Monday, November 9, 2009

Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort

I just got back from another wonderful weekend at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort. What? You didn’t know that Disney had a resort outside of Florida? This is one of the “Best Kept Disney Secrets”.

Set amongst the palmetto trees, pines and live oaks is the most relaxing Disney vacation you've ever taken. Located on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina is a beautiful Disney Vacation Club resort. Not a Member? Not a problem! Rooms and villas are available for cash reservations to anyone. The main resort is on its own little island –Longview Island- in Shelter Cove on the Broad Creek marsh side of the island. This is where all of the villas and main lodge are. There are several types of villas to choose from: studios, 1 bedroom villas, 2 bedroom villas and 3 bedroom grand villas. Studios sleep up to 4 people and have a queen size bed and full size sofa sleeper along with a kitchenette. The larger villas sleep 4, 8 or up to12 people, have full kitchens, washer & dryers in the room and living comfortable living rooms. We just had a group of 8 in a 2 bedroom villa for a birthday party and it was great. We’ve also stayed in a 2 bedroom with only 4 of us and enjoyed being able to spread out a bit. The grand villas are often booked by large groups or families for birthdays, reunions, and holiday get-togethers.

What is there to do at the resort? As much or as little as you would like to do. There is a great pool with slide, hot tub, ping pong tables, shuffle board, horseshoes, basketball, pool table and a playground. That’s just the “stuff”, there are also activities scheduled all the time. Some have small fees, some are free. There are arts & crafts, nature photography classes, kayaking trips, dolphin tours, nature walks, magic shows & ghost stories and more. Several nights a week there are campfires with silly campfire songs (Disney style of course) and s’mores! That’s just at the main resort, there are more things at the Beach House.

Across the road is Disney’s Beach House. This 3 ½ acre complex offers access to the beach, along with another pool, restaurant, arcade, ping pong table, splash area for kids and Surfmen’s Station, a place to relax out of the heat and watch the game or some cartoons.

If you’re looking for more to do, consider bike riding (bring your own or rent at the resort) or fishing (poles & bait available for rent), and of course Hilton Head Island is known for golf & tennis. Great golf deals can be found by calling Last Minute Tee Times and there are public tennis courts just down the road that are nicer than some private clubs. The resort also has a relationship with Palmetto Dunes Resort and their courts can be used for a fee. Check with the front desk for details.

Need something to eat? There are several options at the resort: Tide Me Over offers Carolina cooking, sandwiches, burgers, salads and breakfast all day long and Signals at the Beach House offers sandwiches, salads, drinks & treats. There are also tons of restaurants all over the island to try. Several are walking distance at Shelter Cove, others are easy drives. Another option is to stock up on groceries at the Publix or Piggly Wiggly and take advantage of the full kitchen in the 1, 2 & 3 bedroom villas. There are also grills available for your use at the resort if you’d like to cook out.

Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort is a great place to get away for a relaxing weekend or a weeklong vacation and it’s a great place to get a refill on Pixie Dust when Walt Disney World is just too far away.

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