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    Hilton Head Island
    I knew nothing about Hilton Head Island except that my neighbor would go every summer and rave about it. To be honest I thought it was in North Carolina, not South Carolina. Now that I've looked at the map I know it's in Beaufort County, SC. It's just a two-hour drive from Charleston, three hours from Jacksonville, four hours from Charlotte, four and a half hours from Atlanta, and 45 minutes from Savannah. The island is 12 miles (19 km) long and shaped like a shoe. Captain William Hilton named the island after himself when he landed there in 1663. The year-round population is only around 37,000, but during peak season (summer) the population can swell to up to 275,000 (many of the visitors are from Ohio, New York, and Canada). The Town of Hilton Head Island was incorporated as an "eco-friendly" development so there's quite a lot of tree cover--they have a ton of live oaks with Spanish moss hanging from them, which really gives the place character and southern charm. About 70 percent of the island is located inside gated communities, and my group spent most of our time in two different ones--Sea Pines Resort and Palmetto Dunes.


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