11 November 2013

East Coast's Best

When we talk about Walt Disney World, with the friends or family that don’t necessarily understand why we visit so often, we talk about how the parks, resorts, and recreational facilities offer more to do than we could ever cover in a single trip, and that there are always new things to experience. The same case could be made for other world-class destinations such as Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, or Disney Cruise Line, but does that argument hold up when talking about a specific resort with no ties to a park, such as Vero Beach or Hilton Head Island? It’s high time, and tide, that we examine this issue for Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort!

For those that don’t know a ton about Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, here’s what you need to know. It is comprised of two different compounds, one that houses the resort and its one-hundred and nineteen rooms in the intercostal area and a second facility across the island directly on the Atlantic Ocean. It is on Hilton Head Island, in South Carolina around three-hundred and thirty miles north of Walt Disney World on Interstate 95. That means the resort is roughly five hours away from the nearest attraction that has been imagineered by Disney.

You’re not going to get on a runaway Himalayan train here, you’re not flying over Never Never Land, and you’re not catching up with the latest festival to make its mark on Epcot. What you are getting, however, is a small resort that packs a big punch and, just like the larger Walt Disney World, it always has something new to experience and new things to discover.

The resort offers a ton of activities to take part in, whether you are looking to hit it out on your own or looking for some guided action. Guests can rent bicycles to run back and forth between the resort and Beach House, although there is a shuttle as well, or anywhere else on the island they wish to pedal off to. Fishing poles are also available for rent, and you can even grab a trap for scrounging up your own crabs. Scattered around the resort are games of all sorts; shuffleboard, cornhole, foosball, ping pong, and horseshoes. Oh, and swimming, did I mention that there are pools at both the resort and at the Beach House?

For those who need a little guidance, there are a wide array of tours and excursions. Whether a guests wants to explore the ecology of the marsh, learn to kayak, or catch up with some dolphins, there is a tour for you. Want to improve your golf game? There’s a lesson for that too. Need something for the kids, Community Hall is always hosting art activities to keep those little hands busy!

Due to Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort’s size there are only two quick service locations, one of which runs seasonally at the Beach House, and no sit down dining options. Of course, there are tons of dining options around the island, many within walking distance. That said, depending on the time of year, there are special dining events that you can take advantage of, but that is a story for another day.

Perhaps the one thing that you can find at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort that you cannot find elsewhere is the personal touch you can get from a resort with just over one hundred rooms. The restaurant staff remember you when you come back and want to know how your food was. The front desk and recreation staff know you and your family and check in with you, and the activities you have been taking part in. Then there is B’Lou Crabbe and Shadow, the heart and soul of the resort. Again, we’ll talk more about this later this week, but I cannot talk enough about how vital this pair is to the resort.

With all of these activities, tours, and recreational activities you won’t miss the action of the big city cousin, aka Walt Disney World! Okay, maybe you will, but I’m willing to bet that you’ll be so busy that you won’t have enough time to really miss it. That said, the ability to relax and not feel the pressure to run out to the next park is also a breath of fresh air. May I recommend, for those times when you just want the world to wash away, a lounge chair at the Beach House or a hammock under the live oaks?

1 comment:

Go said...

Thanks Ryan for choosing Hilton Head Island DVC to visit and share with your readers.
I loved Hilton Head Is from the minute I arrived in 1978.
I guess that's why I now live here!
The family friendliness of this place made it a perfect location for a Disney resort.
I remember walking under the massive oaks and many Palmettos on the deserted island that became Disney property.
Glad to have a little Disney magic in my South Carolina backyard.