Hilton Head Wine and Food Festival
Here in the Lowcountry, the beginning of spring is signaled by Winefest, which is held every year during the beginning of March. Though it may have a changed its location to Sea Pines Resort, the Hilton Head Island Wine and Food Festival has been one of the Island’s signature events for more than 30 years
Enjoyed by food and wine enthusiasts alike, this 6-day celebration of global wine partnerships, signature Lowcountry cuisine, and works from the local community of artists. Island locals held the first Winefest as a way to introduce another side of the Lowcountry to visitors. In the interest of adding the label of a beach resort and golf getaway, locals wanted to find way to stimulate the Island’s food and beverage industry. They accomplished this by showcasing island culinary talents with celebrity chef showcases, classes on wine education, artist exhibitions, and wine tastings.
Among this year’s events you’ll find wine dinners, author receptions, themed movie screenings, a new golf tournament, and the festival’s signature public wine tasting. Some of the classes and events include building your own Bordeaux, a sip and stroll though the beautiful Harbour Town, and a champagne brunch on the last day of the festival. There’s also an International Wine Judging Competition. Wines are judged in various categories and at all price levels. The competition takes place in early February so that those attending the event have the chance to experience the winners.
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, a foodie, or have the desire to become one, this event is a definite crowd pleaser. Shake off the firm grasp of winter and step out to enjoy the best food and wine festival in the Lowcountry. Click here to learn more about this event.
The RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing
Before the Heritage Classic golf tournament, Hilton Head was an unknown island at the corner of South Carolina. The first event dates back to Thanksgiving weekend in 1969 and has since put Hilton Head Island on the map. When the idea was first presented to the PGA Tour board there weren’t many who were keen on introducing a new course to the tour. It wasn’t until The King, Arnold Palmer, and the legendary Jack Nicklaus committed to the program that others began to sign up as well.
Though the tournament has changed over the years, the heart of the competition has held strong. Since Charles Fraser first designed the course, The Heritage Classic has been played at Harbour Town Golf Links. Originally held on Thanksgiving weekend, the event now occurs in April, one week after the Masters. As South Carolina’s only stop on the PGA Tour, the Heritage has continued to draw over 100,000 fans from year to year. Throughout its existence, the Heritage has become a worldwide phenomenon. With 15 hours of live TV coverage on both The Golf Channel and CBS, it can be viewed throughout Europe, South America, and Asia.
Over the last 46 years, the Heritage Classic has seen golf legends such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, but it has also played home to Bernhard Langer, Johnny Miller Greg Norman, Nick Price, Tom Watson, Davis Love III, and Payne Stewart, with Matt Kuchar as the most recent champion. It has been named one of the top 20 courses in the country by Golf Digest and Golf Weekly, and named 39th Best Golf Resorts in North America. This year the tournament will be held April 13-19 at the Sea Pines Resort. With 5,000 acres on the southern-most tip of the island, Sea Pines offers accommodations, recreation, and sports amenities unequaled by any other PGA TOUR stop in the country. Purchase your 2015 tournament tickets and discover the heritage and tradition that encompasses Hilton Head Island. Click to learn more about this event.
Hilton Head Island Boatshow at Windmill Harbour
Every May as the southern skies transition from spring into summer, locals and tourists make their way to the South end of the island for the Windmill Harbour Boat Show. Hosted in the home of the South Carolina Yacht Club, it has been named one of the Southeast’s premier in-water boat show. There are many boat shows held throughout Hilton Head and the surrounding area, but the in-water accessibility is what makes this show stand out from the others.
Within a few hours, the harbor and docks are streaming with exhibitors and visitors. The Windmill Harbour Boat Show features boat displays, a Taste of the Harbour event, tours of the South Carolina Yacht Club, Windmill Harbour Community Tours, demonstrations from the Coast Guard, national weather service, and Sea Tow, as well as kayak and paddleboard clinics, and a variety of activities for kids.
Taking place on the South Carolina Yacht Club Promenade is the Taste of the Harbour. Tickets include a souvenir tasting glass, free wine and spirits tastings from award-winning chefs and restaurants, 6 tasting tickets, and a ticket to the Hilton Head Island Boat Show. This delicious exhibition is enough to fill your appetite and your seafaring dreams.
Whether you’re a freshwater outdoorsman or a saltwater sailor, you’ll find more than a couple eye-catching vessels in Windmill Harbour’s 250-slip. Dealers and manufacturers travel far and wide to put their latest and greatest on display and schedule in-water trials. Featuring both power and sail boats ranging from 10 to 100 feet these freshly docked boats are ready for boarding and viewing.
No matter the weather, the Windmill Harbour Boat Show will happen the first weekend of May come rain or shine.
Harbourfest at Shelter Cove
Every summer in Hilton Head, the Mediterranean-style village of Shelter Cove Harbour comes alive with Harbourfest. This summer-long celebration features family friendly activities including watersports, live music, fine dining, shopping, and an evening firework display.
The sounds of Harbourfest echo over the glistening water of Broad Creek on Tuesdays from June through August. For more than 25 years, Shannon Tanner has provided family entertainment in Shelter Cove Harbour. During Harbourfest, Shannon performs two shows every weeknight from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Whether you decide to join in his performance, or enjoy walking around and exploring various vendors, Shannon’s voice sets the mood for a fun filled evening.
Among the sea of vendors you’ll find delicious food, tiny trinkets, and the creative stunts of Cappy the clown. Cappy’s talents with balloon animals and face painting bring smiles to visitors of every age. As dusk draws near, a man with a water jet pack appears at the edge of the dock. He swerves and he dives, he loops as he flies. This display of defying gravity (with the help of a water jetpack) has become a signature display of showmanship as the evening begins to draw to a close.
Once the performance ends, the newly dimmed night sky begins to light up with a rainbow of colors. The Fireworks show at Harbourfest is one of the best on the island. Locals and tourists alike gather around the edge of the water in awe as the colored lights flash above and reflect into the water. There’s no comparison to a Tuesday summer evening spent at Harbourfest in Shelter Cove Harbour. Click to learn more about this event.
Historic Bluffton Farmers Market
Fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants and herbs abound at the Farmers Market of Bluffton, a weekly community event where locals and tourists gather not only to buy excellent produce but also to enjoy delicious food, listen to entertainment, and relax with friends. Located in historic downtown Bluffton along Calhoun and Lawrence Streets and through Carson Cottages, this family friendly market showcases local growers, local food vendors, local entertainment, local community causes and local information about the Bluffton area.
The outcome of a grassroots movement that began in 2006, this vibrant market opened in 2008 at the Bluffton Oyster Company Park on the May River and was managed by volunteers. Because of the huge public response and its potential growth, the market moved to its present location. The current site not only serves the public better but also promotes downtown Bluffton merchants to tourists and locals alike.
The market has been an overwhelming success. In the may 2009 issue of Hilton Head Monthly, Bluffton mayor Lisa Sulka describes the market as “our ever famous Bluffton Farmers Market” and goes to say, “This beloved gathering only gets better as the season progresses.” Click here to learn more about this event.
Burgers and Brew Festival
At this fun-filled festival from 11am to 5pm, local restaurants will be cooking their best slider burgers to compete for your vote; meanwhile in the beer garden sponsored by Ocean Woods you have a chance to taste 20 different brews. The sliders can be beef, chicken, pork or seafood so there is something for everyone. The Kid Zone will have plenty of moon bounces and games for your child’s entertainment at a minimal fee. For all you college football fans, a viewing area with a big screen television will be at the event. Click here to learn more about this event.
Bluffton Art and Seafood Festival
The thirteenth annual Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival will be held in the charming and eclectic historic district of Bluffton SC, well known for its quirky art community and natural river beauty. The festival is a week long event offering a myriad of activities, showcasing the locally harvested seafood, delicious Low Country cuisine, rich history, culture and art of the area and Southern hospitality found only in Bluffton.
The highlight of the festival is the Streetfest which includes a juried fine art show featuring over 100 artists from 10 different states displaying and selling their art, delicious food provided by the area’s premier restaurants and caterers and great music and entertainment. Click here to learn more about this event.
Perfectly nestled between the Island’s blistering summer months and winter holiday season is the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance. This event is separated into two weekends to preserve every detail of the motoring world.
The first weekend of the festival begins in Savannah from October 23-25. This action-packed weekend will have you strapping yourself in for safety. The sound of roaring engines echoes over the Savannah River to remind the world that Savannah is the birthplace of Grand Prix racing. The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa graciously makes way for the Grand Prize of America road course for the annual event. The Savannah portion of the festival features points series, hot lap rides, test-drives, and pit access for ticket holders.
The second weekend of the festival travels to the middle section of Hilton Head from October 30-November 1. Though you most tourists travel to the island for sandy beaches or premier golf locations, this is one weekend when tourists forget about the surf and opt for the turf. Every Halloween, Port Royal floods with world-class automobiles and classic motorcycles. The Concours d’Elegance is much more than a car show, it’s an exhibition unlike anything else you’ve ever seen. The term Concours d’Elegance derives from a French term meaning a competition of elegance and refers to the gathering of prestigious cars. This is your chance to experience every vehicle from reinvented hot rods, classic cars, and one-of-a-kind beach buggies that you won’t find anywhere else.
Pull up your favorite lawn chair or picnic blanket and discover the world of automobiles. Whether you’re a car lover or simply curious, the Concours d’Elegance is a festival that you won’t want to miss out on. Click to learn more about this event.
Dove Street Festival
A Hilton Head Island holiday tradition for over 20 years returns to Shelter Cove Towne Centre for the 2016 holiday season! With the blessing of founders (and Dove Street residents!) Paul & Kristi Beckler and Rob Lolik, visitors from across the region can experience the magic of the cascading and tastefully tacky Hilton Head Island Christmas lights display. Park your car, stroll through the lights and falling snow (bubbles!), all while enjoying nightly entertainment, shopping, food and much more!
Presented by Kroger, Belk and the merchants of Shelter Cove Towne Centre, the Dove Street Festival of Lights™ will run from November 19, 2016 through December 31, 2016 and will be open to the public nightly from 6 to 10PM. The Deep Well Project, PEP (Programs for Exceptional People) and Island REc Center will be accepting donations on site.
Throughout the years the Dove Street Festival of Lights™ has raised over $120,000 in cash for local non-profits, more than 40,000 cans of food for needy families as well as 20,000 presents for kids. The Festival has even been recognized by USA Today! Click here to learn more about this event.
Harbour Stroll at South Carolina Yacht Club
On the second weekend of December, the SCYC hosts a beautiful event, called, The Harbour Stroll. Adults and children alike, cherish this time, as positioned along the beautifully decorated harbour are encounters with Santa Claus, and stations offering steaming hot chocolate, cookies, and cider. This activity has become “tradition” within WH. Earlier in the month, volunteers from the club’s membership, tour the community, and, if you have pre-registered to participate, prizes are awarded to owners of “Best decorated properties and/or boats”. Information on this fun event will be available to you in your POA newsletter and in the The Log, which is the SCYC’s bi-monthly newsletter. And, if you’re a SCYC member, with plans to dine on the weekend of Harbour Stroll, make sure to make your reservations well in advance, as this event is very popular.