When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Hilton Head, SC


If you have been accused of a crime, the only thing standing between your continued freedom and harsh legal penalties is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Hilton Head, SC. That may seem harsh, but in this time of turmoil and uncertainty, having a skilled and dedicated criminal defense lawyer on your side is key. Because the truth is that dealing with legal charges in Hilton Head can be a highly distressing ordeal, with even minor violations causing a considerable impact on an individual's personal and work life. The repercussions of having a criminal record can be severe, leading to loss of employment, severed relationships, and even alienation from loved ones.

At Theos Law Firm, we offer trustworthy legal representation to those who need it most. Our criminal defense team has years of experience and is committed to ensuring our clients maintain their freedom and can move forward with their lives. From handling drug-related charges to more nuanced federal cases and sexual misconduct offenses, we take a personalized approach to every case. By utilizing cutting-edge legal strategies and decades of combined experience, we have a much better opportunity to achieve the best possible client outcomes.

Service Areas

We help clients overcome criminal charges in a wide range of cases, including the following:

  • Homicides
  • Drug Crimes
  • Juvenile Crimes
  • Sex Crimes
  • Theft Crimes
  • Theft Crimes
  • Violent Crimes
  • Misdemeanor Offenses
  • Federal Offenses
  • More

If you are facing one or more of the charges above, it's imperative that you establish contact with a legal advocate ASAP. At Theos Law, you can rest easy knowing our phone line is always open. When your future is up for grabs, let our team of criminal defense lawyers fight for your rights. It all starts with a free consultation at our law firm in Hilton Head, where we'll educate you on the particulars of the charges you're facing and explain the next steps ahead.

At this point, you probably have many questions in mind. Keep reading for more information on criminal law in South Carolina and some of our criminal defense specialties at Theos Law.

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Understanding Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina


In South Carolina, criminal cases are classified into different categories based on the severity of the crime. Generally speaking, offenses that carry a maximum sentence of three years or less are categorized as misdemeanors. On the other hand, crimes that carry a punishment of more than three years in prison are generally classified as felonies.

State and Federal Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

Crimes in The Palmetto State are usually split into two categories: state crimes and federal crimes. Classifications are based on whether a crime violates state laws or federal laws. Ultimately, it's up to the prosecutor to decide which category to pursue charges under. State crimes generally include assault, robbery, domestic violence, theft, and rape. Federal crimes, on the other hand, may be more complex and can include computer crime, major drug trafficking, hate crimes, and money laundering. These types of crimes are often investigated by agencies like the FBI or IRS.

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The Difference Between Misdemeanors and Felonies in South Carolina

Understanding the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony crime can be challenging for someone facing their first charge. Misdemeanors are generally considered minor offenses, resulting in fines or a short stay in a local county jail. Trials and plea deals for these cases move quickly due to their nature.

Conversely, felonies are more severe crimes classified by degrees, with first-degree being the most severe and sixth-degree being the least. Those charged with a felony may face significant fines and a prison sentence of over a year in a federal or state institution. Convicted felons may face difficulties after their release, making it crucial to have a reliable criminal defense attorney in Hilton Head, SC.

Plea Deals in South Carolina

It is not uncommon for legal cases to be resolved outside of court through a plea deal. This allows the defendant to acknowledge their guilt on one or more charges without the need for a trial. Both your criminal defense lawyer and the prosecutor collaborate to come up with a mutually beneficial arrangement, which helps avoid the uncertainties and dangers of a trial. By accepting a plea deal, you may receive a lighter sentence and avoid the anxiety that comes with a lengthy legal battle.

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When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Hilton Head, SC?


At Theos Law Firm, we often receive questions from potential clients about when they should hire a criminal defense attorney for the charges that they're facing. Although each situation and client are unique, there are some common criminal situations to keep in mind. In general, it's always best to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as you're charged or have been arrested.

Below are some guidelines to help you decide when it's necessary to retain a criminal defense attorney for your case in South Carolina.

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When You've Been Accused or Charged

Thinking about hiring a criminal defense lawyer when you're charged with a crime is a no-brainer for most, and for good reason. A defense lawyer can offer assistance with various offenses, ranging from minor crimes like retail theft and cyberstalking to more serious ones such as sexual assault and manslaughter. Regardless of the charges, navigating the legal system can be complex, and without the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the situation can escalate rapidly.

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When Investigators or Police Question You

As you may have observed in movies or television shows, the police might request you to provide a statement, giving the impression that you are not under arrest. If they suspect you of committing a crime but lack sufficient evidence to detain you, they may aim to put you at ease and elicit information that can be used against you. Remember, it is within your rights to have a criminal defense attorney in Hilton Head, SC, present during questioning, and you should absolutely use that to your advantage.

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When Authorities Search Your Residence

In the event that law enforcement officers arrive at your residence with a warrant, it indicates that a judge has determined there is reasonable suspicion that evidence related to a criminal offense is present in your home. Regardless of whether they discover and confiscate anything, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a seasoned defense attorney to discuss the situation and receive assistance in determining any potential charges or locations they may investigate in the future.

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When You Are Wrongly Accused of Committing a Crime

Could you imagine being accused of something you didn't do? When law enforcement, a judge, or a prosecutor accuses you of committing a crime that you didn't do, it can be an arduous task to prove your innocence, especially if you have a prior record. It can also feel hopeless and like it's impossible for you to get someone to listen to your side. The truth is that your past mistakes should not be used against you. To increase your chances of being cleared of charges, it's advisable to have a defense lawyer who can support your innocence and fight for your rights. Criminal defense attorneys at Theos Law don't just listen - we act swiftly and always with your best interests at heart.

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When Your Child Is Involved

The legal system for juveniles in South Carolina is different than it is for adults. It comes with its own complications and hurdles to overcome. If you think or know that your child has been accused of a crime, it's imperative to get legal counsel swiftly. Failure to do so could ruin their life or result in a longer-than-needed jail sentence.

Keep reading to learn more about just a few of the most common criminal defense cases we accept at Theos Law Firm.

Criminal Defense for DUIs in South Carolina


In terms of common criminal offenses in South Carolina, DUIs top the list, especially regarding mindful drivers with clean driving records and no criminal history. Unfortunately for these drivers, a DUI conviction in South Carolina stays on your record and cannot be expunged. Even first-time offenses with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent can be costly. Your insurance premiums go up for years, you may end up paying almost $1,000 in fines and fees, and there's a good chance you'll have to perform community service or serve jail time.

If your breathalyzer test result is more than .15%, you refuse the breathalyzer, or it is recorded as a refusal, your license will be automatically suspended, which complicates matters further. Throw in the possibility of interlock device rental, and your life may never be the same. For those reasons alone, it is crucial to approach such charges with the help of a DUI defense lawyer. At Theos Law Firm, our attorneys have years of experience in successfully fighting these types of charges.

Fortunately, if you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, there is hope. That's especially true if the accused has undergone a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve such tests are successfully beaten every day. At Theos Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate your DUI case in Hilton Head and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.

To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in Hilton Head, SC, may seek answers to many questions, including:

  • Was your DUI stop legal? If not, your case could be thrown out.
  • Is there enough probable cause or evidence for an arrest? If there is not, it's possible to file a pre-trial motion for your case to be dismissed.
  • Did officers explain implied consent rights? One of the most common errors police make is failing to take this step.
  • Did the police maintain your BAC and breathalyzer results? Breath testing often comes with inherent weaknesses. This can create doubt in a juror's mind.
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Criminal Defense for Drug Cases in South Carolina


If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in Hilton Head or another city in South Carolina, it is crucial for you to understand the potential penalties involved. Possession of a controlled substance may fall under the category of a misdemeanor, but many drug offenses are considered felonies. Even a minor drug offense conviction can result in long-lasting negative consequences. As such, it's always advisable to explore your options and seek the assistance of a Hilton Head drug crime attorney. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help safeguard your rights and may help achieve a favorable outcome.

One of the most frequent questions we hear at Theos Law is, "What does possession mean?”

Drug charges based on possession in South Carolina are divided into three categories:

  • Simple Possession
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • Drug Trafficking

However, the state also has other drug charges that are not based on the weight of the drugs. These include:

  • Drug Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution Near Schools, Parks, or Playgrounds
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Possession-based drug charges in South Carolina are deemed "graduated offenses" with penalties that grow more severe based on the weight of the drugs. It's important to note that the charges can be based on either actual or constructive possession. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Hilton Head, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in Hilton Head and other cities in South Carolina.

Some of the most common drug charges we see at Theos Law include the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD and Hallucinogens
  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Prescription Pain Killers
  • Fentanyl
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Can I be Arrested for Drug Paraphernalia in South Carolina?

The simple answer to this question is a resounding "Yes.” Drug paraphernalia can refer to various items such as pipes, bongs, syringes, scales, grinders, and rolling papers which are linked to drug usage, preparation, storage, or hiding. Even though some of these items may have legitimate uses, like tobacco pipes or medical syringes, they can still be scrutinized by law enforcement if there is proof of illegal drug use or intent.

Criminal Defense for Assault and Battery Cases in South Carolina


If you are facing assault and battery charges, it is possible that you haven't actually physically harmed someone. Many people associate assault and battery with brutal beatings, but that is just one example. There are other situations that are less severe than what people typically imagine.

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It's a common misunderstanding that physical injury is required for assault and battery charges. The fines, penalties, and jail time you may face depend on the severity of your charges and the number of offenses. Regardless of the degree of your charges, Assault and Battery is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. The consequences of a conviction can be life-changing, and as such, your criminal defense lawyer in Hilton Head, SC, should work relentlessly to fight the charges being levied against you.

Though this list isn't comprehensive, here are some of the biggest factors that dictate the severity of your assault and battery charges:

  • Age of Victim
  • Severity of Injuries Sustained
  • Size and Weight of Accused vs. Size and Weight of Victim
  • Whether or Not the Victim Presses Charges
  • Whether or Not Weapons Were Involved
  • Whether or Not the Victim's Privates Were Touched

Understanding the Degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina

Third Degree

Causing harm to someone or threatening to do so with the ability to carry out the threat can result in a charge of third-degree assault and battery. This misdemeanor offense is typically heard in municipal or magistrate courts and may carry a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.

Second Degree

Causing harm or making threats to harm someone that results in moderate bodily injury can lead to charges of second-degree assault and battery. Additionally, touching someone's private parts without their consent can also result in charges of assault and battery in the second degree. This misdemeanor offense is heard in General Session court and can carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

First Degree

Assault and Battery in the first degree can involve a number of actions such as inflicting an unlawful injury when kidnapping, touching a person's privates "with lewd and lascivious intent,” and much more. Contact Theos Law Firm for more info on the degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina.

Everyone Deserves a Reliable Criminal Defense Attorney in Hilton Head, SC


At Theos Law firm, we work tirelessly to ensure that our client's rights are not overlooked. Because unfortunately, the rights of everyday citizens are often trampled by law enforcement oversights and legal system failures.

That's why every criminal defense lawyer at our firm works hard to provide guidance and support throughout the legal process by keeping you informed of updates and as comfortable as possible during this trying time. Benefits of hiring Theos Law Firm include:

  • Thorough Knowledge of South Carolina Criminal Law & Procedures
  • Seasoned Legal Representation in the Courtroom
  • Years of Experience Structuring Plea bargains
  • Ability to Identify Due Process Violations
  • Fierce Dedication to Clients & Vigorous Representation
  • Skilled Negotiation Tactics Involved with Bail, Sentencing, Appeals, and More
  • Familiarity with Local Prosecutors

Unlike some criminal defense law firms in South Carolina, our team believes that everyone deserves a great lawyer when their freedoms are on the line. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in South Carolina, trust Theos Law to have your back without judgment.

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Latest News in Hilton Head, SC

US second home sales slide in pandemic-era vacation hot spots

NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) - U.S. vacation home sales have fallen by nearly three-quarters from their frenzied pace three years ago as an inventory shortage spawns a wrenching correction in the second-homes market.In markets like Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, or Lake Havasu City, Arizona, sales have all but dried up, data from mortgage services firm Optimal Blue showed, even though demand remains as hot as ever.The reduction comes after a fervor of real estate investment in vacation locales during the pandemic. And as sec...

NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) - U.S. vacation home sales have fallen by nearly three-quarters from their frenzied pace three years ago as an inventory shortage spawns a wrenching correction in the second-homes market.

In markets like Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, or Lake Havasu City, Arizona, sales have all but dried up, data from mortgage services firm Optimal Blue showed, even though demand remains as hot as ever.

The reduction comes after a fervor of real estate investment in vacation locales during the pandemic. And as secondary home activity dwindles, some smaller housing-related businesses in leisure hot spots say they are feeling the pinch as well.

The current share of secondary homes within the existing housing market has fallen to 16% as of August, from a peak of 22% in January 2022, data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed. That share is still somewhat above the 14% average from late 2015 through the first half of 2020.

The market for second homes is dominated by wealthier buyers less sensitive to the jump in interest rates and the persistence of high home prices, but inventory remains a barrier.

“Homes are just not available,” said Chuck Tuttle, vice president of sales at William Raveis Real Estate based on Cape Cod, a popular coastal vacation spot in Massachusetts.

Hilton Head Island and Lake Havasu City experienced the greatest fall in volume at 83% and 87%, respectively, compared with respective gains of 45% and 79% from early 2019 to the start of this year.

"When quality secondary homes come on the market and they’re prepared and presented correctly, they go quite quickly regardless of the price point,” Tuttle said.

Remote work policies and quarantine regulations that kept Americans in their homes during the height of the COVID pandemic stoked a frenzy of vacation-home buying as more people looked to invest in space.

Optimal Blue data shows vacation home purchases peaked nationally during the third quarter of 2020 when 30-year mortgage rates were on their way to record lows under 3% as the Federal Reserve moved to prop up the economy in the face of the pandemic.


With the Fed having shifted gears to fight inflation, rates on home loans have risen to two-decade highs, reaching 7.90% in the latest week, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data.

Higher borrowing costs and lower vacation home sales have also hurt some businesses that count on that activity to feed their own operations, said Tuttle, citing difficulties for realtors and home remodeling contractors.

“Services for existing rentals has grown, but services for larger ticket remodeling work on new vacation rentals has stopped," said Tim Allen, owner of Kopa Home Services, based in Flagstaff, Arizona. "I can't recall any large project or make-ready that we've done on a new vacation rental owner this year.”

With most buyers purchasing homes built in the 1980s, renovations on existing houses overall are rising, according to the NAR. But the decline in vacation home purchases cuts into the strong customer base for remodelers because second-home buyers often have higher average incomes than cash-strapped first-time home buyers, said Jessica Lautz, NAR's deputy chief economist.

Those who bought secondary properties during the pandemic as vacation rentals are now seeing declining occupancy rates and a loss of revenue as many markets became oversaturated.

Allen has had to decrease unit prices in his separate vacation rental business, Local Vacation Team, to keep occupancy figures above market. Since March of 2022, national short-term rental occupancy is down 8%. For Flagstaff, that figure is 14%, according to data from AirDNA, a short-term rental data provider.

“Our market is all about supply," Allen said.

"With the acceleration of the creation of vacation rentals during the pandemic, now if visitors are at 1,000, there are 3,000 rentals available,” he said. “My largest price decrease was a 20% fall from the time they listed it to the time it finally went.”

Seven Tips for Exploring Hilton Head Like a Local

Savor the quiet side of a Lowcountry classicAugust 16, 2023photo: Hilton Head Island VCBHilton Head, South Carolina, calls itself “America’s Favorite Island,” and the numbers don’t lie: This twelve-mile-long by five-mile-wide barrier island attracts more than 2.5 million visitors a year but only counts less than forty thousand permanent residents. Bu...

Savor the quiet side of a Lowcountry classic

August 16, 2023

photo: Hilton Head Island VCB

Hilton Head, South Carolina, calls itself “America’s Favorite Island,” and the numbers don’t lie: This twelve-mile-long by five-mile-wide barrier island attracts more than 2.5 million visitors a year but only counts less than forty thousand permanent residents. But if you want to know how the locals find their paradise amid crowds, take a few pointers from those—like my husband and me—who have been “doing” Hilton Head for many generations. We first traveled to the island in the 1980s and have returned many times over the years, making friends with business owners and other regular visitors. We love the beautiful beaches, casual vibe, and walking and bicycle paths—and most of all, the food. Now when we visit, we stay at the Westin Hilton Head Resort & Spa with our pup because the property is pet friendly.

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Hilton Head is also home to twenty-four championship golf courses, and the beaches are a huge draw during the summer high season. While it may not be easy to avoid popular spots entirely—after all, they’re popular for a reason—here is a bit of advice for where to belly up to the bar next to neighbors and friends, spend a day at a quiet beach, and watch a gorgeous sunset over a little slice of heaven.

Timing your trip

Consider timing a trip for the “shoulder seasons” in the spring (April and May) and fall (September and October). The temperatures typically peak in the seventies and eighties, and there are fewer tourists. While the island landscape is lush year-round with towering live oaks and tropical vegetation, the most colorful time is March and April when the azaleas, cherry trees, and dogwoods are in full bloom. If you’ve got a hankering for soft-shell crabs, plan to visit in early March through June (depending on the water temperatures), when these local delicacies are in season.

Getting here

The busiest times on U.S. Route 278 are Saturdays in season (June through August) starting anytime around noon. “Unbearable” is how residents describe the traffic backup from I-95 through Bluffton on the way to Hilton Head. Midday Saturday is when the rentals turn over and eager vacationers head to the island for early check-ins at their condos or hotels. You’ll also want to skip the airport on Saturday in Hilton Head and Savannah. Come a day earlier or arrive later to avoid the rush. Thankfully, the traffic and congestion ease up as kids head back to school at the end of summer.

Beach time

Overlooking Port Royal Sound and tucked away in Bay Gall in one of the island’s historic Gullah neighborhoods, Fish Haul Beach Park may be one of the island’s best-kept secrets. It’s easy to think Google Maps has sent you on a fool’s errand as you drive past the airport, through a neighborhood, and down a dirt road before reaching the parking lot. Once you arrive, you realize it’s hidden for a reason: This quiet gem on the island’s north end is popular with local families. Parking is free, and there are outdoor showers and restrooms.

There are other low-key beaches on the island too, including Burkes Beach. Located between Port Royal Sound and Port Royal Plantation, this secluded stretch of sand sits just past the protected dune line. It’s an ideal spot to watch for sea turtles, dolphins, and shorebirds, and to linger over a sunset beach picnic.

If you want to avoid the crowds, don’t plan to spend the day at Coligny Beach Park, especially in high season. Finding blanket space is second only to the struggle of finding a parking place across the street at this very popular destination.

Minding the tides

Before you pack your sunglasses and flip-flops, you’ll want to check the times for the high and low tides that day. The tidal salt marshes create a unique situation for the island, as there is no clear divide between the creeks, rivers, and land. There are two low and two high tides per day, where the difference between the tides can shift six to twelve feet. Low tide is the perfect time to walk the packed-sand beaches—and you can look for shells left behind as the waters recede.

Which way to Coco’s?

If the website for a beach bar tells you, “Finding us is half the fun,” come prepared for an adventure. And know in advance that Google Maps clearly does not know the easiest way to Coco’s on the Beach. Let’s just say you have to really want to go to Coco’s if you’re not staying at the Hilton Head Resort or in one of the private homes next door.

Here was our adventure: After paying $5 to park outside the gates at the resort (which you get back with your purchase at Coco’s) and taking the long walk through the parking lot and past the condos in mid-ninety-degree temperatures in July, we finally came to a long boardwalk that stretches over the marsh grasses. If you reach that point when the golf cart chauffeur is operating, you’re in luck (it runs every half-hour throughout the day with breaks). We weren’t so lucky, as we arrived at noon. Thankfully, when we climbed up the steps to Coco’s after a journey through the resort and over the boardwalk, we were greeted with an extensive selection of frozen boozy concoctions and a short menu of tasty bites, including spicy wings, boom boom shrimp, and one of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time. It didn’t take much to convince us to stay a full hour and a half, and we zipped back over the boardwalk in the courtesy golf cart. (Real talk: Try to make a friend that lives in one of the homes next door and take the shortcut to Coco’s through the gate.)

Dining around the island

If it’s good enough for residents to visit during the high season, then it’s worth a visit. These are the restaurants that kept coming up in conversations around the island:

Palmetto Bay Sunrise Café has been a top breakfast pick for locals for more than twenty years. If you arrive to find a crowd lined up for Sunday brunch, grab a mimosa or Bloody Mary at the outdoor bar while you wait for your table.

The family-owned and -operated bakery Sprout Momma recently opened a restaurant on the island’s south end. Dine in for breakfast and lunch, or stop by for happy hour. You can also take home hearty artisan breads and pastries, many made with organic whole and sprouted grains.

The Sea Shack is a casual counter-service eatery that features fried, grilled, and blackened seafood, including those tasty soft-shell crabs. Don’t be surprised to find a line out the door when you arrive.

If you’re in the mood for European comfort food like Wiener schnitzel or Hungarian goulash and chicken paprikash, check out the specialties at Taste of Europe. Lunch or dinner at this laid-back spot is like dining at someone’s home with grandma cooking in the kitchen.

The menu at Chez Georges Bistro & Bar pairs classic French cuisine with Southern flair in dishes like sorghum glazed foie gras with a spiced peach consommé and seared duck breast with collards and a black cherry Grand Marnier reduction.

At Lulu Kitchen, locals stop by for Southern-inspired fare such as house-fried chicken with pimento cheese and seafood dishes like butter-poached lobster and the French fisherman’s–style stew, bouillabaisse. If it’s red meat you’re after, make reservations at Bowdie’s Chophouse for top-notch steaks.

If you want show-stopping pastries and one of the best baguettes or croissants outside of Paris, take the drive to Hilton Head Social Bakery. Residents know to avoid the line at the Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina location and head to the south island location instead. It’s just a few miles down the road, and I never leave the island without popping in tograb fresh loaves and say hello to the chef and owner, Philippe Feret.

Sunset views

There’s no better way to end a day on island time than with a sunset over the water. Hudson’s Seafood on the Docks is one of the oldest restaurants on Hilton Head and offers one of the best views. It does get packed with locals and tourists, especially in the summer, so arrive early (they don’t take reservations) for a front-row seat outside on the docks. Order local shrimp (you’ll be sitting by the shrimp boat) and oysters farmed by the restaurant’s owners.

Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina at mid-island is one of our favorite places to visit as evening approaches. We walk the long promenade and then snag a seat outdoors at one of the waterfront restaurants to watch the sun sink over the boats in the harbor.

Here are the 10 best fine dining restaurants on Hilton Head SC in 2023, Yelp says

Are you looking for a special place to spend an evening for an anniversary, first date, business dinner, celebration or more?Here is a list of the 10 best-ranked fine dining restaurants on Hilton Head Island, according to Yelp.Nunzio Restaurant + Bar Ranked 10th overall, Nunzio Restaurant + Bar is open daily at 18 New ...

Are you looking for a special place to spend an evening for an anniversary, first date, business dinner, celebration or more?

Here is a list of the 10 best-ranked fine dining restaurants on Hilton Head Island, according to Yelp.

Nunzio Restaurant + Bar

Ranked 10th overall, Nunzio Restaurant + Bar is open daily at 18 New Orleans Road on Hilton Head Island and offers guests the opportunity to experience homemade Italian cuisine through traditional meals and desserts.

The Italian restaurant offers fresh, simple and local dishes, according to Nunzio’s website, and displays a lively bar scene with Italian charm.

Nunzio is owned and operated by its executive chef, Nunzio Patruno, who designed the restaurant’s experience based on his love for the cuisine and wonderful wines.

Skull Creek Boathouse

Landing ninth on the list, Skull Creek Boathouse offers a waterfront experience with scenic views of Skull Creek, a relaxed atmosphere, an indoor sushi bar, local seafood, multiple dining areas, an outdoor bar and sunset views. The popular restaurant is located at 397 Squire Pope Road and is open daily.

Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar

Coming in eighth for the best fine dining on the island, Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar is a self-proclaimed American bistro with southern soul. The establishment uses fresh ingredients sourced from local and regional farms, purveyors and waters. Lucky Rooster’s menu changes seasonally based on ingredients, tides and the staff’s inspiration at the time. The restaurant can be found at 841 William Hilton Parkway Unit A, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928.

The Jazz Corner

Placing seventh on the list, The Jazz Corner features live jazz shows in a “moody space, accompanied by over-sized martinis & contemporary Southern food,” according to Google.

The “iconic and award-winning jazz club and restaurant on Hilton Head Island” has interested fine music and cuisine connoisseurs since 1999. The locale features some of the finest entertainment from around the globe and is paired with Southern-inspired cuisine.

The Jazz Corner can be found in the Village at Wexford at 1000 William Hilton Parkway. The establishment is open daily and reservations can be made online at https://thejazzcorner.turntabletickets.com/.

Sunset Grille Waterfront Dining

Ranked in sixth place overall for best fine dining on the island, Sunset Grille is a casual fine dining restaurant established in 1996. Guests have the option to enjoy lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch at the establishment voted by Garden & Gun magazine to have one of the Best Bloody Marys in the South. Sunset Grille offers sunset and water views perfect for a romantic fine dining experience. Located at the Hilton Head Harbor Marina on the Intracoastal Waterway and overlooking Pinckney Island Wildlife Refuge, Sunset Grille can be found at 43 Jenkins Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926.

Chez Georges Bistro & Bar

Placing fifth, Chez Georges is a French bistro that illuminates the elegance behind French cuisine. Chez Georges acts as a gathering place for families and friends, which serves traditional bistro staples while incorporating fresh, locally sourced ingredients from around South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Chez Georges can be found towards the south end of the island in Orleans Plaza at 37 New Orleans Road Suite J, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928.

Hudson’s Seafood House On The Docks

Ranked fourth on the list, Hudson’s is a waterfront locale, which can be found off of Port Royal Sound, featuring outdoor water views for an iconic Lowcountry dining experience. Evening sunset views on the property also allow for an optimal fine dining experience and atmosphere. Hudson’s can be found at 1 Hudson Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926. The restaurant seats guests on a first come first serve basis, meaning that reservations or calling ahead are not accepted.

Charlie’s Coastal Bistro

Placing third for its culinary excellence and fine dining, formerly known as Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte, Charlie’s Coastal Bistro focuses on fresh, local seafood with a French, Lowcountry flare. The establishment hosts a quaint French country atmosphere while guests enjoy their premier fine dining, lunch or dinner experience. Charlie’s Coastal Bistro can be found at 8 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928.

Bowdie’s Chophouse

In second place for the overall best fine dining on Hilton Head Island, Bowdie’s Chophouse is a steakhouse and bar that has a single South Carolina location on Hilton Head. Bowdie’s goal is to bring the rustic elegance and high-class dining of the locale to small-town communities that the owners know and love and is described as the “type of high-class quality you’d expect to find in Lower Manhattan” by the chophouse’s website. In addition to the restaurant’s extensive and mouth-watering menu, Bowdie’s Chophouse also offers a full wine selection and signature craft cocktail menu that will pair nicely with your meal. The fine dining establishment is open daily, opening at 5 p.m., and is located at 11 Palmetto Bay Road #104, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928.

Sage Room

Landing in first place as the best fine dining restaurant in the ranking, Sage Room features elevated American fare and notable wines. The atmosphere presents itself as casually upscale featuring an open kitchen and chef’s table for guests to view as they enjoy their meal. Sage Room features a variety of unique appetizers, diverse cuisine from four corners of the world, and nightly innovative specials. A full bar and eclectic wine list make the list for this restaurant, which can be found at 75 Pope Avenue, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928.

Town of Hilton Head prepares for Idalia

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. —In the Lowcountry, leaders say the time to prepare for the storm is now!If you haven't already, get an emergency preparedness kit with food, water, medication, and batteries.The town of Hilton Head Island says to stay off bridges, especially when winds reach at least 30 miles per hour. They also want to remind everyone that flooding is one of the biggest concerns in the Lowcountry. When it comes to driving, They say turn around, don't drown."Don't get complacen...


In the Lowcountry, leaders say the time to prepare for the storm is now!

If you haven't already, get an emergency preparedness kit with food, water, medication, and batteries.

The town of Hilton Head Island says to stay off bridges, especially when winds reach at least 30 miles per hour. They also want to remind everyone that flooding is one of the biggest concerns in the Lowcountry. When it comes to driving, They say turn around, don't drown.

"Don't get complacent. The track of the storm models are coming together. It's coming here. We're going to get impacted to some degree," said Hilton Head Emergency Manager Tom Dunn. "My concern is obviously the wind and the rain on top of the storm surge. Obviously, we had rain this morning. So rain on top of rain, that's a big concern for us."

Town leaders also want to remind you to ensure you're getting only information from official sources.

Workers with Shore-Beach Services picked up all chairs and anything that could fly away Tuesday for the anticipated storm winds.

Tuesday was not your perfect beach day at Coligny Beach on Hilton Head; it was actually gloomy ahead of Idailia. The beach service here in Colginy says they are working on putting everything away

The strong winds and potential storm surge that Idalia is expecting to bring are making shore beach services on Hilton Head take extra precautions.

"Tomorrow is an extremely high tide. I have been in contact with Jeremy Nelson. Just to get advice from him on what we may see tomorrow night as a surge. That is the biggest factor for taking things off of the beach," said Mike Wagner with Shore Beach Service

With advice from chief meteorologist Jeremy Nelson and the WJCL 22 storm tracker team, Wagner spent Tuesday with his crew, taking all chairs and materials that could fly off the beach.

He says with many people on the beach now, he urges surfers not to try to catch any waves during the storm because of the rare conditions.

"There is a lot of potential for rip currents, which on Hilton Head is unusual, so people that frequent Hilton Head or come to Hilton Head and think they experience rip currents have probably hadn't," Wagner said.

The beach service says they can not lock down the beach because of the number of access points, but the town could do something if needed.

13 Best Places To Eat In Hilton Head

Eat your way across this South Carolina coastal town.Most people come to Hilton Head for pristine beaches, championship golf courses, and family time, but this beach town also has a thriving culinary scene. Naturally there’s fresh seafood aplenty, but you’ll also find Southern-inspired bites, farm-to-table dining, and homem...

Eat your way across this South Carolina coastal town.

Most people come to Hilton Head for pristine beaches, championship golf courses, and family time, but this beach town also has a thriving culinary scene. Naturally there’s fresh seafood aplenty, but you’ll also find Southern-inspired bites, farm-to-table dining, and homemade Italian cuisine. Best of all, many places offer oceanfront dining, so you can enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the Atlantic while you eat (and maybe even enjoy a frozen cocktail or two).

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Hilton Head Social Bakery

Get your French pastry fix at Hilton Head Social, which is owned and operated by award-winning French chef Philippe Feret. There are two locations (the original is at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina, and the newest one is near the Sea Pines Circle), both of which serve Insta-ready pastries, decadent desserts, and buttery croissants galore. You’ll feel as if you’ve been magically transported to the streets of Paris.


Lulu Kitchen

The menu at Lulu is wide-ranging and delicious, offering American favorites with a Southern twist. Think butter-poached lobster, short rib grilled cheese, and house fried chicken. Come for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch and bask in the cheery, laid-back setting.


The Sea Shack

This no-frills, counter-serve restaurant is a gem. Check out the daily “Blackboard” special, or take your pick from grilled, fried, or blackened seafood that’s fresh from the sea. Expect to wait in line during peak summer months—The Sea Shack is popular with locals and tourists alike.

Chez Georges

Enjoy tasty French bistro staples like escargots de bourgogne (served with garlic herb butter sauce and crispy leeks), perfectly cooked cassoulet, and two kinds of moules-frites at Chez Georges. The wine list is impeccable, as well. Catch the aperitif hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Friday, when adult beverages are two dollars off and there’s a small plates menu offered. The restaurant also uses this time to host ticketed wine tastings complete with paired cheese plates.

Nectar Farm Kitchen

For a fresh-off-the-farm feast, head to Nectar Farm Kitchen, where every dish is lovingly prepared with locally sourced ingredients. The breakfast and lunch menu features Southern classics like sausage biscuits and gravy, country fried steak, and creative Benedicts. Hearty “supper plates and bowls” include Lowcountry cioppino, root beer-braised short ribs, and filet mignon, alongside lighter fare like salads and soups.



With incredible waterfront views and a spacious, twinkly-lit outdoor patio, Coast is a picture-perfect date night spot. Located at the Sea Pines Resort, this restaurant serves all manner of seafood, sandwiches, tacos, and more; there’s also a great raw bar. Wash it all down with a frozen specialty cocktail. During the summertime, there’s often live entertainment.


Skull Creek Boathouse

You’ll likely want to linger for some time after you finish eating at Skull Creek Boathouse. The restaurant is known for its scenic location (on the banks of Skull Creek) and fun, relaxed ambiance. Apart from multiple dining areas, there’s an indoor sushi bar with raw oysters, ceviche, and sashimi, and an outdoor bar with Adirondack chairs and killer sunset views. Don’t leave without trying the famed salt and vinegar crab cakes.

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The Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar

Billed as an “American bistro with Southern soul,” Lucky Rooster has an exceptional menu that changes often based on seasonality and what chefs can find fresh. Expect refined comfort food like deviled eggs topped with smoked salmon, bacon, tomato, and parsley or scallops and shrimp finished in a cognac cream sauce and served with Charleston red risotto.

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Black Marlin Bayside Grill

Whatever you do, you must try a cup of the Bayside Chowder at Black Marlin; it’s what they’re known for. The fish tacos are a great choice, too, although you may have a hard time picking just a couple items off their broad menu that also includes seafood entrees, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and various pastas. There’s ample indoor and outdoor seating.

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Burnt Church Distillery

Pair a charcuterie board or brick-oven pizza with creative cocktails made from authentic Lowcountry spirits. In addition to great food and drinks, Burnt Church also offers a 7,000 square-foot tasting room, gift shop, humidor, history room, and on-site manufacturing facility—it’s a whole experience unto itself.

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Nunzio Restaurant + Bar

Get your fill of homemade Italian fare at Nunzio. Traditional dishes run the gamut from Pugliese-style meatballs to homemade ravioli to tagliatelle alla bolognese. Round out your meal with a mouthwatering dessert like lemon sorbet or hot chocolate souffle cake served with vanilla gelato.

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Hudson’s Seafood House On The Docks

Boasting beautiful views of Port Royal Sound, this iconic seafood joint has been around for more than 50 years. Seafood doesn’t come fresher than this—Hudson’s sources its fish and shrimp directly from one of only two remaining local fishing fleets on Hilton Head. Always order the specials, which can change multiple times a day depending on what’s being unloaded from the boats.

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Johnson Creek Tavern

Satisfy your craving for pub grub at this low-key hangout on Harbor Island. Lunch and dinner options at Johnson Creek Tavern are simple but so satisfying. Start with hot crab and shrimp dip, then choose between a shrimp burger, crab cake sandwich, or fried flounder sandwich. You won't go wrong with any. Kick back with a cold beer or glass of wine and stay awhile.


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