July 2019

Editor's Note: July 2019

Author: Maggie Washo | Photographer: Ella Patrick

Our area plays host to around 2 million visitors over the course of the year, and in no month is that more evident than July. The roads are packed with SUV’s, festooned with car-top carriers, those cutesy stickers detailing how many children and animals they have, and out-of-state license plates. The bike paths are even more crowded with runners, professional cyclists, and vacationers who haven’t been on a two-wheeled contraption since they were 10. The wise don’t even attempt a grocery store run after about 9 a.m. on a Saturday, and reservations are highly recommended if you want to dine at your favorite restaurant at a reasonable hour.

As chaotic as July is in our area, I have to say, I have grown to love it. Maybe it’s because I know it only lasts a few weeks, or maybe because I really enjoy watching vacationers experience this place we are lucky enough to call home.

A nightly ritual for me is a walk on the beach or in the park with Lucy and my mom. It’s much more of a leisurely stroll this time of year because everyone wants to stop and pet the big dog with the cute brown eyes. Almost everyone we chat with this time of year is on vacation, and I love asking them why they come here and what they like to do. Specifically, I ask them about which restaurants they’ve enjoyed, because we do business with a lot of them (and also, I love to eat.)

I chatted with a family from Ohio in Shelter Cove Community Park last week who was staying in Palmetto Dunes and had been coming here for years. (Shocking, I know!) They cheerfully rattled off their great experiences at Hudson’s, Alexander’s, and Dockside and asked me to recommend a pizza place for later that week. It’s enjoyable to me to be an island ambassador of sorts on these nightly walks, recommending boutiques and restaurants I love and making suggestions for what to do when they are too sunburned to head to the beach anymore.

Our July issue typically has a fair amount of content geared specifically to our visitors, and this year’s edition is no exception. In our recurring column Five Drinks with…, Barry Kaufman sits down with Mike Wagner, operations manager of Shore Beach Services. Mike has the unenviable job of finding about 90 seasonal employees (every year!) to protect our visitors from rip tides, shark attacks, jellyfish stings, lost children, and garbage. Yep, you read that right. The lifeguards you see manning every chair around this 12-mile island are also responsible for hauling away all that trash we humans are so good at creating. Read all about the fun things Mike’s seen on the beach in his 20 years on the job on page 29—and check out our video interview with him at Pool Bar Jim’s on our YouTube channel (CH2-Celebrate Hilton Head).

In another article geared specifically to our visitors, Linda Hopkins highlights what do inside when those afternoon thunderstorms roll through or the summer heat is just too much to handle. Check out her suggestions on page 47. I’m particularly fond of catching a movie at Park Plaza Cinema. Any theatre that serves wine with their popcorn and boasts two canine mascots is a winner in my book. In fact, I’m headed there tomorrow afternoon to catch Toy Story 4! I also recommend killing an hour (pun-intended) in an Escape Room. I’ve done one in Savannah and one on Hilton Head Island thus far, and I’m a big fan—anything that gets those brain cells bouncing around to problem-solve.

There’s so much more to love in this issue. Be sure to check out our Health & Wellness section, featuring local physicians and great articles on sleep, stem cell therapy and anger management. We have two fashion features in this issue—one presenting bridal gowns through the decades and another suggesting what to wear if you are unfortunate enough to be attending a summer wedding in the South. It’s steamy down here, y’all, so dress accordingly.

I would love to direct you to even more of my favorite pages in this magazine (Paddling with Alligators, Road Trippin’), but I’m running out of time and space.

Have a wonderful July, everyone. If you are a visitor, welcome to the South! Feel free to email me for restaurant and shopping suggestions. Also, please subscribe to our magazine so you can keep up with the Lowcountry year-round. It’s free!

If you are a local, put your patience pants on—it is but fleeting this time when we play host. 

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