SOUTH CAROLINA

The Long Weekend Escape: Hilton Head Island and Beaufort, S.C.

Double your South Carolina Low country experience by exploring both Hilton Head lsland and Beaufort during a long-weekend getaway.

Hilton Head Island

With all that you can do on Hilton Head Island, it is hard to believe that it's only 12 miles long. It's no surprise that this year-round destination is popular with all ages.

Do...get outdoors! Of course,  it's easy to do with the beaches beckoning you, but there are other ways to enjoy the natural settings on the island, too. Rent a bike to explore the over 50 miles of pathways, or take in the beach on two wheels. Take a guided kayak tour to discover tidal marshes and creeks, as well as the creatures that inhabit them. Try your luck to reel in a few on while on a charter fishing boat. See if you can spot a dolphin on a dolphin tour. The possibilities for outdoor fun are endless.

See...nearby Bluffton. Purchase a piece of artwork, or something else special to take home. Go on a guided walking tour to learn more about the historic homes and structures of Old Town Bluffton.

Experience...the six public marina villages for a fun sampling of the island. Filled with various dining and entertainment options, as well as water activities, each one offers something special to its location. For example, you can climb to the top of the lighthouse at Harbour Town, or go ziplining at ZipLine Hilton Head at Broad Creek Marina.

Eat...with so many dining options on Hilton Head Island that it truly comes down to what you like and how much you want to spend. Even with those two points in mind, you can't go wrong with places like Old Oyster Factory, The Crazy Crab, Hudson's on the Dock and the Sea Shack.

Stay...either at Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island or The Beach House, a Holiday Inn Resort. You can also opt to rent a house or a condo.

Beaufort

Located about 35 miles from Hilton Head Island, the second oldest city in the state is a popular location for Hollywood. Guarantee within a few hours of exploring the city, you'll understand why.

Do...take a tour. The best way to understand the city's rich history is through a site-seeing tour, either on foot or by water, or both.

See... Penn Center, one of the country's first established schools by Quakers for freed slaves, is located on St. Helena Island. The National Historic Landmark is in the heart of Gullah culture. Comprised of 19 buildings, one of them is Gantt Cottage is where Martin Luther King, Jr., would stay when he visited the Beaufort area in the 1960s. This was one of the few place bi-racial groups could meet during that period. It is said the he worked on his famous, "I Have a Dream" speech here. Today, the cottage, not open to the public, remains untouched. If you want to learn more about the Gullah culture, consider taking a tour with Gullah-Geechie Mahn Tours.

Visit...Hunting Island State Park, said to be the most frequented state park in South Carolina. You can't leave without climbing the lighthouse. In case you are wondering, it's 167 steps up and about 132 feet above the ground.

Eat...a shrimp burger at The Shrimp Shack. Try the very large popovers at Southern Graces Bistro. Enjoy seafood dishes at 11th Street Dockside. And that's just the beginning.

Stay...at quaint Beaufort Inn, perfect for an getaway for two or a girls' getaway; or City Loft Hotel, optimal for couples or families.

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