Labor Day, to me, is the unofficial end of summer. This summer was really great for us. Last year we spend most of the summer moving into our new home and unpacking. It felt like summer flew by and we missed it. This year we were able to actually enjoy our summer.
I’m sad to see summer go, but I’m really excited for my favorite season, Fall! Before we get into all the fall craziness on the blog, I thought I would end my summer posts with a recap of our summer vacation.
This year for our family vacation, we went to Hilton Head Island with my parents and siblings. My family has been vacationing to Hilton Head since I was about 6 years old, and it’s become our home away from home.
Hilton Head is an island just off the coast of South Carolina. It’s a popular vacation spot for many people, but especially people who live in Ohio – where I grew up. The low country vibe and calming atmosphere make it the perfect place to take a relaxing summer vacation.
My parents are Disney Vacation Club members, so we love to stay at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort. The question I always get when I tell people we vacation there is “there’s a Disney Resort in Hilton Head?” The answer is YES, but it’s not like Disney World. It’s a much more laid back resort, and much smaller than its cousins in Orlando.
When you enter the resort area, the first building you see is the Live Oak Lodge. This is where the front desk is as well as Big Murgie’s Den. Every day there is coffee out in the mornings, and in the afternoon there is cookies and lemonade available. The Den has a cozy sitting area as well as a pool table.
Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort is definitely subtle Disney. The resort is well themed to the island and there are Disney touches sprinkled throughout. Whenever we go there I take so many pictures because it’s just so beautiful! If only I could live there!
The mascot or main character of the resort is Shadow the dog – and she’s an ACTUAL dog. Shadow is the only live Disney character in the world. She’s always around and sometimes you can even find her behind the front desk.
The only other “character” at this Disney resort is B’lou Crabbe. He’s the resort storyteller. You can find him out and about at the resort with Shadow. B’lou and Shadow host activities for kids like story time in the Den and scavenger hunts around the resort.
The main Resort area is tucked back in Shelter Cove and is right along Broad Creek – the waterway that runs through the inner part of the island. Hundreds of live oak trees cover the resort area.
The main resort area is where all of the villas are. The villas are Disney Vacation Club accommodations and come in 4 different sizes – Studio, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, and 3 Bedroom Grand Villa. The studios are all in the Live Oak Lodge, but the rest of the room sizes are in separate building scattered throughout the resort.
1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, and 3 Bedroom Grand Villas have full kitchens and a washer and dryer inside the rooms.
The main resort area is also home to the Big Dipper pool and water slide.
The building with the red roof houses most of the important areas of the resort. The bottom level is home to the recreation cast members. There’s a window where you can rent bikes, water craft, or even fishing equipment. You can also always find the other lifeguards in this area when they aren’t on duty at the pool. Shadow’s even got her own dog door in this area.
Also in this area is the campfire pit and access to the pier over Broad Creek.
Upstairs in the red building is Community Hall, where most of the indoor activities are held.
Also upstairs is a quick service food location called Tide Me Over and a general store called Broad Creek Mercantile (a gift shop). There is also an activities board that is updated every day with all the events and information you need while you are at the resort.
Here’s one of those subtle Disney touches, the bases of the seats in this upstairs area are Mickeys.
This deck area upstairs is one of my favorite places in the resort because there’s amazing view out over Broad Creek.
This sign has been at the resort since it opened and it points towards all the other Disney Vacation Club resorts. Every time a new resort opens, they add it to the sign.
The other part of the resort is the beach house right on the ocean in Palmetto Dunes. It’s about 2 miles away directly across the main road. The beach house has a pool shaped like an “H” and also has another quick service food location called Signals.
Walk right down this boardwalk from the beach house and you are at the beach!
My favorite part about the beach house is the fact that they sell Dole Whips there! Dole Whips are pineapple soft serve ice cream and they are only sold in Disney World (or in Hawaii at the Dole Plantation). But now, they also have them at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort.
I know everyone LOVES the beach, but honestly, I’m more of a pool person. The sand is not my friend. That’s why the main resort area is my favorite.
The best part about the resort is the amazing Disney service! The cast members that work there are some of the best we have ever met under the Disney umbrella. Because the resort is smaller, it’s much more intimate and you quickly get to know the people that work there as well as the other people vacationing there. One night we wanted to rent Zootopia at Broad Creek Mercantile but it was already rented out. When it was returned, the Cast Member there remember that we wanted it and sent it over to our villa with some popcorn and a note!
This vacation was so much fun and we had tons of time to just relax and enjoy the summer time. Almost every morning I went out and sat on a hammock overlooking Broad Creek. It was amazing!
Everyone had such a great time on our summer vacation! We normally go to Hilton Head every other year, but we already have a vacation booked for next summer. I can’t wait!
So, until next year, I’ll be staring at this picture and counting down the days!
Have you ever been to Hilton Head? Let me know where your favorite vacation spot is.