines neighborhood and boasts its own functioning lighthouse.


There is a marina here, many shops, as well as housing. We enjoyed walking around the marina area. I even got a pelican fix!

Harbor Town pierP1120984Got my pelican fix

Finally, it was time to head toward home. We had one more stop, however, and it was on the way. The Coastal Discovery Museum is housed in the Discovery House at Honey Horn, a 68 acre property with a 300 year old history. It was privately owned until 1998 when it was purchased by the Town of Hilton Head and opened as a museum with outside exhibits. This website will give you lots of information about all you can do here.

We followed the “Around the Horn” trail which led us to outside exhibits including:

Osprey Outlook P1130007

Oyster Alley BoardwalkP1130014

Heritage GardenHeritage Garden

Bottle Tree (African lore believed that the bottles drew the evil spirits away from the house)Bottle tree - to draw evil spirits

Fiddler Crab Boardwalk P1130022Gene & JudiR&T under a live oak

We were also enamored of the gorgeous live oak tree in front of the house. These trees are just fascinating to me.

P1130027P1130028Sun beginning to set on Discovery House

Now, it was time to go home. We had a lovely day; good weather, good food and good friends. Doesn't get much better than that. Randy & I especially liked getting to spend more time with Gene & Judi. And we'll be able to do more of that when they join us at the Plantation in a few weeks!

We didn't do as much sightseeing as we'd hoped while here in the Savannah area, but I'm sure we'll come back sometime. And it will be here when we do! :)

Tomorrow we're meeting Cheri at Cracker Barrel for one more get-together breakfast before leaving. Then, the afternoon will be spent getting ready to leave on Sunday. I'm ready to see all of our friends at the Plantation!

Until the next time . . .


  1. Beautiful pictures today. It is the people you meet and become friends with that make this lifestyle worth it.

  2. We planted a live oak in our backyard this fall. I wonder how old I'll be when it's a big as the one in your picture????