Hilton Head in November

We were skeptical about visiting Hilton Head in November, but decided it was the best time (in 2003 anyhow). We had very good weather, unseasonably warm, no crowds, wonderful natural scenery and a very relaxing vacation.

Coral Reef Resort

Member Rating 1 out of 5 by karenkayp on December 23, 2003

Coral Reef Resort is located in Shipyard Planatation. We were very impressed with the friendly staff at the Reba Management Office upon check-in, which went very smoothly. We were also greeted by a gentleman that gave us a "welcome" gift and invited us to a 30 minute presentation the next day that wasn't suppose to be a timeshare sales!

After check-in we drove into Shipyard Plantation and were awed at the fantastic way the plantation is kept in its natural beauty. It was a little difficult finding our unit and we were very thankful that we arrived during the daylight hours. The outside of the building reminded me of a typical farm house, and upon entering we were greeted by the most awful smell. After some investigation we decided that the smell was coming from the mold and mildew that was collecting under the sink. I called the Reba Management Office and was told nothing could be done that night, but they would check into it in the morning.

This unit was a three bedroom; one downstairs with a bathroom and two upstairs. The kitchen and living room were very small if we would have had eight people, which is the capacity for this unit. The furnishings looked fairly new and were decorated in the yellows, whites and blues. The best thing about this unit was the backdoor porch and the view. It was located right next to a beautiful lagoon and wildlife abounded in and around it.

The next morning I again called Reba Management and was told that we probably could be moved, but she wouldn't know until later that morning. We checked in later and were told that we could move to the Coral Sands Resort. (Be sure to check out my review on this beautiful resort!) Remember the 30 minute timeshare presentation -- don't get suckered into it unless you want to spend 3 hours!

Coral Reef had an activity free dinner and that is when we booked our trip over to Dufushkee Island. They didn't offer a lot of other activities that we were interested in, but golfing definitely is high on the priority list for activities.

Coral Reef Resort
Shipyard Plantation
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
(843) 842-5583

Coral Sands Resort

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by karenkayp on December 23, 2003

Coral Sands is located behind the Circle Center Plaza and first impressions are not the greatest. However, once you get past the backside of this shopping center and into the resort it is one of the best!

If you read my review on Coral Reef you will know that we were moved here after a 1 day stay in a smelly unit. From the time we opened the front door we fell in love with this one floor, first floor, three bedroom unit. It had a very open kitchen/dining area with a huge living room that opened to a small patio right next to the pool. The master bedroom had a king-size bed and a master bathroom that had a large Jacuzzi. It was connected by a sliding glass door to the third bedroom, which actually was more of a sitting room (see picture below). The second bedroom had two queen size beds with its own large bathroom, with two sinks.

We thoroughly enjoyed the heated pool and outdoor Jacuzzi just about every night. It was so conveniently located to our unit and there was virtually no one else around, so we felt like we "owned" it.

There were no activities director, so we were glad that we had signed up for Dufuskee Island while staying at Coral Reef.

Coral Sands is conveniently located behind a grocery store so we could just walk over for our daily supplies. It also is quite near to the beach and we found it very convenient to spend a few days enjoying that area.

Coral Sands Resort
P.o. Box 5686
Hilton Head, South Carolina
(843) 842-5583

Waterside by Spinnaker

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by karenkayp on December 23, 2003

We spent our second week on Hilton Head at Waterside by Spinnakers. Upon check in there was a very long line and we expected to be there for a long time. However they were very efficient and within twenty minutes we were in our unit.

This resort is also conveniently located to the beach, although the walk is about three blocks. I understand that during the summer months they have a shuttle, but because we were there in the "off season" that service was not offered.

After spending the first week in a very spacious and open three bedroom unit, we did feel a little more cramped and hemmed in. We were located on the top floor and had only a small balcony that was accessed through a normal-size door. The windows were very small and didn't have a lot of light during the daytime hours. However, this two bedroom unit was very nice. It was a nice change from the usual yellow, blue and white decor. It was tastefully decorated in mauve and green. The master bedroom had a king-size bed and a master bathroom with a large Jacuzzi. It did lack in closet and drawer space, but was adequate. The second bedroom had twin beds that we asked to have made into a king-size bed and were pleased with the fast way they accommodated us.

The only problem we had again was the smell. It must have been a smoking unit the week before and when we asked them if anything could be done they immediately brought up an ionizer. We had it all week and it cleared up the smell within two days.

The grounds are very well maintained and the views are beautiful, especially if you are in buildings 4, 5 and 7 which overlooks the lagoon.

The activity staff catered in a dinner around the pool (only $2 a person) with live entertainment. There were other activities offered throughout the week, but we didn't participate in anything else.

The only thing we didn't like about Waterside was that the beautiful large pool wasn't heated. They did have a nice, large Jacuzzi that we enjoyed a couple of nights.

Spinnaker Resorts at Waterside
off Pope Avenue
Hilton Head, South Carolina

River House Seafood Restaurant and Bakery

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by karenkayp on December 29, 2003

The River House Seafood Restaurant and Bakery is located on the river among the many shops and art galleries on River Street. There are many choices for eating on River Street, but we chose this restaurant because we had a coupon in our possession for a free dessert. Are we glad we did! The River House is famous for their delicious seafood, as well as steaks, chicken, pasta, and chops. We were there for lunch and we tried the salmon focaccia, grilled tuna salad, and oyster poor boy. All of these were excellent and were served with a honey wheat bread that was fantastic! But the best is their desserts. We found out their breads and desserts are prepared on a daily basis in their bakery. Yummy, yummy...the best dessert was the Southern pecan pie, although the praline cheesecake and the walnut fudge pie were also great! We found the atmosphere relaxing and our waitress very friendly and efficient. We also were approached by the manager to see if everything was okay. A great place to relax and unwind for a break from the shopping along River Street.
River House Seafood Restaurant and Bakery
125 W River Street
Hilton Head, South Carolina, 31401
(800) 317-1912


Member Rating 3 out of 5 by karenkayp on December 29, 2003

Our first night on Hilton Head, we were looking for a place that served good seafood. Fitzgerald's was a recommendation we took from this website. We weren't sorry we did! It was a little difficult to find, but most places are difficult to find, especially at night! The Fitzgerald's Seafood Combination was a combination of shrimp, scallops, and fresh seasonal fish (in our case, tilipia). We chose this broiled, but it is also served deep-fried. The $15.95 price was a bargain and included homemade dinner rolls, fresh vegetable, and choice of chunky applesauce or graden fresh salad. They were also serving a live Maine whole lobster as the evening special for the same price and included the same options with the dinner. It was a quiet, relaxing evening with good food. We topped off the meal by sharing a Southern Sweet Potato Pecan Pie. I wouldn't say it was the best restaurant we ate at on Hilton Head, but it was very good.
Fitzgeralds Restaurant
41 S. Forest Beach Drive
Hilton Head, South Carolina, 29938
(843) 785-5151

The Shrimp Factory

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by karenkayp on December 29, 2003

The Shrimp Factory is on the east end of River Street. It has a lot of character and history, as it was built from 1823 through 1826 and served as a warehouse for cotton, resin, and other products. All of the beams, stones, and brick inside the building are original. It is a great place to sit and relax by a window and watch the boats go by on the river.

Of course, the food is exceptional! We found out after our dining experience that it is a sister restaurant to the River House, which was our first delightful dining experience in Savannah. Each entree at the Shrimp Factory is served with their special salad and honey wheat bread. For lunch we chose the Teriyaki Tilapia ($12.95) and the Crab Cake Sandwich ($8.95). The Teriyaki Tilapia was charbroiled and basted with a garlic teriyaki seasoning. It was served with tomatoes, green onions and mushrooms over an angel hair pasta. The deviled crab sandwich was grilled and served with mango curry chutney and honey mustard sauces. Along with the crab sandwich, you can have a choice of a mixed baby green salad or French fries. Both were very tasty!

I wish we would have had room for their delicious Southern Pecan Pie, but since we had it at the River House a couple days earlier, we passed. I believe next time I would try the Banana Foster Flambe...it certainly looked delicious!

Shrimp Factory
313 East River Street
Hilton Head, South Carolina

Crazy Crab

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by karenkayp on December 31, 2003

The decor of the Crazy Crab in Harbor Town has a casual, nautical theme. We stopped there for lunch on our tour around the island and enjoyed a delicious bowl of she-crab soup.

The menu consisted of fresh local seafood, which was cooked to diner's preference. The staff were warm, friendly and attentive. The waterfront view is great, and I understand it would have been a perfect sunset dining spot.

Crazy Crab
149 Lighthouse Rd
Hilton Head, South Carolina, 29928
(843) 363-2722

Kingfisher Seafood & Steak House

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by karenkayp on December 30, 2003

We had a good seafood dining experience at the beginning of our vacation and now we were looking for a good seafood dining experience at the end of our vacation...and we found it at Kingfishers! We used the Hilton Head Island Restaurant Guide, referrals off of this website, and the personal experience of some friends on Hilton Head.

This unusally attractive restaurant overlooks Shelter Cove Harbour. All inside tables have a water view through large vaulted windows. The live nightly entertainment starts at 6pm, and the night we were there, we really enjoyed the Earl Williams Jazz & Blues Variety Show.

The Early Bird Special (5 - 6pm) is a choice of four entrees, that is, a three-course dinner, for $14.95. This includes soup or salad, glass of house wine or dessert. I was delighted to learn that the Early Bird Special included a fried shrimp dinner. Although I prefer grilled over fried shrimp, this entree had a very light batter and was delicious. The other people in my party enjoyed the Sirloin Steak Teriyaki, and the Catfish Broccoli Alfredo. We chose the dessert over the wine and enjoyed a scrumptious piece of pie.

This restaurant definitely stands out as one of the best on Hilton Head, not only for the good food, but also for the atmosphere, service and entertainment.

Kingfisher Seafood & Steak House
8 Harborside Lane
Hilton Head, South Carolina
(843) 842-6400

Coligny Beach

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by karenkayp on December 23, 2003

We were on the beach in November but the weather was unseasonably warm so we were able to enjoy almost five full days of sun and fun! We mostly enjoy walking and looking for shells, sanddollars and starfish. There wasn't an abundance of any of them but it still was fun to look, and when one was found it was a real joy! Watching the dolphins play in the water was also very enjoyable.

The beaches are very smooth and hard so walking and riding bikes are the number #1 activities in this area.

My husband is a avid sunrise/sunset picture nut and when we are on the beach he always manages to have some great ones -- hope you enjoy the ones I included with this review.

Coligny Beach
Off Of Coligny Circle
Hilton Head, South Carolina

Spirit of Harbourtown

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by karenkayp on December 23, 2003

Spirit of Harbourtown is a cruise that takes about an hour and a half. Along the way, a few historical sites are pointed out and explained by the Captain. We saw a few dolphins along the way. This is a leisure way to get to Savannah and then enjoy whatever you desire to do in the time allowed in Savannah. We chose to do the trolley tour which I will cover in another activity. It's a great day trip for the whole family.
The Spirit of Harbour Town
149 Lighthouse Road
Hilton Head, South Carolina, 29928

Old Town Trolley Tour

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by karenkayp on December 29, 2003

We arrived in Savannah via a river cruise from Hilton Head. We have used the Old Town Trolley not only in Savannah but also in Augustina, FL and San Diego, CA, and really feel they are the best. One reason we like it is that the tickets are good for one continuous loop or you can get off and on and stop to see something that is of particular interest to you. If you take the continuous loop and don't get off it takes approximately 90 minutes. We usually do the total tour and then go back to see a particular sight on the next time around or another day. The price of the On & Off Privileges is $21 and the Express Trolley Tour (One Complete Loop) is $20. Since we arrived in Savannah via the river cruise, we purchased our tickets on the boat at a discount. There were 14 trolley stops: Savannah Visitor Center, Welcom Center, City Market, Juliette Gordon Low House, Madison Square, Forsyth Park, Cathedral of St. John, Davenport House, Lucas Theatre, The Marriott Riverfront, West River Street, East River Street, Exchange Bell, and Days Inn. Not only were all these attractions stopped at, but the significance of them to the history of Savannah was narrated by the driver, who was very knowledgeable about many other attractions along the way. She told us all about the history, mystery, architecture, legends, squares, and the intrinsic beauty of this beautiful city. I would highly recommend this tour in Savannah.
Old Town Trolley Tour
River Street
Hilton Head, South Carolina

Tybee Island

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by karenkayp on December 29, 2003

Tybee Island is located approximately 18 miles east of Savannah. This island has a 3-mile-long beach that's backed by sea-oat-covered sand dunes and is perfect for sunbathing and people-watching. We visited this beach because we had heard that sand dollars are well populated here. The island's south-end pier and pavilion is a splendid for strolling above the ocean. I understand in the summer they also have live music to entertain the beachcombers. Before enjoying the beach we also visited the historical Tybee Island Lighthouse (dated 1773), and museum, and Fort Pulaski, which is just west of the island on Hwy 80. It was a beautiful, warm day in November, so we enjoyed strolling the beach and were rewarded with the sighting of dolphins as well as a few sand dollars. The town was pretty well shut down for the season, so we had very few choices for lunch.
Tybee Island Lighthouse
Meddin Drive (just Off U.s. Highway 80)
Tybee Island, Georgia, 31328
(912) 786-5801


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