This time last year, I was at a packed bar out celebrating my birthday while also at a bachelorette party in Ft. Lauderdale with my friends. It was the last time I did anything without feeling worried. That’s the sad-but-true way of looking at. But luckily for me, I can also reflect back on this year and feel happy and so proud of the things I accomplished despite the challenges, uncertainty and fear. So, even though it wasn’t a “real” birthday for me this year (I was born on leap year for anyone reading who isn’t my mom or grandma) I still had an amazing weekend with my boyfriend Glenn and dog Audi while we continued to explore the coast of South Carolina. Let’s get into it!
Sea Pines Forest Preserve
The Sea Pines Forest Preserve spans the southern end of Hilton Head Island. As far as I can tell, it’s owned by the Sea Pines Resort and unless you are an owner or guest you have to pay $9 to enter. It was the first truly hot day since we arrived in South Carolina so we decided to check out the walking trails.
The trails aren’t terribly long but they take you through swamps, bogs and around two small lakes. It was as we were walking by Lake Mary that we had our first encounter an alligator. And by “encounter” I mean we whispered, “oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh”, while we quickly walked past and avoided eye contact.
It was such a beautiful day that we had to check out the beach. We arrived at Coligny Beach around 10a.m. and found parking in the free lot before it filled up. The beach was a little crowded but there was perfect white sand and the water was cool and refreshing to stick your feet into.
My dog Audi has spent her entire life in Michigan, Chicago and Minneapolis drinking out of ponds and lakes. It was such a hot day that she couldn’t resist dipping into the ocean. We tried to warn her not to drink it but she had to learn the hard way and as soon as it hit her tongue she made a face as if she had just bitten a lemon. Poor girl. But it was pretty funny and we gave her as much fresh water from the jug we keep in the car as she wanted.
Once we had absorbed enough sun at the beach we needed a snack and walked over to Stu’s Surfside for some spectacular sandwiches and beers.
The graphic designer in me also really enjoys their logo.
Broad River Fishing Pier
On our way out of Hilton Head we saw a sign for Pinckney Island Wildlife Refuge and pulled in. It looked really cool and there were a ton of trails but unfortunately dogs weren’t allowed so we had to pass.
Instead we stopped again at the end of the Edward Burton Robert Bridge that takes you back to Port Royal. There is an old bridge turned fishing pier with beautiful views of the water. This one also said “no dogs allowed” but we decided to break some rules and there were other dogs on the bridge as well.
That’s it for my day trip to Hilton Head! I know it’s a very popular vacation destination, let me know if you’ve ever been. I’d love to hear about other places we should check out if we head back that way.