VIDEO: Hilton Head competes for top beach honors

tbarton@islandpacket.comJanuary 30, 2012 

  • The Town of Hilton Head Island's beaches are competing for two awards determined by online voting.

  • To vote for Hilton Head as one of the top 10 best beaches in North America, go to and click on "Best Beaches."

    • In March, the beaches also will be eligible for an award from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association. For more information about its "Best Restored Beaches" competition, go to
  • Get breaking news, story updates and alerts about fun things to do on Hilton Head Island by following Eye on Hilton Head on Twitter.

An online travel guide has picked Hilton Head Island to compete in its readers' choice award.

To win, the town needs your help by casting your vote at It's got some tough competition, including Aruba and Bermuda.

The website cited Hilton Head's 12-miles of "expansive" and "peaceful" beaches that create "a combination of fun and relaxation."

Achieving such descriptors doesn't all come naturally. Keeping ahead of Mother Nature's sand-depletion requires planning, perseverance -- and lots of money, town officials say.

"So often our beach is described as being pristine, which is the biggest compliment I can think of for the town, given the involvement and work we've done over the years," said Scott Liggett, town director of public projects and facilities.

Liggett hopes that work will bode well for the town in another beach competition. Town officials are trying to drum up votes to be named "Best of the Best" by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association.

The association plans online voting for past winners to commemorate 10 years of the awards it has presented and to highlight the value of beach restoration. That competition will begin in March. Hilton Head was recognized by the association in 2003 as one of the best restored beaches in the country.

Since 1990, the town has spent nearly $50 million placing 8.6 million cubic yards of sand along the shoreline. Crews finished last week pumping more than 1 million cubic yards of sand onto a one-mile stretch at the island's heel.

The renourishment projects are paid for with $4 million to 5 million collected each year in taxes on short-term lodging.

Follow reporter Tom Barton at

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  2. VIDEO: Crews work around-the-clock to pump up Hilton Head's heel

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