Best Winter Festivals of Hilton Head Island And Lowcountry

St. Patrick's Day Parade Photo

The St. Patrick's Day Parade on Hilton Head Island is part of a weekend long celebration that includes free entertainment, extended Happy Hours and restaurant specials.  Pictured is Miss Caroline Scruggs, the 2012 Miss Hilton Head Island Teen.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade on Hilton Head Island is part of a weekend long celebration that includes free entertainment, extended Happy Hours and restaurant specials. Pictured is Miss Caroline Scruggs, the 2012 Miss Hilton Head Island Teen. | Source

Beautiful Hilton Head Resort

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Beautiful Hilton Head Sunset

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Fun Winter Activities in Hilton Head Island

If Hilton Head Island triggers thoughts of oceanside resorts that will pamper your body and soul and world class golf courses but you think you can't afford to vacation there, winter may be the ideal time for you to take a romantic or family get-away to Hilton Head.

There are surprisingly economical ways to vacation on this sub-tropical island with its thousands of palm trees blowing in the salty seabreezes and one of them is to visit in the off season when average daily temperatures are in the 60 to 69 degree range, perfect for attending one of the 200 arts, cultural, theatre and wine events held during Winter Carnival throughout the months of January and February. Festivals and events continue in March when the island's thousands of trees burst into full bloom in stunning contrast to the evergreen color of the palm trees.

The mild winter temperatures are perfect for taking long walks on the beach, island tours, island cruises, golfing at the Harbour Town Golf Links in the Sea Pines plantation or one of the many other fine courses on the island and for playing tennis at the famous Van Der Meer Tennis Academy which holds camps and clinics for adults and juniors.

For the past few years I have been blessed to have the opportunity to spend much time on the island in winter. This hub will feature some of my favorite annual festivals that are held on Hilton Head Island, nearby Savannah, GA and the charming southern town of Beaufort, SC. Photos and dates are from 2012 and I will be adding 2013 info as it becomes available. I shall also provide resources for accommodations at the end of the hub should my descriptive writing inspire you to plan a winter vacation in Hilton Head.

So grab a glass of juice mixed with ice in a blender and pretend it's an island cocktail with a colorful umbrella in it and come on a tour of winter festivals.

Photo of Low Country Soup Challenge Volunteers

Picture of the volunteers for the 18th Annual Low Country Soup Challenge.
Picture of the volunteers for the 18th Annual Low Country Soup Challenge. | Source

18th Annual Low Country Soup Challenge

Chef and helper from the Chart House Restaurant.
Chef and helper from the Chart House Restaurant. | Source

Food Festivals That Benefit Hilton Head Island Charities

Many of the affluent year round residents of Hilton Head are very generous with their time and spend hours volunteering for non-profits. Two of my favorite festivals are fundraisers for non-profits that provide vital medical and educational services to the island's less well off residents, but that doesn't make these festivals any less fun or less delicious than the other food festivals in the region. It just means you can enjoy yourself, eat well and know that the cost of your all inclusive entrance fee is going to a worthy cause, not just your belly. These are social events where locals enjoy talking with visitors, and talented chefs from the most popular restaurants on the island whip up their most sumptuous foods. Think lobster bisque, clam chowder, gumbo, lobster and shrimp appetizers, strawberry tarts, cheesecake topped with cherries and whipped cream and the only task you have is to decide which sample tastes the best. Believe me, you'll need the score card and pencil they give you and will probably find yourself revising your choice as you work your way through the many tables of samples.

The 20th Low Country Soup Challenge will be held on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at the Westin Resort and Spa in Port Royal on Hilton Head Island. The event will begin at noon. Tickets can be purchased in advance through www.vimclinic.org. The event winds down around 2:30 when the People's Choice award is announced and by 3 pm the event is over. This year more than twenty-two restaurants will participate in the challenge and each Chef will be cooking their signature soup. This is a fabulous opportunity to sample soup from some of the finest restaurants on the island!

All proceeds and donations benefit the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic (VIM). VIM is staffed by professional and lay volunteers and provides free medical, dental and mental health care to individuals who live or work on Hilton Head or Daufuskie Islands who don't have health insurance.

Cooks and Books is another fun festival and it benefits the Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry. Authors from the lowcountry sell autographed copies of their books and enjoy talking with attendees as chefs from some of the best restaurants on the island compete against each other in "The Heat is On" competition in order to win the Peoples' Choice Award.

Annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration

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Gullah Bus Tours

Gullah Bus Tours are available at The Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center and The Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn.
Gullah Bus Tours are available at The Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center and The Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. | Source
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17th Annual Hilton Head Gullah Celebration

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Gullah art and sculptures on display at the 2013 "Taste of Gullah Food and Entertainment Festival" at the Coastal Arts Center on Hilton Head Island.Gullah art on display.Sweetgrass baskets on display at the 2013 "Taste of Gullah Food and Entertainment Festival" at the Coastal Arts Center on Hilton Head Island.
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Gullah art and sculptures on display at the 2013 "Taste of Gullah Food and Entertainment Festival" at the Coastal Arts Center on Hilton Head Island.
Gullah art and sculptures on display at the 2013 "Taste of Gullah Food and Entertainment Festival" at the Coastal Arts Center on Hilton Head Island. | Source
Gullah art on display.
Gullah art on display. | Source
Sweetgrass baskets on display at the 2013 "Taste of Gullah Food and Entertainment Festival" at the Coastal Arts Center on Hilton Head Island.
Sweetgrass baskets on display at the 2013 "Taste of Gullah Food and Entertainment Festival" at the Coastal Arts Center on Hilton Head Island. | Source

February is a Month Long Gullah Celebration

The term Gullah refers to the descendants of the freed slaves who are native inhabitants of Hilton Head Island. Before the bridge onto the island was built in 1982 so that the island could be developed into a world class tourist destination, these African American native islanders were isolated and retained much of their original culture which was passed down from generation to generation.

During Gullah Celebration month descendants of the native islanders will be showing off their customs, food and crafts. Their joyous spirit and welcoming natures make tourists feel welcome at all the festivities. And it's a great opportunity for children to learn about another culture in a fun and exciting way.

February 2013 will be the 17th Annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration and the festival takes place in various Hilton Head Island locations throughout the whole month. My favorite part of the month long celebration is a "Taste of Gullah," which will take place on Feb. 2, 2013 at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina from 12 pm to 4pm. This is a great opportunity to fill up on distinctive and delicious Gullah food including okra gumbo, "Geechee" conch stew, barbecue ribs, and fried chicken, then watch performances of gospel music and traditional Gullah storytelling.

Another favorite event is the Marsh Tacky Run & Exhibition at Coligny Beach which drew a crowd of 7,000 plus people last year. This event showcased the Marsh Tacky Horses that played an integral part in Gullah history and survival of the Gullah people. Marsh Tacky Horses are workhorses that were used for plowing and cultivating the fields. Unfortunately, the race will not be held in 2013, but some Marsh Tacky Horses will be on exhibition.

For more information about the month long Gullah Celebration call the Gullah Celebration hotline: 843-255-7304 or call the Native Island Business & Community Affairs Association, Inc (NIBCAA) at 843-255-7303 or visit www.gullahcelebration.com.

For information about Gullah Heritage Tours that include regularly scheduled tours of ten Hilton Head Island historic Gullah neighborhoods call 843-681-7066 or visit www.gullaheritage.com.

Photos of Gullah Dancers, Art and Souveniers

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Gullah dancers and musicians performing at  "A Taste of Gullah Food & Entertainment" festival at the Coastal Arts Center in Hilton Head Island, February 11, 2012. The drummers kept the dancers moving at an ever increasing tempo thrilling the crowd of onlookers. Gullah artwork and posters were on display.Ms. Louise M. Cohen, Gullah storyteller and The Voices of El Shaddai told stories in an entertaining way.Brightly colored hats commemorating the festival were sold, as well as T-shirts, mugs and other items.
Gullah dancers and musicians performing at  "A Taste of Gullah Food & Entertainment" festival at the Coastal Arts Center in Hilton Head Island, February 11, 2012.
Gullah dancers and musicians performing at "A Taste of Gullah Food & Entertainment" festival at the Coastal Arts Center in Hilton Head Island, February 11, 2012. | Source
The drummers kept the dancers moving at an ever increasing tempo thrilling the crowd of onlookers.
The drummers kept the dancers moving at an ever increasing tempo thrilling the crowd of onlookers. | Source
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Gullah artwork and posters were on display.
Gullah artwork and posters were on display. | Source
Ms. Louise M. Cohen, Gullah storyteller and The Voices of El Shaddai told stories in an entertaining way.
Ms. Louise M. Cohen, Gullah storyteller and The Voices of El Shaddai told stories in an entertaining way. | Source
Brightly colored hats commemorating the festival were sold, as well as T-shirts, mugs and other items.
Brightly colored hats commemorating the festival were sold, as well as T-shirts, mugs and other items. | Source

Beautiful Lowcountry Scenery Inspires Film Makers

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Breathtaking Lowcountry Sunset Photo

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Beaufort Film Festival

The Beaufort Film festival began in 2007 but for the past 25 years the beautiful region of Beaufort and the surrounding lowcountry has provided breathtaking scenery for over 20 major motion pictures including audience favorites such as Forrest Gump, The Big Chill, The Prince of Tides and many more.

The Beaufort Regional Film Commission created the Beaufort Film Festival to recognize independent film makers and films including documentaries, short and long features, animation and music features, but it also hoped that by holding this festival in this beautiful region current film makers will be reintroduced to the stunning vistas of sweeping marsh, beautifully restored antebellum homes, and alluring quiet charm of the old south. It would seem as though their goals are being met as two of southern author, Nicholas Sparks' books, Dear John and The Last Song were made into movies and filmed in the lowcountry.

The 7th annual Beaufort International Film Festival will be held on February 13-17, 2013 at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, Center for the Arts.

The film schedule and details about films is posted on the Beaufort Film Festival website at http://www.beaufortfilmfestival.com.

Savannah Book Festival

At last year's Savannah Book Festival, beautiful Telfair Square was adorned with colorful tables and food booths so that festival goers could eat a casual quick lunch or snack between lectures.
At last year's Savannah Book Festival, beautiful Telfair Square was adorned with colorful tables and food booths so that festival goers could eat a casual quick lunch or snack between lectures. | Source

The 2013 Savannah Book Festival

The Savannah Book Festival is an annual event that draws thousands of visitors to the heart of Savannah. Over 40 authors will be speaking at the 2013 festival which will be held Feb. 14 - 17. Author and humorist, Dave Berry will kick-off the event on Valentine's Day, evening.

The full schedule and roster of authors plus special discounts and deals with local hotels, parking information and tourist venues can be found at the Savannah Book Festival website, http://www.savannahbookfestival.org.

Some of the 2013 highlights will include a keynote address on Friday evening by James Patterson, who will discuss and sign his latest novel, "Private Berlin."

Saturday, Feb. 16, is the main day of the festival and includes free presentations by authors who have written books in the genres of fiction, memoir, biography and lifestyle.

David Balducci will be the special speaker at the closing ceremony on Sun. He will discuss and sign his latest novel, "The Forgotten."

With average winter temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees, it's a perfect time to visit the stunningly beautiful city with its park like squares, meet famous authors and enjoy the many Savannah historic tours, museums, carriage rides, boat rides, fabulous restaurants and exciting nightlife.

Photos of the 2012 Savannah Book Festival

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A horse drawn carriage riding through Savannah's beautiful Telfair Square where the 2012 Savannah Book Festival was held. Author Pat Conroy signing copies of his latest book, "My Reading Life."  He entertained festival attendees with a lively joint presentation with his friend and  fellow author, John Warley. Pat Conroy also gave the Keynote Address for the festival. Michael Oher, the Baltimore Ravens football player whose story was made into a movie called The Blind Side, signed copies of his book, "I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to The Blind Side and Beyond." Author Irshad Manji had a lively dialog with the Rev. Ken Samuels in the Telfair Museum. The art gallery houses 19th and 20th century American and European art and was a stunning venue for this presentation.A number of vendors, such as this photo of the Leopold's Ice Cream booth, sold food from brightly colored tents that were set up throughout Telfair Square.
A horse drawn carriage riding through Savannah's beautiful Telfair Square where the 2012 Savannah Book Festival was held.
A horse drawn carriage riding through Savannah's beautiful Telfair Square where the 2012 Savannah Book Festival was held. | Source
Author Pat Conroy signing copies of his latest book, "My Reading Life."  He entertained festival attendees with a lively joint presentation with his friend and  fellow author, John Warley. Pat Conroy also gave the Keynote Address for the festival.
Author Pat Conroy signing copies of his latest book, "My Reading Life." He entertained festival attendees with a lively joint presentation with his friend and fellow author, John Warley. Pat Conroy also gave the Keynote Address for the festival. | Source
Michael Oher, the Baltimore Ravens football player whose story was made into a movie called The Blind Side, signed copies of his book, "I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to The Blind Side and Beyond."
Michael Oher, the Baltimore Ravens football player whose story was made into a movie called The Blind Side, signed copies of his book, "I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to The Blind Side and Beyond." | Source
Author Irshad Manji had a lively dialog with the Rev. Ken Samuels in the Telfair Museum. The art gallery houses 19th and 20th century American and European art and was a stunning venue for this presentation.
Author Irshad Manji had a lively dialog with the Rev. Ken Samuels in the Telfair Museum. The art gallery houses 19th and 20th century American and European art and was a stunning venue for this presentation. | Source
A number of vendors, such as this photo of the Leopold's Ice Cream booth, sold food from brightly colored tents that were set up throughout Telfair Square.
A number of vendors, such as this photo of the Leopold's Ice Cream booth, sold food from brightly colored tents that were set up throughout Telfair Square. | Source

Savannah GA and Hilton Head Island, SC St. Patrick's Day Parades

The Savannah St. Patrick's Day Parade is the largest and most spectacular parade in the region and 2nd largest in the world, drawing 250,000 visitors who love to party all day and all night. The 2013 Savannah St. Patrick's Day Parade will be held on Sat. March 16 starting at 10:15 AM. The parade will last 3 hours and will have over 350 units including award winning bands and the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales. For more information about Savannah's St. Patrick's Day Parade visit the parade's official website at http://www.savannahsaintpatricksday.com.

The Hilton Head Island Parade, though not as spectacular as Savannah's is still fabulous and also draws thousands of visitors each year. Kids of all ages, including the young at heart will love getting the free T-Shirts, candy and other goodies that are thrown from the brightly decorated musical floats. After the parade, local restaurants offer special deals, extended happy hours and musical entertainment. Those who have partied hard can take advantage of easily accessible taxi service back to their hotel or residence. The 2013 St. Patrick's Day Parade on Hilton Head Island will take place on Sunday, March 17. The parade goes up Pope Avenue from Coligny Plaza to Office Park Rd.

To double your pleasure, plan on attending both parades as it is less than an hour's drive between Savannah, GA, and Hilton Head Island, SC, and the parades are on consecutive days.

Photos of the 2012 St. Patrick's Day Parade on Hilton Head Island

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Leprechauns lead off the parade waving to thousands of spectators along Pope Avenue.Fire dalmation float reminding onlookers to replace their smoke alarm batteries.Vendor selling Mardi Gras style beads, hats and head pieces in St. Patrick's Day colors. The Girl Scouts celebrated 100 years of scouting with this beautiful float that was playing the song, "My Girl."Three beautiful reasons to celebrate spring break on Hilton Head Island by watching the St. Patrick's Day Parade.A walking juggler pleases the crowd.The Frosty Frog mascot from the Frosty Frog Cafe is popular on Hilton Head Island.The Van Landingham Rotary Club shows off their brightly decorated float.SCBT's "We Believe in South Carolina" car had a colorful driver.SC Hillbilly Clan 82 had several Hillbilly vehicles that pleased the crowd.
Leprechauns lead off the parade waving to thousands of spectators along Pope Avenue.
Leprechauns lead off the parade waving to thousands of spectators along Pope Avenue. | Source
Fire dalmation float reminding onlookers to replace their smoke alarm batteries.
Fire dalmation float reminding onlookers to replace their smoke alarm batteries. | Source
Vendor selling Mardi Gras style beads, hats and head pieces in St. Patrick's Day colors.
Vendor selling Mardi Gras style beads, hats and head pieces in St. Patrick's Day colors. | Source
The Girl Scouts celebrated 100 years of scouting with this beautiful float that was playing the song, "My Girl."
The Girl Scouts celebrated 100 years of scouting with this beautiful float that was playing the song, "My Girl." | Source
Three beautiful reasons to celebrate spring break on Hilton Head Island by watching the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Three beautiful reasons to celebrate spring break on Hilton Head Island by watching the St. Patrick's Day Parade. | Source
A walking juggler pleases the crowd.
A walking juggler pleases the crowd. | Source
The Frosty Frog mascot from the Frosty Frog Cafe is popular on Hilton Head Island.
The Frosty Frog mascot from the Frosty Frog Cafe is popular on Hilton Head Island. | Source
The Van Landingham Rotary Club shows off their brightly decorated float.
The Van Landingham Rotary Club shows off their brightly decorated float. | Source
SCBT's "We Believe in South Carolina" car had a colorful driver.
SCBT's "We Believe in South Carolina" car had a colorful driver. | Source
SC Hillbilly Clan 82 had several Hillbilly vehicles that pleased the crowd.
SC Hillbilly Clan 82 had several Hillbilly vehicles that pleased the crowd. | Source

Vacation Rentals By Owners Can Provide Great Lodging at Steeply Discounted Winter Rates

For even greater savings, you can rent a condominium, townhouse or private home directly from the private owners through a website called Vacation Rentals By Owner. The website can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

Winter Festivals on Hilton Head Island Are Fun

I hope this partial listing of winter festivals on Hilton Head Island will inspire you to visit this stunningly beautiful local that always has interesting places to see and things to do regardless of what season it is.

However, tourists will find that prices are lower during winter and those who love participating in outdoor sports such as golf, tennis and bike riding will find the cooler temperatures of winter perfect for these activities.

Comments 41 comments

Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Hiya Happyboomernurse, this is awesome! I enjoyed reading all the fun activities in Hilton Head Islands. Great job!

Have a nice day,

Rosie


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Rosie,

Thanks so much for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed reading about this island that I love so much. Hope you get a chance to visit one day.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

My mother, niece and I spent 3 days visiting Savannah one year on vacation but missed visiting Hilton Head Island. Looking at this hub it would be a place I would definitely put on my wish list of places to visit. Thanks!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Peggy,

Hope you do get to visit one day. There are tons of things to do on the island and I know you'd really appreciate the stunning plants and trees. It's a nature lover's paradise because the original developers planned it that way. Even today, property owners can't cut down trees without permission and permission is generally only given if the tree is dying and can't be saved. Thanks for stopping by.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice information. I never knew about this festival. I wish I could see these festivals in person. That's why I love join HP, I can see various cultures around the world. I really enjoy with all video you gave to us. I give my vote to you. Thank you very much. Love and peace!

~prasetio


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Prasetio30, Sorry it took me so long to respond, my computer has been down.

You're so right, it's really good to be able to share hubs with people all over the world. That is one of the best things I like about hub pages, too. Hopefully you will get to visit Hilton Head Island one day. In the meantime, I'm glad you enjoyed the videos. Thanks so much for voting my hub up and leaving a comment. It's greatly appreciated.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Hi Gail. First, let me comment about your website, which I just noticed and checked out. As my youngest (almost 4) granddaughter would say, "It's Awesome!" I love it. I will make a point to check it out more thoroughly on a day I am not heading out the door to work. Too cool!

Second, love this hub. I'm only sorry that you did not hang onto it for this months: Money grows on Hubs contest. There will be a 'budget vacation' bonus day soon and this would fit right in! Check it out for other hub ideas.

Third-back to #2 Loved the hub. I'm so close to H.H. and I had 'forgotten' all about the wonderful winter festival. I'm going to make it a point to check it out. Thanks for a great write.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Denise,

Thanks for the thumbs up on my Self-growth Website. Some of my nursing articles are on it, but at this point most of the other articles listed are the ones here at hubpages.

I didn't realize I could have converted this hub into a Money Grows on Trees entry. My mind was thinking vacation and fun, but budget vacations are a favorite interest of mine because it's the only way my hubby and I can afford to travel as much as we do, so I'm sure I'll be able to come up with ideas for another hub.

Hope you do get a chance to go to the island in winter.

Good luck with your 30 day challenge.


Husky1970 5 years ago

Thank you for providing so much valuable information regarding Hilton Head Island in the winter. We have enjoyed several events of the Gullah Festival in the past. Last year they had marsh tack ponies race right on the beach at Coligny. Also, there are some quality theatre productions at the Coastal Arts Center. We will be sure to try the soup contest at Shelter Cove on our next winter visit. Thanks again for all of this info.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Welcome Husky1970,

Thanks for taking time to read my hub and leave a comment with some more excellent suggestions. I love the Coastal Arts Center productions and I think the ticket prices are relatively inexpensive considering the quality of the shows.

I didn't get to see the marsh tack ponies race last year, but heard it was excellent. Will try to catch it this year if they do it again.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

I love the south and Hilton Head is a great retreat for winter or anytime. I most often visit in the spring during spring break. I love the beaches and quiet getaways up and down the Carolina's. What a nice idea and wonder time to plan something. I love the idea of the book festival, sounds wonderful. Thanks for the great travel tips. :) Katie


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hello again, Katiem.

Spring break is actually my favorite time because the trees are usually in full bloom.

The Savannah Book Festival is relatively new and the line up of authors this year looks awesome. The event was great last year, but I think it will be even more so this year.


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

My friend goes to Hilton Head every year. We haven't been, but we love Myrtle Beach. Gullah Island sounds interesting. I'm not so sure about vacationing in the winter though. My favorite part of a vacation is deciding if I'll spend the day at the beach or the pool. I do feel like I just took a vacation to Hilton Head though, so thanks for allowing me to travel vicariously through you, happyboomernurse.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Kimh039,

I've never been to Myrtle Beach so I can't compare the two. By May and until early October the weather is generally hot in Hilton Head and you'd probably do best to visit during those times if you love sunbathing and swimming outdoors.

Glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for reading it and leaving a comment.


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan

What a beautiful Hub! We are so blessed to be in America. I especially enjoyed the Video of Savannah, Georgia. Felt so relaxing to me....as I enjoyed the scenes, natural beauty and the people of Savannah. I have heard much about Hilton Head, now I know first hand.

Thanks for putting the time and effort is presenting such an awesome post!

I will come here first before I visit either of these destinations in the future.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Yes Treasuresofheaven, we are truly blessed to live in America with so many great places to explore and visit.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub and hope you do get a chance to visit the Hilton Head/Savannah area. Thanks so much for your kind words and continued support. They mean a lot to me.


Jerry Watson profile image

Jerry Watson 5 years ago from Hermitage, Tennessee

Hello, HBN: Very interesting hub. Your writing is very descriptive indeed. A couple of years ago my wife and I traveled to South Carolina (Charleston) for a book event (http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Antiquarian-Chronicles... and we just fell in love with it. It's gorgeous, historical, sultry and the people are so laid back and congenial. It's wonderful and we can't wait to get back there some day. Good job! http://JerryLWatson.Wordpress.com; http://best-whetstones.com


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Welcome Jerry Watson and thanks for your feedback that enhances this hub by providing new information. I didn't realize Charleston also has a book event and will check out the website you provided. Southern cities such as Charleston and Savannah each have so much history and charm that it's hard to choose a favorite.


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 5 years ago

What a fun place to visit. I love the festivals organized. Great hub!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Ingenira,

Thanks for taking time to read my hub and leave a comment. Yes, the festivals are fun, and feed body, mind and soul.


Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

Dr Bill Tollefson 5 years ago from Southwest Florida

Hey Happyboomernurse

I attended College in Statesboro, GA and on holidays A friend and I would drive up to Hilton Head Island. Back then there was only one hotel and the famous lighthouse. We would sleep on the beach and surf all day long. Thanks for bringing back so good memories for me. Good article.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Dr. Bill,

Wow, that sounds like a great way to spend the holidays of one's youth. Hard to imagine a single hotel on the island. There's many condos and hotels now, but since the original developers planned everything so well the island is still stunningly beautiful and there are many trees and miles of biking paths. My heart sings when I'm on the island, especially when I ride my bike on the hard packed sand directly on the beach- it never fails to make me feel like a kid again.

Glad this hub brought back good memories of your youth for you.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

I loved this one and I am bookmarking into my 'Armchair Travelling 'slot.

I also vote up,and here's to many more hubs to share.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Eiddwen,

Glad you liked it and thanks for the vote up.

I love your idea of creating a bookmark file labeled, "Armchair Traveling." Perhaps it's because we're writers with active imaginations, but I find taking "tours" with my hubber friends to new places does make me feel like I've traveled there with them.

Hope you have a blessed day with your loved ones and I look forward to catching up on some of your hubs. I've had a lot of company this summer and haven't been hubbing as much as usual.


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

I lived in Murrells Inlet S.C. for a few years. I find it interesting that they have a Gullah Festival on Hilton Head. The Gullah are further north around Charleston. The African Americans on Hilton Head are called Geechie by the Gullah. Gullah has been used by ignorant promoters so much that it stuck. The two groups spoke a different language and came from a different part of Africa. There are few if any real Geechie left on Hilton Head.

The true story of the Geechie is one of the saddest and most despicable chapters in American history. They were freed and bequeathed the land by loving, grateful owners as far back as before the Revolutionary War. They were content to live out on the barrier Island away from the main culture. Children took boats to school after the elementary grades. The average income was around $3-$5,000/year, but the people lived relatively well from farming and fishing. Their houses were well built and comfortable. They were excellent craftsmen and boat builders.

John Jenrette and his cronies saw the potential and pressed the long time home owners for property taxes that no one bothered about before the mid seventies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Jenrette.

They had property appraisres put the taxes so high that the residents couldn't pay. The people who had owned the land for over two hundred years were evicted and the property was sold off to pay the taxes at an invitation only auction. The Geechie were displaced to places like Savannah and Charleston where they were ill equipped to deal with the culture. They are looked down on by the more assimilated Gullah.

The Federal government should have stepped in and declared the Geechie exempt from the oppressive taxes. The Geechie were "Grandfathered" in and the rightful owners before God. The money for all of those world class resorts comes from all over the world. I don't visit Hilton Head. It is disgusting. I refuse to participate in the crime.

The moral of the story . . . you don't own your land. You are renting from the government.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

I appreciate you taking time to write such a detailed and informative comment.

It is my understanding that the Geechie and the Gullah are all descendents of African slaves and I thought that the Geechie referred to the descendents that now live in the Georgia area.

What I've written in this hub about the Gullah people pertains to what I've been told during attendence at various Gullah events and Hilton Head Island tours during the past few years.

What you've written is indeed, quite shocking and a few days ago I heard a lecturer say something similar in regards to the land on Hilton Head Island. He said that after the Civil War until the bridge from the mainland to Hilton Head was built the Gullah descendents lived an isolated life on the island and owned their land and passed it down from generation to generation but deeds were never recorded and taxes weren't paid. Before development of the island this was not an issue because no one else besides the Gullah wanted to live here. When the developers came many of the descendents did lose their land because they couldn't "prove" ownership through recorded deeds or because they couldn't pay back taxes that were suddenly being assessed.


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

I'm glad you liked my Geechie hub. I was worried. I did not want to kill the buzz, but it was too late.

Take my word. I know my way around, never mind how. There is a Gullah community between Murrells Inlet and Charleston (Tomato Town). I'm going by what the Gullah told me. There are Gullah in the south, But the Geechie were the property owners from the day. There is a book around somewhere too, but I don't remember the title.

The Geechie are almost all in Georgia now, but they were on Hilton Head. John Jenrette had some major contacts. He was a low on the totem pole and more or less a front man (stooge) who did the dealing on the ground level (see link). He got the jetties at Murrells Inlet built by the Army Corps of Engineers to stabilize the shifting sand dunes on the point of Garden City. it was a miniature environmental disaster. (birds, fish etc.)

I moved back to Florida, It was breaking my heart to see the Coast "developed". I said,"I'll just go back to Florida where the Yankees have already ruined everything. I was wrong. They find something new to ruin every day.Thank God for the building industry collapse. It is an answer to prayer.

See also "Creature From Jekyll Island" they are pulling the strings for the most part.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi WD Curry,

Thank you for the insider tips and your recommended reading of "Creature From Jekyll Island." I have visited Jekyll Island and heard about the powerful and rich men who came together there and changed the course of financial history up to and including what's going on today, but have not read the book yet.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks WD Curry,

The following quote is from an update by hubber WD Curry that expounds on his previous comments in this hub:

"It turns out I am one of those guys who give the internet a bad name. I called my daughter. She majored in anthropology and PR at the University of Charleston. The people on Hilton Head are definitely Gullah. Some of the more prominent residents were able to hang on to their property, and have worked hard to preserve what they can and promote the Gullah culture as a Historical Heritage and tourist draw.

The folks I know in Tomato Town are "wanna-bes" (many were college educated from "up north" who formed an "African Community" in the late sixties. The area was an inheritance to one of the founding members. he met the other founders in his travels.

On the upside some of the Gullah in Charleston definitely refer to the southern Gullah as "Geechie" but they are not accurate historians. She says the baskets that I used to get for $50 are up to $500 or more for the big fancy ones and The Gullah are doing better due to all of the attention. Her words, "They are working it." End of WD Curry quote.

Thank you, WD Curry, for doing further research on this matter and for coming back with some very interesting information. I greatly appreciate the extra effort that you put into this.


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

Hey, you and the Gullah are worth it. I also learned that the oldest African American community was started in 1520 by a Spanish explorer, Vasquez de Allyony. Now if that isn't grandfathered in, what is?


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks WD Curry. I appreciate it.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

Gail, your photography hubs make me want to visit the places and events you describe. This is definitely something new for me.

Regards


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Vinaya,

So thrilled that you liked it. I feel the same way when I see the photos and stories that you write about your own country.

Best Regards,

Gail


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Gail,

I came back and enjoyed reading this informative hub all over again. This time I am sharing the information about Hilton Head Island and all of the fun activities with others. Hub hugs to you!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Peggy,

Thanks so much for coming back and for sharing this hub. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Sending a Bouquet of Hub Hugs,

Gail


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California

Amazingly complete and absolutely fun hub! I love the St. Patrick's day pictures best, but the photographs on a hole are perfection! I enjoyed every minute of this article on Hilton Head Winter Festivals! As always, another fantastically helpful read. Up and sharing!

HubHugs~


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi K9keystrokes,

So thrilled that you enjoyed the hub and liked the photos and thanks for your kind words and specific feedback.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade is always festive, fun and well attended. Partying begins even before the morning parade starts!!!

Thanks for the share and vote up.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Hi Gail,

I'm not sure how I could have missed this Hub...But I'm so glad I found it. What a Wonderful, Enjoyable read, so Rich and Entertaining. Your Photos are Always a Treat, "Eye Candy" to look at. I've not been to Hilton Head, but one of these trips down to Florida, we will stop there.

The "Film Festival" in Beaufort sounds like it would be fun. The Scenery there is lovely, I could see why making Films there works.

Thanks for the Tour, Excellent as always and the Great Info. you provide. Voted UP & Interesting & Beautiful. LOL.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi B. Malin,

So thrilled that you enjoyed the hub and photos.

HHI is an easy stop enroute to Florida as it's only about 30 minutes east of Rt. 95.

Beaufort is much smaller but the historic section of it has a stunningly beautiful southern charm.

Thanks so much for the vote up. It's greatly appreciated.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America

A travel agency should pay your to market tours to the Winter Festival! Rated everything but funny! OK, funny too.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Patty,

Thanks so much for your kind words. Am thrilled that you enjoyed your cyber tour and appreciate the vote up.

Hub Hugs,

Gail

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