Harbor Island, SC, USA

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Harbor Island, SC, USA

Find the best place to stay — Harbor Island

Nurture your need for relaxation in this sandy safe harbor

One of a chain of barrier islands protecting South Carolina from the Atlantic Ocean, Harbor Island is 1,400 acres of tidal marshes, unspoiled beaches, and a miniature resort community of vacationers who know they're lucky. The island was used as a hunting ground and largely uninhabited until the 1930s, and the homes, shops, and playgrounds still have an edge-of-the-wilderness feel. If you're ready to while away a few days poolside, stroll a beach at sunset, or try your hand a catching a ghost crab, you're ready to book a Harbor Island vacation rental.

Eat fish caught by locals, or the crab you snagged yourself

Your Harbor Island vacation rental will be set in a pristine, natural wonderland and within a vibrant resort community, so take advantage of both. The island's gated residential area offers swimming pools, tennis courts, and playgrounds for the kids. Its 2.5 miles of white, sandy beaches offer tons of spots for picnicking, fishing, and water sports. Crabbing in the tidal creeks is popular, too. Once you've worn yourself out in the great outdoors, relax at a local restaurant that serves fresh fish caught right off shore.

The island won't harbor ill will if you take a quick detour

Harbor Island's key attraction might be its scant population, but neighboring islands provide all the cultural and outdoor adventures you'll need when its time to re-engage. Neighboring St. Helena Island gives you Penn Center, site of a school that was once one of the first for former slaves. The center was a retreat for Martin Luther King Jr., and the York W. Bailey Museum, on Penn Center grounds, tells the history of the place and its African American heritage. Hunting Island is another friendly neighbor. It features a historic 19th-century lighthouse that visitors can climb for spectacular views.

Ocean breezes blow the edge off high temps on Harbor Island

Like the rest of South Carolina, Harbor Island is blessed with year-round weather you can smile about. Summers are hot and humid, with highs in the upper 80s and low 90s, but ocean breezes keep beachcombers feeling refreshed. Thunderstorms break the heat in the afternoons, too, so bring sunscreen and your raincoat just in case. Fall and spring have a lot in common. High temps top out at 80¡F, and cool nights can bring a bit of a chill. Winters are short, with cold nights lasting from December through February.

Tweet it with us: Birds! Are! Important!

Peaceful, sparsely inhabited, and dotted with graceful sand dunes, Harbor Island's natural beauty is pretty in-your-face. You may leave your Harbor Island vacation rental to run an errand, then find yourself irresistibly drawn to the sight of sea grasses waving in the breeze. Next thing you know, you're on the sand, watching the dolphins and forgetting about dinner. Terns and pelicans are frequent visitors to your island getaway. In fact, Harbor Island is an official member of an Audubon Important Bird Area, thanks to its wading bird rookeries and well-defined lagoon with abundant egrets, herons and ibises.