For years, I’ve internally debated the common question for North Carolina residents: Are you a mountains person, or a beach person?
We are lucky in this state to have both, and living in the Triad, each is only a 3-4 hour drive (with the mountains slightly closer–Blowing Rock, a lovely mountain town, is less than 2 hours from my house).
I think several years ago I would have said I’m a beach person, but now I’m decidedly in the mountain camp. After hiking the PCT last summer, and Mount Mitchell with my brother in February, which sparked an ambitious goal to climb the highest peak in each of the 50 States, I would say I feel most invigorated in the mountains.
Now, with all that being said: the beach… there is something special about the sunshine and salt water, the calming sound of the waves–and the exhilaration of catching a big wave with a boogie board and riding it into shore. As much as I’d like to lay on the beach, to nap or read, with a drink in hand… I have 2 boys, and I’m restless, so I nearly always end up in the water with them 🙂
After our Dakotas trip in September, we had some business to attend to in Georgia, and decided to stay at Hilton Head, SC for a 2 day, 2 night quick trip with the boys.
I’ll let the photos provide better descriptions:
We also visited a pirate ship (the Black Dagger, $30/kid, $35 for adults) on that rainy day, and despite some grumbles and grumpiness from a certain son, I think they managed to have a nice time!
They got to choose “pirate names” and get a pirate tattoo… so maybe that made up for the 30 minutes we needed to wait, in a warm drizzly rain. Blessedly, the skies soon cleared.
The ride out in the bay provided enough amusement that the kids didn’t complain–and they got to soak a “pirate” with water guns for a good 15-20 minutes (pity that guy… he’s got more patience than I do!)
Thankfully the weather cleared, somewhat, and we could enjoy more time at the beach.
After an early dinner at Hudson’s (tip: go at 4 PM opening, to avoid waiting in line), Asher and I went for a stunning sunset walk:
Unfortunately I forgot my running shoes, so on the final morning, I went for a walk in my sandals, and part of it barefoot. That was NOT a great idea, and I came back with hot spots all over my feet (just in time for my ten mile trail run the next day!) Fortunately, the walk more than compensated for my pain, providing much needed peace and quiet, a gorgeous sunrise, and exciting with the sight of dolphins towards the end! And my feet ended up being just fine, thanks to an epsom salt bath later that day.
For food, we had pizza from Giuseppi’s the first night, and a delicious dinner at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks (we had great recommendations provided by friends–and HHI lovers–Suzie, Sandra, and Tammy. Thank you all!!)
I saved room for the “Mud Pie: Enough for two” but still didn’t make much of a dent in it, unfortunately, even with Gabe and Javi’s help. Menu is found here.
On the last morning, we ate at “our” local diner, the Plantation Cafe, just a short walk from our AirBnB.
Lastly, we made a stop for some truly délicieuse pastries at The French Bakery (recommendation from Tammy). The line went out the door, so I knew it would be good! (the pastries didn’t make it home… 😛 )
While I know I will continue to prioritize time in the mountains, there’s a lot to be said for the fun and relaxation of the beach. I definitely wished would could have stayed longer… Hilton Head is a very beautiful island, and we all loved it!
Are you a mountains or beach person? Where is your favorite location?