Palmetto Dunes Plantation
We live a mere ten minutes from the ocean and we definitely take advantage of this amenity year round. During the spring and summer months, we enjoy driving down there after dinner to stroll the boardwalk and take in the spectacular sunsets while during the fall and winter, we bundle up in our parkas, gloves, and hats and take brisk walks, breathe in the fresh sea air and try to spot snowy owls and harbor seals. It truly has become our special spot or as my daughter says, "our home away from home." For this reason alone, I love living on Long Island. Having said that, however, when it comes time to taking a vacation, I like to feel like I'm really getting away. I want to go somewhere where everything is different from the vegetation to the architecture to the food to the climate to the people. A few years ago, we decided to try out Hilton Head Island in South Carolina for spring break. Since then, we have returned four more times. It is the kind of place where from the moment you cross over the bridge, you are transformed. The elegant combination of Spanish Moss, Live Oak and palm trees dot the island. This magical forest leads right up to vast beaches which are characterized by white dunes and swaying sea grass. You won't see cheesy tee-shirt shops or amusement parks or anyone known as "The Situation." Everything is low-key, understated and peaceful. We went down a few weeks ago at the end of August when the crowds thinned out and stayed in a plantation called Palmetto Dunes. This was by far, my favorite location on the island for its' winding lagoons, countless bike paths and abundance of wild life. I am already dreaming about our next trip....who needs a white Christmas anyway?