Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page > Hilton Head or Amelia Island for a week in July (with 2, 18 year olds)

Hilton Head or Amelia Island for a week in July (with 2, 18 year olds)

Reply

Jun 2nd, 2013, 09:31 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 77
Hilton Head or Amelia Island for a week in July (with 2, 18 year olds)

I've finally lost my battle of vacations... instead of a nice, "national park" vacation with TONS of hiking, we are going on a "relaxing" beach vacation.

I am going with my wife and two 18 year olds. We are driving from southern Indiana through Savannah to.... well, that's the point of my post - I'm not sure where we should go from there. As a nod to me, we'll be spending the first two days in Savannah. It sounds interesting and will give me a chance to get my history fix. We'll then go and spend the next five days in a rented condo on the beach for the rest of the family.

A friend of mine went to Amelia Island and thought it was a nice place. However, in reading these boards, it sounds like Hilton Head is a nice stop as well (and an hour closer). Ideally, I'd be looking for somewhere with some nice beaches (the hard-pack "dirt" beaches on Hilton Head sound a little discouraging) as well as plenty of other little things to do (for me). I'd like bike riding, tennis, hiking, kayak rentals, and historical stuff. Also, we would be interested in small shops, etc. with some local character and charm as opposed to strip malls with ABC stores....

Do you have any opinions about these islands (or some other option)? I'd love to hear any opinions.

Thanks!
moezbud is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:16 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802
I think Amelia Island would be better than Hilton Head for you, less planned and manicured (outside of the Ritz compound, that is).
NewbE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:40 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 89
We were disappointed in Ameila Island. Few restaurants, little shopping, not much to do. It gave us the impression of being a retirement community more than anything else.
Greenway is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 3rd, 2013, 02:00 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 30,749
First of all, just how far ARE you wiling to drive (given your comment about some place being "an hour closer")?

Those "hard-packed" beaches...would you prefer4 something on the Gulf Coast (powdery white sand)?

Look, there isn't much of ANYTHING of historical interest on either one of those islands you've mentioned; perhaps a few rusty golf clubs in the rough at Hilton Head. But I suspect there may be more "organized" rentals there than on Amelia island, also.

You might be interested in an excursion into nearby Beaufort; not exactly Savannah but a charming town with some historical buildings/churches.
Dukey1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 3rd, 2013, 03:17 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,584
North of Hilton Head--Litchfield, Pawley's, even Garden City. Great food, shopping, Huntington beach state Park, Brookgreen Gardens, and the best food on the coast.
Gretchen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 3rd, 2013, 06:22 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,353
Tybee Island is right there when you're in Savannah. You can have the best of both worlds. Nice beach vacation and a short drive into Savannah to enjoy all the history and restaurants there.
schmerl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 3rd, 2013, 01:48 PM
  #7
nlg
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 870
We love Hilton Head. The hard packed beaches are great for walking and bike riding. There are also miles of bike paths.
There are many restaurants in Hilton Head-we like Sea Shack, Old Oyster Factory, Frankie Bones, Black Marlin and Skull Creek Boat House. There are lots of little shops and also large outlet malls(on the way in).

We usually rent condos in the Shipyard Plantation or Sea Pines.
Hope you have a good trip.
nlg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 6th, 2013, 03:31 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,659
Just FYI, you may have to pay for a full week for a condo, as that's how they are rented in summer. And you may want to book soon.

Tha "hard pack" is up to the tide line. It's harder because it's wet.
suewoo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 6th, 2013, 10:36 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1
If you are looking for a really perfect beach (5 miles of perfect sand) it is at Hunting Island State Park. Just North of Hilton Head near Beaufort, SC. I have been to beaches all along the Eastern Seaboard, as well as the Carribean, Hawaii, the Red Sea, the Greek Isles and the Great Barrier Reef and have been to some really great beaches but none better than at Hunting Island State Park.

I would stay just down the road on Fripp Island (also has a great beach). I would definitely chose either Fripp or Hilton Head over Amelia (I have stayed at all of them plus Kiawah Island nearer Charleston). There are a variety of different rentals at the Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort.
Fripp Island is 1 1/2 hour trip from Savannah.

If you can’t get a 5 day only rental on Fripp – try one of the Bed and Breakfast Inns in Beaufort (an hour from Savannah). On Fripp you can play tennis. You can rent bikes and kayaks both on Fripp and in Beaufort. The marshes are the perfect place to kayak. Hunting Island State Park has hiking and biking trails and you can climb the lighthouse. Beaufort is a lovely little town (and the home to Paris Island).

Buy a sweet grass basket to take home as your souvenir of your visit to the Lowcountry. Bring lots of very good suntan lotion.
jkstewart is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 7th, 2013, 02:59 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,659
And bug stuff!

Huntting Island is a great suggestion. It's my favorite place on earth.

Anoher option is to do a 7 day rental at the beach of your choice and do day trips to Savannah or Charleston for the history fix.
suewoo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 7th, 2013, 08:25 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
Greenway - Are you sure you went to Amelia Island ? They have a ton of great restaurants & a variety of options. You have several areas from which to choose - the 'resort end' - Ritz, Plantation, etc. which we tend to avoid. The Old Town end, but places to stay are scarce & the primary places to stay are at B & B's & the beach side, which is what I would suggest. You also have The Fort there as well as evening cruise/sail options (take your own food & drinks) as well as easy access to JAX (if you would prefer to fly). I have many old posts on here or if you seek specifics I'll be happy to respond. I'm not keen on HH myself.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 7th, 2013, 11:04 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 89
Oh yes, it was definitely Amelia Island. We did avoid the "resort end", as you put it -- really not our thing. But we also found very very few restaurants, and were quite surprised.

Very nice beeach, though.
Greenway is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2016, 03:52 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1
Hey! I haven't been to Amelia island before but have been to Hilton Head at least 3 times in the past 10 years. The island feels like home. We usually stay at Palmetto Dunes resort and rent a house or condo. The beach is not as hard as dirt although there is several areas where sharp shells and sea grass cover the beautiful sand. Is you venture to Harbor Cover, across the road, you can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, boating, biking, jet skiing, paddle boarding and much more. Hilton Head has satisfied me and my family for at least 15 years. If you don't mind traveling a little away, you can visit paradise. Clear water Beach Florida is the best place on Earth. There is blue water, white beaches, something for your whole family to enjoy. Although it is about 5 and a half hours away, nothing can beat it. (and the ride seems really short) Hope you have fun on your family vacation.
jerseygirlsrcrazy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2016, 08:03 AM
  #14
DRJ
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,004
Beaufort is an hour from HHI. Do not miss Griffin Market for the best Italian food south of NYCity. Downtown and a million dollar wine collection!
DRJ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2016, 08:57 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,584
OLD THREAD
Gretchen is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:25 AM.