Beyond its mesmerizing scenery and laid-back pace, the Lowcountry is a wonderland of five-star living. Everything from our hotels to our restaurants to our culture reflects an understated elegance and refinement you will not find anywhere else in the world. It is a unique type of sophistication that brings together world-class opulence with a relaxed Southern charm. Here, you will find the finer things in life, served with a hospitable allure that only the Lowcountry can provide. And that refinement is reflected in the scores of accolades we have received from media outlets all over the world. Where, in the Lowcountry, there is no end to the high life.
Driven by the famed hospitality program at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, Hilton Head Island’s hotel scene has recently witnessed a great deal of new renovations. And some of those standout properties are destinations in their own right. Resort properties from the Omni to the Sonesta to the Westin have all recently completed extensive remodels, allowing you to feel at home while relishing in the jewel that is the island.
For the complete luxury resort experience, turn to the island’s only Forbes Four-Star resort, the Inn at Harbour Town. Part of the Sea Pines Resort, this boutique luxury hotel completed an ambitious remodel of its own just a few years ago, concurrent to a rebuild on the Harbour Town Clubhouse. The result is an extraordinary property that blends Lowcountry sophistication with world-class service. While you will fall in love with the Inn, the 5,000 acres of pristine coastal expanse give you little reason to stay inside. Outdoor amenities including five miles of picturesque private beach, 15 miles of bicycle trails, an equestrian center, 23 tennis courts, a 605-acre forest preserve, on-the-water activities, and three stunning golf courses beckon to you.
That is not to say the island has a monopoly on the high life. Tucked away amid the jaw-dropping natural beauty of the May River is the famed Montage at Palmetto Bluff, owner of its own four stars from Forbes. Here the order of the day is rustic refinement, with celebrated hospitality rounding off a day spent afield, exploring the century-old maritime forests and wonders around the property. Accommodations include spacious cottages, guest rooms and suites, and village homes, all within the gates of this award-winning community. Golf, recreation, water sports, nature trails, shopping, dining, and relaxation opportunities are ready upon arrival.
The hospitality industry, so vibrant here in the Lowcountry, does not live by lodging alone. Our restaurants have happily taken up the challenge of raising our region’s top-shelf reputation, with the world taking notice of our renowned culinary sophistication. Recently awarded four diamonds from AAA, Hilton Head Island's Old Fort Pub, pairs a mouth-watering array of high-end seafood creations with one of the most breathtaking views of Skull Creek you will find.
But Old Fort Pub is not alone in receiving accolades. An impressive 24 restaurants on the island received a three-star rating from AAA, from long-time island favorites like CQs and Old Oyster Factory to newcomers like Live Oak and Coast. The sheer variety represented on this list speaks volumes about the island’s obsession with creating and enjoying nothing short of the ultimate in refinement. Whether it is the Tex-Mex inspirations of Santa Fe Café or the Continental brilliance of Claude & Uli’s, there is a little something to give people of any taste the finest in dining.
You will also find this dedication to sophistication coming alive across our wide variety of cultural ventures. The renowned Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra began as a small group of dedicated local volunteers and has blossomed into a professional orchestra that rivals any you will find in America’s major cities. Under the care of award-winning musical director John Morris Russell, the HHSO consistently draws packed crowds and international accolades.
Likewise, our own Arts Center of Coastal Carolina receives no shortage of well-deserved praise for its schedule of performances and events ranging from Broadway classics to world-famous dance troupes and award-winning comedians. Drawing on a mix of local talent and Broadway’s finest, the shows at the Arts Center stand up against any theatre on the great white way. Add to this the rotating mix of thought-provoking works of art in the Walter Greer Gallery, and you have a mecca of refined culture right here on our island in the sun.
The Lowcountry has created an entirely new category of opulence, one that tempers a devotion to excellence with the relaxed pace of Southern coastal living. And the world is taking notice. Among the awards we have received in the last year you will find outlets like Travel+Leisure naming Hilton Head the top island in the Continental U.S. as well as the second-best island in the entire world. Conde Nast Traveler followed suit, bestowing on us the title of Top Island in the U.S. Expedia named Bluffton the Most Beautiful Town in the U.S.
The list goes on, from Reader’s Digest to the Travel Channel praising our beaches, our golf, and our unwavering dedication to giving locals and visitors alike the finer things in life.