Exploring Hilton Head, Family Style

Vacationer Profile: Alicia and Greg visited Hilton Head for a week-long vacation in June, and brought their 6 month old baby.  Alicia shares some of their travel tips for fun things to do in Hilton Head with a baby:

When my husband suggested a weeklong trip to Hilton Head with our 8 month old, Trevor, I was excited, yet immediately apprehensive.  Any parent knows that the first vacation away from baby’s normal environment, cozy crib and toy extravaganza included, is daunting to say the least.  However, I was pleasantly surprised by our adventure to the beautiful barrier island in South Carolina.

Hilton Head is very family friendly.   Think natural landscapes, expansive beaches, and winding bike paths, less most of the typical tourist traps in family friendly towns.  Mind you, I am from Myrtle Beach, and I enjoy a roller coaster ride and a trip to the beach store, so I am not being critical of tourist attractions, however, it was nice to escape to a place that values preservation and celebrates naturalism in all of its glory.  Walking from our hotel to the beach, about a twenty five minute walk, afforded opportunities to take pictures of alligators, aged oak trees with Spanish moss, and the rolling hills of many golf courses.  When Trevor and my husband were feeling more daring, we rented bikes, child seat included, from the local company that delivered them right to our doorstep and picked them up at a reasonable price.

In the evenings, my husband and I walked around Harbour Town and Sea Pines Resort with Trevor in his comfiest stroller as we commented on the impressive yachts and sailboats.  As we strolled, he fell asleep, and we were able to stop for a quick bite to eat.  The restaurants were all family friendly and happy to accommodate our stroller and sleeping baby.  Because we had an apartment style condominium, we also ate in a couple of nights and saved a few bucks, which allowed us to splurge when we decided to go out.

Halfway through the week, we invited our parents to visit.  Let me tell you, this was the best decision we could have ever made!  We were able to spend some quality time with our family.  When someone was not up for a trip to the beach or an outing, we had a built in babysitter.

Our excursions led to our discovery of two delicious restaurants.  The Lowcountry Backyard has all the charm of a good southern restaurant with a modern twist.  The outside seating area allowed us to enjoy the nice weather under the shade of large umbrellas.  We took in views of the fountains and nicely landscaped courtyard while we sipped sweet tea from mason jars.  My husband ordered the Charleston Fried Green Tomato BLT with applewood smoked bacon and I enjoyed the shrimp burger with a green tomato tartar sauce that was to die for.  Trevor enjoyed samples of both of our dishes, as well as the smiles from the friendly wait staff!

The second discovery was the Jazz Corner, a must if you are  a lover of music and fine cuisine.   I suggest making a reservation for the dinner, as it guarantees you a seat for the first and second set and many nights are sold out.  We were lucky enough to experience the splendid music of Award winning Trumpeter and Vocalist, Joe Gransden, and Jazz Pianist Kenny Banks from Atlanta, Georgia.  This dichotomous duo played classics from the great jazz artists, as well as their own original songs. One of my favorite moments was the lead in to a song that, according to Gransden, was once requested by Clint Eastwood.  Gransden recounted a trip to Whole Foods with Eastwood and Timberlake in his family minivan where Eastwood leaned out the window and commented to the adjacent driver “nice car” and the driver, shocked, failed to go at the green light.  The context made the set more meaningful and entertaining.

I can’t say enough about our family vacation to Hilton Head.  Because my mother-in-law has a timeshare, we plan to make it an annual event! Next year, we will explore the island all over again with Trevor, who will see it with new eyes as a 1.5 year old.

GO Next: Hilton Head Travel Guide