Posts tagged “Hilton Head Island

History on Hilton Head’s Heel

Posted on May 23, 2012

In John Sayles’s film Sunshine State (2002), one of the key story lines explores the conflict between the longstanding but threatened African American community of Lincoln Beach and a development company intent on building a new resort community called Exley Plantation. The film is patterned loosely on Amelia Island in northern Florida, where American Beach, a historically black beach town, has clung to its property despite some three decades of encroaching resort development, notably by Amelia Island Plantation. The story could have been set on any number of the so-called Sea Islands that stretch some 200 miles northward from Amelia into Georgia and South Carolina. On some islands, small communities of Gullah-speaking residents are descendants of enslaved people who worked rice, cotton, and indigo…

Building the Best Seaside Towns

Posted on May 17, 2012

Coastal Living recently revealed its list of the top 15 “Happiest Seaside Towns” in America. It is perhaps no surprise that the two communities atop the list – #1 Kiawah Island, South Carolina, and #2 Naples, Florida – reflect many years of careful planning as tourist destinations. In both places, a series of development companies with stringent regulations created and sustained compelling visions for these seaside communities. On Kiawah, following years in the hands of lumber interests in the middle years of the twentieth century, the still well-forested barrier island entered the hands of a Saudi Arabian oil company in the 1970s as an almost blank slate. The company drew on the talents of Charles Fraser, who as American Tourism contributor James Tuten details, carefully…

Treetop Tourism

Posted on April 22, 2012

Just days before Earth Day, visitors to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, began lining up to experience the tourist destination’s newest attraction:  Zipline Hilton Head. As the Island Packet reported on opening day, the ride, which sends riders suspended from a pulley down gradually sloping wires tethered to a series of treetop towers, mixes family fun with a dose of ecotourism (zip liners can learn about the delicate balance of nature from the company’s hired ecologist/guide) on an island whose early developer pioneered an aesthetic blend of subdued architecture with Lowcountry nature that has until now provided mainly a sylvan backdrop for decidedly calmer forms of recreation. On the face of it, zip lines seem most closely tied to other, more “extreme” forms of…

An Annual Contribution of Adoring Camera Work for Hilton Head

Posted on April 16, 2012

This weekend the PGA Tour made its annual post-Masters stop on Hilton Head Island for the RBC Heritage Tournament. Nothing has done more to market the resort island than the Heritage, which began Thanksgiving weekend 1969 with a fortuitous win by Arnold Palmer. At that time Hilton Head had barely begun its career as a resort after a first career as sea island cotton plantations and a hundred years as a residential island for former slaves and their descendants. The 2012 coverage of the RBC Heritage on the Golf Channel and CBS Sports offers up a full-color advertisement of what Hilton Head has to offer. During voiceovers going into and out of commercials, the producers deliver corporate blimp aerial shots of Calibogue Sound and…