There are many communities on Hilton Head Island and in the surrounding low country area. Some are completely private, with entry gained only by property owners and guests. Others have shopping, dining, and recreational facilities which welcome the public. The following may serve as a guide to both on-island and off-island residential communities.
On the southwestern tip of the island is Sea Pines, Hilton Head's first developed community or "plantation" as it was originally called. A world-class resort in addition to being a residential haven, Sea Pines boasts four miles of beautiful beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and miles of property on the intracoastal waterway, four golf courses, dozens of tennis courts, two charming marinas including the well known Harbour Town, and an equestrian center. The PGA-sponsored Heritage Classic, held each April, is played on the world-famous Harbour Town Golf Links.
Demographics: Approximately 5,000 acres and 5,900 homes and villas.
Moving north the next community is Shipyard. Both a residential and a resort community, Shipyard has a full spectrum of sporting amenities including three nine-hole golf courses and the Shipyard Racquet Club, rated among the top 50 tennis resorts in the country. In addition to its winding trails for walking, biking, rollerblading or jogging, Shipyard is home to single family homes as well as villa residences and rental properties. The beautiful beaches of Shipyard can be enjoyed by guests and residents of the community through access at the Shipyard Beach Club.
Demographics: Approximately 800 acres and 2,000 homes and villas.
Across Highway 278 from Shipyard is Wexford, a sophisticated, private neighborhood, graceful in every detail. Exclusive in both its privacy and its diminutive size, Wexford encompasses about 525 acres and is renowned for its magnificent homes, lock harbour and marina, and grand multimillion dollar clubhouse. Wexford's waterside position allows residents water entry through its lock harbour allowing property owners to moor boats both in the marina or their private docks. The Wexford Club provides residents with an 18-hole private golf course, tennis club, croquet club and fine gourmet dining.
Demographics: 525 acres and approximately 500 homes.
Long Cove Club
Right next to Wexford moving north is Long Cove Club where there are some of the most magnificent homes on the island, many capturing the water vistas of Broad Creek. This entirely private residential enclave has become noted for its superb golf course designed by the renowned Pete Dye. Long Cove Club has a wide selection of recreational amenities for its residents including boating, fishing, tennis, and swimming.
Demographics: Approximately 600 acres and 575 homes.
Near the middle of the island is Palmetto Dunes, considered both a resort and residential community. Palmetto Dunes is etched along 2,000 oceanfront acres, with two miles of beach line, and an eleven-mile lagoon system. Within the community is the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center, receiving high praise over the years with its twenty five immaculately maintained courts. Golf enthusiasts enjoy the challenge of Palmetto Dunes' three championship courses designed by George Fazio, Robert Trent Jones and Arthur Hills. A part of Palmetto Dunes is beautiful Shelter Cove Harbour, located just across 278, which has the largest deep water marina on Hilton Head.
Demographics: Approximately 2,000 acres and 5,000 homes and villas.
At the point on which 278 turns west and starts heading towards the mainland bridge is Port Royal, Hilton Head's only private oceanfront residential community. It was here that Captain William Hilton first landed, discovering his future namesake Island in 1663, and later where Union troops stormed ashore in 1861. Port Royal has three 18-hole golf courses - the Barony, Planter's Row and Robber's Row. In addition, there are two championship croquet courts and a 16-court racquet club that features all three Grand Slam surfaces: grass, clay and hard court. Residents have private access to the oceanfront swim and tennis club as well. 2 miles of ocean - sound beach front.
Demographics: Approximately 1,250 acres and 2,053 homes and villas.
A new development on the north end of the island is Palmetto Hall. The scenic community is on 750 acres of low country land and includes two exceptional golf courses. The first designed by Arthur Hills and the most recent by Robert Cupp. Property owners here receive full Palmetto Hall Club membership and accompanying benefits including enjoying the luxurious 14,000 square-foot low country-styled clubhouse which houses a members-only lounge, private dining and card rooms, pro shop and a club dining room. Other amenities include a large swimming pool, children's playground and tennis courts. Palmetto Hall is approximately one mile from the beach.
Demographics: Approximately 750 acres and 600 homes.
Hilton Head Plantation
Next to Palmetto Hall heading off the island is Hilton Head Plantation. With nearly 5,000 acres of land sheltered between Port Royal Sound and the Intracoastal Waterway, Hilton Head Plantation boasts the full-scale amenities of a country club haven with four golf courses, miles of bike and jogging trails, two nature conservancies, tennis courts, boating facilities, a community recreations center, swimming pools, the Seabrook Farms for gardening and two miles of beautiful beaches on the Port Royal Sound. Also located in Hilton Head Plantation is the award-winning Cypress Retirement Community.
Demographics: Approximately 5,000 acres and 6,000 homes and villas.
Known at present to be the final private residential and golf community to be developed on Hilton Head Island, Indigo Run, located directly across 278 from Hilton Head Plantation, has 1,712 acres of beautiful Carolina low country. Many homes are situated on golf courses, lagoons, or the marshes of Broad Creek. The initial golf course was designed by a Jack Nicklaus company, Golden Bear Design Associates. A second members-only signature golf course, the Golf Club at Indigo Run has recently opened. An abundance of recreational amenities for all ages round out Indigo Run's neighborhood living, and the beach is only two miles away. (See map)
Demographics: Approximately 1,700 acres.
The second to last community moving off the island is Spanish Wells, which has historical relevance as the site of the Spanish landing hundreds of years ago. In order to find Spanish Wells you must turn off 278 and drive a short distance down Spanish Wells Road. The community of Spanish Wells is etched with streets partially shaded by huge branches of its resident ancient oaks while fronting the waters of Calibogue Sound and Broad Creek. Many homes are situated on deep water lots with private docks. Within this peaceful community are a private golf course and club. Residents have beach access approximately three miles from Spanish Wells. (See Map)
Demographics: Approximately 340 acres and 200 homes.
The last private community glimpsed before crossing the bridge to the main land is Windmill Harbour which is located on the Intracoastal Waterway and Broad Creek, where breathtaking sunsets can be witnessed. Windmill Harbour is known for its harbour's technologically advanced lock system, protecting the 260-slip basin from wakes, currents and silting while affording direct boating access to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Calibogue sound. Windmill Harbour is home to the area's award-winning South Carolina Yacht Club. A waterfront sports center provides excellent recreational amenities as well. Windmill Harbor is within 4 miles of the beach.Hilton Head Island Map