Hilton Head Island: An ideal springtime retreat and home to the famed PGA Tour's Verizon Heritage at Harbour Town

By Blanche T. Sullivan, Contributor

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – While Hilton Head Island offers an appealing climate year round, many visitors find this family-friendly resort destination particularly inviting during the springtime, when pleasant temperatures inspire the picturesque landscape to begin budding anew and the island is buzzing with more robust activity.

Harbour Town Golf Links - Hole 18
Each spring, Harbour Town Golf Links hosts the Verizon Heritage which features some of the biggest names on the PGA Tour and attracts thousands of spectators.
Harbour Town Golf Links - Hole 18Heron Point GC at Sea Pines Resort - hole 16Hills golf course at Palmetto Dunes - No. 4

In addition to its convenient location, Hilton Head Island is home to the Verizon Heritage golf tournament, a PGA Tour favorite that annually features some of the biggest names in golf and attracts thousands of spectators to the renowned Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines Resort.

Golf in Hilton Head: A great springtime getaway

Many will attest that Hilton Head Island is particularly beautiful in the spring when the weather is warming up, the landscape is becoming more lush and the island abounds with renewed vigor.

In addition to more pleasant temperatures, golf enthusiasts can also partake of a variety of terrific specials offered by Hilton Head Island businesses, as well as a number of exciting festivals taking place throughout the island.

Sea Pines Resort, for example, is offering a "Play Three, Stay Free - 4 Golfers" package, whereby participants can enjoy three complimentary nights in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom villa at the resort when they play two rounds of golf on Heron Point by Pete Dye and one round on the Ocean Course. Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort introduced a new Golf Channel package designed especially for golfers, beginning at just $145 per person, per night.

The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa is offering a unique "Play the Tour Package," which includes luxurious accommodations, golf and daily breakfast.

A few of Hilton Head Island's noteworthy springtime events include:

Chamber Golf Week: March 1-7. The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber & the Lowcountry Golf Course Owners Association introduce a week-long celebration of golf, which will feature a variety of promotions and opportunities for enthusiasts of every skill level, and will also help support the Verizon Heritage event and the local charitable Heritage Classic Foundation. Visit www.chambergolfweek.com for more information.

25th Annual Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival: March 1–15. One of the country's premier epicurean events, this two-week celebration offers an unrivaled opportunity to enjoy exceptional wine, food and entertainment amidst breath-taking locations. Call (800) 424-3387 or visit hiltonheadislandwineandfood.com.

Golf Channel Am Tour at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort: March 13-14. Enjoy the benefits of a Golf Channel Am Tour membership, such as local/national competition. Entry fee for PDR tourney is $295, entry deadline is March 5. Click here for details.

27th Annual Hilton Head Island St. Patrick's Day Parade: March 14 at 3 p.m. Show off your Irish spirit during this lively and colorful wearin' of the green. Visit stpatricksdayhhi.com.

Wingfest 2010: March 20, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. This annual chicken wing celebration, hosted in Shelter Cove Community Park, features great entertainment, food and fun for the whole family. Call (843) 681-7273 or visit islandreccenter.org.

The famed Verizon Heritage

The event for which Hilton Head Island may be best known is the Verizon Heritage. Established in 1969 by Hilton Head Island pioneer Charles Fraser, the inaugural tourney secured the island's place on the map, as well as in history, when golf legend Arnold Palmer clinched the title. Since then, this annual championship has garnered global recognition as a world-class event and is considered by many PGA Tour professionals to be one of their favorite competitions.

Hosted on the captivating Harbour Town Golf Links in The Sea Pines Resort, the family-friendly Verizon Heritage annually features some of the most prominent names in golf, as well as thousands of spectators who attend for the robust golf action, amazing autograph/amateur play opportunities, or simply the friendly and fashionable socializing.

A variety of Verizon Heritage ticket packages are available and, as the event inevitably sells out, it is wise to plan ahead and secure your place at the Verizon Heritage early. To purchase your tickets today or obtain additional information, please visit verizonheritage.com or call (800) 234-1107.

Getting to Hilton Head: There's easy access to paradise

Situated just off the coast of South Carolina, Hilton Head Island's proximity to many major cities affords it an accessibility shared by few resort destinations. Hilton Head Island airport, a full-service terminal, is serviced by two airlines, US Airways Express and Delta Connection, enabling travelers to conveniently fly directly to the island. The airport offers taxicab and rental car service, and its relaxed atmosphere and cozier size make getting in and out of Hilton Head Airport a breeze.

Savannah/Hilton Head International airport, only 45 minutes away, offers travelers another great way to reach Hilton Head Island. Located in Savannah, Ga., this modern airport offers myriad flights and services, such as valet parking and tourism information, and you can easily travel to Hilton Head Island from the airport via shuttle, rental car or taxi. Visit savannahairport.com, or call (912) 964-0514.

Hilton Head Island is also a popular drive-to destination - one that is a pleasant day-trip away from many cities, such as Charleston, S.C. (2 hours), Jacksonville, Fla. (3 hours), Charlotte, N.C. (4 hours), Atlanta, Ga. (4.5 hours) and Orlando, Fla. (5 hours).

Blanche T. SullivanBlanche T. Sullivan, Contributor

A golf getaway drew Michigan native Blanche T. Sullivan to Hilton Head Island, SC. a decade ago; employment afforded her permanent residence in paradise. The former magazine editor/ad agency devotee enjoys writing, epicurean endeavors, golf and any combination thereof.

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