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Hilton Head Island Outdoor Vibe

Harbour Town Lights

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An Island Aglow with the Light of the Holidays

As that big, jolly guy with rosy red cheeks and a plush red suit prepares to descend on our homes for the upcoming holiday, one of the major debates of all time continues on – - white or colored lights.

Growing up in Virginia, the sight of the first house with Christmas lights always seemed to signal the beginning of the holiday season.  And, just before the big day arrived, one of my favorite holiday traditions was piling into the car, squished in with my parents, sister, aunt and uncle, 3 cousins and grandparents (thank goodness for my aunt’s large conversion van), hot chocolate in hand, music blaring (our choice was, and embarrassingly still is, a Cabbage Patch Christmas) as we toured the neighboring communities filled with twinkling lights.  While each house was applauded for its creativity and effort, I think all of us anxiously hoped that we would stumble on one that would have made Clark Griswold proud.  Unfortunately, Alexandria never accomplished that Hollywood-inspired feat.

A Winter Wonderland in the heart of Sea Pines (Photo provided by The Sea Pines Resort)

But, now, I can finally say that I’ve found my Griswold-worthy display right here in the heart of Hilton Head Island.  The yacht basin in Sea Pines, famously known for its red & white striped lighthouse and the Liberty Oak, glows brightly during Harbour Town Lights.  With a smattering of illuminated holiday figures and array of twinkling lights, the holidays come to life in the harbor.  The display kicks off on November 23 with the lighting of the centerpiece, a beautiful 30 foot tall tree, and a concert with Gregg Russell (at 7:30pm) and runs through the New Year.

Harbour Town Lights benefits Deep Well.  While there is no charge to view the display, help those that are less fortunate this holiday season and bring a canned good or a new, unwrapped toy to drop in the “well” on the stage at the Liberty Oak. And, don’t forget, if you are not staying in Sea Pines, you will need $5 at the welcome gate to access Harbour Town.

And, if that’s not enough to get you in the holiday spirit, check out some of these other island happenings:


Let there be light – the tree at The Arts Center comes to life

Christmas Tree Lighting at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina (November 24)
The Town’s official tree comes to life in a ceremony complete with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Christmas carols, holiday crafts, yummy treats and a musical performance from the cast of Anything Goes.

South Beach Christmas Village (December 1 – 31)
Enjoy more island  lights, falling snow and free Santa visits and photos.

Winter Wonderland Festival (December 14 & 15)
Join in all of the fun including a Golden Candy Cane Hunt, Local Holiday Entertainment, Marshmallow Roasting, Blowup Rides, Holiday Crafts and Much More!

21st Annual Jingle Jingle 5K Run and Health Walk (December 22)
For the athlete in all of us, enjoy getting healthy at the holidays.  Presented by Hilton Head Regional Medical Center, the top 3 finishers (male and female) will receive holiday prizes.  Benefiting CODA, participants are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys, gift cards, or phone cards.

Ice Skating in Harbour Town (December 22 – 31)
Move over Rockefeller Center!  Skaters can take to the synthetic rink placed next to the Liberty Oak in Sea Pines’ Harbour Town.



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About Lindsey Harrell

Although you wouldn’t know by the lack of a southern accent, Lindsey Harrell was born right here in the beautiful Lowcountry. After spending most of her childhood in the suburbs of DC, Lindsey returned to Island life after graduating from The College of William & Mary. Since receiving her degree in Business Marketing she has spent time in the local advertising industry and now serves as the Vice President of Operations for the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance, the Island’s second largest outdoor event. In her spare time, Lindsey and her husband, Wade, a Physical Therapy student at the Medical University of South Carolina, look for as many adventures as possible whether it be zip lining on their honeymoon in Costa Rica amongst the monkeys and toucans, a day at the beach with their two dogs, Winston and Charlie, or spending an afternoon horseback riding right here in their back yard.