Hilton Head Island Magazine and News

Forbes Magazine recently published an article titled "How to Spend Two Perfect Days on Hilton Head." Writer DeMarco Williams described his two days on the island and gave glowing reviews of several local attractions and businesses. He described family-friendly musician Gregg Russell as the "luckiest man on earth" for getting to spend nearly every summer night performing under the large Liberty Oak in Harbour Town.

Popular travel site Trip Advisor recently ranked Hilton Head Island among its "10 East Coast Beaches Making a Splash." According to the site, "If paradise was ever lost, it’s been found in Hilton Head. Perfect for either a family getaway or romantic retreat, the boot-shaped island on South Carolina’s coast offers a laid-back yet swanky experience.

bollardsbluftonThe town of Bluffton recently installed retractable bollards to divert traffic on Calhoun Street during Old Town events. The bollards are located at the corners of Lawton and Lawrence streets to block vehicles during festivals and provide for a more pedestrian-friendly, walkable environment.

A visit to Daufuskie Island can feel a bit like being transported back to a time before bridges and causeways opened the Lowcountry's Sea Islands to both development and the outside world. Despite the presence of a luxurious resort and four gorgeous golf courses, the largely undeveloped residential island maintains a blissfully rustic and intoxicatingly timeless feel that attracts as many as 150,000 visitors each year.

In my opinion, PR people have never done right by Bluffton. Bluffton needs to do what my mother once admonished me to do after I had quit a pretty good job on Hilton Head to do something that I thought more important. I was explaining that to a puzzled acquaintance while my mother was with me, and with a stage whisper that could be heard from the lighthouse to ships at sea, she coached me, “Tell him who you used to be!”

That’s kind of how I feel about Bluffton. Do you, the passing average reader on the street, even know who Bluffton used to be?

It’s a great time to live, work, play and love Bluffton. As a town, we know who we are and where we are going. Bluffton has recently been recognized as a municipal leader in areas such as financial management, economic development and revitalization. National and regional media outlets, such as Money Magazine, continue to bestow titles on our town as one of the best places to retire and live. Garden & Gun Magazine recently named Bluffton  “A Southern Dream Town.”  As a municipal leader, I am proud of our town and the people who work so diligently to create a place which many want to be a part.

J BANKS DESIGN ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS

J Banks Design02

J Banks Design recently promoted four team members. Director of design Kristin Magowitz is now the vice president of design production; accounts payable representative Sarah Tillman is now the vice president of finance; design assistant Jordan Treadaway is now the director of design administration; and expeditor Wendy George is now the warehouse manager.

Even before Bluffton Police Chief Joey Reynolds, 57, was appointed to his position after 35 years in law enforcement, he and his wife wanted to move to the Lowcountry after falling in love with Bluffton after vacationing here.

The South Carolina native inherited a full-time staff of 33 officers in September 2012 when he took office; the police department now totals 49 with a support staff of five. The department’s $6.2 million budget and increased force numbers reflect Bluffton’s growth to a town of more than 13,600 residents.

Shawn Leininger knows he’s a Lowcountry cliché, the Ohio native and Ohio State Buckeyes alum drawn south by the siren call of the May River. Bluffton’s director of growth development once admired the town’s expansion from afar while forging his own real-life “SimCity” efforts up north.

Leininger made the move to Bluffton in 2011 and has spent the past four years using that admiration as a base for putting his own mark on the area’s growth plan. How does he think it’s working out so far?

Boasting a beautiful waterfront deck, a menu packed with flavorful Lowcountry favorites, regular live entertainment and a lively island atmosphere, the Salty Dog Cafe is one of Hilton Head Island's most popular dining spots. It's not just the location, menu and great atmosphere that keep patrons coming back again and again — the restaurant's colorful T-shirts have proved immensely popular throughout the years.

The T-shirts started out as a uniform of sorts for Salty Dog staff members, but it wasn't long before customers began asking where they could purchase their own Salty Dog shirts. In response to the high demand, the owners of the Salty Dog Cafe opened the Salty Dog T-Shirt Factory, where they lovingly silkscreen the shirts for eager customers.

‘Call Mr. Gray’

Once, around midnight, Richard Gray answered an urgent call from a man needing a car clutch. Gray ran a gas station and auto parts store in Beaufort, and the caller had bought a clutch—the wrong one—from Gray’s competitor.

The man who sold it to him wouldn’t help at midnight. But Gray would.

“I had the reputation of, ‘Call Mr. Gray, and he’ll get it for you,’” says the namesake of Grayco Hardware & Home. “It was service, just giving people what they wanted.”

AN ISLAND LANDMARK CELEBRATES SIX DECADES WITH A CAN’T-MISS BLOWOUT

The past 60 years have seen, to put it mildly, incredible change on Hilton Head Island. And Coligny has been there through all of it. Starting as a single corner market, Forest Beach Market, Coligny’s story begins on an island with just a single-lane dirt road and no bridge. Just six short decades later and that little market has kept pace with the island’s growth to serve as downtown to a bustling resort paradise.

Lowcountry home design has evolved much like the history of the South Carolina coast itself in population growth, economic forces, cuisine and culture. Naturally, adaptations to original home designs had to be made — and they were.

Its infancy began when the first permanent settlement in South Carolina took root in 1670 along the Ashley and Cooper rivers near present-day Charleston. The English transplanted their basic one-room cottage design from coastal tidewater Virginia and Maryland locations, and that marked the beginning of Lowcountry home design.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price of homes is at an all-time high because of a number of factors.

The group’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said that can be viewed as both good and not-so-good news. On one hand, current homeowners looking to sell their homes can get more for their property, gaining equity for the down payment on their next homes. On the other hand, rising home prices make it more difficult for first-time, younger buyers to enter the market, as they don’t have equity from a previous home — and often are struggling to save as it is.

Todd Hawk and his family-owned company H2 Builders in Bluffton have been building beautiful custom-designed homes in the Hilton Head Island area since 1996, many in the traditional or transitional Lowcountry style. And that style is becoming more popular than ever.

But perhaps none of these spectacular homes are as quintessentially Lowcountry in every exacting detail as the one he built for himself, his family, extended family and friends in the small town of Pineland in Jasper County.

As in any relationship, you get out of it what you put into it. This is especially true when it comes to thin-crust pizza. Local Pie’s chefs Lee Lucier and Jack McNulty and partner J.R. Richardson understand it’s all about the culinary team — and the “double 00” flour of course.

Translated from the Italian “dopio zero,” the “double 00” refers to the ultra-fine grind of the wheat flour, powdery and silky in texture, used to make the sourdough starter for the restaurant’s pizza dough. The custom pizza ovens, which reach temperatures of 900 degrees or more (affectionately called “the twins”), are designed to make pizzas with thin, crisp crusts.

Sandwiches have long been mealtime staples, though they’ve come a long way. While the basic, rustic ham sandwiches that many pioneers traveling the Oregon trail enjoyed are still popular and the peanut butter and jelly will never go out of style, diners are becoming more adventurous and serving up a variety of options between two slices of bread.

According to D. H. Lawrence, every fruit has its secret and the fig is no exception. This jewel of a fruit is one of the most delicious, yet overlooked fruits of summer. Alma, Brown Turkey, Celeste, Kadota and Mission are only a few of the varieties grown in South Carolina. The fig season is short and if you blink you might miss it!

As the fall approaches, so does the promise of crisp, Lowcountry evenings under Friday night lights. For some area football teams, a new season means a new era. For others, it’s a chance to keep building from an already firm foundation.

Last season started and ended with some turbulence as Bluffton High School saw its first game go to forfeiture and Hilton Head Christian Academy said goodbye to its head coach. But local football coaches feel only excitement and hope as the first days of practice and first steps onto the field creep closer and closer.

IF THE FIELD FOR THIS YEAR'S PLAYERS AMATEUR SEEMS ESPECIALLY TOUGH, THAT'S BECAUSE IT TENDS TO HAPPEN IN ODD YEARS — BETTER KNOWN IN AMATEUR GOLF CIRCLES AS WALKER CUP YEARS.

The world's best amateurs will tee up in the Lowcountry for the 16th consecutive year when the Players Amateur moves to Berkeley Hall Club’s North Course for the first time from July 9-12, and with Walker Cup invitations likely hanging in the balance, the competition should be as steamy as a South Carolina summer.

“Three all,” booms the man’s voice, still as loud and clear as it was years ago when he presided over the biggest tennis matches of the day.

Norm Chryst is not chairing this contest, however; he is serving in the match tiebreaker.

Wearing his hat backwards, a black polo and Rogers Cup shorts, Chryst tosses the ball, rocks back and leaps forward to strike a flat first serve.

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