Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
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Hilton Head Island, sometimes referred to as simply Hilton Head, is a Lowcountry resort town located on an island of the same name in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. It is northeast of Savannah, Georgia, and southwest of Charleston. The island is named after Captain William Hilton, who in 1663, identified a headland near the entrance to Port Royal Sound, which he named "Hilton's Head" after himself. The island features of beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean and is a popular vacation destination. In 2004, an estimated 2.25 million visitors pumped more than $1.5 billion into the local economy.〔("Employment Fast Facts," ) ''Hilton Head Island — Bluffton Chamber of Commerce'' – Accessed January 31, 2007.〕 The year-round population was 37,099 at the 2010 census,〔(【引用サイトリンク】 title=Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Hilton Head Island town, South Carolina )〕 although during the peak of summer vacation season the population can swell to 275,000.〔("Consolidated Municipal Budget Fiscal Year July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2007," ) ''Town of Hilton Head Island'', Accessed July 6, 2007.〕 Over the past decade, the island's population growth rate was 32%.〔("Lowcountry Workforce on the Web," ) ''Hilton Head Island — Bluffton Chamber of Commerce'' – Accessed January 31, 2007.〕 Hilton Head Island is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The island has a rich history that started with seasonal occupation by native Americans thousands of years ago, and continued with European exploration and the Sea Island Cotton trade. It became an important base of operations for the Union blockade of the Southern ports during the Civil War. Once the island fell to Union troops, hundreds of ex-slaves flocked to Hilton Head, which is still home to many "native islanders", many of whom are descendants of freed slaves known as the Gullah (or Geechee) who have managed to hold on to much of their ethnic and cultural identity.〔("Snapshots," ) ''Sky Magazine (Delta)'', December 2007. Accessed December 24, 2007.〕
The Town of Hilton Head Island incorporated as a municipality in 1983 and is well known for its eco-friendly development.〔William W. Starr, ("Graceful Growth," ) ''Sky Magazine (Delta)'', December 2007. Accessed December 20, 2007.〕 The town's Natural Resources Division enforces the Land Management Ordinance which minimizes the impact of development and governs the style of buildings and how they are situated amongst existing trees.〔("20 Who Made a Difference," ) ''Lowcountry Now (Savannah Morning News), 2003'' – Accessed February 16, 2007.〕 As a result, Hilton Head Island enjoys an unusual amount of tree cover relative to the amount of development.〔Gale B. ("Hilton Head: the canopy view," ) ''American Forests'', November–December 1990. Accessed February 16, 2007.〕 Approximately 70% of the island, including most of the tourist areas, is located inside gated communities.〔("Hilton Head, way ahead of its time," ) ''USA Today, September 1, 2006'' – Accessed February 14, 2007.〕 However, the town maintains several public beach access points, including one for the exclusive use of town residents, who have approved several multimillion-dollar land-buying bond referendums to control commercial growth.〔Whitney T. and Gordon J. ("An Investigation of Sprawl Development and Its Effect on Transportation Planning: The Lower Savannah Region of Government," ) ''South Carolina State University — School of Engineering Technology and Sciences, 2001'' – Accessed February 15, 2007.〕
Hilton Head Island offers an unusual number of cultural opportunities for a community its size, including Broadway-quality plays at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, the 120-member full chorus of the Hilton Head Choral Society, the highly rated Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, the largest annual outdoor, tented wine tasting event on the east coast, and several other annual community festivals. It also hosts the Heritage Golf Classic, a PGA Tour tournament played on the Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines Resort.〔("Hilton Head Island an unquestionable golfing mecca," ) ''CBS Sportsline.com'', April 9, 2007. Accessed May 8, 2007〕
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