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Hilton Head Vs Charleston beaches?

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Seattle, Washington
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Hilton Head Vs Charleston beaches?

Hi. My family and I are looking at visiting in June. The plan is to fly into Savannah spend 4 nights and then drive and spend 4 nights in Charleston. We intend to spend part of the trip at a nice high end beach resort in one area and at a downtown hotel in the other. Having access to fine dining in both Savannah and Charleston is key. Hilton Head sounds awesome but wondering if its a quick drive to Savannah or not for meals. Also wondering how a beach holiday in HH would compare to one in Isle of Palms in Charleston. Trying to decide if we should stay downtown in Savannah or in Charleston. We have a 9 year old son and I think he will not appreciate the historic aspect of this trip as much as we will so trying to plan accordingly. Thanks for your help on this.

Edited: 24 January 2013, 05:04
Hilton Head, South...
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1. Re: Hilton Head Vs Charleston beaches?

Charleston wins hands down with everything.

Savannah is nothing more than a trashier smaller version of charleston, the real fine dining scene will be in Charleston.

Also, with a 9 year old, there's so much more fun stuff to do in Charleston, There's the Aquarium, Fort Sumter/Fort Moultrie, Birds of Prey Center, and the beaches are great. Great for shell collecting and they have waves.

Hilton head has none of that stuff. HHI is boring, Shell collecting sucks, there's no waves, and there's nothing really do. HHI really is only meant for old people to retire or yankees looking for "peace and quiet"

The food in HHI is pretty good though but in terms of activities and beaches, bleh.

Decatur, GA
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for Atlanta
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2. Re: Hilton Head Vs Charleston beaches?

I would look at Fripp Island. They have organized programs for kids in season. www.frippislandresort.com or www.frippvacation.com

Charlotte
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3. Re: Hilton Head Vs Charleston beaches?

I agree there's more to do/see in Charleston over Savannah, especially with a 9-year old.

We spend a week on HHI and a week at one of the Charleston beaches each year with our 5-year old because we can't really choose one over the other. The actual beach at IoP and HHI are about the same, with HHI being slightly wider where we stay. Both are great for swimming, biking, running, playing, etc but would agree that if shelling is important to you, they are not good for that. I prefer the tree canopy on HHI to IofP and HHI has miles and miles of off road bike paths. IoP is smaller and easier to get around. HHI will have many more choices of "high end beach resorts".

The higher end restaurants on HHI will make that long drive into Savannah seem unnecessary - the restaurants on HHI are one of the biggest pluses to the island.

My guess is that you'd be best off basing at the beach in HHI with a day trip into Savannah and then basing yourself in the historic district in Charleston.

New jersey
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4. Re: Hilton Head Vs Charleston beaches?

OK, I have to ask, Winterface, if Hilton Head is such a bummer, why do you live there? I do agree that Charleston is a great city by the way, but it just seems like you really dislike HHI.

Hilton Head, South...
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5. Re: Hilton Head Vs Charleston beaches?

Had to relocate due to work, And I didn't mean to totally bum on HHI, its a pretty cool place but when you compare it to Charleston (and its surrounding) areas its a no-brainer. Also, HHI is barely southern anymore, it takes a lot of work to find anyone not from "up north" which if you live here sucks, The culture is totally different.

But here, since my post came off so negative I'll list some positives:

1.) Food, the food in HHI is great, there's a lot of variety too. Seafood, BBQ, Italian, island has it all. Even a pretty awesome thai place.

2.) Coligny - this area is pretty fun for all ages, shopping, restaurants, a great (somewhat new) beach plaza area with swings, water fountain, etc.

3.) Abundance of birds and other wildlife.

4.) Lots of areas to kayak in.

Ridgewood, New...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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6. Re: Hilton Head Vs Charleston beaches?

I love our Charleston beaches and do agree that there is more to see and do in Charleston than in Savannah. However, I think that HHI is a great place to vacation with a nine-year-old ... especially in June! You are likely to have perfect beach weather, without the extreme heat/humidity or crowds of later summer. From HHI you can drive to Savannah and to Beaufort, which is a beautiful, historic town (2nd oldest in South Carolina, after Charleston).

My opinion: Spend your beach time on HHI, with day trips of Savannah and Beaufort; take a leisurely drive to Charleston (we can recommend interesting sites along the route); and save your city stay for Charleston's historic district.

Edited: 24 January 2013, 16:28
Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: Hilton Head Vs Charleston beaches?

Thanks for the responses. It sounds like we should focus on Charleston!

New jersey
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8. Re: Hilton Head Vs Charleston beaches?

Thanks for the positives. I'd add golf and great bike paths all through the island. Right now its about 25 degrees where I am, and I'm badly wanting to be at my house in Sea Pines, or sitting at the Salty Dog with a bowl of she crab. Its all in the perspective, I guess.

Bethpage NY
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9. Re: Hilton Head Vs Charleston beaches?

If you are looking for a high end beach resort you probably can't do any better then The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island which is approx 40 minutes outside of Charleston. I agree that Charleston is a better destination then Savannah and if you fly int Charleston you will have very little driving to do to experience the best of both worlds.

Cincinnati
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10. Re: Hilton Head Vs Charleston beaches?

Check the Charleston Place as a hotel to stay at in Charleston, it has a wonderful rooftop pool for your son plus it is located in the center of the historial area. I would add 2 days to HHI and spend less time in Charleston with a 6 year old. We enjoyed taking the boat from Sea Pines to Savannah with our kids as a day trip.