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Winter Flower Garden in Hilton Head

The temperatures in Hilton Head this time of year are usually pretty mild. Most days are in the high 50’s to low 60’s with plenty of sunshine. While not hot, I will take these temperatures over our former Ohio ones any day! We do get a few freezes from time to time, but mostly good weather on the island. Here’s some photos of my winter flower garden in Hilton Head. Enjoy!

Winter Flower Garden in Hilton Head

The cool but mild weather here is perfect for snapdragons, pansies and stock.
Winter flower garden in Hilton Head
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May River Eco Tour on the “Spartina”

May River Eco TourThe May River is a local treasure here in the Lowcountry. My Hilton Head Chamber Leadership Class of 2015 will be highlighting the importance of this body of water as part of our class project. I took a May River Eco Tour last week on the USCG inspected vessel “Spartina” with Captain Amber Kuehn to begin researching this pristine estuary.

It All Starts with the Spartina Grass

Captain Amber Kuehn named her new vessel after what she feels is one of the most important elements in this body of water. According to her website, SpartinaCharters.com, Amber grew up exploring the May River and loves sharing her knowledge with locals and visitors alike. On the May River Eco Tour, her passion showed as she waved a stalk of spartina grass around and described all it does for our Lowcountry ecosystem. From holding in the pluff mud banks to hiding little fish from predators, and lots in between, I can understand why she uses the spartina grass to symbolize her life’s work. [click to continue…]

HIlton Head Restaurants- Marshside Mama'sWe asked the “chef” what she put in the half-pound “Mama burgers” that we both swore were the best we had ever eaten.  “Nothing really,” she replied.  “Any seasoning?,”  I persisted.  “A little salt and pepper” she said not- too- convincingly. She was now hoping we would both just let her take her break in peace.

Hilton Head restaurants- Marshside Mama's bar areaI was starting to think it was just another case of  “campground food phenomenon,”  where the sheer thrill of eating comfort food in an open- air setting can transform, almost biblically, ground beef into filet mignon- crawfish into lobster- wine served in a plastic cup into Napa’s finest.  But, darn, those burgers were just the best Janet and I had tasted in quite some time! [click to continue…]

Boating to Beaufort

Taking advantage of a fall day in the low 80’s, we decided to try boating to Beaufort for lunch. We had tooled around in Skull Creek, Broad Creek and the May River, but had yet to try crossing the Port Royal Sound over to Beaufort. Always on the lookout for a great lunch spot, we made plans to clear our calendars, reserve a boat and take off into the wild blue water. We couldn’t have picked a better day. Boating to Beaufort was successful adventure.

“Own the Water, Not the Boat”

Boating to BeaufortThis is one of the brilliant tag lines used by our favorite club, Freedom Boat Club. Like a timeshare for boats, members enjoy the use of a boat whenever they want. There are locations all over the U.S. Ours just happens to be at Skull Creek Marina, right in our neighborhood. Instead of owning one boat, we have access to over a dozen boats here in Hilton Head and another dozen in Savannah. We can use boats in other areas of the country, too. I can’t tell you how nice it is to show up at the dock, jump on a boat and take off. It is even better when you come back; hand the attendant the keys, pay your gas bill and head home. No worries! Our monthly cost is the same price as our cable bill. We cancelled our cable and signed up. “Be on the water, not the tube” is my new motto. [click to continue…]

October in Hilton Head

October in Hilton HeadMost people around here think October is the best month to be in Hilton Head. This year, it would be hard to argue that point. We have had warm, sunny days almost the entire month. If you live here, you know what I mean. If you plan on living here (and you know who you are!), October in Hilton Head seals the deal.

The Water is Still Warm

October in Hilton HeadBelieve it or not, the ocean water is still warm, even at the end of October. Not everyone feels it is warm enough to swim, mind you. But most people would agree it is plenty warm enough to wade in as you walk barefoot on the beach. The warm, sunny days keep everything from cooling down too much in October in Hilton Head. [click to continue…]

Sounds of Silence in the Lowcountry

sounds of silence in the lowcountry

View of the Inner Harbor from a cafe

Last week, I was at a Geothermal Resources conference in downtown Baltimore, near the Inner Harbor. Having heard only good things about this revitalized area, I was looking forward to enjoying a week of city living . What I wasn’t ready for was all the noise. After living in the Lowcountry for over a year, I am used to peace and quiet, especially at night. By the end of the week, Paul Simon’s song, The Sounds of Silence, became my mantra. Using that beautiful song to fill my head and block out city noise was my way of coping until I could return to the sounds of silence in the Lowcountry.

“Hello darkness, my old friend”

sounds of silence in the lowcountry

All I could think about was our quiet beach at sunrise

As I walked the bright and noisy streets of Baltimore, the beginning of the song reminded me why I love Hilton Head. The absence of street lights not only encourages silence, it embraces nature. Most nights in our backyard, all you can hear is the sound of the cicadas humming in the live oaks. Much better than the constant sound of traffic and hourly sirens heard outside our hotel window all night long. I yearned for a quiet morning on the beach back home. The sun rising over the water always makes the transition from dark to light a magical moment. [click to continue…]

sunset in hilton head

Sunset at Dolphin Head on Port Royal Sound. Photo by Janet Turley

Who doesn’t want to capture the perfect sunset in Hilton Head on their camera or phone? Everyone loves a beautiful sunset and we are forever being asked where to go to capture the perfect shot. As we are always up for an adventure to share with you, we will take you on a tour of all the best spots. We will start with the north end with this installment and make our way around the island in future posts. It’s tough work, but someone has to do it. Let us know if you have a favorite spot to watch the sunset (or sunrise). Comments are always welcome at the end of each post.

Old Fort Pub and Fort Mitchell

sunset in hilton head

Sunset View at Old Fort Pub. Photo by Janet Turley

Located in Hilton Head Plantation, Old Fort Pub restaurant is well-known as one of the best places to view the sunset in Hilton Head. Right next door is the lesser known Fort Mitchell Historic Site. Both sites are located on the banks of Skull Creek. With live oaks providing a dramatic foreground, even a novice photographer can get a good picture here. While you are waiting for the sun to make a dramatic exit, enjoy a drink and appetizer in the charming bar or on the deck of Old Fort Pub. We sometimes stop there for coffee and dessert for an after-dinner sunset. You can also stroll through Fort Mitchell before the sunset, enjoying the Civil War historical signs and the live oaks along the water’s edge. The kids love this, but don’t forget the bug spray. [click to continue…]

Fall Gardening Time in Hilton Head – At Last!

Fall gardening in Hilton Head- Sweet potatoes are almost ready.

Sweet Potatoes and flowers were about the only thing growing through the hot summer months. We are starting pole beans in our tomato cages.

Hard to believe -Janet and I have been Hilton Head community gardeners for a year! Seems like yesterday we stood looking at plot 22D, in the August heat, wondering what on earth we would grow in the black, sandy soil.

With nighttime  temperatures starting to dip into the low 70’s, we are getting serious about fall gardening. Our garden has been in maintenance mode since mid-June. The zinnias and marigolds provided interest, while the sweet potatoes we started from “slips” competed with the weeds for control of the beds.

Fall Gardening List – Planting for the Spiralizer!

Spiralizer Spiral vegetable slicer

We are trying to grow “spiralizable” veggies this fall. Check out the Spiralizer in Janet’s Amazon store.

This fall we are building our garden around Janet’s new favorite culinary appliance, the “Spiralizer“. The Spiralizer has made my gluten-free existence much more enjoyable. Four of our friends have also purchased this inexpensive kitchen miracle machine and rave about their creations. [click to continue…]

Hilton Head events

Shrimp boat heading out for the morning run. The Lowcountry is at its best in the fall. Photo by Janet Turley

Hilton Head events are just now kicking into high gear as we enter the glorious fall season. The Lowcountry is at its best this time of year. The beaches and water are still warm and wonderful. The night air starts to get crisp and lighter (less humidity).  Less congestion and traffic on the island means the restaurants, tennis courts and golf courses are still lively, but not overly crowded. Add to that some sort of festival practically every weekend and you have the makings for a good time on the island. Here’s a list of some of the best Hilton Head events scheduled for the Fall of 2014: [click to continue…]

Hilton Head long-term rentals are "hot".

Hilton Head long-term rentals are “hot”.

In our last post about Hilton Head real estate, I discussed the retirement strategy of investing in the Hilton Head short-term rental market.  A good short-term rental property will generate positive cash flow and tax deductions, and keep pace with local property values until you move to Hilton Head permanently.  Hilton Head long-term rental properties are another, potentially profitable,  way to secure your future Hilton Head residence by investing sooner rather than later. [click to continue…]