It’s easy to savor everything about Hilton Head Island ( www.hiltonheadisland.org) from the moment you check-in. The selection of hotels, resorts, villas, and home rentals is as spectacular as the scenery, events, and activities, including 20-plus championship golf courses that make for a golfer’s paradise. The island also boasts more than 250 restaurants representing myriad cultures and tastes sure to tempt every palate. And with over 12 miles of beaches and even more miles of inland waterfront, there's always an outdoor adventure waiting at your footsteps.
The Sage Room ( www.thesageroom.com) remains a hidden Hilton Head Island fine-dining gem with locals and visitors in the know. The open kitchen features a 10-seat bar that serves as a chef’s table for foodies who know to reserve a view of the action.
Skull Creek Boathouse ( www.skullcreekboathouse.com) features views of Skull Creek from inside and at outside bars. Spring time and sunsets bring out their fun events, ranging from full moon parties to the island’s location for festival after parties
NEO Gastropub ( www.neohhi.com) is new to the scene, with a talented chef who sources local ingredients from Bluffton and Hilton Head Island farmers markets. NEO is also known for hosting oyster roasts and whiskey tasting events that include dinner.
The Old Town Dispensary in Bluffton ( http://on.fb.me/OeoOTc) is relatively new, with live music and food from a chef who went from seven course meals to rustic flavors and laid back southern cooking. They’re famous for their Crab Pot Drop on New Year’s Eve.
Ombra Cucina Rustica ( www.ombrahhi.com) is new to the “underground” Italian movement on the island. It features classical Italian with a twist.
Family-owned and -operated, Michael Anthony’s ( www.michael-anthonys.com) serves rustic home-style Italian dishes with all the local freshness of area seafood. They also offer a fun cooking school.
The RBC Heritage ( www.RBCHeritage.com) is South Carolina’s only PGA Tour event and will be held April 14-20 at the Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. More than 135,000 people will attend the RBC Heritage and be part of one of golf’s greatest traditions on the island.
The Hilton Head Island Community Beach Bike Ride (May 3; www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov) kicks off National Bike Month with an annual beach bike ride starting at Coligny Beach Park. Participants ride the island's hard-packed sand beach for a fun and flat six-mile roundtrip bike ride.
The Hilton Head Island Boat Show (May 18-19; www.windmillharborboatshow.com) takes place at the Carolina Yacht Club at Windmill Harbour. Sail and power boats of all sizes from some of the world’s most illustrious boat dealers will be on display. Windmill Harbour, one of three harbors with a lock system on the East Coast, will be showcasing boats from more than dealers. A beer and wine cash bar will be available, as well as food created by the South Carolina Yacht Club’s award-winning executive chef, Kevin Cavanaugh.
HarbourFest (June-August; http://bit.ly/1oFYRXZ) at Shelter Cove Harbour is one of Hilton Head Island’s signature summer events. Family entertainer Shannon Tanner has been a fixture since 1988. Along with food, arts, and crafts from an array of vendors, fireworks also serve as the centerpiece for HarbourFest. Shelter Cove Harbour offers year-round waterfront dining, shopping, and entertainment, plus spectacular views of Broad Creek. This Mediterranean-style village combines shops, restaurants and waterfront activities in one location. Shelter Cove Harbour is also the home of a towering 12-foot bronze statue of Neptune, which doubles as a large-than-life sundial.
The Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament (Aug. 29-31; www.hhcelebritygolf.com) was established in 1979. The popular Labor Day weekend event matches amateur golfers with intriguing celebrities representing the sports and entertainment field for three days of golf and exciting evening activities. Lynn Seldon