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There are going to be destinations that disappoint, and as such I’ve learned that the best way to travel with with no expectations. Regardless, we had heard great things about Hilton Head so made sure to detour through on our drive from Savannah to Myrtle Beach.  Honestly, we could have continued driving and not missed much.

South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island, the second largest barrier island on the East Coast of the United States (Long Island, New York being the largest), is a 50 minute drive north of Savannah.  With 28,000 acres of dry land and about 2,000 acres of wetlands we were hoping for natural beauty, amazing wildlife and great hiking and biking opportunities as promised online. Don’t get me wrong; the coastline was definitely beautiful, but unfortunately the town which came with it was too cookie cutter and reminded me too much of the movie “Stepford Wives”.


Hilton head is a little too “cookie cutter” for us.

Hilton Head is a golfer’s paradise, but I wouldn’t use the word paradise to describe much else.  There was no culture to the town. Sure, there were art galleries and restaurants – but there was nothing interesting, quirky or unique which set the town apart from anywhere else in the world.  There was nothing which made us want to stay and explore. The yachts in the harbor were pretty to look at, but unless you were a member of a yatch club there wasn’t much to do in the area.  It was too aristocraty for us.

The main draw of the area is the Hilton Head Lighthouse.  Pictured on every postcard, recommended on every visitors website as one of the top attractions in the area, it turned out to be a tiny lighthouse which wasn’t worth climbing.

The fee you pay to climb the 110 stairs is on top of the $5 fee to actually enter the Sea Pines resort and gain access to the area. The view from the T-Shirt shop at the top is the same view that you get from the courtyard at the bottom.  So we quickly snapped a few pictures and headed off.

Hilton Head Lighthouse

Hilton Head Lighthouse

While Hilton Head is not worth the detour, here’s how we made the best of our time there:

Coligny Beach


Coligny Beach is the main thing Hilton Head has going for it (in my humble opinion).  I would personally recommend spending time in Myrtle Beach instead, which has more to offer travelers and tourists in terms of atmosphere and attractions, however Coligny was a pretty decent beach with great facilities.

Facilities went as far to include free wifi access provided by the town of Hilton Head!  Relaxation while staying in touch with reality – that’s my kind of beach!

Coligny Beach

Coligny Beach

Coligny Beach

Coligny Beach


My kind of beach!

 Baynard Ruins

Also located within Sea Pines Resort, Baynard Ruins are the old tabby ruins of the historic Baynard estate.

Constructed in the 1790’s by Captain Jack Stoney, the house was once a grand mansion plantation house which overlooked the Calibogue Sound.  According to legend, Stoney lost the house to William Baynard in 1840 over a poker bet!  Baynard went on to raise four children in the mansion with his wife Catherine, however they evacuated when the American Civil War broke out and Union soldiers invaded Hilton Head.

The mansion was used as Union headquarters during the War, and was burned afterwards.  The tabby foundations of the main house and slave quarters remains preserved today, as do the ghost stories and reports of paranormal activity.

Baynard Ruins

Baynard Ruins

It’s not the most amazing place in the world but it’s definitely worth a quick visit if you are in the area (takes about 20 minutes to walk around).  It’s pretty amazing that the foundations are so well preserved for being so old, and there are several walking trails with completely wild flora and fauna which compete with each other for sunlight.  You almost feel like you’re in the jungle!

To get to Baynard Ruins head to Plantation Drive in Sea Pines, and turn right just after passing Baynard Cove Road and Marsh Drive.


Baynard Ruins

 About Megan Claire

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.



  1. There is a lot more to Hilton Head, like the voodoo area! It has A LOT of history; I am sorry you didn’t get to see that part of it. I only go there on business and take advantage of my time while there, but I understand. It’s not somewhere I’d personally seek out either. There are definitely other beaches I prefer (of course I am from Florida and I live in San Diego, so I am a beach snob LOL).

    • Didn’t hear about the voodoo area – sounds interesting!! If we do find ourselves back there we’ll definitely check it out – as you said though, it would only be if we were there and needing to take advantage of the area.

      Lol I’m Australian so I’m also a beach snob – right there with you! :D

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