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Leila Cobo

The boot-shaped Hilton Head Island, just off the South Carolina coast, is just five miles by 12 miles in size but bursting with activities and hospitality. Hilton Head is a 35-minute drive from Savannah, but cross the bridge from the mainland and you might as well be in another world: a lush paradise of old oaks, pines and meandering waterways (ideal for kayaking and paddleboarding) alongside 12 miles of flat, pristine beaches that seem to extend forever. Oceanic activities immerse guests in nature—you are guaranteed to encounter dolphins—while 24 golf courses, 300 tennis courts and 60 miles of bike and nature paths make this the perfect active escape. For foodies, there are more than 250 restaurants and fresh seafood prepared Lowcountry-style. The island is served by the nearby Savannah Hilton Head International Airport.