Hilton Head Island has a vast array of beautiful, sophisticated property, and Sea Pines encompasses one of the most historic areas. For vacation rentals and long-term properties, Sea Pines is a coveted area, combining rich natural splendor with all the luxuries of island living. This page covers valuable information about Sea Pines real estate on Hilton Head Island, covering all available homes, condos, and lots.
Out of all the various neighborhoods in Hilton Head, Sea Pines comes with the richest and most influential history. The Low Country area was first founded by Charles Fraser in the late 1950s. Fraser came to Hilton Head in 1956 after persuading his father to sell him the lower one-third of the island. At that time, Hilton Head looked nothing like it does today. The island was mostly wilderness, with a population of only 600 people. Together, Fraser and his father convinced the state to construct a two-lane bridge to Hilton Head, and the doors were opened for the island to become the luxurious beach haven that it is today.
In 1957, the construction of the Plantation began. At 5,000 acres, it was an incredibly expansive project, but it was also incredibly unique. During that time, the South Carolina coast was populated by simple, brick-and-mortar vacation homes. The gated subdivisions, professional golf courses, and expansive greenery of SP marked a new direction for gated communities, creating a lasting impression.
In fact, Sea Pines Plantation was one of the first to combine golf and real estate inside a gated community and one of the first to support interaction and recreation across generations. Most importantly, it was one of the first communities to include environmental protections in covenants and deed restrictions. This focus on environmental preservation and protection created universal recognition for Sea Pines. For the very first time, there existed a private, gated plantation which included elements of undisturbed nature. Fraser’s dedication to preserving natural beauty set the standards for all future development on Hilton Head Island.
While creating Sea Pines infrastructure, Fraser set aside hundreds of acres to establish parks and nature preserves. Even today, the Plantation employs a wildlife officer and a wildlife biologist to ensure that its flora and fauna are well-taken care of. Today, this area is home to the island’s largest nature preserve, spanning over 605 acres. Since its creation, the themes, values, and aesthetics of Sea Pines have become iconic, and have been replicated multiple times throughout the globe.
Meet the Founder: Charles Fraser
Creating Sea Pines Plantation was a monumental accomplishment. The growth of the community was incredibly influential, spurring the growth and sustainment of Hilton Head Island and inspiring housing developments across the globe. Fraser saw the opportunity to create a lasting impression through the combination of natural beauty and gated communities. In an interview with Southern Living Magazine, Fraser explained his decision to preserve natural elements:
“There’s no law of economics that says ugliness pays. I selected beauty and set out to make it work economically.”
His drive to use natural beauty as a selling point created a completely new architectural design aesthetic, known as the “Hilton Head” or the “Sea Pines” style. Its characteristics include screened-in porches, large overhangs, low roof slopes, earth-tone coloring, and the use of existing plants and trees for landscaping purposes, rather than planting new ones. Ultimately, the effect of the Sea Pines architectural style is to allow housing to blend into natural elements, rather than stand out.
Most of these houses were built between 1961-1973. Although tastes in architecture have changed throughout Sea Pines Plantation, the original architectural style can still be seen and appreciated. Due to the vast success of this Plantation, Charles Fraser is often credited with defining what a modern American resort should be. In fact, his innovative take on gated communities earned him a Heritage Award from the Urban Land Institute in 1994.
This award recognizes building projects that carry lasting importance, putting Sea Pines Plantation amidst such memorable projects as the Rockefeller Center, Disneyland Park, and Chautauqua Institution. Since its inception in 1979, there have been only nine distributed Heritage Awards, putting Sea Pines into an exclusive group. Charles Fraser contributed much more to Hilton Head Island—and to South Carolina as a whole than his creation of Sea Pines Plantation.
Fraser used his own money to reduce the yacht basin, preserving tree growth. He also created policies to protect alligators without endangering residents. His red-and-white striped lighthouse in Harbour Town Marina—originally called Fraser’s Folly—has become a state-wide symbol. Fraser also convinced the Professional Golfers Association to begin the Heritage Classic at Sea Pines.
To this day, it is the only PGA tour event in South Carolina. It is often credited with giving Hilton Head Island worldwide recognition.
Following the success of the housing market, Fraser went on to create resorts in Florida, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico. He was also a consultant for Celebration, Florida, the iconic town built by Walt Disney.
Sea Pines real estate is a gated community that features 24-hour security and an impressive range of recreational, sporting, shopping, dining, and entertainment activities. For those looking for a community that is engaging, historical, and luxurious, this neighborhood is the perfect fit.
Championship Golf Courses
Sea Pines is home to three championship golf courses: Harbour Town Golf Links, Heron Pointe, and Atlantic Dunes. As one of the top 20 golf courses in America, Harbour Town Golf Links features a new irrigation system and new grass for the fairways and greens. With a par-4 18th hole considered to be one of the most feared of all, Harbour Town Golf Links hosts the annual RBC Heritage PGA tour.
Designed by revered architect Pete Dye, the Heron Pointe golf course is a dynamic experience for any golf enthusiast. In 2015, it was named South Carolina’s “Golf Course of the Year,” and features a mixture of surfaces and landscaping elements to provide maximum natural beauty. Introduced in 2016, Atlantic Dunes is a reconstruction of the historic Ocean Dunes, the very first golf course built on Hilton Head. Designed by Davis Love III, five-time champion of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, this redesigned course features beachfront elements like natural sand dunes, coquina shells, and indigenous plants.
Outdoor Activities At Sea Pines Plantation
Sea Pines real estate features over five miles of pristine, sandy beaches for recreation and relaxation. The plantation also provides resort swimming pools, award-winning tennis courts, and plenty of space to explore. Outdoor activities at Sea Pines include:
Those who are looking to enjoy the waterways can choose to dock from two different marinas—South Beach and Harbour Town—and a vast array of waterfront activities. The Harbour Town Marina is a world-recognized These include:
Some of the most popular outdoor activities involve observing the abundance of wildlife. From alligator boat tours, dolphin expeditions, and wagon tours through the Forest Preserve, there are plenty of options to explore the natural beauty and wildlife that surrounds the plantation.
Sea Pines Forest Preserve
At over 605 acres, this area is home to the island’s largest nature preserve, with trails connecting to the historic Indian Shell Ring and Lake Joe, amongst others. Hikers can also find numerous observation decks, lookout points, and lakeside access through the trail system. The four lakes on the Sea Pines Forest Preserve—Lake Joe, Lake Mary, Lake Thomas, and Lake Chapin—are the largest sources of freshwater on the island.
The lakes are well-known for their fisheries and birdwatching opportunities. Dug between 1968 and 1980, these lakes are beautiful additions to the preserve. In 1994, a total of 404 acres of the Forest Preserve was awarded to property owners in Sea Pines. This not only increased the value of Sea Pines homes, but it also ensured that the preserve could be enjoyed and explored for years to come.
Encompassing the scenic Sea Pines yacht basin, Harbour Town holds a vast array of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. From casual to fine dining, hand-crafted gifts, and boating adventures, Harbour Town holds some of the best entertainment that Hilton Head has to offer.
Shopping at Harbour Town
With over twenty different boutiques, fine arts shops, gift stores, apparel retailers, fine jewelry, home accessories, and local art galleries, shopping at Harbour Town is sure to provide unique finds. Nestled amongst the oceanic backdrop of the yacht basin, strolling through each shop is a beautiful, scenic experience. A staple of Harbour Town for over 40 years, Bailey’s Ltd. provides fine gifts, collectibles, and decorative accessories from around the world.
At Harbour Town Christmas, every day is filled with ornaments and festive decorations. For kids, Cinnamon Bear country store provides everything from toys, gifts, stuffed animals, candy, and ice cream. For the fashion-conscious, Currents provides contemporary resort clothing from top brands, including the largest collection of handbags and shoes in the Southeast. The Harbour Town Surf Shop and 32° North provide beach and rugged apparel for the entire family, making them prime shopping destinations.
Dining & Entertainment at Sea Pines Harbour Town
With both casual and fine dining options, there is a total of nine restaurants in Harbour Town for everyone in the family to enjoy. For seafood lovers, The Crazy Crab provides casual seafood fare while overlooking the Harbour Town Yacht Basin. Harbourside Burgers & Brews provides fantastic, juicy sandwiches. During the season, this open-air café also offers nightly entertainment. CQ’s, a staple of Harbour Town for over 20 years, is a local favorite for fine dining and expertly crafted cocktails.
The iconic Liberty Oak provides family-friendly entertainment by Gregg Russell. This is also where you’ll find a commemorative statue of the founder, Charles Fraser. With plenty of restaurants to accommodate a variety of tastes, styles, and appetites, Harbour Town is a fantastic dining destination for the entire family to enjoy.
As the largest gated community on Hilton Head Island, Sea Pines encompasses about 5,800 acres. One-fourth of that land has been dedicated open, natural habitats. Enclosed in the Sea Pines Plantation are the 605-acre nature preserve, walking trails, championship golf courses, shopping centers, fine dining, and two marinas.
With so much diversity, there are plenty of properties to fit a variety of families and interests. All Sea Pines consists of nearly 3,000 homes, 450 condominiums, and over 2,000 villas.
There are six recognized sub-areas that makeup Sea Pines Plantation, though there are plenty of varied neighborhoods within each sub-area. These include Calibogue Cay, Harbour Town, Club Course, Central Plantation, Oceanside, and South Beach.
Bordered by three different areas, Calibogue Cay sits near the Intracoastal Waterway. This sub-area provides private docking and deep water access, making it ideal for avid fishermen and boaters. Harbour Town holds shopping and dining, making its residential neighborhoods incredibly convenient.
Club Course features many single-family homes, with golf, marsh, or woods views. It holds the Sea Pines Country Club, making it a desirable piece of Sea Pines houses for recreation. Central Plantation boasts a variety of different housing options, including single-family homes and villas. It also holds the Ocean Course, Heron Pointe Course, and the Lawton Stables.
For oceanfront homes, choosing sub-areas Oceanside and South Beach will provide the easiest ocean access and the most stunning waterfront vistas. Many properties in these sub-areas include resort-style amenities, like private pools and restaurants.
Browse beautiful Sea Pines condos and homes with stunning ocean views!s. If you’re looking to reside in a beachfront home, you can discover the best properties in neighborhoods like Sea Pines Real Estate. Contact Ocean Front HHI today and we will help you get started with finding your new home!