Hilton Head Island Green Business Directory, Guide and Information Portal

Eco-Friendly - Home & Garden | Personal Care | Food & Dining | Entertainment & Activities | Transportation

Hilton Head Island, SC is well known for its eco-friendly development and long history of dedication to the preservation of natural resources. A "green" community for over half a century, Hilton Head is home to America's very first eco-friendly resort, The Sea Pines Resort, which was built in 1956 and continues to be a model for environmentally friendly developments all over the country.

The 12-mile long island of Hilton Head lies at the southernmost edge of the S.C. Lowcountry in Beaufort County. The earliest inhabitants of the area were Native American tribes and island relics have been unearthed dating back as early as 10,000 B.C. The seductive beauty of the island has captured the hearts of visitors from all over the world for generations.

In 1663, William Hilton, an English sea captain, surveyed the pristine body of land as he sailed from Barbados in search of suitable lands on which to establish new English plantations. Hilton promptly claimed the island for the British crown and bestowed upon it the name "Hilton's Headland".

The island experienced a rebirth in the 1950's when a man named Charles Fraser was inspired to create an unprecedented resort community at Sea Pines, the island's first planned development. His primary focus was on the preservation of the uncommon beauty and natural endowments of the land where people and nature could exist in harmony. The environmentally sound covenants Fraser set in place have become the standard for all subsequent island development, as well as for resort communities around the world.

The first bridge to the island from the mainland, a toll "turnbridge" structure, was erected in 1956. When its construction costs were recouped, the toll was discontinued. Fixed-span bridges over the Intracoastal Waterway replaced the turnbridge in 1981. The Cross-Island Parkway, a "shortcut" to the beaches that bypasses the island's business district, opened as a toll road in 1997.

In 2010 Hilton Head Island became the first community in South Carolina to join Audubon International's Sustainable Communities Program which is a framework to merge the protection and enhancement of a community's environmental and social characteristics with economic opportunities. With the help of Audubon International, Hilton Head will use the SCP as a catalyst for citizen-driven planning, by facilitating partnerships with governmental agencies, businesses, academic institutions, and other organizations that provide local support and assistance to address community growth and environmental protection.

Today, Hilton Head Island thrives as preferred vacation destination for over one and a half million visitors each year. These visitors continue to come for the abundant recreational opportunities, championship golf courses and unrivaled beauty of the white sandy beaches. The island is home to thousands of permanent residents from all walks of life that are drawn to the relaxed environment and easy paced way of life.

Home Hilton Head Island Bluffton Beaufort Charleston