Holiday in Paradise: Why You Should Spend the Season on Hilton Head Island

Bing Crosby had the right idea: there's nothing like a white Christmas.

Thing is, Bing was referring to snow. And if there’s one thing we know about snow down south it’s this: we don’t have much use for it.

Down here when we dream about a white Christmas, we’re dreaming about spending it on the beach, with the white sand serving as a fine substitute for snow (one that, it’s worth noting, we never have to shovel out of a driveway).

Which is why Hilton Head Island is such a phenomenal place for getting the whole family together in the spirit of the season. If you have a white (sandy beach) Christmas on your mind, here are two reasons you need to get on island time.

WHERE TO PLAY

A long time ago, Hilton Head Island was a much quieter place. We’re not saying that as a good or a bad thing, merely as a statement of fact.

In those days, the colder months would see the island’s full-time population dwindle to a handful of tight-knit neighbors and friends. Restaurants that now thrive year-round would close for the season. Activity slowed to a crawl around the holidays, except for on one stretch of road off of North Forest Beach.

The Dove Street Lights were an island tradition for years, as homeowners would string thousands of twinkling lights between houses and collect donations for Deep Well. That tradition continues at Shelter Cove Towne Centre, where you’re invited to drive through and check out all the lights on display, and drop off canned goods and donations for a worthy cause.

 

WHERE TO EAT

You probably won’t find a better view of the lights than at Poseidon, located right at the end of the main drag of lights. Enjoy a cocktail at Rooftop at Poseidon and enjoy an amazing elevated view of the lights in sophisticated surroundings.

 

WHERE TO STAY

Convenient to Shelter Cove and offering a wealth of amenities for the family is 457 Captains Walk available via The Vacation Company. Upgrades abound in this three-bedroom corner unit stunner, from new furnishings to fresh granite and stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen. But what will really have jaws dropping is the wraparound deck, giving you abundant space to soak in the ocean views and convenient access to the pool and beach just steps away.

 

WHERE TO PLAY

Speaking of old traditions made new again, another cherished holiday memory of old Hilton Head Island was the annual visit by St. Nicholas, doing a few laps around Sea Pines circle in his helicopter.

These days, when Santa brings his helicopter down from the North Pole he visits Coligny Plaza, located right by Coligny beach park. Santa came early this year, circling Coligny Plaza in late November, but his visit served as a prelude to the annual Christmas in Coligny event.

Running all the way up to Christmas Day, this year’s event will special prizes and giveaways every day. Throughout, you’ll also find unique handcrafted items from our area’s young entrepreneurs as part of Coligny’s Christmas Market. It’s like that classic European Christmas market, only a lot warmer and you don’t need to haggle over prices in German.

 

WHERE TO EAT

The newest addition to Coligny Plaza’s culinary scene, FISH Seafood and Raw Bar occupies a lovely stretch of balcony overlooking a lagoon, while inside you’ll find a mouth-watering array of seafood favorites. Come here for dinner and people watching, or come back after hours for local acts at one of the area’s most exciting new live music venues.

WHERE TO STAY

If you want to enjoy everything Coligny has to offer all month long, you need to be in Seacrest. Just steps away from both Coligny Plaza and Coligny Beach Park, there are a ton of options within for family groups of any size. Check out what The Vacation Company has to offer, like this cozy 2 bedroom/2 bathroom oceanfront villa located at 3402 SeaCrest.