Charles Fraser was the man who first envisioned the Sea Pines Resort as “an intimate harbor village with low-country ambiance seasoned by the influence of the small distinctive ports along the coast of southern France and Italy.” The now very popular resort area is the fruition of his dreams.
The focal point of that resort is the Harbour Town Lighthouse. It is the first privately financed lighthouse to be built since the early 1800’s and was constructed on Hilton Head Island in 1970. Fraser modeled it after a lighthouse in Lancastershire, England. The Harbour Town Lighthouse is a 90-foot tower that sits on the harbor in Sea Pines resort. With its eye catching red and white stripes, visitors don’t feel their trip to Hilton Head is complete without making a stop here. The Lighthouse provides a gorgeous panoramic view of Hilton Head Island and Harbour Town.
The Harbour Town Lighthouse on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina has become quite a landmark on the Island as its popularity has grown over the years. This towering structure can be seen from far away as visitors enjoy golfing, sight seeing and boating. At nighttime its flashing light can be seen from a distance of fifteen miles away. It serves as a brilliant point of reference for those finding their way around the island. Telecasts of the final hole of the Harbour Town Golf Links often feature this beacon as a distinctive backdrop.
In addition to providing a much sought after view, the Harbour Town Lighthouse serves as a monument to the history of Hilton Head Island. As guests climb the nine flights of stairs on their way to the top, they are able to stop and rest after each level to read the numerous historical placards. Each of the ten levels of the lighthouse presents a unique era. The lower landings begin the adventure back in time to the early years of the island and its inhabitants. This includes colonial history, life on the plantations and the Civil War. As visitors reach the middle landings, the focus switches to the construction of the bridge that extends from the mainland to the island. Charles Fraser’s plans for the resort, along with interesting places to visit, also receive attention. The upper levels feature six additional lighthouses in the area. A few enticing ghost stories associated with the island and its lighthouses are mentioned throughout the climb.
The lighthouse was renovated in 2001-2002 at a significant cost of $200,000. A small admission fee for the tour assists with the costs of its maintenance and improvements.
Every visitor to the island should take advantage of the opportunity to visit the Harbour Town Lighthouse with its charming atmosphere. Making this an early addition to your visit will increase your appreciation of the historical events and lasting traditions of the area. Harbour Town also offers great shopping, dining and a beautiful marina, making it an enjoyable spot to spend the day. Watching the gorgeous sunset from the top of the lighthouse will end your visit to Harbour Town with a magnificent and serene experience.
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Reviewed January 8, 2010 / Stars
“Get insider info for the Harbour Town Lighthouse in Hilton Head, SC and see why this historic lighthouse on Hilton Head Island offers one of the best things to do in Hilton Head, South Carolina.”
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