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Sea Pines or Kiawah?

Wake Forest, North...
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Sea Pines or Kiawah?

Planning an anniversary vacation. Would like good tennis instruction (individual lessons). Also which is best for bicycling/walking/running, and which is best for relaxing and quiet?

Plan on staying at the Inn at Harbour Town if Sea Pines, or The Sanctuary Inn if Kiawah.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Ridgewood, New...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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1. Re: Sea Pines or Kiawah?

You have chosen two excellent options, which are interesting to compare.

Development on Kiawah, which was a privately owned island until the mid-1970s, was to large extent inspired by the development plan at Sea Pines ... open spaces, low horizon, dedication to nature, bike trails, resort villas mixed with private residences, town center, etc. The difference between HHI as a whole and Kiawah Island as a whole is that ALL of Kiawah Island has been developed according to a single "master plan;" thus, making Kiawah Island - as a whole - consistent with the Sea Pines vision.

The only independent commercial entity on Kiawah is the Kiawah Island Golf Resort. The five golf courses, two tennis centers, and multiple restaurants on Kiawah are owned and operated by the resort; meanwhile, the interesting shops and galleries at The Sanctuary lease space from the resort. There are many more shops and restaurants just off island, but the Kiawah Island itself is extremely non-commercial.

Kiawah Island is VERY quiet at night. There is no nightlife on Kiawah other than the non-human nocturnal animals. Staying on Kiawah for the evening, you might have dinner at The Ocean Room (highly recommend!) and an after dinner drink at the elegant lobby bar; going off island, you can find anything from the cutting edge restaurants in Charleston to "mom and pop" lowcountry barbecue on Johns Island.

Tennis players love both HHI and Kiawah. As you might guess, we are partial to Kiawah, where we and our daughters have spent many summers working on our strokes with great private instructors. Take a look ... http://www.kiawahresort.com/tennis

Ridgewood, New...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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2. Re: Sea Pines or Kiawah?

Forgot to mention - Kiawah's ten-mile private beach is firm packed, and with a gentle slope into the water. You can comfortably walk, run, or bike the beach the entire distance. If you get tired or want some shade, just duck off the beach at any of the beach access points to explore the interior of the island. We also have 30+ miles of paved bike trails.

Kiawah Island...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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3. Re: Sea Pines or Kiawah?

Since we've got just the one commercial venture on the island, I'd say Kiawah would definitely be the best for a relaxing anniversary celebration, just as you describe.

Our biking is incredible, as is just about everything else we have to offer on this island.

Have been to HHI a number of times in the past, but you just can't compare the two, really.

Beaufort, South...
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4. Re: Sea Pines or Kiawah?

I've been to both, and while I live closer to HHI, I too would choose Kiawah over Hilton Head. The Sanctuary is an oceanfront inn for beginners, so I find it to be more attractive from the get-go. The Inn at Harbour Town is a great facility, but it also is located in Harbour Town, which is one of the more popular places to visit on the island. The only advantage I can think of with Hilton Head is the there are more shopping and dining options just beyond the Sea Pines gate that are in close proximity to the lodging facilities compared to Kiawah. That being said, if I had to choose between the two, Kiawah would get my vote.

For good measure, I would also suggest that the Inn at Palmetto Bluff in nearby Bluffton is a fantastic facility, too.

5. Re: Sea Pines or Kiawah?

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