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Old 12-07-2008, 09:20 AM
561 posts, read 1,779,189 times
Reputation: 276


So what's the deal with everyone in Cincinnati going to Hilton Head for vacation?

When I moved to Cincy this summer I immediately started noticing all the "HH" bumper stickers and the omnipresent "Salty Dog Cafe" t-shirts.

I asked my neighbors why it was such a popular destination for locals, and they had no idea. They said they went to Hilton Head and everyone else at their hotel was also from Cincinnati, but didn't know why.

As a native Floridian, I'm a bit surprised by its popularity. I've been to Hilton Head (because it was just a weekend drive for us) and it was nice, but nothing special. In fact, there are several superior destinations nearby (Savannah, Charleston, Sea Island, Amelia Island, etc.) So what gives?
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:58 AM
Location: OH
113 posts, read 373,442 times
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It's not just Cincinnati & it's not just Hilton Head. People from all of Ohio are obsessed with SC. I don't know why... we all just are. Many people go to Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head. That's just what Ohioans do I guess. I moved to SC in August to teach. I'm about 1 1/2 hours from Charleston & Myrtle. We've found that lots of people have moved here from Ohio. It's just where we gravitate to I guess.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:59 AM
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you're right, Charleston and savannah both blow hilton head out of the water
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:57 AM
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It's popular for Clevelanders, Columbusers, and Toledoans as well. It may be popular for Daytonnians as well, but I'm not sure.

Hell, it's probably the whole state.
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:20 PM
Location: Sunny Florida
7,136 posts, read 10,665,956 times
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I agree with you, tons of people I know go to Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach from Cincinnati each year. I know lots of people with timeshares there or who rent the same vacation places year after year. Perhaps it's a comfort thing because the people in South Carolina are very welcoming to Ohioans. Maybe it's because it's a drivable beach location that's not over half a day's journey. I'm not sure why it is so, but it is.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:02 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,929,204 times
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I think some Cincinnatians played a part in the building of Sea Pines, which was the first "community" of retirees and second-home owners to be constructed there (during the '60s.) Then word of mouth did what it does. Mr & Mrs Goyguy Sr, being native to South Carolina, were all about taking the family there for vacations in the days when there was a two-lane drawbridge from the mainland and no I-95. You could rent a nice beachfront house for short money, and with one grocery store and a single seafood restaurant there was little of that "resort" feel to the place. Sea Pines was for the golf and tennis types with their "villas," while most of the rest of the Atlantic beach was for less-wealthy vacationers. (The Sea Crest at the time was a motel, not the "spa getaway destination" it is today. And there wasn't a single chain-hotel franchise to be found.)

Few Goyguy posts are without social commentary, and this one's true to form - LOL! Like most aspects of life in the USA, there are underlying causes for ubiquitous mention of Hilton Head in certain Cincinnati circles. No less than the National Lampoon once published, in its fully fictitious letters column, an indignant missive asking "Where the hell is 'Hilton Head Island?' And why doesn't someone tell Jews how to get there?" I was on the floor laughing when I read that - score!!! WASP's built Sea Pines, and a WASP Cincinnati doctor is who my WASP parents heard about it from. None of those people were grossly anti-Semitic, in fact tolerance was the norm and there was plenty of socializing across religious boundaries. But "restricted" clubs as well as entire communities were still commonplace in the mid-20th Century, and people tended to stay closest to "their own kind" after discriminatory laws were struck down. No more Jewish families traveled to Hilton Head than did goyim to the Catskills. It just wasn't done. And Black families stayed away too, probably in favor of getaway spots like Oak Bluffs that were established during Jim Crow days and had a comforting familiarity to them. Escaping somewhere only to get funny looks every place you go has a self-defeating quality to it. And with the only AA visibility on that island (at least until the '70s) being in the form of hotel support staff, and native-born residents eking out a living on shrimp boats, behind the funny looks would also lie classist assumptions.

Classist assumptions are the other part of why HHI stickers and gear run rampant in east-side enclaves of Cincinnati. Mention of time spent there is a coded way of saying you're well off financially, maybe not at the level of Palm Beach or "Boca" but getting there. Myrtle Beach is sneered at as "KMart by the Sea," where folks from Norwood go to see the Harley-Davidson museum and haunt wet-T-shirt contests. Florida? The upper east coast is for rednecks, the middle east coast is for college kids on break no matter the time of year (LOL), and the lower east coast is for old people and Cubans and New York Jews. Meanwhile, the Gulf Coast is redneck in the Panhandle and farther south is where Westwood and Price Hill (at least historically) migrate during the cold months. "Todd, look, another Skyline Chili opened in Fort Myers! How cute, hee hee!" That's right, if your vacation starts with your flying to Tampa/St Pete or Sarasota you must be from the (shudder) west side.

Last I heard, Green Township residents and Jewish families weren't flocking to the islands off northern Michigan during the summer either. But scads of Hyde Park and Glendale types do. Same song, different verse.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:37 AM
Location: Philaburbia
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Hmmm, and here I thought everyone went to Lake Cumberland for vacation.

But I prefer Myrtle Beach myself as well.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:33 AM
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
1,410 posts, read 3,484,039 times
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Myrtle Beach and HH are two of, if not the top, destinations for Ohioans and other Midwesterners because they are nice in the summer and are in reasonable driving distance. FL panhandle, like Destin are popular for the same reason. You are right, Myrtle is pretty good, but HH aint that great. I guess if you have a family and a timeshare its nice but as far as beaches go its not all that.

G Man
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:17 AM
Location: Cortland, Ohio
3,321 posts, read 9,337,956 times
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I know a ton of people from NE Ohio that got to HH and Myrtle. My unlce owns a condo at Surfside Beach near Myrtle and several families i know go there every single year. Lots of us go to Virginia Beach as well. I don't really care for any of those areas myself, but to each his own.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:53 PM
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It's kind of ironic, gowing up in Ohio I went to Myrtle about every other year or so. I now live in Charlotte (less than 3 1/2 hours away) and have not gone one time in the decade I've lived here. Carolinians look at HH and Myrtle the same way Tennesseans look at Gatlinburg, as a vacation spot for Buckeyes. As many posters have mentioned, there are so many cooler, more authentic options along the Carolina shoreline than either HH or Myrtle. But hey, to each their own.
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