The Daily Gamecock

Road trip towns: Hilton Head Island, SC

<p>Hilton Head Island is the perfect small beach getaway from the stresses of everyday life.</p>
Hilton Head Island is the perfect small beach getaway from the stresses of everyday life.

Just two and a half hours from Columbia sits a small beach town beckoning visitors to relax and enjoy its warm weather and salty air — Hilton Head Island. Hilton Head is not like other beaches, which are large, commercial venues bustling with an overflow of tourists. Instead, Hilton Head encourages a slow-paced, calming atmosphere and a chance to melt away worries in the sun.

For visitors who come for just the weekend, Hilton Head is a lovely beach spot to enjoy the calm of the ocean without the heavy traffic of larger beaches. There are a variety of public access spots for the beach, including Coligny Beach Park and Driessen Beach Park. A more secluded public beach is Folly Field Beach Park, which is a bit more low-key than the others. 

For lunch or dinner, the hands-down best seafood in town is the simple, yet classic, Sea Shack. Offering large seafood platters with a choice of two sides, the only thing customers could be disappointed with is not being able to finish their plate. 

As an alternative, a nicer sit-down place, The Skull Creek Boathouse, offers delicious seafood overlooking a beautiful harbor. Guests can even sit on the large back porch and watch the boats as they float or drive in the canal.  

If seafood doesn’t fit your palate or your wallet, a great alternative is the affordable and tasty Pizza Dal Mare. Offering scrumptious deluxe pizzas, delicious burgers and savory appetizers, this small restaurant provides something for everyone and even has a full bar with pool tables connected to the back of the store.

If visitors care to stay for a longer duration, there’s plenty of activities on the island to keep one busy, including mini golfing, shopping at the Tanger Outlets, or reclining in a lazy-boy while watching a movie at Northridge Cinema 10. 

No matter if someone is there for the sand and sunshine or just a good time, Hilton Head offers visitors a perfect getaway from busy life and a chance to simply slow down and relax.