Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

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Hilton Head, SC

Hilton Head Fast Facts are little tidbits of information about Hilton Head Island. Want to sound like a native? Show your friends and family that you know more about an exquisite island on the coast of South Carolina than they do? Then read on...

95 miles south of historic Charleston ... on the South Carolina coast.
Hilton Head Island sports 12 miles of wide, hard-packed beaches which range up to 600 feet at low tide. The tide levels change as much as 6-8 feet every 6 hours. Popular beach activities include bicycling, jogging, and sun bathing.
If the Shoe Fits
Hilton Head Island is shaped like a foot and sections of the Island are refered to as the toe, instep, heel, and ankle. Up to 12 miles long and nearly 4 miles wide, Hilton Head encompasses 42 square miles.
Two Wheelers
One of the Island's most popular activities is bicycling whether on the beach or along the numerous paths and trails. Many of the trails lead the biker through lush forests and marshlands.
And More
But bicycling is not the only sport available to vacationers and residents of Hilton Head Island. There's never a dull moment here with more than 20 public golf courses, 300 tennis courts, horse back riding along the beach, eco-tours of the Island's nature preserves, sailing, deep sea fishing, windsurfing, crabbing, canoing, exploring, birding...
From Humble Beginnings
The Hilton Head Island as we know it today began as an extraordinary vision of one man, Charles Fraser. His dream was to create a unique vacation resort where environmental concerns were intertwined with its development. Charles was a bold visionary who fought popular opinion in the 50's to create Sea Pines, a hugely successful and environmentally sensitive resort development.
A Rose by Any Other Name
Hilton Head Island is named for the English sea captain William Hilton who was hired by a syndicate of Barbadian planters and claimed the island for England. Hilton "discovered" the island in 1663 but European colonization did not occur until around 1800. Before the Civil War, the plantations on Hilton Head Island prospered growing rice, indigo, and cotton.
Earliest Inhabitants
Native Indians resided on Hilton Head Island as early as 4000 BC. Evidence of early settlement remains today in the form of a 3400 year old "Indian Shell ring" in Sea Pines Forest Preserve.
Part of the North American Atlantic flyway, Hilton Head Island supports over 250 species of birds during the year. The Loggerhead Turtle makes parts of Hilton Head Island shoreline it's nesting ground. Bottle-nosed dolphin play in the surf. There are deer in the woods and alligators in the lagoons.
Yankee Go Home
During the Civil War, Hilton Head Island was captured and occupied by the Union forces. Overtaken by a massive amphibious landing (the size of which was not attempted again until WWII), Hilton Head Island became a strategic outpost for the blockade of Confederate sea ports.
State Moniker: The Palmetto State
State Bird: Carolina Wren
State Flower: Yellow Jasmine
State Tree: Palmetto (a small, indigenous palm)
State Capitol: Columbia


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