August 2013

A Sea of Libations: The Ladies of CH2 Go Bar Hopping

Author: Lily Bartell


On this island of beauty and allure, not enough residents of Hilton Head Island experience all that this place has to offer. Islanders often get stuck in the day-to-day rut of work, family, and responsibility, while forgetting about the natural artistry that surrounds the island they call home. Needless to say, this “nose to the grindstone” attitude traps everyone at one time or another, but here we have the luxury of getting away from it all right in our own backyard.

After nearly eight years of hard work, the CH2 ladies did just that—got away for the day. Our assignment: hit the water and visit the Hilton Head Island and Daufuskie Island restaurants and bars that can be reached by boat.

With cooler in tow, the girls and I started our adventure at Skull Creek Boathouse where we boarded a beautiful vessel captained by Grant Kaple along with his wife Jennifer, the perfect first mate. Stop number one was Shelter Cove Harbour, including San Miguel’s, Kingfisher Seafood & Steak House, Bistro 17, Ela’s Blu Water Grille, Scott’s Fish Market Restaurant, Parrot Cove Grill & Bar, and Little Venice Restaurant & Lounge, all with exceptional ambiance, wonderful views, and delectable food prepared by some of the best chefs on the island.

Due to our early arrival, most of our potential destinations were not open; accordingly, we decided to make our first stop at San Miguel’s. The girls’ mission was to sample the restaurant’s ever-famous and refreshing margarita.

As designated writer, and being only nineteen years of age, I watched them enjoy their cocktails. Along with the festive flair of San Miguel’s came a beautiful view, savory Mexican cuisine, and a variety of cocktails that were a hit with our party. Every boater should visit Shelter Cove Harbour if only to sample a few drinks.

As we boarded our craft, we headed to Up the Creek Pub & Grill. This stop was a quick decision on Grant and Jennifer’s part due to the typical tropical afternoon storm headed our way. Thankfully, their timing was impeccable as it started to pour just as our heads ducked under the restaurant’s awnings. We didn’t let the rain put a damper on our day as the girls ordered up the restaurant’s signature drink, a Long Island Iced Tea, a few beers from their vast selection, and appetizers for the group to share.

The Long Island Iced Tea lived up to its spiked reputation and was sipped with care by all the girls during our visit. Adding to the pub’s charm, dollar bills with funny notes written on them were taped to the walls, pillars, and the ceiling. The walls were painted with riotous colors, creating a fun Lowcountry feel. Tying it all together, the staff treated us with the classic Southern hospitality we all know and love.

As the rain subsided, our group went back to the boat and navigated through choppy waters to Black Marlin Restaurant and the Hurricane Bar, famous for their specialty Hurricane drink and frozen daiquiris. The outside bar is perfect for guests dining at Black Marlin, but also for guests who only want the bar experience. There is plenty of shade for sticky summer days, with loads of atmosphere when it cools down and the drinks start pouring a tad faster, making Uncle Kracker and Kenny Chesney’s song “When the Sun Goes Down” a blissful reality.

The girls tasted the fruity Hurricane and frozen daiquiris from the bar. The drinks were well-received, and to-go cups were exactly what were needed to keep the party rolling along. Another perk of the Hurricane Bar and Black Marlin is that they take call-ahead orders for food and beverages that can be taken away by boat—perfect for those days on the water when chips and beer is not enough.

So far, everyone was having a brilliant time, and as the sun started to peek out from behind the clouds, we decided to make our way to Harbour Town to visit the Quarterdeck before heading off to Daufuskie for dinner. The boat ride into Harbour Town Marina is easily one of the most scenic in the area. With the gorgeous water, the 18th green at Harbour Town Golf Links, and the iconic lighthouse, one would be hard-pressed to find a view more representative of Hilton Head Island. Grant brought us dockside and we made our way up to the Quaterdeck’s patio where pineapple and mango cocktails were sampled—the perfect treat to hold everyone until dinner… or so they told me!

Our final stop was Marshide Mama’s Café on Daufuskie Island. After a smooth 30-minute ride, we parked at the dock, arriving just in time to see Marshide Mama herself eating dinner with friends. We were greeted like family, and our drink orders were taken. A few of the girls ordered the bar’s specialty drink, the Marshide Mama, which included a mix of rums and citrus juices. It was the ideal drink to top off a day full of flavorful, fun, and fantastic beverages… or so I hear!

The restaurant’s menu, written on a chalkboard, is updated every day and passed around from table to table, lending charm and a sense of community. We enjoyed fried fish and grits, burgers, and fish fresh from the water, while soaking in every ounce of Marshide Mama’s.

For the trip home, we all sat in the front of the boat and listened to music, enjoying the sea breeze blowing through our hair one last time. This trip was a fun, bonding experience, allowing each of us to experience what Hilton Head Island has to offer from a waterfront perspective.

On our final leg back to Skull Creek Boathouse, I found myself wondering why I don’t get out to enjoy everything the island has to offer. Usually my answer would be that life gets in the way; but every now and then, everyone needs to get away for the day, drink a cocktail, and experience the Lowcountry as it was meant to be enjoyed… I can’t wait to be 21!

Although we had every intention of making it to each bar and restaurant on the water, weather and time limited our ambitions. Here is a list of the information for all the bars and restaurants we visited, as well as the ones we saved for our next day off.
Thanks Grant and Jennifer! Happy Boating!

Skull Creek Marina
Skull Creek Boathouse
397 Squire Pope Road
Hilton Head Island
(843) 681-3663

Charthouse
2 Hudson Road
Hilton Head Island
(843) 342-9066

Hudson’s
1 Hudson Road
Hilton Head Island
(843) 681-2772

Hilton Head Harbor Marina
Sunset Grille
43 Jenkins Island Road
Hilton Head Island
(843) 689-6744

Broad Creek
Old Oyster Factory
101 Marshland Road
Hilton Head Island
(843) 681-6040

Shelter Cove Marina

Kingfisher
18 Harbourside Lane
Hilton Head Island
(843) 785-4442

Scott’s Fish Market
17 Harborside Lane
Hilton Head Island
(843) 785-7575

Bistro 17
17 Harbourside Lane
Hilton Head Island
(843) 785-5517

Little Venice
Restaurant & Lounge
2 Shelter Cove Lane
Hilton Head Island
(843) 785-3300

Parrot Cove Grill & Bar
13 Harbourside Lane
Hilton Head Island
(843) 341-3500

San Miguel’s
9 Shelter Cove Lane
Hilton Head Island
(843) 842-4555

Ela’s Blu Water Grille
1 Shelter Cove Lane
Hilton Head Island
(843) 785-3030

Broad Creek Marina

Up The Creek Pub
18 Simmons Road
Hilton Head Isle
(843) 681-3625

Palmetto Bay Marina

Black Marlin Bayside Grivc ll
86 Helmsman Way #103
Hilton Head Island
(843) 785-4950

Palmetto Bay Sunrise Cafe
86 Helmsman Way
Hilton Head Island
(843) 686-3232

Harbour Town Yacht Basin

The Quarterdeck
149 Lighthouse Road
Hilton Head Island
(843) 842-1999

South Beach Marina

The Salty Dog Café
232 S. Sea Pines Drive
Hilton Head Island
(843) 671-2233

Freeport Marina

Old Daufuskie Crab Company
1 Freeport Rd,
Daufuskie Island
(843) 342-8687

Beaufort County Public Dock

Marshide Mama’s Café
15 Haig Point Road
Daufuskie Island
(843) 785-4755

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