Harbor Island South Carolina Vacation

This year for vacation my parents, my sister and her daughter, and my family (4 kids and 5 adults total) rented half a duplex in Harbor Island South Carolina. Harbor Island is a gated private beach community, 15 miles outside Beaufort. I grew up going to Carolina Beach, North Carolina, we decided to try something different this year as our first family vacation since having kids. It did not disappoint. One side of the island is the ocean, the other side is a marsh. It was beautiful with breath taking views, and so relaxing. 

Things To Do

Harbor Island is a private quiet gated beach community. On the island itself there is miles of beaches, three outdoor pools, tennis courts, a putting green, and a playground. We spent most of our time going back and forth between the beach and main pool. 

About a 20 minute drive is Cypress Wetlands. It has .56 paved trails through the wetlands, all handicap accessible with chances to see lots of wildlife. We saw a bunch of turtles, 8 alligators, and a lot of different birds.

A few times we drove an hour to Hilton Head where there is so much to do. The kids all loved finding the Mermaid of Hilton Head boat tour. It is so worth it if you have a mermaid obsessed daughter like I do. 

Hilton Head Ice Cream has the cutest bathroom. Plus lots of different flavors to choose from. 

Brian and I on our date night went to Hilton Head again for dinner and then walked up the light house. The area around the lighthouse is a cute family friendly area with outdoor restaurants, a huge playground for the kids, lots of shopping, live music, and more. 

About a two hour drive is Charleston, SC. There is so much to do there. We made a quick stop by Rainbow Row, had lunch, walked the water front and the kids played at the Hazel Parker Playground. 

The main reason we went to Charleston was to see USS Yorktown. We did the mermaid for Ella and Austin picked seeing this huge boat. Next time we will pick a day when the temperature isn't 103 so we can see more of the ship and enjoy it. 

Where We Stayed

We rented a duplex thru Tidal Watch Vacations. We loved the rental agency and had no issues with them. Before we left we called and/or emailed and got our questions answers right away. While staying at the house when an issue arose they were there within a few hours to fix the problem. We also got to the house 15 minutes before check-in and the one bed wasn't ready the "cleaning lady" got it done real quick and had no issue with us already being in the house. I would highly recommend the company and use them again. 

Now we loved the location of the house. It was a 1/4 mile walk to the beach (which is kinda long for my parents) and a 1/2 mile walk to the main pool and little store (again kind of long for my parents but they did it or drove). It was quiet and just what we were looking for in a relaxing vacation. We would consider going back to the island again. 

On to the house. I would never recommend the specific house we stayed at. At first sight it looks nice, but when you start looking it wasn't so nice. We had some issues with the house while we were there. The first one being cockroaches in the kitchen. My mom and Brian noticed them the second morning. We cleaned up everything, moved all our food and they rental company came and sprayed while we were away for the day and didn't have another issue with any bugs. On day I was washing laundry and the washer overflowed and flooded the utility room and hallway, also dripped down onto our cars that were parked under the house. We cleaned it up and maintenance came out to take a look. They said it was a sticking valve, just don't use the setting I was on. The washer was at least 30 years old and the owner (not rental agency) refuses to do any upgrades. All the pots and pans where old, worn, and big, like no small skillet or pot. No tupperware to store leftover food and the dullest knives ever. The screen was broken to the  enclosed porch, one of the doors didn't lock, there were burn holes in the floor in a smoke free house. 

The worst part about the house was the air system. Yes it was hot down there and the air conditioning was running 24/7. The air vents looked gross with what looked to be black mold on them. Towards the end of vacation my dad (who barely ever gets sick) and my sister both started getting sick. As soon as they got back home to Ohio they both went to two different doctors and found out they had severe sinus infections that can be caused by dirty air conditioners. We had a wonderful vacation but our health is more important.

Things To Keep In Mind

It is 1/4 mile walk across the boardwalk then to soft sand to get to the beach. Not ideal with younger kids or older adults. There was a handicap accessible boardwalk on the island, but was over a mile away from our house. 

We had a great vacation minus the hiccups with the house and my dad and sister getting sick afterwards. I would recommend Harbor Island for a relaxing beach vacation. 

Check back next week as I start sharing all the details of our vacation, what all we did, what we should have brought, what we couldn't live without and more. 

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