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HH3I love a beach vacation. Given the choice of going anywhere with kids, the beach is my choice over everything, including Disney! The best thing about it is its affordability. We just returned from Hilton Head Island, my FAVORITE beach destination. Destin, Florida runs a close second, but Hilton Head is special for many reasons.

1. Hilton Head is a family island.

There is so much for families to do on Hilton Head Island. Sure, there are beaches and pools, but there are also bike paths, parks, live music and boat rides.  We rent tandem tag-a-long bikes while we are there and my kids absolutely love biking where ever we go! Did I mention most of the paths are shaded?!

TandemIt is also important to note the absence of teenage drivers throwing beads at one another. Families come here. This is no Panama City.

2. Hilton Head is not too expensive.

In the South, Hilton Head can be viewed as costly because it is a golf and tennis themed island. There are private golf courses and resorts as well as gated portions of the island which require a gate fee to enter. However, we stayed at a reasonably priced condo located at the Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort. We found a rental by owner on VRBO.com (vacation rentals by owner). $1000 after taxes and fees got us 7 nights in a beautiful, newly renovated condo that sleeps six. It was not directly on the ocean, but a short walk. There were also tennis courts and a fantastic pool.

3. Hilton Head has beautiful beaches!

I have seen emerald water and sugar white sand, but Hilton Head is lovely in its own way. The beach is spacious, clean and not so full of shells your feet hurt.  I hate to say it, but the very fact Hilton Head Island has little public beach contributes to its clean and family friendly waters. Beyond clean, the waves are mild. Not quite a lake, but the kids can play without being pummeled.

4. There is a Wal-Mart if you can find it.

One of my favorite parts of Hilton Head is the way the community has been maintained. You will not find ugly shopping centers full of repeat t-shirt shops. There are stores, but everything is hidden behind beautiful landscaping. Publix, Kroger, Harris Teeter, Target, and Wal-Mart are all there, but tucked away out of sight.

5. The Food.

Here are just a few of our favorites!

~Skull Creek Boathouse

They have great seafood and stuff for the kids to do!

~ The Sea Shack

Get there early! We arrived thirty minutes after opening and waited 1 hour and 15 minutes just to get inside. It is worthy the wait!

~ Frozen Moo

This is an amazing ice cream shop located in Coligny, a resort area in Hilton Head. There are so many choices and it is all delicious.

~ The Salty Dog Cafe

This is a Hilton Head staple. It is located at South Beach, where there is always live music.
I really could go on and on, but in the end you have to see it for yourself. Hilton Head Island truly is my favorite place to vacation on the East Coast. Where is your favorite place?

HH2We are never disappointed in our evening beach walks. Sea creatures are always to be found in the tidal pools!

Hilton head