The Stuff You Want To Know Before You Move
Hilton Head Island contains eleven gated communities commonly referred to as "plantations". Hilton Head Plantation, Indigo Run, Long Cove Club, Palmetto Dunes, Palmetto Hall, Port Royal Plantation, Sea Pines Resort, Shipyard Plantation, Spanish Wells, Windmill Harbour, and Wexford Plantation are the names of the gated communities. There are also many other popular neighborhoods which lack security gates, including South Forest Beach, Folly Field, Singleton Beach, and more. Short descriptions of the plantations can be found below. Please note this is not a complete list of communities.
Hilton Head Plantation
Hilton Head Plantation is one of Hilton Head Island's largest and most age-diverse established communities. Reaching over 4,000 acres between the Intracoastal Waterway and Port Royal Sound, Hilton Head Plantation has over 4,000 homes and 500 villas. Hilton Head Plantation offers access to two miles of beach enjoyment, tennis courts, a community recreation center, a shared gardening area, numerous community swimming pools, two nature conservancy centers, and four different golf courses. There is the Country Club of Hilton Head Island which is host to the semi-private 18-hole golf course designed by Rees Jones. In addition Rees has also designed the award-winning Oyster Reef Golf Course and Bear Creek Golf Course. A fourth private course called Dolphin Head was created by Gary Player and Ron Kirby. Hilton Head Plantation offers two nature conservancies offer gorgeous, engaging nature trails and boardwalks through woods and marshland. Leisure paths wind throughout the plantation for walking, jogging, and biking. Residents also have access to Skull Creek Marina and the Old Fort Pub restaurant.
Indigo Run is the newest and final private residential golf plantation established on Hilton Head Island. Located at the north end of the island, Indigo Run has access just off of Highway 278 and contains 1,712 acres of beautiful wooded property. Contained within Indigo Run is the private Golf Club at Indigo Run, the River Club and Broad Pointe on the waterfront and the magnificence of The Garden Homes at Berwick Green. The golf aspect of this plantation prides itself on the two Jack Nicklaus designed golf courses: The Golden Bear and The Golf Club. Also within the seclusion of the gates of Indigo Run, residents can partake in the recreation area that includes a junior Olympic swimming pool, hard tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, and a playground.
Long Cove Club
Long Cove Club is found between Yacht Cove and Wexford Plantation as you approach the island’s south end. There are 569 homes within this community. Recognized by Golf Digest magazine as the number one course in South Carolina for 10 consecutive years, the Pete Dye designed and recently renovated golf course is found within the boundaries of Long Cove Club. A valued membership to this stimulating golf course is included with ownership in Long Cove Club. The plantation developers thoughtfully chose to preserve the area’s mossy live oaks, magnolias and palmetto palm trees. The result is a serene and wooded surrounding to the signature golf course. A tennis center was opened in 2002 and residents will also enjoy deepwater access to Broad Creek from the community’s boat docks.
Palmetto Dunes and Shelter Cove are popular residential communities located mid-island. Stretching over 1,800 acres this well preserved area has 1,012 homes and 1,470 villas, three miles of illustrious Atlantic Ocean beaches, 11 miles of winding lagoons as well as one of the biggest tennis centers on the island containing 25 courts. Within Palmetto Dunes you will find the Hilton Resort and the Hilton Head Marriott Beach and Golf Resort. There are three public 28-hole golf courses designed by PGA favorites George Fazio, Robert Trent Jones and Arthur Hills. Palmetto Dunes and Shelter Cove has its share of year round residents to weekend guests due to the extensive lodging available. The more private and quiet residential area called Leamington is also located inside Palmetto Dunes.
This 750-acre community lies just east of Hilton Head Plantation and has become known as one of the island's more intimate, neighborly environments. Its 527 homes follow the plantation's architectural review board requirements for Southern classic style. Many have porches, decks, dormers, and other boasts that intentionally embrace the island's magnificent weather and encourage participation in the neighborhood. Sites offer views of lagoons, the plantation's 100-acre wooded nature preserve, or one of two 18-hole golf courses designed by Arthur Hills and Robert Cupp. Property ownership includes a flexible social or golf membership.
The Port Royal Community is home to the original landing site of William Hilton, the explorer the island is named after. This community is a private residential community famous for its peaceful, preserved natural environment and plentiful amenities. It is comprised of approximately 800 homes and is situated at the "heel" of Hilton Head, within reach of approximately 12 miles of beach where Port Royal Sound joins the Atlantic Ocean. The plantation is the island's only completely private seaside residential neighborhood. Outside its gates is the Westin Resort, situated on 24 primarily oceanfront acres of Port Royal. The resort offers privileges to the plantation's three 18-hole golf courses, two championship croquet courts, and a 16-court racquet club.
Sea Pines Plantation spans over 5,200 acres and is one of the largest residential and resort plantations on Hilton Head Island. It was the first of the modern Hilton Head Island communities and served as the model for the other communities which were to follow. Best known for its wide, sandy beaches, Sea Pines has three championship golf courses, including the home of the PGA Tour’s annual Verizon Heritage, Harbour Town Golf Links. Nestled alongside the Harbour Town Golf Links is the Harbour Town Marina, home to the recognizable landmark red and white striped lighthouse. Sea Pines Plantation has a variety of homes, villas, and townhomes with a variety of views of golf courses, woods, lagoons and ocean front. The seemingly endless amenities include the Sea Pines Racquet Club, South Beach Marina, 605 acres of forest preserve, Lawton Stables Equestrian Center, miles of bike paths, numerous pools and five miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches.
Shipyard Plantation stretches across over 800 wooded and fairway-lined acres off Highway 278, between Palmetto Dunes and Sea Pines. Shipyard offers residential living as well as a quiet location for vacationers renting property. Within Shipyard are approximately 250 homes and 1500 villas. The Van Der Meer Shipyard Racquet Club is located within the plantation, offering 14 clay and six hard tennis courts. Three nine-hole golf courses, esteemed as some of the finest in the country by the Senior PGA Tour, are available to residents and guests. Also located in Shipyard are the Sonesta, an oceanfront hotel, and the Hilton Head Health Institute, a weight loss and health spa.
When Spanish explorers first landed on Hilton Head Island, they landed in the future home of the Spanish Wells community. Although it is a private community, it is perfect for those who want to escape from their busy schedules and get away from it all. Spanish Wells Plantation is located on a peninsula that divides Broad Creek and Calibogue Sound, providing residents with breathtaking water and sunset views. There are 219 homes within Spanish Wells. The residential architecture varies from modern lavish estates to older and more modest homes, most on lots that exceed one acre. Spanish Wells has a clubhouse and semi-private nine-hole golf course designed by George Cobb. The community has tennis courts, a small beach area, and a recreational dock with an extra large float.
After crossing the bridge onto Hilton Head, the community of Windmill Harbour is visible on the right side of Highway 278, along the Intracoastal Waterway. Windmill Harbour is the ideal destination for boating and water sports enthusiasts, offering direct access to the famous Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The community's premier coastal location has 350 homes and 70 villas, with 80% of them having water views. This 172-acre private community exhibits true southern architecture with its brightly colored homes. Windmill Harbour is home to the South Carolina Yacht Club and a 15.5-acre marina with 260 boat slips and a locked harbor system that serves as a direct link to the Intracoastal Waterway.
Wexford Plantation is located on the south end of Hilton Head Island. This prestigious neighborhood is a sailor’s paradise and is one of Hilton Head’s premier residential communities. Located on the gentle banks of the Broad Creek, Wexford's centerpiece is a thirty seven acre harbor, with twenty four hour access courtesy of the full time Harbour Master. Boats up to seventy feet in length can safely gain access to the Broad Creek, Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean beyond. Other amenities offered in this luxury community include an eighteen-hole golf course, six tennis courts, and spectacular clubhouse featuring a cocktail lounge, restaurant, ballroom and pro shop.
On the mainland side of the Island, the town of Bluffton also offers a wide range of residential communities in gated and non-gated communities. Some gated communities are below; however, this is not a complete list.
Belfair is located on Highway 278, five miles from the bridge to Hilton Head Island. Belfair is a private, 1,100-acre community on the scenic marshes of the Colleton River. The magnificent "Avenue of Oaks" leads you into Belfair where you find two 18-hole championship Tom Fazio golf courses. There are nature trails and wildlife viewing areas, and a carefully preserved wading-bird rookery. At the Family Activity Center, a tennis club, indoor/outdoor pools, a fitness club, playground, basketball court, and picnic grounds can be found. A grand clubhouse and a 29-acre state-of-the-art golf practice facility round out the community's features.
Berkeley Hall is a 960-acre, private golf club community on the Okatie River. This community is approximately seven miles west of Hilton Head. It has two Tom Fazio core golf courses, members enjoy "pure" golf, without the interruption of interior streets or homes. A wonderful 30-acre Golf Learning Center, designed by Fazio, offers one of the best practice facilities of any American private club. Amenities at Berkeley Hall include a state-of-the-art Spa and Fitness Center, a river park, over 10 miles of trails meandering throughout the community. There is a 35,000 sq. ft. Jeffersonian-style clubhouse. Many Homesites have deep water, marsh, golf, and wooded views.
Colleton River is situated approximately two miles from the bridge to Hilton Head Island. This high-end community offers two ranked golf courses and wonderful views of the Colleton River. Roads wind two-and-a-half miles through the South Carolina Nature Preserve. You can enjoy acclaimed golf courses by Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus, a golf practice facility, a Stan Smith-designed tennis facility, an activity and fitness center and a gorgeous Charleston-style clubhouse that affords views of the Nicklaus course and sunsets on the Colleton River. The Clubhouse, designed by Pete Dye, was patterned after an old Southern plantation home.
The community of Eagle's Point is on Hwy 278, approximately eight miles past the Hilton Head Island bridge. The golf course was designed by Davis Love III. The swimming pool has a junior Olympic pool, picnic area, fireplace, changing rooms, and more. Tennis courts and a 7.5-acre lake are located in the heart of the community.
Hampton Hall is one of the biggest residential communities off Buckwalter with approximately 1,000 acres. Hampton Hall is a private gated community with an 18-hole golf course designed by Pete Dye. Within Hampton Hall is a 17 acre activity center located on a lake. There is a health and fitness center, an indoor pool, and a cafe. There is also an outdoor pool, basketball courts, eight tennis courts, an outdoor cookout pavilion, and a clubhouse, along with approximately 6.5 miles of walking and biking trails.
Hampton Lake, named "America's Best" Community and Club, offers a casual, relaxed way of life centered around a 165-acre freshwater fishing and boating lake and incredible resort-like amenities for the whole family to enjoy. Ideally located within 25 minutes of Hilton Head Island and Savannah, GA, more than 600 families are already enjoying the fun outdoor lifestyle in this dynamic club and private real estate community.
Island West is a gated country club community located off Highway 278. Homeowners enjoy a preferred membership package at the 18 hole Fuzzy Zoeller golf course, as well as tennis, shuffleboard, and community swimming pool. A community clubhouse offers an aerobic facility, media room, and card room.
The private country club known as Moss Creek Plantation has more than 1,000 homes and 70 villas with marsh views, deepwater opportunities, and features two championship Tom Fazio golf courses. Located just minutes from the Hilton Head Bridge, Moss Creek's 1,042 acres are bordered on the west by a 1,200-acre South Carolina nature preserve and on the east by Lowcountry wetlands. Enjoy a day in the life with a wide variety of recreational facilities to enjoy. In addition to the golf courses and clubhouse, residents enjoy a deepwater marina, tennis center, pavilion for outdoor cookouts and parties, swimming pool, playground, the 11-acre Fording Island Nature Preserve, and a fully equipped equestrian center.
Oldfield is a private club community of 500 homes and home sites built along a spectacular Greg Norman golf course and the Okatie River. Oldfield’s ideal location is just a 30-minute drive from Savannah/Hilton Head Island International Airport, and a 30 minute drive from both the quaint town of Beaufort and Hilton Head Island. Oldfield offers 860 acres of Lowcountry landscaping and endless outdoor activities. The new sports center offers state-of-the-art fitness equipment, tennis courts, a heated lap pool, hot tub, and a zero entry outdoor pool. The luxurious golf clubhouse is located on the 18-hole Greg Norman inspired golf course. The Outfitters Center is an outdoorsman's haven - a combination of lodge, leisure, and learning. You will be inspired to spend many an afternoon learning the art of fly-tying from a resident River Pro or learning about the beautiful ecosystem from Oldfield's full time naturalist. The Outfitters Center also offers kayaking, canoeing, fishing, shrimping, and crabbing to residents of Oldfield.
Palmetto Bluff, a community featuring riverfront views on three sides, is a 20,000-acre residential community and conservation preserve. This neighborhood is characterized by wide-ranging nature preserves, river access, walking trails, a quaint village center, and a world renowned inn and spa. The Palmetto Bluff area features several residential neighborhoods ranging from multi-million dollar legacy family complexes to more traditionally sized, upscale single-family homes.
Rose Dhu Creek
Rose Dhu Creek offers 118 large estate homesites from one to five acres in a private, gated community located on more than 300 acres and features a full-service equestrian complex, over seven miles of leisure trails, two fully stocked fishing lagoons, and a community pool. The plantation is preserved in gorgous century-old oaks, incredible marsh views, and abundant wildlife. Located just minutes from the Bluffton schools, as well as historic downtown Bluffton, Hilton Head and Savannah, residents enjoy the conveniences of in-town living with the feel of country living. Rose Dhu Creek offers its owners more freedoms than restrictions; for example, treehouses, private gardens, long driveways, dogs, and horses are encouraged rather than discouraged.
About seven miles from the bridge to Hilton Head, Rose Hill Plantation is situated off both sides of Highway 278 between Belfair Plantation and Eagles Point. There are 988 homes and sites in this 1,700-acre private community. Approximately two-thirds of the residents live on the "golf course side" and the remaining live on the "estate" or "equestrian side." The homes on the estate side are built on gracious 2 ½-to-3-acre lots near a fully equipped equestrian center, which is managed by jockey Eddy Maples, and includes stables, paddocks, polo fields, and riding trails that weave throughout this side of Rose Hill. Golf side residents enjoy luxurious views provided by an 18-hole golf course laced with ponds and lagoons and Magnolia trees, creating a low country paradise that is home to alligators, deer, exotic water fowl and many other Southern flora and fauna. The golf side offers a swimming pool, two Hardcourt tennis courts and the Colleton Point area with boat ramp, dock and meeting center, while the estate side includes two swimming pools and two clay courts.
Hilton Head Island has a business-friendly environment able to handle the demands of a growing economy. Here are a few of the various employment options available:
Tourism is a leading industry on Hilton Head Island. There are numerous resort and hotel jobs, everything from marketing to accounting. Hilton Head Island also has a large retail and professional sector. The resort lifestyle means that you might be able to find a job with non-traditional hours.
Using today's virtual technology, many people have taken advantage of being able to stay connected with their home office while living and working in their ideal place. The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce has videoconferencing facilities on the Island so you never have to miss a meeting.
Be your own boss! Start your own business. Hilton Head is the home to many local companies, started up by residents who have moved here looking for something new.
Take your knowledge of the corporate world and turn into a consultant for our local businesses. Consulting offers you the freedom to set your own schedule, as well as offering the community a new insight.
Technology-based businesses such as CareCore National and Field Stone Marketing have created a number of jobs in the Lowcountry area. Gulf Stream is located 30 miles away in Savannah, and the new Boeing 787 Jet Assembly Plant is located in nearby Charleston.
A growing number of people are moving their families to Hilton Head Island, while still working their job in another city. With the close proximity to two airports, many people have chosen to enjoy the Hilton Head Island lifestyle on the weekend, and fly back to their jobs during the week.
South Carolina has a personal property tax on automobiles, recreational vehicles, airplanes and boats based on an assessed value of 10.5 percent of total purchase price. The assessed value is multiplied by the appropriate millage rate of the district in which the taxpayer resides. Hilton Head Island is divided into six districts with varying mileage rates. Real estate taxes are based on an appraised value of property by the county tax assessor. The appraised value is then multiplied by 4 percent for residents and 6 percent for non-resident property owners and corporations to obtain what is known as the assessed value. The assessed value is multiplied times the mileage rate for the appropriate district. The first $100,000 of the fair market value of a home is exempt from property taxes for citizens who are 65 or older; citizens who are totally and permanently disabled; and citizens who are legally blind, if they have been a South Carolina resident for at least one year. Hilton Head Island has not had a tax increase in 13 years.
Quality health care is always close on Hilton Head Island. Hilton Head Regional is located on the island, Coastal Carolina is about 20 minutes inland, and Beaufort Memorial is a half-hour away. In addition, Hilton Head Island is 2½ hours from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and 2½ hours from MUSC in Charleston.
Hilton Head Regional Medical Center
St. Joseph’s/Candler Immediate Care
Beaufort County School District currently has 23 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, and 6 high schools. There are also several private schools in the area. Some are linked below; however, this is not a complete list.
Hilton Head Island Early Childhood Center
Hilton Head Island Elementary School
Hilton Head Island Middle School
Hilton Head Island High School
Bluffton Elementary School and Early Childhood Center
Michael C. Riley Elementary School
Pritchardville Elementary School
Hilton Head Preparatory School
University of South Carolina Beaufort
Technical College of the Lowcountry
Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence
Nearly 20 different denominations and affiliations are represented on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton.
Hilton Head Island:
Central Oak Grove Baptist Church
St. Francis by the Sea Catholic Church
St. Andrew By-the-Sea Methodist Church
Hilton Head Island Presbyterian Church
Providence Presbyterian Church
Unity Church of Hilton Head Island
St. Gregory the Great Baptist Church
Bluffton United Methodist Church
Church of the Palms United Methodist
Lowcountry Presbyterian Church
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry
You can obtain free maps of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton by calling this number: (843) 785-7272. They are great for learning your way around the area.
The Stuff You Need To Know After You Move
Beaufort Jasper Water & Sewer Authority
Hilton Head Public Service District 1
Broad Creek Public Service District
South Island Public Service District
Internet Services of the Lowcountry
Town of Hilton Head Island and the Town of Bluffton both offer curbside solid waste and recycling collection for residents.
Map of Convenience Centers
The Beaufort County Library operates five branches throughout Beaufort County. Library cards are free to Beaufort County residents who present proof of current residency.
Hilton Head Island branch is located at 11 Beach City Road.
Bluffton branch is located at 120 Palmetto Way.
Hilton Head Island – 3 locations
Main office (south island) is at 10 Bow Circle.
Fairfield Station office (north island) is at 213 William Hilton Parkway.
Harbour Town office (Sea Pines) is at 71 Lighthouse Road.
Bluffton – 1 location
Main office is at 25 Thurmond Way.
In all cases of Emergency DIAL 911
Bluffton Township Fire District operates eight stations in Bluffton and the greater Bluffton area. The non-emergency number is 843-757-2800.
Town of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division operates seven stations across Hilton Head Island. The non-emergency number is 843-682-5100.
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction throughout the county, but concedes jurisdiction of municipalities unless requested for backup. The non-emergency number is 843-255-3300.
Bluffton Police Department serves the town of Bluffton. The non-emergency number is 843-706-4550.
SLED certified private security officers have law enforcement authority within the planned unit developments throughout the Island. The non-emergency number is 803-737-9000.
S.C. Highway Patrol provides service and protection through-out the state of South Carolina. The non-emergency number is 803-896-7920.
U.S. Coast Guard:
One of the five armed forces of the United States, the Coast Guard safeguards the nation’s maritime interests and environment around the world. There are three nearby stations:
Savannah – 912-652-4646
Tybee Island – 912-786-5440
Charleston – 843-720-7727
Beaufort County Animal Shelter and Control
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Hilton Head Airport is located on the north end of the Island.
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is located approximately 45 miles south of the Island.
Charleston International Airport is about two hours north.
New residents of South Carolina have up to 90 days to switch their driver’s licenses to an S.C. license and up to 45 days to register their vehicles in S.C. Military personnel and students temporarily in South Carolina are not required to obtain a S.C. driver’s license. Check with the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles for more information.
The Cross Island Parkway connects the north and south ends of Hilton Head, providing an alrenate route to William Hilton Parkway. A one-way trip is $1.25. Individuals with a pre-paid Palmetto Pass pay 75 cents each way.
Hurricane Evacuation Routes:
If the Governor of South Carolina requires a mandatory evacuation, you are encouraged to evacuate when instructed. Prepare now. Know where you will go if evacuated. Anticipate roads on and off the island will be congested and difficult to maneuver. Leave early if possible.
THE FUN STUFF
HHI’s official beach season runs April 1 through September 30. All of the beach is public, from the ocean to the high water mark. Access to the beach, however, is often private. The town of Hilton Head provides beach accesses at the following locations:
Alder Lane Beach Access – Parking available, restrooms, beach matting
Burkes Beach Access – Parking available
Chaplin Community Park – Parking available, sports fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, dog park, playground, nature trails, outside showers
Coligny Beach Park – Parking available, fountain, bathhouse, restrooms, outside showers, beach matting, seasonal rentals, seasonal lifeguards
Driessen Beach Park – Parking available, seasonal lifeguards, seasonal rentals, restrooms, outside showers, boardwalk, beach matting, playground, picnic shelter, grills
Fish Haul Creek Park – at the end of Beach City Road – Parking available, birdwatching, nature trails, mud flats, boardwalk
Folly Field Beach Park – Parking available, seasonal lifeguards, beach matting, restrooms, outside showers, boardwalk
Islanders Beach Park – off Folly Field Road – Parking available, beach matting, picnic pavilion, playground, boardwalk, outside showers, restrooms
Mitchelville Beach Park – off Beach City Road – Parking available, beach matting, restrooms
All Plantations with beaches have numerous beach access points for their residents.
All major Island Hotels have beach access for their guests.
Hilton Head Park (Old Schoolhouse Park)
This pristine, sandy beach in a natural setting features camping, fishing, nature trails, and a lighthouse.
Located at the southern end of Port Royal where Battery Creek flows into the Beaufort River, features abundant aquatic life, oyster reefs, and sharks teeth.
Don’t forget your license! All shore-based fishermen age 16 and older must buy a South Carolina saltwater fishing license.
Port Royal Boat Landing (The Sands)
Golf Digest readers have Hilton Head Island named No. 10 on its list of the world's best golf resorts.
Harbour Town Golf Links (Sea Pines)
Robert Trent Jones Course (Palmetto Dunes)
Brigantine/Clipper Course (Shipyard)
Galleon/Brigantine Course (Shipyard)
Hilton Head National Golf Club
Clipper/Galleon Course (Shipyard)
George Fazio Course (Palmetto Dunes)
Robert Cup Course (Palmetto Hall)
May River Golf Club (Palmetto Dunes)
Jack Nicklaus (Colleton River)
More than 60 miles of multi-use trails connect riders to everywhere you want to go, and you can even bike to the Hilton Head beaches.
Online Vacation Planner and Golf Planner
Disclaimer: The information claimed within is believed to be correct, but not guaranteed.