Monday, October 4, 2010

Once Upon A Time... and now, IS Hilton Head Island still Preppy?

Hilton Head's Harbortown marina... sportin' Preppy nautical stripes
Hilton Head's beach...traipsing past the ocean waves: cuffs n' bare feet

Once upon a time, Hilton Head Island off the coast of South Carolina was a Prepster's paradise.

3 seasons of the year, yachts with elegantly-attired passengers and old wooden-sided station wagons with tow-headed children piled in back seats eagerly peering out of rolled down windows converged on this shaggy, still fairly quiet enclave of pleasant retreat from non-South frigid winters, soggy springs and chilled autumns.

Beach houses which seemed a little worse for wear and a few tabby-foundationed mansions nearby the beach were the destination for Preppy folks who needed a good healthy dose of salt air, salt water and saltines graced with some red sauce n' local oysters...

The Hilton Head of my youth was one in which I had experienced only with coming over to it by boat from Savannah and occasionally by way of Dafuskie Island. We'd head into Harbortown and have lunch there at some small restaurant, check out the other boats, perhaps purchase a touristy shell necklace and then head on back into ocean waters homeward.

The Hilton Head of my middle-age is one by which I drive over to it from the nearby island we live on and marvel at the traffic. There's traffic from the outlet stores, big-box stores and the mall. There's traffic from the many chain restaurants and resorts. There's traffic from the all too many "plantations", er actually developed gated neighborhoods lining the main roadway from Bluffton on over the bridge onto Hilton Head island itself. There's frankly a whole lotta' traffic!

Hilton Head Island has changed so much that even during a recent visit there with a girlfriend where we espied a very chi-chi public beach area newly-built and surprisingly quite elegant, I continue to find myself questioning whether HHI's still Preppy enough to be considered a valid Preppy Destination worthy of mention in the True Prep updated preppy handbook.

Sporting a Talbots outfit and my Savannah Cotillion's silver cuff deb bracelet, I did my best to add a dash of Preppy into the marina and beach scene but the more I think about it, the more I am thinking that today's incarnation of Hilton Head Island just isn't Preppy anymore..........


  1. To be honest, I never felt Hilton Head was true prep at all. Well, maybe at one time, when it was my ancestor's plantation a million years ago... It is a tragic story. But one I may need to blog about in the near future!

  2. Hey Bevy! Oh, that would be a great post... will look out for that one for sure :) Yes, I'd say places like Sullivan's Island, St. Simons are more-Preppy than HHI. Our own little island here is super-shaggy-Preppy with the folks that aren't either Ted Nugent styled outdoorsy or good ole' Rednecks or...strange artists,haha. It's a wierd mix but never dull.

    Hey, maybe our ancestors knew one another...on my mother's side, there were plantations in the West Indies and then the family had them later on out on Sapelo Island and on the Savannah River. Maybe they ran across one another back then- wouldn't that be something?

    Best, Lachlan