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The Complete Guide to Hilton Head’s Harbourfest

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25 Jun 2018

A treasured Hilton Head Island for more than 30 years, Harbourfest sees the picturesque marine surrounding Shelter Cove Harbour transformed into a family entertainment paradise every summer.

Every day of the week sees something worth exploring. Legendary local musician Shannon Tanner performs at 6:30 and 8 p.m. every weeknight, serving a high-energy show that invites the little ones to sing along or provide accompaniment on their kazoo. Carrying his acoustic guitar and topped with his trademark beanie cap, he’s hard to miss under the large gazebo at the center of all the festivities.

Also appearing every night from 6 to 9 p.m., Cappy the Clown circulates among the crowd to the delight of young and old alike. Just follow the joyful squealing noise of children trying out their new balloon animal hats or swinging around the balloon swords.

Clown

On Thursdays, Tanner is joined by his band The Oyster Reefers for a show starting at 7 p.m. that runs through the complete songlist of island favorites. From Buffett to Bob Marley, it’s a tropical-inspired extravaganza perfect for a cold cocktail and a view of the dazzling sunsets over the harbor.

But to truly take in Harbourfest, you need to be there on Tuesday nights for the big fireworks shows. Starting around 9:15 p.m. every Tuesday night, during this summer, this dazzling display of precision pyrotechnics is a beautiful exclamation point to a day spent enjoying Hilton Head Island. In addition to the fireworks shows, Tuesdays sees scores of local vendors descending on Shelter Cove Harbour, offering everything from local crafts to buttery popcorn and mouth-watering frozen yogurt.

Because this even has proven so popular over the decades, it can be tricky to find parking. Fortunately, the Dunes Buggy is there to transport you to and from Shelter Cove each and every day of the summer.

But to take advantage of this service, you’ll need to start out in Palmetto Dunes, where you’ll find a huge selection of world-class vacation rental properties from Vacation Company. From five-bedroom manors to two-bedroom beach villas, you’re sure to find something to make your vacation unforgettable inside Palmetto Dunes. Then it’s just a short joint on the Dunes Buggy to get you to Harbourfest.

7525 Yacht Club

Or, you can stay where all the action is and find a vacation getaway right in the heart of Shelter Cove. Once again, Vacation Company has you covered. Imagine watching the fireworks from the privacy of your own spacious balcony, set high above the water, amid breathtaking maritime-theme décor? You can simply imagine it, or you can book a stay at 7525 Yacht Club Villas. Among three resort-style bedrooms you’ll find endless comforts for the entire family, and the light and airy living spaces give you plenty of room to come together. As part of Yacht Club Villas, you’ll also enjoy access to the sparkling outdoor pool and blissfully tranquil hot tub.

Plus, it's just steps away from all the fun and excitement of Harbourfest, one of the island’s finest summertime traditions.

BY: BARRY KAUFMAN