Of all the places in the world that we’ve dreamed of having a boat, there is none that ranks higher than Hilton Head Island.
It’s our happy place. Our vacation “home.” And the place where our dreams really came true when we docked our boat.
The fact that it was our very first stop on the Loop (aside from the night we spent anchored out!) couldn’t be more perfect or memorable.
As children, Brent and I both visited Hilton Head with our families. (And, no, we didn’t know each other then. A lot of people ask us. Just coincidence that both our families traveled there!)
I can’t say that I really spent a lot of time looking at the boats in Hilton Head- I was way too interested in the beach. However, even as a little boy, Brent spent time walking the docks and talking about his dreams of one day owning a boat.
Over the years, Brent and I have visited the island with Mary Grace and Miller. It’s truly our family’s favorite place in the world to vacation (incidentally, there is a difference between vacationing and traveling…HHI is the spot we go when we want a real vacation to relax!)
And, of course, we always took the kids to look at boats at our two favorite marinas: Harbour Town and Shelter Cove.
When we began planning our route north on the ICW we realized that one of our first major stops could be Hilton Head. It truly could not be a more perfect spot to begin our family’s adventure!
Our biggest debate was which Marina to stay in on HHI. As I mentioned, we really love Harbour Town and Shelter Cove. Ultimately, here’s why we chose Shelter Cove this time:
- Shelter Cove was fully open (with safety measures in place)- all of the restaurants, shops, etc. Harbour Town still had a few things closed.
- Shelter Cove was within walking distance to a huge grocery store (Kroger.) There is not a grocery store within walking distance of Harbour Town.
- Gregg Russell has not resumed his nightly concerts in Harbour Town.
At the end of the day, we decided that we’d do both. We’d stay at Shelter Cove on this trip. And then as a celebration after we complete the Loop, we will take our boat to Harbour Town.
Win/Win decision for the crew of Light & Salty!
I really can’t tell you how surreal it was for us to dock our boat in a Hilton Head marina for the first time.
Dream come true, for sure!
We had a funny conversation with Mary Grace after we’d docked the boat. I said something about being at our “home away from home” (referring to how much HHI feels like home) and Mary Grace was quick to correct me.
“Actually Mom, we’ve brought our home, home.”
She’s not wrong!
Our time on HHI felt very similar to all of our other vacations there. We ate at our favorite restaurants, rode bikes for hours, and spent every extra second on the beach. But at the end of the day we went back to our home (boat) instead of a rental.
Here is a post I did in the past about our favorite things to do on Hilton Head Island: Top 10 Reasons Why HHI Is Our Favorite Family Beach
On a side note, a few people have reached out to me after seeing our social media posts about HHI wondering why we didn’t stop at Daufuskie Island. Here are a couple of the reasons:
- When I reached out to my friend Krissy at Island Accommodations she expressed Daufuskie’s interest in keeping their island as safe as possible. At the time, they were not encouraging tourism. *That was over a month ago and I believe they are now open for business.*
- Hurricane season kicked into gear in May this year. Earlier than normal. For insurance purposes, as well as our safety we had to travel north quicker than we would have liked.
We know Light & Salty will return to the Carolina Coast and we will spend tons more time in all of our favorite places!
Thanks for following along on our crazy adventures!
We are also very thankful to all of the people who have shared our journey with their friends. It’s been a lot of fun receiving messages from people who are connecting through various friends. Please keep sharing!
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