Hilton Head, SC – Travel Guide for Families

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I’m just beyond happy we could go away on a road trip for fall break! This was one of those amazing trips sponsored by Toyota that we are so lucky to be a part of. See the previous one to New Buffalo, MI HERE. In this post, I’ll be breaking down our trip and give you an overview of the Highlander Hybrid Platinum we got to test drive for the week.

Our Ride – How to Get There

The trip from our home to Hilton Head is about 12 hours driving. It can be a long for a family, but the comfort level of this car is out of this world, including the third row seat. We are a family of 5, the car held us all in comfort and fit all of our luggage for a week stay! So roomy for a compact SUV.

How about the cost? Driving 12 hours can cost quite a bit on gas, except we were driving the hybrid and spent around $200 on gas both ways. INCREDIBLE!!!! The Highlander Hybrid offers different drive modes from Normal for everyday drives to ECO for maximum efficiency. Sport mode gives you improved acceleration (it performs!) and EV mode allows electric-only drive at low speed for shorter distances.

We drove half way there and spent the night in Knoxville, TN. The drive is really pleasant especially through the Smokey Mountains! On the way back, we got an early start and drove straight back.

Karina Reske Toyota Highlander

Where to Stay

There are so many resorts to choose from along the coast. We stayed at the Omni Hilton Head. It was affordable and family-friendly. We had a partial ocean view that was more than enough for us. Top floor, which kept us in shape going up and down those stairs daily! There is an elevator but we chose to climb the stairs that face the ocean 🙂

The hotel offered adult pools and jacuzzis, kids could check out volleyball, football and other pool activities for free, but they also have bikes and paddle boards for rent.

The Beach

With the hotel being beach front it was easy for the kids and us to come and go between the pool and the beach. Some days were windy so we started off at the beach and ended the day at the pool.

Karina Style Diaries Hilton Head beach wearing L'space Gold striped bathing suit cover up and visor hat
Karina Style Diaries Hilton Head beach wearing L'space Gold striped bathing suit cover up and visor hat

Places to Eat

The food was DELIGHTFUL!!!! It reminded us of NOLA, French-American, and lots of fresh seafood. Our favorite restaurant for dinner was Alfred’s, highly recommended by friends who visit the Island often. I had the Potato Crusted Halibut and Brian had the Sauteed Shrimp and Scallop dish and man, the best meal I’ve had in a long time. Family-friendly but perfect for a date night!

Karina Style Diaries wearing long satin dress Hilton Head Island

We also made sure to check out The Salty Dog. Some may call it a tourist trap but it’s one of those places we had to check out. They had live music and a huge outdoor area. Their Shrimp and Grits were amazing and can feed three people easily. Huge portions and pretty delish! Very family-friendly.

We had two dinners at the hotel restaurants and as expected a bit overpriced and decent but not amazing. We also had reservations for Charlie’s LeToille Verte but missed since we went to Savannah, GA, and didn’t make back in time. Highly highly recommended by my friend as well.

Salty dog shrimp and grits

For breakfast, we recommend GT’s International Café. Sounds fancy but it’s not, it’s a sweet little spot and extra friendly folks and a traditional American breakfast super affordable. Stack’s Pancakes are also great for families, huge portions, go hungry! Now, if you’re looking for a cute spot with trendier brunch staples we loved the Watusi Café!

Things to Do

Beach and pool are obvious choices. Kids playing ball and swam a lot. Hunny Buns and I went for a walk a couple of mornings while sipping coffee. As a family, we loved riding bikes along the shore, the beach is miles long and lots of flat sand to ride on. We rode for almost 10 miles and that was amazing!

Family photos bike ride

They have a restaurant tucked in between hotels beachfront as well that was a nice little sport to stop and grab a beer/soda on the way back from riding. The town has lots of bike lanes to ride on as well if you’re more of a town view kinda person!

We planned on zip lining but they closed for business in September (huge bummer for the kids). A lot of businessed had to adjust for 2020 happenings, so it might not be a yearly thing to close so soon. Going kayaking in the river is another option for fun and to get some of that energy out of their system.

For the ladies, they have awesome boutiques at Sea Pines and I even took advantage of a nail salon to have an emergency Pedi!

Lastly, but super fun if you have the time to do is visit Savannah, GA for a day. It’s about 45 min away and so worth the drive. The town has so much history.

We did the hop-on hop-off trolley tour that goes around the historical sites and you can get off anytime you want. I recommend getting trolley tickets only and if you decide to do a museum or ghost tour buy those separately. We purchased a “deal” for the trolley and the Prohibition Museum but they closed at 4:15 and we had no idea so we missed the tour. Be aware of times for the trolley too, they stop circulation after 5 or 6 pm.

Savannah GA trolley

We walked around River St., visited the candy shops, and the famous squares, the town is alive and so much fun to walk around. The architecture is true to what it was when it all started, with lots of English, Spanish and French influences. Lots of you recommended restaurants but we needed reservations for most so we ended up having Mexican (not mad about it)!

Georgia Queen Boat

What To Pack

Beach clothes, lightweigh pieces as well as a jacket and jeans if you’re going in the fall. We had a lot of upper 70’s and 80 degree weather but one day it went down to 60’s and it was nice to have a jacket or sweatshirt. I also recommend tennis shoes if you’re going to ride bikes or kayak!

I hope you guys enjoyed the post and found some helpful tips! Once again thanks Toyota for sponsoring this post!



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