- South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, a popular coastal destination in South Carolina, is known for its sustainable living and relaxing lifestyle.
You won't find blaring neon signs or flashy billboards here, and that’s definitely a plus. Instead, the buildings on this tranquil island turn off their lights for loggerhead sea turtles during nesting season. All around, there is a general care, classiness and pride not seen in a lot of modern-day cities, but beyond the island’s sustainable ideals and beautiful beaches, there’s also plenty of culture and history to uncover.
Delicious Cultural Flavors
One of the best ways to get acquainted with the island’s culture is through the incredible cuisine. The Savor the Lowcountry walking tour is an ideal way to taste some of the flavors the local eateries serve up. “Lowcountry” is a name for the coastal region of South Carolina. Along the tour, you’ll walk to five restaurants and sample dishes from eateries such as Bomboras Grille, which serves fresh and local ingredients paired with craft beers and wines. Delicious!
Natural History at the Coastal Discovery Museum
For a fun-filled learning experience, head to the Coastal Discovery Museum established in 1985. You can take guided tours and enjoy exhibits that educate visitors about the natural history and cultural heritage of the Lowcountry. One favorite exhibit is the butterfly enclosure, housing 13 species of native butterflies. You can also partake in evening presentations about loggerhead sea turtles.
Step Back in Time at Mitchelville Freedom Park
While visiting the area, you should make time to explore Mitchelville Freedom Park, a recently preserved historic site. Formed in 2005 by a diverse group of Hilton Head Island residents, the site is intended to preserve a portion of the historic area that was once the USA’s first post-Civil War settlement for freed slaves. I also hiked the trails and walked to the gazebo at the end of a dock overlooking the marsh to reflect on the history of this profound place.
Gullah History on Hilton Head Island
I had never heard of Gullah people, but after visiting the Gullah Museum on Hilton Head Island, I found out they are the descendants of African slaves living in the Lowcountry. Learning all about Gullah traditions, songs and structures from Louise Miller Cohen, who established the nonprofit organization in 2003 to preserve the history and culture of the Gullah people, was an amazing and educational experience.
Hilton Head Island offers a great and varied history and culture in addition to beautiful beaches, yummy local food and brilliant outdoor attractions. You must see it for yourself, so start planning a trip today.