We arrived in Hilton Head at dusk. We felt that the dark streets with few signs and no lights were VERY hazardous. The small mile marker signs that dot the highway as a point of reference to visitors were not much help. Fortunately it was off-season and there wasn't as much traffic.
Buildings share similar architecture, green roofs, sand colored siding. Many buildings are hidden from view from the roads. Local laws regarding the reduction of signage, and street lights makes it difficult to find the place that you are looking for, this especially true if traveling at night.
Route 278 or William Hilton Parkway is the main road. There is also a toll road which shortcuts across the island for $1.00 toll each way (photo 4). The traffic circles on the island can be a challenge. Remember to merge into the circle. Don't stop your vehicle in the circle (even to figure out a sign), because the person behind you who is also trying to read the signs will run into you.
Hilton Head comes with a LARGE number of restrictive covenants, which are written as though they are really on board with ecology.
For instance, "Light pollution ordinances are in effect across the island to protect the habitat of the loggerhead turtles which sometimes confuse the lights of dwellings and street lights with the phosphorescence of the ocean."
"Few streetlights line the roads and no road signs are lit, so if you plan to drive around Hilton Head Island after dark it would be in your best interests to familiarize yourself with the area beforehand so that you can find what you are looking for."
But combined with a complete lack of detailed maps, we found that even after we had been on the island for a week, we still got lost at night.
If you are OK with restrictive covenants of this type, then Hilton Head may appeal to you. For myself, they make my blood boil. I think the same objective could have been achieved without such a heavy hand.
Whoa--maybe some people knew not to leave cabanas on the beach when unattended, but we didn't. It seemed like a good idea to bring some shade to the beach, but when the ocean breezes took it to the heavens we learned something new.
Since the beach was just steps away from our home rental, we had gone in to grab something for lunch. Bad idea!!
Fortunately, we grew a little wiser about the beach after living in the New Jersey shore area a few years.
one thing about having a place that people from all over the country love to visit, is that you get a lot of different driving styles mixed into one place. this means there are slow, pain in the butt drivers, and fast, crazy drivers. keep an eye out for those who haven't figured out how a traffic circle works.... it's really not that hard folks!!!
on the weekends, people are usually leaving the island, or people are coming onto the island, so the main roads are often backed up a little bit. i'd much rather travel to or from the island on a weekday!!!
I don't like to go swimming in the water anymore at ANY beach because i have been stung here twice. So be careful if you decide to go swimming in the water, especially after a storm, because the jellyfish can get you!
Do not mees around with the alligators. They look slow and sleepy but we watched one wait patiently and then go after one of the birds which he caught-I was surprised.Tthey hang out around most of the water on Hilton Head. This is not the place to go into the water to get your golf balls!
Hilton Head island has numerous wetlands and inlets, which have some alligators living in them. If you hit your golf ball into the water, look before wading in!