Expert Advice

So, You Bought a Vacation Package? Here's How I Made the Most of Mine

Discover how one Hilton Grand Vacations Owner maximized her Hilton Head Island vacation package (plus what to do on Hilton Head)

Irene C
Beautiful Aerial view, pool and shoreline, Ocean Oak Resort, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

I bought one of those vacation packages, which are four days and three nights, where I could choose between Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. I opted for the latter, as I've heard many great things and I've never been.

Typically, my choice of destination hinges on the availability of direct flights from Hartford, Connecticut - but lately, I'm running out of destinations.

So, we flew into Savannah, Georgia, and made a trip out of it. More on that later, though. 

Idyllic beach scene, sea oats-lined dunes, white picket fence, blue skies, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.    

Our Personal Preview and Sales Presentation

We stayed at Hilton Garden Inn Hilton Head, about 20 minutes from the Ocean Oak Resort, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, where we attended a quick yet informative Personal Preview and sales presentation. After the presentation, we spent the day exploring the well-appointed property, including the on-site bar and beautiful beach. 

All I can say is that it's amazing, and I hope to return.

Connect with Mother Nature on Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head is home to beautiful nature — tall pine trees framing the beaches, sea oats-covered dunes and morning glory flowers that fade along with the southern sun by evening. 

The sand on the beach is soft, packed well by the tides and stretches for miles. When you're not busy lounging in the sun, consider taking a walk to enjoy the velvety texture between your toes. 

You can bring your beach umbrella and chairs or rent beach equipment once you arrive. Some local services will even deliver the beach supplies to a location of your choice. Just be sure to make reservations if you plan to rent equipment.

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner posing on Hilton Head Island Vacation, South Carolina.    

As for the overall vibe of the destination? It's very upscale, and you'll want to pack some nice resort wear to go out. My fiancé, Chris, and I are foodies, so we always try to visit the local restaurants with the best reviews. I have to say, Hilton Head didn't disappoint us.

Where to Eat: Our Top Picks

Top Choice for Dinner: Fishcamp on Broad Creek

This unassuming restaurant has a rich history dating back to the 1920s. Aside from the restaurant, I recommend exploring the property behind it. The wide-open patio flows into several docks on the local river and marshland, which make for a great backdrop for taking amazing sunset photos.

The seafood was fresh and extremely well prepared, and the service was top-notch. We loved it so much that we went twice during our short stay.   

Top Choice for Breakfast, Lunch or Desserts: Hilton Head Social Bakery

Located adjacent to a local marina, the Hilton Head Social Bakery was nothing short of amazing. The chef, and owner, is from France and started learning his trade by his father's side at 4 years old. Before opening Hilton Head Social Bakery, he worked in some of New York's most famous restaurants, including Windows on the World and Tavern on the Green. 

A stop here is an absolute must. The bakery is home to an amazing selection of quiches with salads, sandwiches, pastries, croissants and other French baked goodness — so authentic that I can't pronounce most of it. 

Beautifully presented pastry and cup of coffee, Hilton Head Social Bakery, South Carolina.    

The chef works in the open kitchen, and you can watch him make four cakes at once like it's no big deal. He's also very approachable, and if you hang out there often enough and stalk him (like I did), he'll come out to meet you and chat.

The bakery was definitely the highlight of the trip and worth the several pounds gained!

Spa Visit for Two

To top off our trip, we booked a couples massage at Inner Peace Massage & Spa. Overall, it was a very relaxing atmosphere, with great knowledgeable therapists and a pleasant experience. 

From Hilton Head Island to Savannah

Savannah, Georgia, has so much to offer in terms of restaurants and great history, and just it's a short 45-minute drive to Hilton Head. Explore Savannah by foot if you have a chance — the history and architecture are beautiful. I've never seen so many town squares in one destination, each more beautiful than the next. We even stopped by the square where Tom Hanks was filmed as Forrest Gump waiting for his bus.

All in all, I can't wait to go again. We went for the beach and found a lot more — history, food and friendly people. 

Read "Things To Do on Hilton Head Island: Bikes, Beaches, Bites and More To Discover" for more low country vacation inspiration. 

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Hilton Grand Vacations Explorer Irene C.

Irene C

Irene made her home at Tuscany Village, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club,  in 2016, but her heart is in Itlay. Her favorite travel memory is getting engaged while on a trip to Borgo alle Vigne, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club. 

Irene travels with her fiancé and their four teenagers. As a foodie and culture seeker, you'll find her in oceanfront accommodations within walking distance to fine dining, shopping, nightlife with live music and cultural experiences. Irene, a regular on TripAdvisor, says she enjoys inspiring fellow travelers with her stories. 

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