We had never been to Hilton Head before and we were excited to explore some new ground. What I didn’t know until we got there!
#1) The island is in the shape of a shoe or a foot. I never knew that!
#2) I don’t remember knowing Hilton Head was an island and was so surprised when we crossed the bridge from the mainland! I knew about the place but just thought it was a South Carolina picturesque coastal town on the Atlantic Ocean. There’s also a toll bridge on the Cross Island Expressway that costs $1.25/car every time you cross it – in either direction. The coach and truck together cost us $4.50.
#3) This area is also referred to as “Lowcountry” which does not mean “friends in low places”… Lowcountry refers to the coastal region of South Carolina, generally extending from Charleston to the Georgia border.
Low country speak includes the “low country boil”. This is a local one-pot dish of fresh shrimp, yellow corn, sausage and potatoes – best served on newspaper for easy clean up. It is also referred to as “frogmore stew” (no frogs included)!
We actually enjoyed our 1st low country boil at Riverbend (LaBelle, FL) in February –
#4 ) Near Hilton Head, there’s a beautiful coastal town named Beaufort – not to be confused with the beautiful, North Carolina coastal town named Beaufort. Except one is not like the other! We had to ask how “Beaufort” is pronounced and this is what we learned.
The Beaufort of South Carolina is “ BEW – ferd” (as in “beautiful”). The Beaufort of coastal North Carolina is “BOW – fert” (as in “bow & arrow”).
SO – which is it? Beaufort or Beaufort? Now I will always have to stop and think about it before I say the name out loud!
#5) We had often heard that you could “bike clear across the island” and this is so true. With more than 13 miles of hard-packed sandy beaches and more than 100 miles of flat, paved bike trails it was the perfect way to explore the 42 square miles of semi-tropical geography. We carry our bikes with us but if you don’t have your own bike there are bike rental companies on nearly every corner!
This island is a non-stop adventure with its water sports, golf courses, bike trails, historic plantations and restaurants. Easter week/spring break was pretty busy – it must be really crowded in the summer …