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The Guide to Hilton Head

Smokehouse Bar & BBQ

[ad#rightpost]Smokehouse. Bad sign up front: their chili is “seasonal,” so they didn’t have any. In what universe is chili a seasonal food? Especially at a BBQ place? When I asked about the mac n cheese I was told by the waitress that it was Stouffer’s. I told her I appreciated her candor. The meat was good, especially the pulled pork, and the sauces were exceptional. Mustard BBQ was the best they had. Not the best BBQ I’ve ever had, but definitely not the worst. Their menu needs some work, though.

Hilton Head Ice Cream Inc. The only ice cream shop we could find that was open late–and they were about to close but let us in anyway. And apparently there’s a market for late night ice cream, because two more parties came in after us to order. I tried their “hot” ice cream (hot as in spicy) and it was good, but I couldn’t have handled a full scoop. Went with more standard fare and it was quite delicious. And like I said, they’re nice folks and deserve coin.

Stack’s Pancakes. Your standard greasy spoon breakfast. Nowhere near the quality of the Sunrise Cafe but you don’t go to a place like this for quality. Converted from an old Shoney’s building, they have decent food: we sampled their meat-filled omelette, blueberry pancakes and bacon. Again, if you like quick and fast breakfast, this will work.

The best seafood we had on the island was at The Sea Shack. We went twice. Fish sandwiches, a shrimp po boy, alligator appetizer–everything we had there was freaking excellent. Small place, too. This is where we were told when we said, “Where’s the seafood place that the locals eat at?” It was described as a hole in the wall, but it’s really not that bad. Probably the #1 restaurant I miss.

Giuseppi's Pizza and Pasta

Giuseppi’s Pizza. A letdown. Decent pizza but nothing special, made even less tasty by the fact that the place seems to be teeming with high school kids (behind the counter, at least they looked that young) who seemed to have no direction, so no wonder people were having to wait an hour to get a pizza. I’d take Mellow Mushroom over this in a heartbeat.

Stuff to Do.

Pirate's Island Adventure Golf

Widge and his killer swing

Pirates Island Adventure Golf. Hell yes, man. Pirate Golf! We were doing fine until we got to the hole that was supposed to be a Par 4–in some other strange universe. I think I got about a fourteen. It looked like a James Bond trap, for crying out loud. We had so much fun we played both courses.

Sea Pines Resort. This is an entire area of the island that you have to pay to get into. They do have an ancient shell ring, which is worth hiking out to just so you can say you’ve stood in some sort of structure that was around 3500 years old. They also have their lighthouse, which was an interesting bit of history plus a lot of shops, most of which were terribly expensive and uninteresting.

Lawton Stables

Lawton Stables. Horseback trail rides available. Cosette went without me, as I distrust animals that are larger than I am. And I am a very large animal. But it was an easy ride and if you go and see the horse Teresa, tell her Cosette said hello.

Harbour Town Lighthouse
Harbor Town Lighthouse

You can get beach info here for the island…we checked out Coligny Beach, where we built a zombie-proof sand castle, in case of the undead climbing out of the sea. There was plenty of parking, plenty of room, and of course, bathrooms nearby. We also met a baby shark that had been left in a tide pool and was sort of hanging out. Taking an evening walk there is quite pleasant, especially since there’s less sun to flay the skin from my body.

Widge vs. the Neptune statue at Shelter Cove Marina in Hilton Head

Shelter Cove Marina. A giant statue of Neptune serving as a sun dial, which is rather nifty. Above you see a picture of Nep about to play shuffleboard with me. This is the place where we went for…

Schooner Welcome

The Schooner Welcome, a replica schooner that took us and some others on a sunset cruise. There were plenty of dolphins to see, and Captain Jeremy, who owns the boat, is a great guy. Ask him for his story about monkeys. They also are not averse to having people help out with the sails, which is nice if you enjoy that sort of thing.

We also went kayaking on Broad Creek with Water Dog Outfitters. It was a tour around a bit of the island, and it was great…although it about killed my back. Kayaks don’t have a lot of back support.

Widge in Kayak at Hilton Head
I am smiling, yes. But...please just kill me.

I recommend checking out the Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery. We were there on Memorial Day weekend and how many Memorial Days do you get to visit the resting places of Revolutionary War veterans? Fascinating resting place of an entire family where of eleven kids, they only had two really survive into full-on adulthood.

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