PassPorter Online
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
Articles Menu
PassPorter Articles
Disney Dreaming
What Keeps Us Coming Back
Disney for Veteran Visitors
Rumor Round-Up
Finding Answers
Best Disney Trip Advice
Getting Your Disney Fix
How Young Is Too Young?
Top Ten Disney Questions
Tipping (Gratuities)
Timeshare Vacation Offers
Disney World on a Budget
Credit Cards 101
Money-Saving Strategies
Preparing Kids For Disney
Taking Toddlers to Disney
Planning Trips for Others
Convincing Others To Go
Importance of Being Lazy

Preparing For Your Disney Cruise
Ten "Must Pack" Items
Touring With A Group
Chaperoning A Group Trip
Ten Travel Tips
Luggage Tips
iPhone, I Travel
Driving to Disney
Driving With Kids
Child Safety Seats
CARES Harness Review
Rental Cars
Amtrak Auto Train
Airline Security
Flying With Kids
Surviving Long Flights
Surviving Bumpy Flights
Surviving Bad Vacations
Surviving Long Airport Waits
Staying Healthy
First Aid on Vacation
Solo Travel
Pregnant at Disney
Dress For Travel
Traveling With Pets
International Travel
Taking A 'Greener' Trip to WDW

Orlando Sanford Airport
Choosing a Resort
On-Site Lodging vs. Off-Site Lodging
Disney Resort Primer
Reserving a Room
Key to the World Card
Fun at Resort Hotels
Disney Vacation Club
All-Star Movies
All-Star Music
All-Star Sports
All-Star Vacation Homes
Animal Kingdom Lodge: Perfect for Teens
Villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Beach Club
BoardWalk Inn & Villas
Contemporary Resort
Ft. Wilderness Camping
Old Key West
Wilderness Lodge
Home Sweet Home
Grand Californian #1
Grand Californian #2
Grosvenor Resort
Hilton Resort
Orlando Airport Marriott
Radisson Resort Parkway
Shades of Green
Westin Century Plaza
Making The Most of Bell Services at Disney's Deluxe Resorts
DVC's Old Key West Resort
Preparing For Your Disney Cruise
New Ships!
Cruise Security
International Port Security
Convincing a Husband to Cruise
Palo Dinner Review
Vow Renewals Onboard
Cruising With Special Diets
Cruising St. Martin
One in a Million Cruise
Zip-A-Dee-Zip-Line: A Canopy Adventure
A 'Magic' Time In The Mediterranean
A Wrap-Up From DCL's Inaugural Mediterranean Cruise
DCL: Not Just for Kids!
Spa Villas Review
Laugh Floor Comedy Club
Mickey's PhilharMagic
Fantasyland For Adults
Mission: SPACE
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
Star Wars Weekends
Animal Kingdom
Expedition EVEREST
Surviving the Parks as First Time Parents
Surviving the Holidays
Overcoming Kids Fears
Planning Park Days
Four Parks in One Day
Touring with Toddlers
A Kid's Perspective
A Teen's Take
Educational Epcot
Flower & Garden Festival
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Scary Places (Halloween)
Playing "Millionaire"
Winning "Millionaire"
A Day With Allie
Past Attractions at Magic Kingdom
Meeting Mickey
Disneyland at 50
Future of Disneyland
Beyond the Disney Parks
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Monorail System
California Adventure
Expanding Disney's California Adventure
10 Reasons to Love Disneyland
A WDW Veteran's First Trip to Disneyland
A Disneyland Veteran's First Trip to Walt Disney World
Disneyland Homecoming
Walt Disney World With Pre-Teen Boys
Keys To The Kingdom Backstage Tour
Pirates & Princess Party
WDW with Teens? Absolutely!
Disney Dining Plan
More Dining Plan Tips
Dining Plan Revisited
Dining Plan Answers
Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) Strategies
Artist Point Review
California Grill Review
Nine Dragons Review
Spoodles Review
The Turf Club Review
Crystal Palace Review
Yak & Yeti Review
Tutto Italia Review
Character Dinners
Dine With A Disney Imagineer
Eating Healthy at Disney
Food Allergies
White Water Snacks
MurderWatch Mystery Theatre
Disneyland Dining: Yamabuki
Disneyland Area Dining: Pirate's Dinner Adventure
Party For The Senses
Artist Point
1900 Park Fare Dinner Review
Making Magic
Romance At Disney World
Beating The Post Trip Blues
Discovering the Magic
Magic of Slowing Down
Unexpected Treasures
Wishes Fireworks Cruise
Backstage Tours
Epcot's Segway Tour
Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival
Taking Great Photos
Taking Great Fireworks Photos
Digital Photo Q & A
Souvenirs on a Budget
Pal Mickey
Birthdays at Disney
Reunions and Gatherings
Holidays (Christmas)
More Holidays
Disney Intimate Weddings
Disney Vow Renewals
Custom Events
Preserving Memories
Scrapbooking Supplies
Finding Scrapbook Supplies at WDW
Memories and Milestones
Scavenger Hunts
Hidden Mickeys
Hidden Mickeys Book Review
Richard Petty Experience
More Richard Petty Rides
Ft. Wilderness Trail Ride
Disney Podcasts
MouseFest 2006
Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba
Making of PassPorter
Rest of the World
United States:
Big Apple Greeter
City Pass Cards
Hilton Head Island #1
Hilton Head Island #2
Celebration, Florida
Key Largo & Islamorada
Miami, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida
Space Coast, Florida
Tampa-St. Petersburg
WonderWorks (Orlando)
Knoebels, Pennsylvania
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco
Anza-Borrego Desert
Grand Canyon
The Poconos
New York City
New York Splash Tours
New York City Dining
New York: Antiques
New England
New Orleans
Nashville, Tennessee
Adventures by Disney: Wyoming
Fort Sumter, South Carolina
Zoos of the World
Universal Studios Orlando
New Attractions at Universal Orlando
Seuss Trolley Train Ride at Universal Orlando
Sanibel & Captiva Islands
Universal: For Non-Thrill Seekers?
Madison County, Iowa
The Great Smoky Mountains
Discovery Cove (Orlando)
Busch Gardens Africa: SheiKra Coaster Review
NASCAR AllState 400
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Niagara Falls, New York
Blue Horizons at SeaWorld Orlando
International Travel:
London Museums
London's Globe Theatre
Kent, England
Bath, England
Great Britain via Harry Potter
Stockholm, Sweden
Helsinki, Finland
Quebec City, Canada
Prince Edward Island
South Africa
Leeds Castle
Windsor Castle
Dover Castle
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Hilton Head Island
by Marley Braun, Guest Contributor

When I think of a relaxing family vacation, Walt Disney World is not the first place that pops into my mind. True, it is a lot of family fun, but relaxing? Not necessarily. For relaxation, our family heads to Hilton Head, South Carolina every spring.

Hilton Head is an island surrounded by lovely beaches on one side and sea marshes on the other side. Old, majestic oak trees shade the island and palmetto trees give it that southern, beach-y feel. Temperatures in the area range from the 50s in the winter to the mid-80s in the summer, so it is always perfect for a year round getaway.

Hilton Head is about 65 miles north of the Savannah airport or you can easily reach it off of exit 28 on I-95 South or off of exit 5 on I-95 North. Without traffic, you can be on the island within 20-25 minutes of leaving I-95. During the summer months or rush hour, it can easily take you over an hour so consider yourself warned. However, if you do get stuck sitting in traffic, the Tanger Outlet Stores are located right before you head over the bridge into Hilton Head. They have over 45 stores there that include J. Crew, Ralph Lauren and the Gap. I've been known to stop there and "force" myself to pass the time away.

Once we are on the island, we always head straight to the Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort. It is our personal favorite but there are tons of other options, including many oceanfront resorts. Disney's resort is on the sound side of the island, but they provide free access and shuttle service to their beachside club. The resort offers tons of activities to entertain the kids but our family's favorite is the campfire sing-a-long or just lying around in the many hammocks that are anchored to the huge moss-covered trees found throughout the property.

If lying around all day in a hammock does not appeal to you, Hilton Head definitely has its share of activities. The island is a cyclist's paradise. You can rent almost any type of bike on the island. Crossing the roads is easy and safe thanks to the many tunnels that take you under the main thoroughfares. Shady bike paths can always be found, especially helpful if it is a particularly hot day, and flowers and wildlife seem to be everywhere you turn. Once, we even saw what looked like an otter crossing our path. Now that was cool!

For guided tours or cruises, try the Coastal Discovery Museum. The museum offers tours ranging from dolphin cruises and Loggerhead turtle walks to old plantations and long forgotten forts. Kayak tours are also a great way to see the island and enjoy the wildlife. We've even seen dolphins come up close to the kayaks. Everyone is friendly on this island!

For those of you who love golfing, Hilton Head is a golfer's paradise. I wouldn't know, since I'm just hanging out in my hammock, but apparently there are 24 challenging golf courses on the island and another 16 within a 30-mile radius. Many of the golf courses are open to the public and provide beautiful views of the island while you play.

After a long day, we have two local hang-outs we like to sit down and relax at. The Salty Dog Café is probably the most well-known. You inevitably see someone walking around with a t-shirt from this famous local eatery. It is located at the South Beach Marina and it is a great place to unwind, listen to some Jimmy Buffett music and let the kids run around under the huge sycamore trees. For seafood, we always head to the Crazy Crab. You can get anything baked, broiled or fried here and there is plenty of it!

A visit to Hilton Head wouldn't be complete without visiting the beautiful area of Harbour Town. The area is surrounded by unique shops, art galleries, restaurants and a marina. My kids love to climb up the stairs of the historic red and white lighthouse and play in the huge playground that sits just outside of the many shops. Last year, we were lucky enough to stumble upon one of Gregg Russell's free family concerts. He gives the concerts nightly (except for Saturday) from Memorial Day to Labor Day under the Liberty Oak tree. He has been giving these concerts for over thirty years and once you see him, you will know why he is a Harbour Town tradition.

If Hilton Head's pace becomes too slow for you, keep in mind that the hustle and bustle of both Savannah and Charleston are just within and hour to an hour and a half drive away. However, when I go to Hilton Head, I never want to leave. You can look for me in my hammock. I will be the one completely content with a smile on my face.

This article appeared in our February 15, 2006 newsletter -- subscribe to our popular newsletter today for free!

Related Articles:

Shades of Green
All-Star Vacation Homes


Return to | Discuss lodging on the PassPorter Message Boards

Updated 04/06/07 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks

PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook

PassPorter's Sidekick for the Walt Disney World Guidebook e-book

PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide

PassPorter's Disney 500: Fast Tips for Walt Disney World Trips e-book

PassPorter's Disney Speed Planner: The Easy Ten Step Program to a Perfect Walt Disney World Vacation e-book

PassPorter's Disney Weddings & Honeymoons

PassPorter's Festivals and Celebrations at Walt Disney World e-book

PassPorter's Treasure Hunts at Walt Disney World

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line guidebook

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Clues: First-Class Tips for Disney Cruise Trips

PassPorter Disneyland Resort and Southern California Attractions guidebook

PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line guidebook