Harbor Island is a private 1400-acre barrier island, located between historic Savannah, Ga. and Charleston, S.C. It is part of the 350,000-acre ACE National Astuarine Research Reserve, created and managed by the Marine Resources Division of South Carolina.
This protected estuary habitat is filled with wildlife and beautiful plant life. The ACE Basin Refuge lies along the Atlantic Flyway - the 'bird highway in the sky'. Numerous waterfowl, shore birds, neo-tropical songbirds and birds of prey migrate from their nesting grounds to wintering areas throughout eastern North America.
Harbor Island was featured in the April 2010 issue of Southern Living Magazine, in the article entitled 'Find Your Secret Beach'. It was recommended for families, and, to quote a portion of the article, 'The perfect day here ends with the setting sun and the surprise that though you're only 50 miles from the crowds of Hilton Head, you're on a beach that feels like your own'.
The unit is situated in Cedar Reef Villas, part of a private, gated community with 24-hour security. The condo is located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building, which affords more beautiful views of the ocean. The condo is a corner unit, with unobstructed views from the private deck, as well as from the living room.
The condo has been recently renovated, in February 2010. The entire condo has been painted, and the ceilings have been completely refinished. Other updates include custom window shades, new kitchen stove and microwave, new bathroom fixtures and custom window shades. The private deck is furnished with a beautiful new table and chairs. The living and dining rooms feature custom made Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams furniture. The kitchen is equipped with Lenox china, new flatware, Le Creuset cookware as well as other new cookware and small appliances.
From the furnished deck you can see rabbits feeding on the lush green grass in the courtyard in the mornings. There is also a view of the private swimming pool as well as the ocean. You can cook outside on one of the grills provided in the courtyard.
The most spectacular view is from the 3rd floor, where the master bedroom has large windows that face the ocean. At night you can go to sleep with the sound of the ocean surf,(although when the tide is low, it is so far out that you can't hear the surf). It is, however, audible during higher stages of the tide. High tide at night is heaven!
This wonderfully appointed vacation condominium has a fully equipped kitchen, spacious dining and living area with cable TV and DVD player, as well as cable TV in the master bedrom. A new CD player with separate speakers and outstanding sound quality is in the living room. There is also a washer/dryer in the unit. All linens are provided, plus beach chairs and beach umbrellas.
From the condo, the boardwalk to the beach is 80 yards over beautiful sand dunes. Almost 3 miles of unspoiled, uncrowded white sandy beaches await you. The dolphins swim just yards away, and your children can safely run along the beach as shrimp boats sail by.
Or, you can stroll along the beach and find any of the numerous shells that wash up on the shore, including live sand dollars. (I have even found live starfish).
A 2-minute walk from our unit takes you to the Beach and Racquet Club, which offers a fitness center, Olympic size swimming pool with play area for children, tennis courts, and putting and chipping area.
Follow the egrets and herons through the miles of marshland you'll see poolside at the club. Keep and eye out for alligators on the other side of the protective fence.
Nearby Hunting Island is home to the historic lighthouse that was in operation until 1933. Originally constructed in 1859 and rebuilt in 1875 after the Civil War, 167 steps and 50 cents will take you to the top for a fabulous view. It is only 2 miles away from our unit. If you are interested in fishing, the 1120-foot former Paradise Pier is now part of Hunting Island State Park.
Included in the condo rental is a pass for free, unlimited entrance to Hunting Island.
Historic Beaufort is just 12 miles away. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride and view the antebellum homes, or take a leisurely stroll through downtown shops and restaurants that border the waterfront, as well as a small park and marina. An hour or so drive will take you to Savannah, Charleston or Hilton Head, which make great day trips.
Stop at Publix on your way out of Beaufort, heading to Harbor. It is on the left after you cross Lady's Island bridge over the inter-coastal waterway on Route 21.
Before you cross the Harbor River Bridge, stop at Gay's Seafood and purchase shrimp or the fresh catch of the day, or visit the Shrimp Shack (restaurant featured in Coastal Living) right across the street.