There is no other beach like Hilton Head. From kindergarten to high school, I remember many years at North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, one trip to Outer Banks, and many other miscellaneous beaches up and down the East Coast, but none of them have compared to an island on the southern tip of South Carolina. There were many years before I was born that my extended family trekked there, but only now am I making up for my absence. Suffice it to say, Hilton Head is in our family’s blood.

This recent trip I took with my older sister for a shorter period of time than usual. We were really pumped by the time we arrived, but even more so when we realized we were the first people to the house. It was by far the best beach house I remember—small, but cozy. In back was a screened-in pool (why don’t more people think of that?) and wooden stairs leading straight into a quiet lagoon. What was even more convenient was the fact that we could walk across the road, straight onto the beach access path.

Wildlife abounds on Hilton Head Island! One particular morning we watched a young buck deer and his girlfriend take a buffet date all the way past the house. I was concerned for their safety on the road, so I snuck out and (distantly) escorted them across.

Little humps of brown velvet like to hop across your path and hide in the bushes, too. I’ve been told they think if they hide very quietly, you won’t see them. I also learned that if you stand very quietly and watch them, they won’t realize their plan isn’t working.

Alert to swimmers! Do your best not to look like fish, or the pelicans will very nearly mistake you for lunch. (They barely missed me several times.)

Did you also know that beach houses double as Great Blue Heron rest stops?

A few fun facts and tips about my trip:

  • The tide pools were the deepest I’ve ever seen them. Some were above our knees! My cousin and I started jumping in and out of them like they were the magic pools in the Wood Between the Worlds (a creation of C.S. Lewis). That gives me an interesting idea for a story…
  • Note to self… don’t try to pick up sand dollars with your feet! (You wouldn’t believe how it hurts.)
  • Unless the lifeguard tells you to, don’t go back to shore during a rain shower! The rain pricks you, yes, but you’d be surprised how much fun it is to blunder about in the waves being blinded by rain!
  • Try not touching bottom while looking straight out to the ocean so you don’t see the beach. It feels exactly like you’re stranded at sea and all you can see is water. #meandmyimagination
  • Those large shells with thin tails are dead horseshoe crabs, if you didn’t know already. I had to tell several people that, but when the waves moved it slightly and caught me off guard, I screeched and jumped a solid foot up. (It’s alive!)

How did you like my travel guide for Hilton Head Island? If you’re ever in the area, I’ll be sure to give you a personal tour. Was there anything more you’d like to know? Perhaps the average rainfall per year, or the probability of getting the same beach house every summer? No worries! Give me a comment below and I’ll be sure to tell you everything I know. Bon voyage!