Let’s take a leisurely stroll down the memory lane of one of South Carolina’s gems: Hilton Head Island. This beautiful barrier island is known for its pristine beaches, luxurious resorts, and world-class golf courses. Beyond the modern amenities, however, Hilton Head’s history dates back thousands of years.

This unique blend of cultural and historical influences, including Native American heritage, European exploration, plantation economy, Civil War battles, and modern https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegelopment, has shaped Hilton Head into the vibrant community it is today. So, let’s embark on a journey through time and discover the fascinating history of Hilton Head Island.

Early Inhabitants: The Native Americans

Our story begins long before the first European settlers set foot on Hilton Head’s shores. For thousands of years, this island was home to various Native American peoples, including the Yemassee tribe and Escamacus Indians. These indigenous peoples lived in harmony with the land, fishing its bountiful waters and hunting in its dense forests.

Archaeological evidence suggests that from 8000 B.C. until 1000 B.C., during the Archaic Period, Native Americans journeyed the territory seasonally. By 1335 A.D., they had built significant structures such as Green’s Shell Enclosure. This four-foot-tall shell ridge enclosed two acres along Skull Creek.

European Exploration and Settlement

European explorers arrived at Hilton Head in the 16th century. The first recorded European contact with the island occurred in 1521 when Spanish explorer Francisco Cordillo led an expedition to the area. The Spaniards continued to explore the region. In 1526, they bestowed the name “La Florida” on the coast from Key West to St. Lawrence.

In 1562, a French Huguenot explorer named Jean Ribaut led an expedition to explore the region. The captain built a fort called “Port Royal,” now known as the town of Port Royal in Beaufort County. The French attempted to establish a settlement on the island, but it was short-lived.

In 1566, the Spanish prevailed over the French and built the Santa Elena Fort on Parris Island — now within Beaufort County — until they sailed westward to explore the new world. England’s Queen Elizabeth I dispatched Sir Francis Drake to force the Spanish out of La Florida in 1586.

In 1663, King Charles II granted the land of Carolina to eight Lords Proprietors for their loyal support. The same year, Captain William Hilton ventured from Barbados to explore the Carolina coast. He discovered a headland close to the entrance to Port Royal Sound, which he baptized as “Hilton’s Head” after himself.

In 1698, the Lords Proprietors granted John Bayley of Ireland most of Hilton Head Island as a barony, naming it Bayley’s Barony. After 24 years, his son inherited the land and appointed Alexander Trench as his agent to sell the island. For a time, Hilton Head Island was known as “Trench’s Island.”

The Plantation Era: Indigo and Rice Living

The 18th century marked the beginning of the plantation era on Hilton Head. The first English settler on the island was John Barnwell, who arrived in 1717 after receiving 1,000 acres from the Proprietors, now the Hilton Head Plantation.

By the 1760s, Beaufort County had become one of the largest shipbuilding hubs in the thirteen colonies, thanks in part to the deep-water creeks and abundant hardwoods on Hilton Head. The island’s live oaks were even used in the 1997 reconstruction of the USS Constitution, famously known as “Old Ironsides.”

The island saw conflict during the American Revolution when British privateers burned homes along Skull Creek and other areas in 1779. Despite these setbacks, plantation agriculture flourished. Indigo and rice, cultivated with the labor of enslaved Africans, became the island’s primary crops.

In 1790, William Elliott II, with his neighbor Will Seabrook’s assistance, successfully grew the first crop of long-staple Sea Island cotton, which became a lucrative cash crop for the region. By 1860, over 20 plantations flourished on Hilton Head. However, most plantation owners did not reside on the island, leaving their estates in the care of overseers and enslaved laborers.

Civil War and Reconstruction: A Time of Turmoil

The Civil War brought upheaval to Hilton Head. In 1861, Fort Walker was constructed to defend Port Royal Sound. On November 7th of the same year, Union forces attacked and captured Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard in the Battle of Port Royal. This victory allowed nearly 13,000 Union troops to occupy the island, transforming it into a major military base.

During the war, Hilton Head’s population increased to over 40,000, including Union troops, civilian storekeepers, missionaries, prisoners of war, and enslaved people seeking refuge. The establishment of Mitchelville in 1862 marked the creation of the island’s first freedman’s village, where residents elected their own officials and established the first compulsory education law in South Carolina.

After the Civil War, the large-scale military occupation ended in 1868, and the island’s population dwindled to a few thousand. In the 1870s, some former owners reclaimed their plantations, while others sold their land to freedmen or speculators.

In the 1920s, the Gullah people, descendants of enslaved Africans, began to settle permanently in Hilton Head. They shaped the island’s culture through their cuisine, music, crafts, and traditions, which still endure to this day.

Modern Era: From Sea Island to Resort Destination

The mid-20th century welcomed astounding https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegelopment to Hilton Head. In 1949, a group of lumber associates purchased a large portion of the island for timber operations. By 1950, logging was in full swing, and the island’s population had dropped to just 300 residents. However, infrastructure improvements, such as the introduction of electricity in 1950 and the construction of a state-operated car ferry in 1953, set the stage for future growth.

In 1956, the construction of the James F. Byrnes Bridge connected Hilton Head to the mainland, revolutionizing access to the island. This connection led to a surge in https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegelopment, including the establishment of the Sea Pines Plantation by Charles E. Fraser, who began transforming the island into a premier resort destination.

Throughout this era, Hilton Head saw rapid growth with the https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegelopment of residential communities. It welcomed its first supermarket, telephone service, golf course, rural mail route, medical and children’s center, airport, newspaper, hospital, and more. The island’s population grew, and more visitors arrived, drawn by its natural beauty and evolving amenities.

In 1983, the Town of Hilton Head Island was officially incorporated as a municipality. Significant https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegelopment continued, embracing the establishment of the town hall, beach parks, the municipal court, traffic lights, an arts center, and more milestones. Since then, it has continued to thrive as a vibrant community and popular vacation destination.

Today and Beyond: Preserving the Past and Embracing the Future

Today, Hilton Head Island continues to prosper while preserving its rich history and natural beauty. The local population and tourism continue to grow, with over 40,000 residents year-round and millions of visitors annually.

Its pristine beaches, championship golf courses, and nature preserves attract visitors from around the globe. Yet, amidst the luxury resorts and upscale boutiques, the island’s rich history remains evident, waiting to be discovered by those who take the time to explore beyond the surface.

Beachside Hilton Head: Your Home Away From Home

Whether you want to learn about the island’s past or enjoy its natural wonders, Hilton Head offers an unforgettable experience for all. So, come and stay a while at Beachside Hilton Head and immerse yourself in everything this beautiful island has to offer.

At Beachside Hilton Head, we offer luxury vacation rental homes all across the island, providing easy access to all its amenities and attractions. From beachfront villas to cozy cottages, our properties provide the perfect home away from home for your Hilton Head getaway.

Final Thoughts

As we conclude our journey through Hilton Head’s history, one thing is clear: the island is more than just a beautiful beach destination — it’s a place where the echoes of the past mingle with the sounds of the present, creating a tapestry of time that is as vibrant and diverse as the people who call it home.

The next time you find yourself lounging on Hilton Head’s sandy shores, take a moment to reflect on the centuries of stories that have shaped the island paradise. Who knows what tales lie waiting to be uncovered beneath the sun and the surf?

Come and discover the magic of Hilton Head Island for yourself. We promise you won’t be disappointed. Book your stay at Beachside Hilton Head today and get ready to create some unforgettable memories. See you soon!

Hilton Head Island — surrounded by the gentle waves of the Atlantic Ocean — is a sanctuary for adventure seekers and busy individuals craving a peaceful retreat from the daily bustle. Among the island’s treasures lies Sea Pines, a pioneering planned community that has seamlessly blended luxury living with the conservation of its natural surroundings. Let’s uncover the history of Sea Pines that has shaped it into today’s paradise!

The Frasers

In the early 1950s, Gen. Joseph B. Fraser bought a slice of land on Hilton Head Island for timber harvesting. However, Charles Fraser, his son from Yale Law School, saw far beyond timber. The Frasers and the Hack family had a timber mogul status, so convincing Gen. Fraser needed a little effort.

When Charles got the green light, he embarked on an extraordinary adventure fueled by imagination and a commitment to harmony with nature. With curiosity and a vision, Charles set off on a road trip along the East Coast. His mission was to discover the secret recipe for creating the perfect community that would live in symbiosis with its natural surroundings.

During his travels, Charles absorbed insights from every town he visited, engaging with locals in lively discussions about their dreams for an ideal living space. He inquired what they would reimagine about their towns if given a blank canvas and the freedom to redesign everything from scratch.

While Charles danced with grand visions of transforming landscapes, his brother, Joe Fraser, rolled up his sleeves, turning visionary ideas into concrete realities, ensuring that Charles’s imagination didn’t just remain castles in the air.

The Sea Pines Master Plan

Charles founded the Sea Pines Company in 1956. He firmly believed that his vision required absolute control over the planning process, so he enlisted the expertise of Sasaki, Dawson and DeMay, alongside landscape architect William “Bill” Johnson.

The strategy emphasized rigorous land-use conditions and the conservation of natural spaces, leading to the creation of the 605-acre Sea Pines Forest Preserve. Ed Pinckney and Hideo Sasaki were among the pioneering architects who contributed to the design of Sea Pines residences.

To build a home in Sea Pines, you’d need to follow strict guidelines from the Architectural Review Board. These rules kept the environment front and center. Generally, homes within the natural landscape had to harmonize — not overshadow — their surroundings. As such, the color scheme used a natural palette.

Sea Pines Company was on a roll. It debuted as the Fraser Land Holding Company and became the Sea Pines Plantation Company in 1957. Today, the three major arms are the Sea Pines Resort and Real Estate, and the Community Services Associates.

The Harbour Town Lighthouse

The Fraser’s Folly — now known as the Harbour Town Lighthouse — came from a dream of having a sparkling landmark not just for Sea Pines but for the entire island. Charles wanted it to be a beacon that intertwined the island’s history, vibrant present, and shimmering future.

In a whimsical twist that would forever define the Harbour Town Lighthouse’s iconic look, Charles opted for a candy stripe design that screamed “fun and unforgettable!” The decision came on a nostalgia-filled whim when Joe caught a glimpse of the red interior steel girders during construction and thought, “Why not make the stripes that color?”

Just like that, the lighthouse was dressed in its now signature red and white stripes, towering at 90 feet with 114 steps to the top. Charles aimed for the lighthouse to embody a museum that narrates the captivating stories of the area — and indeed, it continues to do just that.

Bumps in the Road

During the 70s and 80s, the national economy took a nosedive, and interest rates decided they wanted to touch the sky, leaving the resort’s dream of a bustling second home market in a bit of a pickle. In 1986, Sea Pines had to declare involuntary bankruptcy. Like any good comeback story, it didn’t stay down for long. A year later, it bounced back stronger and steadier in most ways.

Sea Pines residents collaborated to form Sea Pines Associates, taking the stage to own what was left of the resort properties. Meanwhile, Community Services Associates took charge of all the common spaces.

Sea Pines Then and Now

Somewhere between the birth of Sea Pines and its transition to paradise, Charles and the many other people behind the scenes brought educational hotspots into the community. Because life isn’t all about hitting the books, they packed the areas with every kind of fun under the sun — from strolls and bike rides to tennis courts, golf greens, and playgrounds that make you wish you were a kid again.

Now, Sea Pines isn’t just a slice of Hilton Head Island; it’s an epic 5,000-acre playground and a real-life Animal Planet! The waters around Sea Pines are a living, breathing part of the community. Here, the calm and inviting waters of the Calibogue Sound blend with the intricate network of lagoons and marshes. The area is also home to various avian species, and the dense forests and waterways provide perfect habitats for fascinating creatures.

Lastly, Harbour Town at the heart of Sea Pines seamlessly blends luxury and leisure into an experience that captivates every visitor. Anchored by its iconic lighthouse and pier, this bustling hub is a marina and a vibrant community space where the spirit of Hilton Head Island truly comes to life.

Explore Sea Pines With Beachside Hilton Head

Sea Pines has a long history; more stories are beyond these pages. When you set foot in Sea Pines, you’ll think it’s impossible that it was once only marsh and trees! The community is now a place you’ll never want to leave — and you don’t have to, at least for a little while.

With Beachside Hilton Head, you can fully immerse yourself in the Sea Pines experience. When you’re out and about the whole day, you’ll be glad to come back to your home away from home. Our rentals offer unmatched comfort and amenities.

Warning —you might not want to leave the cozy confines of your vacation home, too. Book your stay now!

Nestled on the northern side of Hilton Head Island, Shelter Cove is a testament to the stunning natural beauty of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. This picturesque area is renowned for its captivating views, charming destinations, delectable dining options, and a plethora of attractions that beckon tourists from far and wide.

Let’s dive deeper into the wonders of Shelter Cove. We’ll unravel a tapestry of history, attractions, and activities that make it a must-visit destination for any traveler! 

History of Shelter Cove

To truly appreciate the essence of Shelter Cove, we must delve into its rich history intertwined with the broader narrative of Hilton Head Island. Originally inhabited by Native American tribes who recognized its strategic location and abundant resources, Hilton Head Island has a history that predates recorded time. With the arrival of European settlers, the island’s significance grew, evolving into a hub for trade and maritime activities.

Shelter Cove, nestled on the island’s northern side, played a pivotal role in this history. Initially utilized by indigenous peoples and later by European colonists, the cove provided shelter and sustenance for generations of inhabitants. Over time, it became a focal point for trade and commerce, serving as a gateway to the island’s bounty.

As Hilton Head Island evolved, so did Shelter Cove. Its natural beauty and strategic location made it a coveted destination for travelers and settlers alike. The first investors formed the Palmetto Dunes Development Corp. This company eventually turned the area into the grand yet laid-back community that it is today. 

Attractions in Shelter Cove

Travelers will enjoy two major attractions while staying next to Shelter Cove.

Shelter Cove Marina

At the heart of Shelter Cove lies its bustling marina, a vibrant hub of activity and excitement. Boasting shops, restaurants, and recreational opportunities, the marina serves as a gateway to the myriad wonders of the surrounding waters. Shelter Cove Marina is also the location for various community events, which are typically open to the public.

The marina is also home to the Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina shopping mall. You’ll find plenty of restaurants, stores, and other stalls offering everything you need for an unforgettable island adventure.

Broad Creek

Meandering through the landscape, Broad Creek is a scenic waterway that adds to Shelter Cove’s charm. Visitors can embark on leisurely boat tours or simply soak in the tranquil ambiance while savoring a waterfront meal. For nature enthusiasts, the creek teems with fascinating wildlife, offering glimpses of dolphins, birds, and other indigenous species in their natural habitat.

Adventures for Nature Lovers

Shelter Cove offers plenty of activities for travelers who want thrilling adventures or laid-back trips.

Kayaking and Paddleboarding

There’s no better way to immerse in Shelter Cove’s natural splendor than by gliding across its shimmering waters on a kayak or paddleboard. With rentals readily available, adventurers of all skill levels can navigate the labyrinth of creeks and marshes, discovering hidden gems and secluded beaches along the way.

Dolphin Tours

Embark on a thrilling dolphin tour and witness these majestic creatures frolicking in their native environment. Led by knowledgeable guides, these excursions offer unparalleled opportunities to observe dolphins up close while learning about their behavior and habitat.

Wildlife Photography

With its diverse ecosystem and breathtaking scenery, the are provides a paradise for wildlife photographers. Capture stunning images of egrets wading through marshes, ospreys soaring overhead, or the golden hues of a Lowcountry sunset painting the sky.


For avid anglers, the area offers prime fishing grounds teeming with a variety of species. Visitors can simply cast a line from the shore or charter a boat for an offshore expedition. The waters here promise an abundance of excitement and adventure — and fish!

Local Events

In addition to their natural beauty and historical significance, Shelter Cove and Hilton Head Island boast a vibrant calendar of local events that celebrate the island’s culture, heritage, and community spirit. Throughout the year, residents and visitors alike can partake in an array of festivities that showcase the best of what the island has to offer. 


One of the most anticipated events is HarbourFest, a summer-long celebration that takes place from June to August. Featuring live music, arts and crafts vendors, delicious food, and family-friendly activities, HarbourFest transforms the marina into a lively hub of entertainment and excitement. 

Holiday Celebrations

As the holiday season approaches, Shelter Cove comes alive with festive cheer and merriment. From the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony to holiday parades and festive markets, the island offers plenty of opportunities to get into the holiday spirit and create lasting memories with loved ones.

Where To Eat

Shelter Cove restaurants primarily offer seafood fare thanks to the area’s proximity to the ocean. However, there are plenty of other cuisines to try. 

Plan a Shelter Cove Adventure With Beachside Hilton Head

Ready to experience the enchantment of Shelter Cove firsthand? Travelers can make the most of their visit by booking a rental through Beachside Hilton Head Island. We have a wide selection of vacation homes and villas conveniently located near Shelter Cove. Whether it’s a cozy beachfront retreat or a spacious rental, Beachside Hilton Head Island has what visitors need. Contact us today or browse the available properties

If you’re searching for the perfect vacation spot, look no further than Hilton Head Island. Located in South Carolina, this beautiful island offers a variety of activities and attractions for all types of travelers. Renowned for its stunning landscapes, world-class golf courses, and exquisite dining options, Hilton Head is a destination that captivates the hearts of visitors from all around the globe.

Not forgetting its pristine beaches, there is something for everyone on Hilton Head Island. Let’s dive into some of the reasons why this island should be at the top of your travel bucket list.

Attractions You Can’t Miss

Hilton Head Island offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach, an adventurous bike ride through nature trails, or a day on the golf course, this island has it all. Here are some must-visit attractions during your stay.

Beautiful Beaches

Hilton Head boasts 12 miles of pristine, sandy beaches, each with its own unique charm.

Harbour Town Lighthouse and Marina

At the heart of Hilton Head Island, Harbour Town is a must-visit destination. The iconic red-and-white-striped Harbour Town Lighthouse stands tall, providing breathtaking views of Calibogue Sound. Visitors can climb the 114 steps to the top for a small fee and learn about the island’s history at the museum located inside.

After visiting the lighthouse, take a relaxing stroll through Harbour Town Marina, where you can find an array of shops, restaurants, and boat tours. The marina is also a great spot to catch a stunning sunset over the water. Whether you want to take a sunset cruise, rent a kayak, or walk along the docks and admire the magnificent yachts, Harbour Town Marina has something for everyone.

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. This 605-acre preserve is home to diverse wildlife, ancient trees, and serene walking trails. Take a guided tour to learn about the ecosystem and history of the area, or embark on a self-guided journey through the enchanting landscapes.

Don’t miss out on the peaceful fishing pond, where you can rent a pole and try your luck at catching some freshwater fish. The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and is the ideal family-friendly destination for a day full of outdoor adventures and learning.

World-Class Golf Courses

Hilton Head is a golfer’s paradise, boasting world-class golf courses designed by legendary architects.

Other notable courses include Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort and Sea Pines Plantation. Golfers of all levels will find their perfect match on Hilton Head Island’s golf courses.

Dining Experiences

No vacation is complete without indulging in some delicious food, and Hilton Head Island offers a diverse culinary scene that will satisfy even the most discerning taste buds. From fresh seafood to traditional Southern cuisine, here are some dining experiences you won’t want to miss.

Whatever you desire, Hilton Head Island has a wonderful dining experience for you. From casual beachside eateries to fine dining restaurants, the island offers something for every taste and occasion.

Must-See Events

If you’re lucky enough to visit Hilton Head Island during certain times of the year, you can experience some exciting events that showcase the island’s culture and traditions. Here are a few must-see events that should be on your itinerary:

With so many exciting events happening throughout the year, there’s no shortage of things to do on Hilton Head Island. Whether you’re a sports fan, foodie, or just looking for some family fun, the island has something special in store for you.

Relaxing Accommodations

After a day full of outdoor adventures and exploring, it’s essential to have a comfortable place to rest and recharge. Hilton Head Island offers various accommodations catering to every budget and preference.

Beachside Hilton Head

For a more private and intimate experience, consider staying at one of Beachside Hilton Head’s many vacation home rentals on Hilton Head Island. Beachside Hilton Head offers a wide selection of homes and villas, from cozy one-bedroom options to spacious multi-room rentals. Each property is fully furnished and equipped with all the necessary amenities, providing a comfortable and stress-free stay.

At Beachside Hilton Head, we have vacation home rentals located in different areas on the island. Each location offers its own unique charm and access to popular attractions such as golf courses, shopping centers, and the beach. Whether you prefer a peaceful retreat or a lively vacation, Beachside Hilton Head has the perfect rental for you.

Final Thoughts

Hilton Head Island is a destination that transcends the ordinary, captivating visitors with its natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and culinary delights. Whether you seek relaxation on the sandy beaches, excitement on the golf courses, or indulgence in exquisite dining, Hilton Head promises an unforgettable experience. As you explore the island’s attractions, savor its culinary treasures, and immerse yourself in its vibrant events, you’ll discover why Hilton Head is truly a paradise on the South Carolina coast.

For a memorable stay on Hilton Head Island, consider Beachside Hilton Head for your vacation rental needs. Our properties offer the perfect combination of comfort, convenience, and luxury to make your island experience truly exceptional.

Contact us today to start planning your dream getaway on Hilton Head Island!

Harbour Town in Hilton Head is a testament to the deep historical roots shaping this idyllic vacation destination. Its captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty has drawn travelers seeking relaxation and adventure for decades. As visitors find the perfect vacation rental with Beachside Hilton Head, they’re not only in for a luxurious stay but also the chance to immerse themselves in the fascinating history of Harbour Town.

Hilton Head Island’s Early Beginnings

We can trace Harbour Town’s origins to when the English explorer William Hilton set foot on the Lowcountry in 1663. He was welcomed by the Yemassee tribe and the indigenous Escamacus tribe, though information about them remains insufficient.

The year 1698 marked a significant event in the history of Hilton Head Island. During this time, the Lord Proprietors granted John Bayley ownership of several islands and parts of the Lowcountry mainland.

Fast forward to 1717, another Englishman, John Barnwell, became the first of his countrymen to settle on Hilton Head Island. A grant of 1,000 acres in what is now known as Hilton Head Plantation was bestowed upon him. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until 1790 that Hilton Head Island caught the world’s attention. William Elliott, a planter, successfully grew the first crop of the long-staple Sea Island cotton. Aided by his neighbor, Will Seabrook, they innovated a novel form of fertilizer for their cotton crops. It led to exceptionally high yields, and the Sea Island cotton received widespread recognition.

The Civil War

Just under a year following South Carolina’s secession from the Union, the echoes of the assault on Fort Sumter resonated across Hilton Head Island. On that fateful day of November 7, 1861, the island witnessed an unprecedented amphibious incursion of U.S. forces, unmatched until the D-Day landings.

Post-war, formerly enslaved people on the island took up the cultivation of Sea Island cotton. However, the boll weevil wreaked such havoc amongst the crops that it led to Hilton Head Island descending into relative anonymity, lasting over eight decades. During this period, the island was home to a small community, primarily composed of descendants of formerly enslaved people.

These individuals led simple lives as small-scale farmers, hunters, and fishermen. The late 1940s marked the beginning of a new era for Hilton Head Island as timbermen saw potential in the island’s tall, straight pines for their versatility in producing a range of lumber products.

Harbour Town Amid All the Change

Originally a tiny fishing village, Harbour Town grew in significance as its natural harbor became a hub for trade and shipping. During the antebellum period, the town also experienced a shift in focus as wealthy plantation owners recognized the potential of the island’s fertile soil. Cotton and indigo plantations flourished, contributing to the region’s economic prosperity.

In 1956, Charles Fraser, son of one of the predominant families owning most of the island, discerned that Hilton Head Island’s worth extended beyond its timber resources. Possessing foresight and vitality and supported by the advent of modern air conditioning and financial investments, Fraser https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegised a comprehensive blueprint for a resort community.

His endeavors were further facilitated by the simultaneous construction of a bridge linking the island to the mainland. Fraser’s creation, the Sea Pines Plantation, marked the birth of the first Hilton Head family resort and set the standard for contemporary resort communities globally, influencing designs worldwide.

The Lighthouse: A Guiding Beacon

Charles Fraser envisioned a unique, humble, and exceptional community that would coexist harmoniously with nature. He dreamed of a community that was more than just a seaside retreat.

Besides his visionary perspective, Fraser was also a scholar and a person full of joy, two qualities that laid the groundwork for the Lighthouse. He pondered how best to establish a hub incorporating boating and began researching marina villages worldwide. He wanted to create a lively, festive location.

When he initially placed rocking chairs around Harbour Town, people chuckled and questioned his intentions. He simply responded, “It’s a place for people just to sit.” Now, you can still see people lounging in the rocking chairs, reading the newspaper, and relishing the environment.

Furthermore, Fraser imagined a landmark, a symbolic beacon beckoning people to Sea Pines and the island itself. It was to be something that brought together the island’s past, present, and future.

The Town Today

Harbour Town’s marina, shops, restaurants, and the iconic red-striped Harbour Town Lighthouse are now at the heart of Sea Pines Resort. The resort remains true to its roots today, committed to excellence in environmental protection and natural resource management. It has become a destination for people from around the world seeking both relaxation and adventure.

The Harbour Town Golf Links has also been a significant draw for decades. It has hosted multiple PGA tours and is home to the RBC Heritage, bringing together world-class golfers and thousands of spectators annually. The vibrant and bustling atmosphere of the town has become a staple on Hilton Head Island, an oasis for those seeking to escape the real world.

The marina is still actively used by boaters and charters, and there’s no shortage of activities. Harbour Town has come to embody the history, culture, and spirit of Hilton Head Island. Its unique appeal draws people in today, just as it did when Fraser first placed those rocking chairs decades ago.

Your Gateway to History With Beachside Hilton Head

Harbour Town is a living testament to the layers of history that have woven the fabric of Hilton Head Island. From its humble beginnings to its role as a thriving plantation hub, the history of Harbour Town is captivating.

For those seeking a vacation rental that offers modern comfort and a link to the past, Beachside Hilton Head is the perfect choice. Our luxurious rentals allow you to wake up to the sound of the waves and bask in the island’s beauty just steps away from Harbour Town’s historical sites.

As you plan your vacation and explore our accommodations, remember that you’re not just booking a rental but immersing yourself in a history spanning centuries. Experience the charm of Harbour Town, where the past and present blend seamlessly against the backdrop of the tranquil sea!

If you’re a golf enthusiast with a passion for history and picturesque destinations, then the Heritage Golf Tournament on Hilton Head Island is a must-experience event. This legendary tournament, known for its unique connection to the past and its stunning coastal backdrop, has been a highlight for both golf aficionados and vacation seekers alike. So, grab your favorite golf cap, and let’s take a leisurely stroll down the fairways of the Heritage Golf Tournament’s fascinating history.

Teeing Off: The Early Years

The Heritage Golf Tournament, officially named the RBC Heritage, has a history that dates back to 1969. It was initially conceived as a way to promote tourism in Hilton Head Island during the off-season, and it has since evolved into one of the most celebrated tournaments on the PGA Tour. The tournament’s inaugural year saw Arnold Palmer donning the coveted plaid winner’s jacket — a tradition that still continues today.

The Harbour Town Golf Links: A Work of Art

Picture this: lush greens surrounded by swaying palm trees, a gentle sea breeze carrying the scent of saltwater, and the rhythmic sound of waves crashing in the background. This is the scene that greets players and spectators at the Heritage Golf Tournament, and it’s all thanks to the iconic Harbour Town Golf Links.

This course, designed by Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus, challenges players with its narrow fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and stunning ocean views. Each hole presents a new adventure, and players must use strategy and skill to conquer their challenges.

Plaid and Glory: The Heritage Trophy

Every golf tournament has its coveted prize, but the Heritage Golf Tournament’s trophy stands out from the rest. The iconic tartan jacket is the ultimate symbol of victory, a tradition that harks back to the tournament’s Scottish roots.

The winner of the Heritage doesn’t just take home a trophy. They also don the prestigious plaid blazer, joining the ranks of golfing legends who have etched their names in history.

The Genteel Experience: Southern Hospitality Meets Golf

The Heritage Golf Tournament isn’t just about the game. It’s about an experience that’s uniquely Hilton Head. Imagine savoring Lowcountry cuisine, indulging in sweet tea, and engaging in heartfelt conversations with fellow golf enthusiasts.

This event seamlessly blends world-class golf with the warm hospitality the South is known for. As you take in the sights and sounds of the tournament, you’ll find yourself not just watching a sport but immersing yourself in a tapestry of camaraderie and tradition.

Swinging With the Stars: The Unique Pro-Am Experience

As much as the Heritage Golf Tournament is a nod to culture and tradition, it’s also a platform for innovation. One prime example is the Pro-Am format, where professional golfers team up with amateur players, often celebrities from various walks of life.

This unique blend of skill and camaraderie adds a dash of star-studded charm to the tournament, making it a must-attend event not just for golf aficionados, but for anyone looking to rub shoulders with the who’s who of the sporting and entertainment worlds.

Timeless Victors: Golfing Legends Who Left Their Mark

No story about the Heritage Golf Tournament is complete without a mention of its champions. Over the years, golfing greats like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Davis Love III have graced the fairways of Harbour Town with their awe-inspiring play. These names aren’t just etched in the annals of golfing history — they’re an integral part of Hilton Head’s rich tapestry.

Weathering the Storms: Ups and Downs

Life, much like a round of golf, is never without its obstacles. The Heritage Golf Tournament’s journey has been no exception. Think of it as the back nine of a match — full of twists, turns, and challenges that test one’s mettle.

For instance, in the late 1970s, the tournament faced a financial hurdle that could have threatened its existence. The tournament’s sponsor at the time, Sea Pines Company, experienced financial difficulties, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the Heritage’s future. However, the tournament’s organizers refused to let this setback define its fate. They diligently sought out a new sponsor and managed to secure one just in time for the 1980 event.

Furthermore, inclement weather, including rain and wind, continues to test the resolve of players and organizers alike. One notable example is the 1993 tournament, which was marred by heavy rain that resulted in the cancellation of the final round. Despite the challenges posed by the weather, the Heritage demonstrated its adaptability by adjusting the schedule and ensuring that the tournament continued to deliver on its promise of excitement and competition.

Thus, the Heritage Golf Tournament isn’t just a showcase of golfing skill. It’s a celebration of human tenacity, of overcoming obstacles, and of emerging stronger on the other side.

Tradition and Beyond: Looking to the Future

As time marches on, the Heritage Golf Tournament continues to evolve while staying rooted in its heritage. Emerging talents take center stage, carrying the torch for the tournament’s legacy. To keep things exciting, organizers have introduced innovative technologies, fan-friendly activities, and interactive experiences that engage both players and spectators.

This dedication to progress while honoring tradition ensures that the Heritage remains a must-attend event for golf aficionados.

Experience the Heritage: Hilton Head Island and Vacation Rentals

If you’re planning to attend the Heritage Golf Tournament and want to immerse yourself in the rich history of Hilton Head Island, check out Beachside Hilton Head. From cozy beachfront condos to luxurious villas, we offer a wide range of vacation rentals that put you right at the heart of the island’s charm.

Moreover, staying at Beach Hilton Head not only gives you easy access to the tournament but also allows you to explore the island’s pristine beaches, scenic bike trails, and delectable dining options. It’s the perfect blend of relaxation and excitement — a true embodiment of the Hilton Head spirit.

Final Thoughts

As you soak in the captivating sights and sounds of the Heritage Golf Tournament, remember that you’re part of something much larger. From its inception in 1969 to the present day, the tournament has woven an intricate tapestry of golfing excellence, Southern hospitality, and shared moments of joy. Whether you’re an ardent golf fan or a curious newcomer, the Heritage has a way of leaving an indelible mark.

So, pack your golf clubs, book your vacation rental through Beachside Hilton Head, and get ready to experience the Heritage Golf Tournament in all its plaid-jacketed glory.

Located along the sun-kissed shores of Hilton Head Island lies a beloved gem known as Sea Pines. This island is an enchanting coastal haven that boasts a rich history and irresistible allure. As one of the most sought-after vacation spots in South Carolina, it exudes a unique charm that continues to captivate visitors from all over the world.

Sea Pines weaves together the past and present to create an unforgettable experience for all who venture its way.

The Journey Back in Time

Sea Pines has a layered history that traces back to the 1900. However, the origins of Hilton Head as it’s known today as a travel destination didn’t start until the early 1950s. This is when Charles Fraser, a visionary https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegeloper, set his sights on transforming the island into a premier resort community.

Armed with a dream to create a harmonious blend of luxury living and untouched natural beauty, Fraser embarked on an ambitious journey that would shape the course of Hilton Head’s history forever.

Fraser graduated from Yale Law School in 1953 and founded the Sea Pines Plantation four years later. He slowly began to shape the landscape of Hilton Head into a luxurious resort and residential https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegelopment.

Before construction began, Fraser had the vision of transforming the island into a golf center and a top tourist destination. He made sure to incorporate gated subdivisions, world-class golf courses, multi-million dollar beach homes, upscale restaurants, and chic boutiques. It went from a home for local farmers and fishermen to an attraction that garnered millions of travelers every year.

A Glimpse Into Sea Pines’ Iconic Attractions

Sea Pines evolved into a tapestry of leisure and adventure appealing to visitors of all ages. One of the most beloved landmarks is the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse.

Standing tall at 90 feet, this visually arresting structure has become an enduring symbol of Hilton Head Island. Visitors can climb to the top, where breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes await, making it a must-visit spot for all travelers.

For nature enthusiasts, the Sea Pines Forest Preserve offers a serene sanctuary where they can explore vast wetlands, marshes, and lakes teeming with indigenous wildlife along its 605 acres of land. For deeper immersion, guided tours provide insight into the island’s flora and fauna. They allow visitors to connect with the natural wonders that drew Charles Fraser to this very spot decades ago.

The Sea Pines Beach Club is another popular draw, offering pristine beaches that stretch for miles along the Atlantic Ocean. Whether it’s lounging under the sun, building sandcastles with the family, or catching the rolling waves on a surfboard, the beaches offer endless opportunities for relaxation and recreation.

Throughout the years, Sea Pines has continually embraced its heritage while evolving to meet the needs of modern travelers. Today, Sea Pines Resort stands as a testament to Fraser’s vision, providing world-class amenities such as championship golf courses, tennis facilities, and a variety of dining options. The combination of luxury and unspoiled nature has cemented Sea Pines as one of the top places to visit in Hilton Head.

The Magic of Sea Pines Today

As the years have passed, Sea Pines has managed to retain its timeless charm while embracing modern-day conveniences. The resort community now boasts a vibrant cultural scene with art galleries, live performances, and events that showcase the region’s heritage and contemporary talent.

Likewise, visitors can immerse themselves in the island’s history by visiting the Coastal Discovery Museum. It educates guests about the rich cultural heritage of the Island and its connection to the surrounding Lowcountry region.

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, it offers thrilling activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, and zip-lining. It ensures that adventure-seekers have their fill of excitement amidst the tranquility of the island. Plus, the nearby Lawton Stables offer a unique horseback riding experience, allowing visitors to explore Sea Pines’ scenic beauty from a different perspective.

The Love Affair With Sea Pines: Why Visit?

The allure of Sea Pines lies in its ability to cater to a diverse range of interests and tastes. For history buffs, the journey through the island’s evolution is a fascinating glimpse into the past, where vision and preservation came together to create a truly remarkable destination. Tourists can also explore the Baynard Plantation Ruins. They are the remnants of a pre-Civil War era mansion. They provide a tangible connection to the island’s historical roots.

Nature enthusiasts, on the other hand, find solace in the untouched beauty that surrounds them, leaving them with an indelible connection to the island’s ecological wonders. Moreover, the vibrant cultural scene and activities ensure that there is never a dull moment in Sea Pines. This makes it an ideal vacation spot for families, couples, and solo travelers alike.

Finding the Ideal Accommodation

With the enchanting tale of Sea Pines beckoning travelers from near and far, an unforgettable vacation experience is guaranteed. To ensure every moment on Hilton Head Island is filled with comfort and luxury, Beachside Hilton Head provides an idyllic accommodation option. Beachside Hilton Head offers a serene retreat to unwind after a day of exploration.

With its luxurious amenities, personalized service, and proximity to the captivating charms of Sea Pines, Beachside Hilton Head is the perfect complement to an unforgettable vacation experience. Guests can relax in spacious and elegantly appointed rooms, enjoy oceanfront views, and indulge in top-notch dining options.

With its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and a myriad of activities to enjoy, it promises a vacation like no other with memories that can be cherished for a lifetime.

Whether vacationers seek adventure or relaxation, Sea Pines has it all, ensuring that every traveler finds their own slice of paradise in this coastal gem. With Beachside Hilton Head offering an ideal sanctuary to call home during their stay, their journey to Hilton Head Island is bound to be an experience they’ll treasure forever.

Hilton Head Island is known to many for its beautiful beaches and pristine golf courses, but did you know it has a history that stretches back centuries?

Hilton Head Island has always been ideal for those looking to relax and enjoy some of nature’s finest offerings. The island’s history is a unique blend of Native American and colonial influences. It was home to various tribes prior to its settlement by the English in 1663. As it https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegeloped over the years, Hilton Head Island became known for its natural beauty. Filled with beautiful plantation-style homes and stunning landscape a testament to its rich cultural past.

The First Inhabitants of Hilton Head Island

The history of Hilton Head Island dates way back to when the island was first inhabited by Native American tribes. Some of the first inhabitants of the island were the Yemassee tribe. They used the island as a hunting ground in the 16th century.

They were eventually driven out by the Creek tribe in the 17th century. The Creek lived on the island until the arrival of Europeans. The Europeans brought with them diseases and firearms that were https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegastating to the Creek population. The Spanish arrived first in the 16th century, followed by the French, who explored the island but did not establish permanent settlements.

The Colonial Era: Plantations, Slaves, and Revolutionary War

It was the English who established a permanent settlement on Hilton Head Island in the 17th century. The island was then named by British explorer William Hilton, who sailed to the area in 1663. The “head” referred to the headlands the English saw as they sailed through the seas.

It was also during this time that https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegelopment began on the island, with settlers establishing plantations and harvesting sea island cotton. They grew crops, which were worked on by indentured servants and later by paid laborers.

The island’s economy was based on agriculture, and the plantations relied heavily on slave labor. While the history of slavery on Hilton Head Island is a dark and painful one, it is important to acknowledge this aspect of the island’s past in order to fully understand its history.

Col. John Barnwell was one of the first to make his home on Hilton Head Island, settling here in 1717. By the end of the 18th century, Hilton Head had become an important port for trading and shipping goods between Charleston and Savannah.

Hilton Head Island played an important role in the Revolutionary War. The island was occupied by the British during the war, and its ports were used to launch attacks on other colonies. It was also a strategic location for the British to protect their naval vessels from attacks since it was surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Port Royal Sound.

The island was eventually liberated by the Continental Army in 1779, but it continued to be a strategic location for trade between the colonies and the Caribbean. Additionally, the Civil War brought an end to slavery on Hilton Head Island in 1862 when Union forces captured Fort Walker at Port Royal Sound.

The Modern Era of Hilton Head Island: Vacation Destination and Economic Importance

In the modern era, Hilton Head Island has become a popular vacation destination, attracting millions of visitors each year. The island’s natural beauty, stunning beaches, and luxurious resorts make it a desirable location for people from all over the world. The island’s economy has shifted from agriculture to tourism, and it has become an important part of the regional and national economy.

As such, it’s no wonder that about 2.5 million people visit Hilton Head Island each year. This has significantly increased the number of restaurants, resorts, and other businesses on the island.

One of the top attractions on the island is its world-class golf courses. Hilton Head Island has more than 20 championship golf courses, including Harbour Town Golf Links, Oyster Reef Golf Club, and Golden Bear Golf Club, among others. This makes it a sought-after destination for avid golfers.

The island also offers numerous outdoor activities such as biking, kayaking, fishing, and surfing. It’s home to one of South Carolina’s most important ecological reserves — the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge — which allows visitors to explore nature trails and admire the local wildlife.

You can also find a variety of shopping centers, art galleries, and cafes throughout the island. The island’s many cultural festivals, such as the popular Arts and Seafood Festival, also contribute to its popularity.

There’s fun for all ages on Hilton Head Island. With its stunning beaches and wide range of activities, this small barrier island has become an oasis of relaxation and adventure that draws people from around the world to experience its unique beauty.

The Natural Wonders of Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island has long been a destination for sightseers and vacationers alike. The alluring beaches, lush salt marshes, and stunning wildlife are just some of the natural wonders that have drawn people to its shores for centuries.

The 12-mile-long island is home to an array of unique ecosystems and beautiful landscapes. From maritime forests to sandy beaches, Hilton Head Island offers something for everyone who visits — whether it’s swimming, fishing, or simply enjoying the picturesque views.


Hilton Head Island is known for its pristine beaches, which are among the best in the world. The island’s public beach access points offer breathtaking views of white sand and clear blue waters. They are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply relaxing.

Singleton Beach, Burkes Beach, and Folly Field Beach are all popular spots for tourists and locals alike. These beaches offer plenty of amenities, including restrooms, showers, and picnic tables.

The town of Hilton Head also boasts a number of private beaches. These beaches only allow access to those staying in the area’s many resorts. These resorts include The Sea Pines Resort and The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa.


Hilton Head Island is also home to a number of different wooded areas. The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is an example that offers visitors over 605 acres of protected land.

The preserve is home to hundreds of species of wildlife and plants, including bald eagles and ospreys as well as a wide variety of trees — all of which can be explored via the park’s many trails and boardwalks. There’s also a number of other parks and forests, such as the Audubon Newhall Preserve and the Palmetto Dunes Nature Park.

Make sure to check them out if you’re looking for a unique outdoor experience in Hilton Head. The island’s forests are also popular spots for fishing and bird watching.


Hilton Head Island is a haven for wildlife. From dolphins and sea turtles to herons and egrets, the island boasts an impressive array of animals.

The Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is just one example of a place where visitors can observe these magnificent creatures. The refuge is home to over 250 species of birds, as well as alligators, bobcats, and even deer.

The island also has a number of boat tours. They offer visitors the chance to get close-up views of dolphins and other marine life. This can be a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

From Civil Rights to Economic Development: Hilton Head Island’s Modern History

Hilton Head Island has played an important role in the civil rights movement. In the 1950s and 1960s, the island was a destination for African Americans seeking respite from the Jim Crow South. The island’s African American community has a rich history of activism and leadership. Their contributions to the island’s history should not be overlooked.

This history of civil rights activism was followed by a period of economic https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegelopment that saw the island transformed from a small community to one of the premier resort destinations in the United States. In 1956, Charles Fraser bought 200 acres on the north end of Hilton Head Island and https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegeloped it as Sea Pines Plantation. His idea was to create an upscale destination for affluent travelers looking for an escape from their busy lives.

Fraser’s vision included preserving much of Hilton Head Island’s natural beauty. He committed to keeping the island’s coastline free from high-rise buildings. This commitment to conservation was a major factor in Hilton Head Island becoming a popular destination for eco-tourism.

The success of Sea Pines Plantation led to an influx of businesses looking to capitalize on the island’s growing popularity. By the 1980s, Hilton Head Island had become one of America’s top resort destinations. The island is now home to dozens of resorts, golf courses, restaurants, shopping centers, and other attractions.

In addition to its role in civil rights, Hilton Head Island has been an important site of economic https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegelopment in the modern era. The island has experienced significant growth and https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegelopment and has become a hub for businesses and industries such as finance, healthcare, and technology. Despite these changes, the island has maintained its natural beauty and unique charm.

It’s important to remember that Hilton Head Island is more than just a beach destination. It’s an important part of history with a fascinating story of civil rights activism, economic https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegelopment, and culture.

Hilton Head Island: A Historical Destination for All To Visit

Hilton Head Island is a destination that has a rich and complex history. While it is important to acknowledge the island’s painful history of slavery, it is equally important to recognize the contributions of its diverse communities to its https://www.beachsidehhi.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/AdobeStock_58746038-scaled-1-scaled-1.jpegelopment and growth.

Today, Hilton Head Island is a thriving vacation destination. Understanding its history can help us better appreciate the beauty and significance of this unique and special place.

The history of Hilton Head Island is one that should be celebrated. It offers a glimpse into the way people have interacted with their environment and worked together to build something special.

From its earliest days as a plantation to its modern-day status as a premier vacation destination, Hilton Head Island has been shaped by the hands and minds of many different generations. You can explore these stories for yourself and gain an appreciation for the beauty and history that Hilton Head Island has to offer.