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Good evening, this is a post that is a bit out of my normal content:) And posting at night…my version of living life on the edge:)  I am adding some random pictures of Palmetto Bluff to fill the space and make this post a little prettier!

My dear dad is visiting Palmetto Bluff, staying in our home for about a week or so(so jealous). I am so thrilled that he finally got the chance to go!! We have been (my sister and I) trying to convince him that Hilton Head could be an amazing place for him to consider moving. The more I have found out about it, the more I feel its a great fit for him. The good thing is that he is open and that’s one step in the right direction. I am thinking it could be a good idea to consider committing to rent for a year to try it out.

As many of you know, my beloved mother passed away almost 2 years ago (still in disbelief) and after being married for nearly 60 years, you can imagine the immense life change that my dad has had to readjust to. MAJOR. Through our love and support, he is doing as well as can be expected. He is 84 years young ( I kid you not) and anyone who knows him will attest to this.  This is a man who has an insatiable thirst for travel and has been to more countries in the last year than I have in the last 10!

We call him our very own “family google” since it seems he knows almost everything. He is a fabulous conversationalist, is well read  and incredibly charismatic. I am not bragging, please don’t take it that way (but I am just so proud of him) and  I am  describing him because I want to keep that incredible spark that he is so lucky to have alive and well.

We all agree a change is in order but it has to make sense. I know he needs and would thrive in a  community of similar like minded people. Where he is now, is  just not a community for someone in his situation, it worked years ago but no more.  I just feel this in my heart which is why I am putting myself “out there” .

I feel the demographic of Hilton Head would be a great fit for him. My niece and nephew both live in Savannah and this would surely encourage us to visit PB way more. The last time I was there I went to the Barnes and Nobles in Hilton Head and I saw so many people that looked like people my dad would befriend, it might sound odd but it was just a hunch. It just seems to offer a nice quality of life from what I know.  There were many at Barnes and Noble that were about the same age as my dad, and when I saw two men his age prowling the World War 2 books I almost wanted to approach them and say “hey, need a new friend”? Do I sound like a crazy stalker on behalf of my dad, or what!!  I promise it was with the best of intentions:)

I hope there isn’t a bulletin circulating within Barnes and Noble alerting them to the crazy blonde lady lurking in the aisles, But all joking aside, it was just a casual observation…I felt “I could see my dad here, meeting a friend, getting coffee, etc…” What can I say, he is always on my mind!

Then one night, the last time we were there  we went to Michael Anthony’s in Hilton Head (our fave for Italian) and we met a few really nice people, so friendly,  while we were waiting at the bar for our table. One of the couples was about my dads age who had moved there 3 years ago from CT. The loveliest couple who gave me their number to pass along to him with any questions and wouldn’t you know,  I misplaced it. I have a friend who’s father in law has been happily residing in Hilton Head and he and my dad really hit I off. They were due to meet and he was going to show my dad around but sadly he is very ill so that is not going to work out.

So…all this to say, for anyone who either lives in Hilton Head or knows the area well, would love your opinions and recommendations! I figured who better to ask then the best audience in the!

Some of the things I would love to know to pass along to him-


Community groups for new residents (his age group)

A good rental/real estate agent or agency you might recommend

Residential communities/areas that would be a nice fit for someone like him

Your favorite things to do (age appropriate) He used to golf and I could see him taking it up again….we are trying to get him to try pickle ball!

Restaurants…where do you like to eat (besides Michael Anthonys)

Gym, he works out at least 3 times a week….I know, I know makes me feel like a slacker.

A great community for walking, he loves walking so somewhere conducive to nice leisurely walks

Best thing you like about Hilton Head? Worst thing?

A good resource for anyone looking to potentially move there?


And feel free to add anything else you want to add! If you are more comfortable emailing me and not leaving a comment, feel free to email [email protected]. I can’t think you enough, I know my readers are the best and you just. never know who  might be out there and  have a great nugget of info that could be a deal sealer!


Wishing everyone a great night, until next time…..


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Your Dad sound like an amazing man who has a lot more of life to live. I think renting is a great idea. Our youngest son and his family moved to Charleston, SC and are renting to see if it is a good fit for them. So far they are loving it. Best of luck!

You are an amazing daughter! I’m sending prayers that all your questions get answered and that he finds a very special place!

I am 53. We have gone to Hilton Head every summer since I was little with my whole family. We love it there. Now that my sisters and I are older, my parents rent a big house and all of our familes go stay there for a week. It is our favorite vacation, and we love getting to be together. We always stay in Sea Pines. There is Harbor Town and South Beach in the community, and another smaller shopping center in the middle. They have golf, tennis, a stable, restuarants, and the beach. There are also bike paths throughout. It has been around a long time, so there are mature trees with Spanish Moss. You could also look into Sun City in Hilton Head. It is a 55+ community. We have one near us in Charlotte, and people love it because of all the planned activities. It could be great for your dad to get to meet people.

You have a beautiful heart!

I do not personally know much about Hilton head, have only been there one time, and it was just lovely. However, a friend of mine’s parents moved there about two years ago, both avid golfers from the Atlanta area..

I am going to ask if she can reach out to you and maybe make a connection.

This post was such a nice idea. our world gets smaller every day and it’s amazing how we can connect with people from all over. your father sounds like an incredible man.

We had a house in Windmill Harbour for years.
Your Dad would find Hilton Head a good fit. There’s a fairly new rental development at Shelter Cove Towne Center that would be a good place to rent to see if he likes the island.
I would say Hilton Head Plantation would be the best place to buy. There are no renters and it’s a nice community, centrally located on the island. Anything further south gets difficult to get to during tourist season,
Our favorite restaurant was off island in Bluffton…..The Cottage. They used to be open for dinner, but now it’s just breakfast and lunch. Still the best food in the area.

Hi Tina, My mom passed before my dad did as well, so I have dealt with the same issues. This isn’t unique vis a vis Hilton Head, its true for wherever someone of that vintage is located……. the main thing I would suggest is to deeply investigate the medical care and reviews and qualifications of the medical specialists *anywhere* that your dad would consider settling , and be sure there was some backup plan, a point person for an emergency in the vicinity until you can arrive. People of that generation (my dad was a bombardier in WWII) as well as ours need medical monitoring often blood tests to make sure they are in the right ranges for whatever is being monitored, even for blood thinners. Any move for anyone over even 65 has to keep those things in mind. Everything is great and fine until it isn’t….. and things can change in a literal heartbeat. First make sure you have the right MD’s, specialists nearby in place, and based on that, choose all the rest. You need the best heart/neurologist/whatever specialty lined up and don’t want to have to use whomever is available at the local hospital if something should happen suddenly.

I think Hilton Head would be great for your Dad. That area has all accommodations. There is a lot of retirees. Hope he loves wherever he chooses. He sounds like he adapts easy because of his personality.

What a good idea to do this information blast! I hope you get what you need. Saw two comments that had great advice and hope you are getting more behind the scenes.

In any community, by that I mean a plantation or within a gated community, I would ask if there are any “new neighbors” groups. When I lived in Savannah, that was key to meeting people, a new to the area people. I also was a joiner. I think that makes it easier. Is he that kind of person. And as a single person, it’s a different ball game. I went to Savannah single too. A new neighbors group help me connect with other women.

Maybe rent the first year. I didn’t do that. I bought right away. In retrospect I should have gotten the lay of the land before I bought.

I shopped Hilton Head and used to go there as a vacationer, so my knowledge if limited. I was looking for more of a city feeling. Symphony, arts, etc. But I went there at 60, and an active person, working before I moved.

Medical care. In Jacksonville fl is a Mayo Clinic. I ended up going there fora medical problem. Medical care is not that great, in my opinion. Savannah has two hospitals. Beaufort also has a hospital. You appreciate big city medical care after living down south. It was not for me!

Politics is another. I’m a democrat and it is very republican and the south is a shock in the difference between the haves vs have nots. I was shocked how much poverty was in Savannah, still paying the 7,50 minimum wages, etc.

I lived there 5 years. Many reasons I moved back, mainly to be back around family.

Good luck

The person who talked about health care is right on the mark
Your Dad is healthy now but a few years or even months that could change
He needs to make sure that all of his health care needs are readily available wherever he ends up
He doesn’t want to move somewhere where he has an hour drive to meet his basic health care needs

You are a wonderful daughter. We just placed my mom in law in a senior living community and she is adapting well, after 3 months. She calls her new home ‘The Hotel’ because she doesn’t have to do a thing (except make her bed) have fun and make friends. I agree with comments to search for a community of 55+ and also make sure that they have medical staff handy as his needs require. These communities are amazing. Many have swimming pools, golf courses, bird watching, book clubs, and special outing events. And, many offer parking for residents who still drive. I hope you will find the perfect place for your father. We have friends who who purchased a winter home in Hilton ahead and they love it,

Your blog is like a family, Tina. I agree with all who mentioned the need for medical consideration. That is primary. Also renting for a time is a good idea as you really can get a “taste” of the area that way. You can scout out to see if the place has all you wish. As we age it is more difficult to make changes so you want to be sure you really like the area and it hits the punch list. I hope it all turns out perfectly for your Dad.

I am unfamiliar with how to help you and Hilton head. But I do love your blog and you are an incredible daughter to be looking out For the mental physical health and well being of your father! We all need someone like you on our side😊

Did you ever look into the Cypress? A lovely Assisted Living place with a golf course and pretty houses or apartments in Hilton Head? And good health care too.

A neighbor of ours in Carmel, Ca moved to HH to be near her children as she aged. She bought a unit at The Cypress. One starts out as independent living but they have graduated levels of care as the need arises. She loved it there and we visited her. Her unit was lovely, We ate in the dining room and found the food and ambience quite nice. It wasn’t a depressing retirement home with everyone with walkers, etc.

We live on a barrier island off the coast of Savannah, and drive to Hilton Head often. One lunch place that we like is Truffles. Regarding healthcare, we have found that the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, SC, is the best. We have doctors in Savannah, but go to MUSC for anything specialized. Their doctors are knowledgeable of the latest and best advanced techniques. Many of them also teach and contribute to medical studies. Good luck with helping your dad find his place. Hilton Head has much to offer.

Hi Tina, I found this post very interesting and hope you settle your dad someplace wonderful. I very much enjoyed the Saturday posts you used to share, they were so timely and funny. He is is a sharp fellow for sure. Sadly I know nothing about Hilton head so I cannot help you one bit.
I, however, had been meaning comment before this about the question of you charging for your blog, so here goes. I follow many bloggers and love them all and appreciate the work they put into them, but I would never be able to pay a fee for each. We seem to be asked to pay for so many things these days, streaming, Netflix to name just two. I am old enough to remember when tv was FREE. Can you even imagine? Anyway, I’m sorry I would hate to see you go, because you have always been a favorite of mine, especially when you shared more of you social life, trips to the flower markets in the city, shopping excursions, dining at so many different restaurants and of course your decorating. You have inspired me in many ways. Now for the real reason for this comment, I am curious to know that since most of your posts are you selling your goods,( I admit am a repeat buyer) how would that go? Would subscribers be paying for those? Have you given that any thought? I wish you well on all fronts and hope I can remain a faithful reader.

We have a house in Moss Creek, some of the smaller homes in Stable Gate have two bedrooms, back on the south golf course, easy access to Bluffton, the island and close to everything. We have two golf courses, tennis, pickle ball, gorgeous pool and fitness center, great parks, there is nothing not to like and lots of people in your dad’s age group. If he wants to rent for a few months to see if he would like the area, I could ask around, I know one of my neighbours is looking to rent for two months, her mum in law is sick in New Jersey so she won’t be here this spring.

I think your dad would love Hilton Head! As you know from Palmetto Bluff life, the entire Low Country of SC (especially Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head) have been flooded with new residents – mostly over 55. HH is more established and more exclusive price-wise mostly because it’s an island and land is limited. Very resort-like. It’s a wonderful place! I would suggest you talk to one of the most established and reputable realtors in that area – John Weber of The Weber Team ( And, please check out his videos on YouTube which are the best I’ve ever seen (and I’m a realtor in VA.) He serves Bluffton and Hilton Head primarily and lives in Hilton Head. His videos are intended to educate prospective residents who are considering a move there as he did decades ago from the northeast – community info, shopping, sports, restaurants, cost of living, healthcare and even fun day trips to Charleston, Savannah and Highlands, NC. I feel your dad will thrive there. Wishing him the best.

One of our good friends has lived in HH for a #of years (widowed) & she LOVES IT!! We stayed several years ago & were so impressed (friendly, maintained, lots of beautiful parks, etc…& then, THERE’S THE WEATHER…FAB!!) GO FOR IT!! franki

I hate to run down a place but Hilton Head is very similar to Carmel CA and Santa Fe and Hawaii. People might want to retire there but the health care is less than ideal. Where we live, a family moved after retirement to Santa Fe and after a couple of years they couldn’t deny that people around them were dying of things that should have been treatable. The nearest good hospital and good doctors comparable to where they had lived their entire life were now 60 miles away. They moved back home…for the health care.
And then there is the late actress Betty White. She and her late husband had built a home south of Carmel but they had a main residence in Los Angeles. Their favorite was Carmel. Why did she decide to live out her remaining years in Los Angeles? To be close to the world class doctors and hospitals.
Finally my husband’s golf buddy. My husband and another golf buddy went to visit the other fellow and his wife in Hilton Head in November 2023. They had retired there from our home town and built a beautiful home. He said health care was a challenge. They could not lure good doctors there because it was almost like a union, you had to sign a contract to agree to stay 5 years. The only ones who would do that tended to be older doctors (no longer sharp in their skills) who turned out to be golfers who in reality just wanted to retire there themselves.
Right after Xmas he got sick and his wife took him to the emergency room. It was swamped. An overwhelmed doctor took a quick look and never even put him in an emergency room room, sending him home saying he probably had a cold. Said to get some rest. He ended up with Covid and an infection….and he died.
In my mind a doctor at the top of his game tends to have a wife and family and they don’t tend to want to live in a retirement community, they want good schools and the young people take all sorts of classes and lessons and in a retirement community there isn’t much of that, life there is geared for the older crowd.
If it were my father I would want him closer to a large city where there is better and sharper health care….like near Jacksonville where there is the branch of Mayo Clinic.

Just reading this now as I am on a plane coming home to Bluffton from a few weeks away Down Under. We have lived in Bluffton (Berkeley Hall) for 15 years now. I dealt with the same thing as my Mom passed before my Dad. I looked into exactly that scenario of renting him a small house. Don’t rule out Sun City as I found a nice one there for him. If your Dad is still active and likes sports they seem to have a lot. Also they have I think every possible hobby/interest club possible. Ask to see their “catalog” of activities! Unfortunately due to some unforeseen things when my Dad moved down here from Ohio it was into an assisted living facility. If Sun City is not his cup of tea there are a lot of developments in the area but that one does provide an instant social network! Good luck and we love living in the HH area.

I’ve been visiting Hilton Head since the late 1970’s and it’s my favorite place. We now own a second home there where we hope to retire one day. HHI is a great place for a retiree with so many folks of the same age. My mother’s college roommate and her husband live there now and love it. They’re in Hilton Head Plantation (really wish they’d drop plantation from the name.) HHP does not have any rentals so it’s popular for full time residents. I would suggest your father rent a property and stay down there for a few months and see how he likes it. There are so many resorts and properties that I think you will want a great realtor to help guide where he ends up. My one caveat as others mentioned is consider medical care. It seems like it’s improving due to all the growth in Bluffton and surrounding area but I’m not totally sure.

I will say this- my mother became a widower 6 years ago (lived in Richmond) has visited a good friend of hers in HH and really enjoyed it.

We kept reading about what a great retirement community it was and we gently nudged her and eventually succeeded in getting her to rent for 6 months.

Despite her ambivalence about leaving Richmond (though that community no longer worked for her) by the end of 6 months she was hooked and LOVED it. she ended up purchasing in Cypress…. We look forward to every opportunity to visit her there, and in fact, will be going there for Easter.

The milder weather, friendliness (she said that was the biggest difference) and overall ease of lifestyle won her over. She was basically healthy for a 81year old but found various doctors with ease (said she liked them even more than the Richmond MD’s)

I’m going to even go out on a limb and say that living there has added years to her life, she suddenly has a vitality that we thought was lost forever. she has met many lovely people her age, She has taken up golf that she had never played before, plays bridge, and finds that there are many cultural and intellectual activities for her to enjoy.. it is a thriving and robust community and you can be as busy as you would like.

Based upon the description of your father, I think he has nothing to lose by trying it as a short term rental as my mother did, something tells me he would be very, very happy!

Keep us posted TIna!

Looks like lots of good advice here. My parents lived in HH for about 9 years and LOVED it.
They were from Alabama and were looking for a place that was a good midway point between my brother and I. Plus it offered so much, affordable living (almost for every price range), accessible health care, a great community of others their age, lots of activities, my dad was much more active than my mom but she found her niche too.

They both had some health issues and found medical care very accessible and super convenient. My dad was an army veteran. They loved how convenient everything was and the year round nice weather.

They could not have been happier there so I recommend it highly. I would look at Pines, Seabrook, Cypress, Sun City, Bayshore, Indigo Run to name a few. I agree with what others have said renting on a short term is the best way to see if its for him.

Best of luck

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