April 2-9, 2018
Hilton Head is one of those places that we have been meaning to visit for a while but for some reason or other, we never have. Now that we are finally here, we decided within minutes of arriving, that it will become one of our go to spring time destination places. This motorcoach resort is unbelievably beautiful. The campsites are neatly tucked away among Spanish moss tree lined paths and the azaleas bushes were in full bloom, giving this RV park the classical southern charm that we just love. There is nothing like pulling up to your campsite and being greeted by a beautiful lake which, while we knew we had reserved, the view still took our breadth away as we maneuvered in.
On our first full day, we decided to try out our new electric bikes (more about that later) to explore the island. Hilton Head is very bike friendly with beautiful tree lined bike paths that connect the entire island and the beach itself. Multiple access points to the 12 miles of beach makes it very easy to zip in and out of the beach. We were surprised to see how many people were bicycling on the beach and also how many people were in the water this early in April!
We had a long ride from our RV Resort to the beach and down to Harbor Town at the southern most point of the island. This area is a quaint harbor with a lighthouse, lined with restaurants and shops, all with great views of the water. We stopped for a much needed rest and a beer before resuming our 25 mile trek. Before you think we’re superstar cyclists, let me repeat we just bought electric bikes.
We decided to buy electric bikes to use on our trips out west were the terrain is hilly and at my age (just turned 62) I need a little help with the hills. We found the ideal bikes for us (hybrid mountain/cruisers) in Asheville, North Carolina, they are from a company called Mountain to Sea (M2S) and what fun they are! Check them out, they have all kinds and styles and are reasonably priced (warning: if you never priced e-bikes even “reasonably priced” bikes will give you sticker shock). The advantage of our mid drive pedal assist models is that when you’re going uphill you feel like Superman or Superwoman and when you are on a flat and want to punch it, oh boy! I was zipping along the island at 17 miles an hour (you can’t go faster than 20 mph on this bike) and keeping up with Leo, I felt like like I was 20 years old again! 👍
Our Motorcoach Resort was located “downtown” which made it easy to access bike paths to the beach and the many beautiful bike trails that crisscross the island, not to mention all of the restaurants, bars, and shopping. Along your ride the town places information signs that provides you with interesting island history, like a placard and statue of Charles Fraser one of the founders of the island. The picture of him walking along side an alligator was featured in the Saturday Evening Post in 1962.
Even though is hard to think of a reason to leave this island, day trips are always enjoyable and Savannah is only an hour away. We took off early on a beautiful day directly to the visitor center where we caught a hop on, hop off trolley tour of the city. The trolley runs 9-6 and they provide a wonderful way to see the city. This is a well planned city, built on a grid system, with 24 original squares ( 22 remain). These square are surrounded with historical homes and monuments and lush with live oaks and Spanish moss, they are truly delightful green spaces to rest and stroll. The trolley drivers are great tour guides and make sure you don’t miss any bit of interesting factoids along the route. For example, the Forest Gump movie sites and the scenes from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil are well featured along with the more historical tid bits on General Sherman’s march through the south and why Savannah is one of the few cities he did not burn down along the way (hint: he had a lot of friends here). Also, revolutionary war heroes and pirates abound in this city. What a collection of notables have assembled here!
We stopped at St. John the Baptist Cathedral to view the beautiful interior sky blue ceiling and impressive stained glass windows imported from Austria. From the cathedral we visited City Market for some shopping and lunch and then on to the river walk where you can continue your shopping , drinking and eating. We did as much walking as trolley riding and the day just seemed to evaporate and we had to hurry and hop on the last trolley back to the visitor center.
To put the finishing touches on a truly delightful week, we made a dinner reservation at Ela’s On the Water and this place did not disappoint. Nothing like finishing our week with a great meal. I know we will return here as there are many more places to discover on this island. Catch our next adventure as we head to the North Carolina’s wine region to visit Pilot Mountain… see you there 😉