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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC — It’s a storied location, the playground of millionaires, eternal summer to a shag music beat — and the setting for the Southeast Produce Council 2017 Southern Innovations Organics and Foodservice Expo.

And while the agenda is no doubt jampacked, there is room for a little downtime, especially if you’re staying through the weekend. Here are some of Hilton Head’s top spots to grab a bite — and a couple of “don’t-miss” attractions.

The Harbour Town Lighthouse and Museum is Hilton Head’s most visible landmark. While it looks much older, the lighthouse was built privately in 1969 at the Harbour Town Marina. You probably recognize it from watching the annual The Heritage golf tournament — that’s the view from the 18th hole (and the 19th). Now you can climb it. The museum opens at 10 a.m. daily and closes at sunset.

Hot jazz, cool eats

The Jazz Corner is a great place to grab some upscale grub and time travel back to the Jazz Age. It’s an authentic, old-school big city nightclub atmosphere. The room is low lit, intimate, elegant and sophisticated. The music is hot and exciting. The Jazz Corner showcases excellence. It is the safe repository for the great American art form of jazz, played close to the original melody. They also have some pretty good grub.

Michael Anthony’s Cucina Americana has been feeding hungry Islanders since 2002. The freshest ingredients for hand-made pastas, succulent veal, daily selections of fresh fish and house-made desserts make for an unforgettable casual fine dining experience. An award-winning wine list, exquisite food, attentive service and the personal touch of a family-owned restaurant. Dinner Mon.-Sat. starting at 5:15 p.m.

The Coastal Discovery Museum, affiliated with The Smithsonian, is 68 acres of trails and historic buildings. Explore natural history and cultural heritage on the Museum’s trails, gardens, live oak canopies, butterfly enclosure and the rare Marsh Tacky horses smallish equines that first gained fame during the American Revolution — there are less than 300 remaining in the world. Mon. – Sat. 9-4:30 and Sun. 11-3.

 

A World War II patrol of Hilton Head by riders on Marsh Tacky horses

You would probably call Charlies L’etoile Verte something like Charlie’s Green Star, unless you’re from France. Since 1982 Charlie Golson’s place has remained a family owned and operated restaurant focused on serving seafood with a French twist. It long ago outgrew its single room and in 2001 the restaurant moved to a new spacious location with a full bar and an elegant French country atmosphere. Dinner Mon.-Sat. starting at 5:30 p.m.

An ibis on Pinckney Island

The Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1975, is the former site of the plantation of Major General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, a prominent lawyer active in South Carolina politics from 1801 to 1815. Few traces of the island’s plantation in the 1800’s exist today — in 1975 it became a 4,053 acre wildlife refuge of salt marsh, forestland, brushland, fallow field and freshwater ponds. Wildlife and spectacular views — and an amazing primitive beach if you can make a seven-mile hike — await. Open sunrise to sunset daily.

Mexican and other specialty coffees, Southwestern fare like burrito bowls and plenty of other great grub from breakfast through dinner make Java Burrito Co. one of Hilton Head’s favorite cheap and delicious eateries. Mon,-Sat. 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

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