Lowcountry South Carolina offers all manner of allure for the extended weekend vacationer. And there are few finer options than Hilton Head Island’s renowned Sea Pines Resort for the ultimate sun and fun retreat. Long heralded for its genteel accommodations, casually elegant low-country inspired dining, a tennis program headed up by legend Stan Smith, and some of the most scenic and challenging golf in the southeast; Sea Pines is an easy four-hour drive from Charlotte.
The regional crown jewel collects awards like Cam Newton picks up footballs. Last year they were recognized by Forbes Travel with a Four Star rating and are a perennial AAA Four Diamond award winner. Yet the host to the annual PGA RBC Heritage Classic Golf Tournament takes its hospitality to a new level with two impressive additions to their property this year. Opening just in time for the 2015 golf tournament in April, the newly constructed 26,000 square foot clubhouse at the Harbour Town Golf Links is perched off the first tee and easy walking distancefrom the resort’s signature accommodations, the Inn at Harbour Town. The expansive terraces and covered porches offer stunning course views and the perfect spot to enjoy a post round libation or a lazy afternoon lunch.
The resort’s shiniest star digs however are found fronting the Atlantic. Sea Pines Beach Club was completed late last year and is the prime location for soaking up sun, waves, and treats for all members of the family.
Direct access to miles of Atlantic beachfront from newly crafted walkways is just part of the allure at the club. Guests enjoy the handsome nautically styled Coast restaurant with an all day menu for the summer season. Seafood is the star attraction here and guests can enjoy a variety of modern preparations. Mango-chipotle sauce puts a twist on shrimp cocktail and oysters sing with zing when topped with a special green tomato mignonette. Don’t miss the Sapelo Island Crab Stew that offers just a hint of sherry. Vegan in your party? No problem, the chef has a Deep South Sweet Potato Polenta with Mushroom Ragout that’s good enough to tempt the carnivores.
For those who simply want to kick back and take it all in under the clear Carolina skies, the oceanfront lounge spills out onto the stunningly designed Brazilian Ipe hardwood railed decking and full-on coastal views. The large deck has plenty of outdoor seating, umbrellas for shade by day, and warming fire pits taking the edge off the evening’s cool ocean breezes.
Jonah Ritter, 32, is the food and beverage manager overseeing the Beach Club. “We’ve really created something special here that’s inviting on so many levels,” says Ritter. “Guests enjoy ocean views and specialty cocktails, like our coastal margarita, at the lounge or all outdoor seating at the adjacent beach bar with live music all summer long. Surfside Market is a kid friendly option with ice cream, smoothies, and even snow cones.”
Floats, chairs, towels, sunscreen, surf boards, beach toys, and all manner of gear is available at the Club as are specialty retailers for die-hard shoppers. That’s what we call a day at the beach. www.seapines.com