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


Jun 2nd, 2013, 09:31 PM
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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.

moezbud is offline  
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:16 PM
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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  
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:40 PM
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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.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 02:00 AM
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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.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 03:17 AM
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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.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 06:22 AM
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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.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 01:48 PM
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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.
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Jun 6th, 2013, 03:31 AM
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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.
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Jun 6th, 2013, 10:36 PM
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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.
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Jun 7th, 2013, 02:59 AM
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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.
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Jun 7th, 2013, 08:25 AM
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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.
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Jun 7th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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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.
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 03:52 PM
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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.
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Jan 4th, 2016, 08:03 AM
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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!
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Jan 4th, 2016, 08:57 AM
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