Real Deal Countertops | 818 Central Ave Unit A, Summerville, SC 29483

866-707-1414 843-832-0819 sales1@realdealcountertops.com

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The best countertops make a statement in your home that other features cannot. You've worked hard to incorporate unique designs and flavors throughout your home, so why should your countertops be any different?

At Real Deal Countertops, we aspire to combine the beauty and durability of natural stone with unrivaled, personalized attention to all customers. With the highest quality materials and the most helpful customer service, we give our clients the opportunity to make informed decisions that they feel good about for years. Our story in the countertop fabrication and manufacturing industry began more than 19 years ago, when Rafael Quedevez started out as a sales representative in Massachusetts. Working his way up through the ranks, Rafael soon made his way to South Carolina to open and manage his own companies. In 2013, we created real Deal Countertops. Since that time, we are proud to have served more than 5,000 customers in South Carolina and beyond.

Our leadership team combines more than 40 years of experience in the home remodeling service industry. Always striving to create a better product for our customers, we use the latest in robotics technologies and the sharpest minds in the business to craft countertops of unparalleled quality. Unlike other countertop companies in Kiawah Island, SC, we only source the finest stone slabs in the world.

At Real Deal Countertops, we offer a wide range of styles and materials to choose from, including:

Kitchen Countertop Installation Kiawah Island, SC


 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Kiawah Island, SC


 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Kiawah Island, SC


 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops Kiawah Island, SC


 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops Kiawah Island, SC


 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops Kiawah Island, SC

Pollar White

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops Kiawah Island, SC


 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops Kiawah Island, SC


We are committed to ensuring that granite, marble, and other unique, exotic stones are attainable to all who desire them. If you're in search of a trustworthy counter company with a team of knowledgeable, helpful experts, you have come to the right place!

Most Popular Countertops in Kiawah Island, SC

Choosing the best countertops for your kitchen is an important decision, but it doesn't have to be a hard one. One of the best ways to narrow down your search is to find out what kind of countertop material you'd like to use. While it's true that material and style trends change over time, there are several counters that have always been top sellers.

Some of the most popular countertops we sell include:

Marble Countertops in Kiawah Island, SC

There's no way around it - marble adds jaw-dropping beauty to just about any room and is known for its good looks. It is a dense stone that comes in many different hues like greens, browns, pinks, greys, whites, and more. While marble countertops often have otherworldly beauty, they can be susceptible to stains and cracks. Marble is also considered one of the most expensive counters to choose from, though the truth is marble comes in a wide range of qualities and prices.

  • Pros: Stunning beauty, plenty of beautiful choices.
  • Cons: Not always used in kitchens due to chance of staining.
  • Popular Colors: Portinari, Shadow Storm, Super White, Lumen, Calacatta Linconni, Nobulato Honned, Shadow, Grey Imperiale Honed.
Kitchen Countertop Installation Kiawah Island, SC
 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Kiawah Island, SC

Granite Countertops in Kiawah Island, SC

When it comes to popularity, granite countertops take the cake. Granite countertops usually contain a blend of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other minerals. Granite can add an edge of elegance and even a country-chic feel to your kitchen, making it a well-rounded stone. Granite is durable and scratch-resistant, though it can require sealing and DIY chip repair.

  • Pros: Luxurious, rich look featuring natural stone that is durable, heat resistant, and scratch-resistant.
  • Cons: Hard material that may require DIY chip repair and sealing.
  • Popular Colors: Blue Jeans, Creama Pearl, Alure, Galaxy White, Luna Pear, Steel Grey, Ubatuba, Oro Brazil.

Quartz Countertops in Kiawah Island, SC

Quartz is a manufactured material that represents one of our favorite four-letter words: easy! If you're looking to add a high-end feel to your kitchen or bathroom, quartz is an excellent material to consider. Like granite, quartz countertops can add a decadent vibe to any room. Unlike granite, you may not have to seal quartz quite as often (if ever).

  • Pros: Quartz countertops come in plenty of colors to choose from and are easy to clean. They are also strong, scratch-resistant, and don't require sealing.
  • Cons: Quartz is not as heat resistant as other materials like granite counters. Sharp corners tend to crack, but that can be remedied with rounded corners.
  • Popular Colors: Noble Grey, Raw Concrete, Frosty Carrina, Shitake, Pebble, Pietra Grey, Sierra Madre, Arctic.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Kiawah Island, SC
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops Kiawah Island, SC

Silestone Countertops in Kiawah Island, SC

A manufactured material made from quartz crystals, Silestone countertops are equal parts gorgeous and practical. Known for being a durable, non-porous choice, Silestone is resistant to stains, scratches, and even some forms of bacteria. Homeowners who choose Silestone do so because they can get a high-end look without having to worry too much about maintenance. Silestone counters look great in many different homes, from contemporary abodes with modern accents to vintage-looking kitchens.

  • Pros: Silestone countertops are non-porous, meaning germs and bacteria can't lodge themselves inside this material. This makes Silestone counters great for kitchens and bathrooms alike. This material also comes in a wide variety of colors and resists scratches and chips. Overall, Silestone is an excellent choice if you want to make a solid long-term investment without much upkeep.
  • Cons: While Silestone is great if you're looking for a low-maintenance counter option, it can be sensitive to harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Silestone is also not recommended for outdoor use since the resins used to make the material do not do well with UV light.
  • Popular Colors: Daria, Gray Expo, Lagoon, Calacatta Gold, Arctic, Blanco City, Gris Expo, Desert Silver

Quartzite Countertops in Kiawah Island, SC

Not to be confused with quartz countertops, which are manmade, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that is quarried much in the same way that granite is. If you're a fan of marble counters, quartzite mimics its looks without as much upkeep. Like granite, it is a very durable choice and adds an upscale feeling to almost any room you choose.

  • Pros: Since it doesn't require any special cleaners, quartzite looks great without much maintenance. When it gets dirty, soap and water should be all you need to clean. Quartzite is also a great long-term option since it doesn't wear down quickly at all.
  • Cons: Heat is required to form quartzite. However, you should avoid putting hot pots and pans on your quartzite countertops. Because quartzite comes in many different varieties, some forms of quartzite need to be sealed more often than others.
  • Popular Colors: Maya, Fusion, Locomotion, Callacata, Airy Concrete, Cocada White
 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops Kiawah Island, SC

Which Countertop is Right for You?

If you're just beginning your search for new countertops, it can be a little overwhelming trying to whittle down your options. We've got good news - with over 19 years in the industry, our team of experts has learned a thing or two about countertops. When you come to the Real Deal Countertops showroom, one of our goals is to educate you about our products and your countertop options, so you can make an educated purchasing decision.

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops Kiawah Island, SC

How Will You Use Your Countertops in Kiawah Island?

The first and perhaps most crucial part of your countertop choice should stem from how you and your family use your countertops. For example, if you have kids, your counters will probably see a lot of activity. Between standard eating times and "in-between" meals that teens are known for, your counters might double as food prep stations. As such, you might need a countertop material that is resistant to most food and beverage stains. If you own a rental property that sees a lot of foot traffic from strangers, you might want to consider an economical material that is also durable.

  • Do you cook a lot?
  • Do you host a lot of parties?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
Once you figure out exactly how you'll be using your countertops, you can begin to narrow down your choices.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops Kiawah Island, SC

How Much Upkeep Is Too Much?

Be realistic and honest with yourself about this question. Before you fall in love with how a countertop material looks, be sure you understand how much upkeep is needed. Some materials require more care, while others don't need much at all.

Keep these points in mind:
  • Materials like quartz only need to be wiped down occasionally.
  • Materials like granite, marble, and limestone will need to be sealed at least once a year.
  • Some materials may be durable but aren't stain resistant.

The bottom line is this: Assess the maintenance demands that come along with the materials you're looking at. Marble countertops in Kiawah Island, SC are elegant, but if you'e unwilling to keep them looking their best, why bother buying the material?

You should be aware that most countertop materials will require some form of upkeep, even if it' minimal. To help keep your counters in pristine condition, consider these care and precaution tips:

  • Many common foods contain acids that will dull or even damage the surface of stone countertops.Use coasters to protect your counters, especially if you'e drinking something with citrus juices or alcohol.
  • Do not place scalding hot pots or pans directly on your countertops.
  • Use mats or trivets to place under hot dishes.
  • If you spill liquid on your countertops, blot the spill with a paper towel ASAP. Wiping the spill will cause it to spread.
  • Use mild soap and plain water to clean up stains.

Which Colors and Materials Match Your Home's Aesthetics?

For many homeowners, this question is almost always top-of-mind. After all, you want to choose colors and materials that fit well with other features in your home. When selecting your countertop materials, try to choose a tone that contrasts with your other amenities, like your cabinets. Don't go for a perfect match. As an example, black granite is a beautiful contrast to white cabinets.

Consider these questions when choosing your countertop materials:
  • Are there one or two colors that you love more than others?
  • Does your choice go well with the color of your kitchen's walls?
  • Do you want to switch up your kitchen's style or keep it the same?
  • Will you be painting your kitchen a different color in the future?
  • Will you be replacing your appliances soon?
 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops Kiawah Island, SC
Kitchen Countertop Installation Kiawah Island, SC

Real Deal Countertops Pro Tip:

Because your home's accessories and paint job may change with time, your countertops should have a versatile color. That way, you won't have problems matching them with new paint colors or appliances.

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Kiawah Island, SC  Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Kiawah Island, SC

Countertop Remodeling Done Right

At Real Deal Countertops, our #1 priority is your satisfaction. Unlike some countertop companies in Kiawah Island, we make it a point to exceed our customer's expectations. We strive for excellence with every transaction we complete and pledge to faithfully implement innovative techniques to ensure that our products remain affordable. With the help of Real Deal Countertops, remodeling your kitchen and bath will be painless and easy.

The appearance of a kitchen or bath depends on the right countertop selection, proper fabrication, and expert installation. Are you interested in granite countertops in Kiawah Island, SC? Maybe quartzite is a better choice for your family. Whatever you choose, know that our skilled installers and fabricators will make a template so that all custom pieces fit perfectly in your home.

What Clients Say About Us

Ready to get started? Have questions about our inventory?

We're here to help answer all your questions. Please feel free to give our office a call today at 866-707-1414 Before you know it, you will be ready for your new set of Real Deal Countertops!

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Latest News in Kiawah Island, SC

Buzzy Golf Getaways in the South

Spring is approaching and for us golfers, our clubs are getting itchy. Fortunately, the South is awash in destinations for a much-needed fairway getaway, from traditional resorts hosting big tournaments to approachable up-and-comers. Here are seven resorts to note in the South—and a little farther afield in a Southwestern golf haven.Stay in Touch with G&GGet our weekly Talk of the South newsletter.This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google ...

Spring is approaching and for us golfers, our clubs are getting itchy. Fortunately, the South is awash in destinations for a much-needed fairway getaway, from traditional resorts hosting big tournaments to approachable up-and-comers. Here are seven resorts to note in the South—and a little farther afield in a Southwestern golf haven.

Stay in Touch with G&G

Get our weekly Talk of the South newsletter.

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PGA’s Frisco Homecoming

The PGA has relocated its headquarters to Frisco, Texas. Why Frisco? Location, location, location. Located thirty miles from Dallas, the Omni PGA Resort will feature two new golf courses when it opens in May, including Gil Hanse’s Fields Ranch East, the future site of multiple PGA championships. Visitors will also find the Swing, a ten-hole lighted short course, and the Dance Floor, a two-acre putting course and entertainment hub.

USGA Heads to Pinehurst

If you golf, surely your bucket list includes Pinehurst, home to famous #2, the 2024 U.S. Open site recently restored by Bill Moore and Ben Crenshaw, and the beautiful #4, redesigned by Gil Hanse. Golf House Pinehurst, the USGA’s new campus, will open later this year with the USGA Experience, an immersive golf exhibition. With or without a Golf House visit, playing a few of Pinehurst’s nine courses is as good as it gets in North America.

Sea Island Classics

A visit to Sea Island, Georgia, adds a great twist on the family golf story. In 2019 brothers Davis Love III and Mark Love redesigned their home course, home to the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic. The Scottish links–style Seaside Course and the parkland-style Retreat Course are also worthy adds to your agenda.

Kiawah Treasures

Pete Dye’s Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in South Carolina carries the reputation of one of America’s toughest tests, an exposed track with ten seaside holes, the most in the Northern Hemisphere. You’ll play against the wind, as pros did at the historic “War by the Shore” Ryder Cup and 2012 PGA Championship. Designers named Fazio, Nicklaus, and Player have also left their mark here, creating courses that will challenge your game and take your breath away for their beautiful Lowcountry vistas.

Natural Role Model

There is only one place in America to sample fairway fare from the Dean’s List of natural golf course designers: Streamsong Resort in the Sunshine State. Tom Doak, Coore & Crenshaw, and Gil Hanse have each etched a remarkable eighteen among the Central Florida lakes, dunes, and wetlands. These tracks were crafted from the bunkers outward, one of many facets that led Bill Coore to declare how “this landscape is different than anything we’ve ever worked with.” Coore and Ben Crenshaw will also debut a short course here in the coming year.

Big Cedar Lodge Beckons

Golf getaways with buddies or girlfriends offer a chance to slip away from responsibilities and spend a few days playing, talking about, and playing more golf. Big Cedar has spent the last few years betting that you’ll do just that in the Missouri Ozark Mountains. This lodge features five courses, including one designed by Tiger Woods. Woods joins the ranks of player/designer teams including Nicklaus, Watson, Player, Fazio, and Coore and Crenshaw here. That’s fifty-two major wins by last count guiding these grounds.

South by Southwest

Southerners will agree that it’s just so cool to play golf in the desert, whether you’re chipping out from behind a four-armed saguaro or, in the case of Tucson National’s Catalina Golf Course at the recently renovated Omni Resort in Arizona, driving the same fairways the pros have faced in more than thirty PGA Tour events. The companion course, Tom Lehman’s Sonoran Golf Course, gives you different challenges. Located beside the clubhouse, Bob’s Steak and Chop House, a restaurant with roots in Texas, offers the perfect venue to settle those side bets.

Where Was 'Outer Banks' Filmed?

Outer Banks is a Netflix series about teenagers and modern day treasure hunting on the coast of North Carolina, known as the Outer Banks or OBX. In the show, teens hunt for buried treasure that is believed to be linked to John B's father disappearing. The island is essentially split into two parts, Figure 8 and The Cut. John B and his friends are part of the group known as the Pogues who hail from The Cut, or the lower cl...

Outer Banks is a Netflix series about teenagers and modern day treasure hunting on the coast of North Carolina, known as the Outer Banks or OBX. In the show, teens hunt for buried treasure that is believed to be linked to John B's father disappearing. The island is essentially split into two parts, Figure 8 and The Cut. John B and his friends are part of the group known as the Pogues who hail from The Cut, or the lower class on the islands. The Kooks are the wealthy upper class from the Figure 8 part of the island, and they are also in search of the treasure, which causes the two groups to clash in a very modern day West Side Story fashion.

Season 3 of Outer Banks just released in early January of this year and there is a fourth season confirmed for this favorite teen mystery series. Although the series in set in North Carolina, most, if not all, of the series was filmed in South Carolina. If you can't get enough of Outer Banks and want to immerse yourself fully into the show, take a look at some of the real life filming locations below.

RELATED: 'Outer Banks' Season 3 Cast & Characters Guide: Who's Returning And Who's New To The Netflix Hit

Shem Creek, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Majority of the boating and water scenes for Kildare Harbor were filmed in Shem Creek. Shem Creek is a South Carolina local favorite spot for hanging out by the marina, watching the sunset and enjoying different dining locations. Heyward's Seafood, owned by Pope's dad, was filmed inside the real restaurant of Geechie Seafood that sits in Shem Creek. The Wreck, owned by Kiara's family, was also filmed inside a Shem Creek local restaurant known as The Wreck Of Richard and Charlene.

The Kiawah Island Golf Resort

The Kiawah Island Golf Resort is located on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, which is just south of Charleston. The golf resort was used as the location for the Island Club, which is where the Kooks host the Midsummer Night Ball and tends to be the fanciest place to gather together and hang out. If you want to visit this location in real life, you can enjoy an oceanfront restaurant and many beachside activities.

Pitt Street, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Pitt Street, located in Mount Pleasant's Old Village District, is the location for many scenes in Outer Banks. Downtown Kildare uses Pitt Street as its backdrop. The Sheriff's Station is filmed in a local condominium building and the Kildare Island Surfboard Store was filmed inside The Green Shutter antique shop. Visiting Pitt Street means you can visit all the cute and quaint mom-and-pop shops and restaurants.

Lowndes Grove Estate, Charleston, South Carolina

Sarah Cameron's family estate can actually be seen by visiting the low country of Charleston. The Lowndes Grove is used primarily for weddings and events. Its 18th century architecture and art makes it a place of wonderment for anyone who visits and gets to experience the ambiance there for their events.

Creekside Lands Inn, Charleston, South Carolina

If you've wanted to stay in the hotel room that John B and Pope break into at the Summer Winds Motel, you can! Book room 229 at the Creekside Lands Inn in Charleston to see where that episode from Season 1was filmed.

Morris Island, South Carolina

One of the islands just below Charleston, Morris Island, was used to film the marches and shipwreck scenes from Outer Banks. Specifically, the Lighthouse Creek in Morris Island is where those scenes were filmed and the red and white lighthouse can even be spotted in the background of some of those scenes.

Morris Island Lighthouse and Hunting Island Lighthouse, South Carolina

After receiving some clues about the treasure, the Pogues visit the Redfield Lighthouse. The Redfield Lighthouse was filmed at both the Morris Island Lighthouse and the Hunting Island Lighthouse. The Hunting Island Lighthouse near Beaufort, South Carolina, is used as the interior for the Redfield Lighthouse, and the Morris Island Lighthouse is used as the exterior for the Outer Banks location.

Gaillard Center, Charleston, South Carolina

When John B and Sarah visit UNC at Chapel Hill, they are actually visiting the Gaillard Center of Charleston. The Gaillard Center hosts many performers, artists, scholars, and even the Charleston Symphony. While visiting UNC, John B and Sarah also stroll through a picturesque park that can be seen if you visit Washington Square. Washington Square is just a short four-minute ride around the corner from the Gaillard Center.

Bathsheba Beach, Barbados

The iconic and scenic rocky beach from Season 2 when the Pogues plan to rescue Sarah from her family was filmed in Barbados. The teens infiltrate the ship and all eventually jump ship and swim to the nearest island to be free of Sarah's family. Bathsheba Beach is known for its unique rock formations and eventually becomes known as Poguelandia in Season 3.

Welchman Hall Gully, Barbados

In Season 3 when the gang travels to El Dorado and through the South American jungle, the stumble upon the El Dorado cave. While looking like it's filmed in South America, this cave was actually filmed in Barbados. The Welchman Hall Gully is a tropical park that is open to the public and has scenic hiking trails and cave tours.

10 Best Day Trips From Charleston That You Shouldn't Miss

Looking for some fun day trips in Charleston? This South Carolinian city is full of amazing things to do, including fun adventures, suitable for vacationers from all walks of life. From incredible beaches to fascinating history to beautiful nearby plantations, there is plenty of things to see and do in and around Charleston. The city's downtown area is walkable and boasts top-notch restaurants, iconic landmarks, and some of the ...

Looking for some fun day trips in Charleston? This South Carolinian city is full of amazing things to do, including fun adventures, suitable for vacationers from all walks of life. From incredible beaches to fascinating history to beautiful nearby plantations, there is plenty of things to see and do in and around Charleston. The city's downtown area is walkable and boasts top-notch restaurants, iconic landmarks, and some of the most breathtaking harbor views. But just a few miles outside, there are several bucket-list-worthy spots to discover. Here are the best day trips from Charleston that you shouldn't miss.

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Boasting an award-winning stunning 10-mile beach with plenty of fun activities, such as shelling, kayaking, surfing, fishing, and incredible wildlife spotting opportunities, Kiawah Island is one of the best day trips from Charleston that one shouldn't miss. Biking is another popular activity on this side of South Carolina and is a perfect way of exploring parts of the island that tourists cannot reach by car. The island has more than 30 miles of paved biking trails to enjoy. Kiawah's golf courses are considered some of the most impressive in the world. The Ocean Course, Cougar Point, Osprey Point, and Turtle Point are world-class golf courses that travelers can explore.

9 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is one of the most beautiful destinations in South Carolina, famous for its spectacular boardwalk. Located along the South Atlantic coast of the state, Myrtle Beach has plenty of top-rated things to do, making it a great spot for families, from amusement parks to an aquarium to several water sports opportunities. Vacationers can spend time on the pristine beaches, play golf, and explore a wide range of restaurants and eateries serving delicious cuisines. This town has something for everyone and makes a perfect day trip for travelers staying in Charleston.

Beaufort, South Carolina

Beaufort may be one of the most underrated destinations in the US, but it's definitely full of unforgettable experiences. Situated on Port Royal Island, this is among the most culturally rich towns in the South, making it a perfect day trip from Charleston for vacationers interested in the local culture and history. The best of getting around this historic town is walking since almost all its most striking attractions are located in the downtown National Historic District. Tourists will also find numerous restaurants and hotels here.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is one of the most beautiful towns in Georgia to visit. The city is brimming with fun and unique activities, ranging from exploring the historic cemeteries to spending time in its incredible museums to taking its fascinating trolley tours. The city has some of the most exciting and unusual experiences that make it one of the best day trips from Charleston that one shouldn't miss. Savannah Historic District, Forsyth Park, and Bonaventure Cemetery are the top-rated attractions to visit.

Related: 10 Awesome Things That You Can Do In South Carolina

Huntington Beach State Park, South Carolina

Located 78.5 miles from Charleston, Huntington Beach State Park is an incredible day trip for vacationers. It has plenty of activities, including swimming, hiking, camping, and spotting turtles, alligators, and more beautiful creatures. Preserving three miles of coastline, this park is suitable for beach lovers, fishermen, and history lovers looking to experience something unique. Vacationers can choose to spend some time on the sand, explore the remains of Atalaya Castle, or take advantage of the birdwatching opportunities along the trails.

Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina

While Wadmalaw Island is located pretty closer to Charleston (just above half an hour’s drive), it feels far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, making it an incredible spot to relax. The island is home to Charleston Tea Plantation and Deep-Water Vineyard, which are among its top attractions. The Tea Plantation boasts the world's only American-grown tea. The vineyard, on the other hand, is special and unique because it's the only one in South Carolina.

Patriot’s Point, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Launched in 1976, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is dedicated to educating the public on the war's history. Visitors can see the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, used by the U.S. Navy during WWII and the Vietnam War. Other fun exhibits take us back in time, explaining the struggles and achievements the soldiers went through to make America a better place. Any travelers interested in the United States history will find Patriot's Point an incredible day trip from Charleston.

Folly Beach, South Carolina

Sometimes referred to as the Edge of America, Folly Beach offers an incredible experience of the Atlantic; while it's among the most popular beach destinations in South Carolina, it retains its small-town charm. This makes it a wonderful day trip from Charleston for tourists looking for a spot to relax with a spectacular view of the Atlantic before them. It's only about 11 and a half miles from downtown Charleston so tourists shouldn’t miss an opportunity of exploring its natural beauty and enjoy plenty of amenities.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head is a perfect spot for golf lovers because it's home to two dozen golf courses, Harbor Town Golf Links being one of the most notable. But there are plenty of other things to do, including beachside activities, such as boat tours and dolphin cruises, deep sea fishing, and volleyball. There are numerous beach bars where tourists can catch some fun live entertainment after spending a whole exploring the island. Rich in natural and cultural history, Hilton Head is one of the most impressive day trips from Charleston.

Related: Does Hilton Head Island Live Up To The Hype? Here Are Some Things You Might Not Know You Can Do There

1 Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Recognized among the Top 10 Gardens in the United States by TripAdvisor, Brookgreen Garden is home to a variety of plants and wildlife – a great adventure for families. There are plenty of events to catch, including the Brookgreen Gardens Art Festival, featuring some of the most talented artists and craftsmen showcasing their sculptures, paintings, glassware, pottery, and more. There is a lot to explore in the gardens, and every traveler is guaranteed to find something interesting.

A Tribute to PGA Past President Dick Smith Sr.

Dick Smith Sr., the 27th President of the PGA of America and one of the greatest players ever to hold the Association’s highest office, didn’t leave his competitiveness on the golf course.Smith transferred that tenacity into the boardroom and to his passion for programs that benefited aspiring PGA Professionals. As president, Smith created the modern approach to professional development and PGA Member education. During his time as an officer, PGA Membership nearly doubled.One of the most influential members of the P...

Dick Smith Sr., the 27th President of the PGA of America and one of the greatest players ever to hold the Association’s highest office, didn’t leave his competitiveness on the golf course.

Smith transferred that tenacity into the boardroom and to his passion for programs that benefited aspiring PGA Professionals. As president, Smith created the modern approach to professional development and PGA Member education. During his time as an officer, PGA Membership nearly doubled.

One of the most influential members of the Philadelphia PGA Section, Smith passed away March 8 in Voorhees, New Jersey, following complications from a stroke. He was 80.

“He was a grassroots golf professional,” said his son, Dick Smith Jr., the PGA Director of Golf at Kingwood (Texas) Country Club. “He truly cared about the PGA Member and the PGA of America. It wasn’t about him. It was about making the PGA and the PGA Member better for everyone that followed him.”

Smith competed in 13 major championships during his career, highlighted by a tie for 44th place at the 1970 U.S. Open and a 17th place showing at the 1992 Senior British Open.

“Dick had a great influence on our sport, both as a leader and a competitor,” said PGA President John Lindert, the PGA Director of Golf at the Country Club of Lansing in Michigan. “One of the finest playing presidents in our Association’s history, his service as PGA President from 1991-92 was extremely impactful on our membership, the game and the golf industry.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Smith family, including his wife Adrienne, daughter Stephanie, and son and Quarter Century PGA Member Dick Jr., along with his grandchildren Alexandria, Zakary and Marissa.”

From caddie to PGA President

Smith presided over a dynamic period in the PGA’s history, while realizing the need for ongoing planning to ensure the continued success of the Association.

“We need to have the ability to look forward and anticipate what our game and our business will be in five, 10, 20 years,” said Smith. “Once we identify that, we have to be ready to accept what’s necessary to achieve it.”

Born Richard Lie-Nielsen Smith, on June 16, 1942, in Akron, Ohio, he was 10 years old when he first started going to the golf course with his father, Robert. The youngster first picked up the game as a caddie, and soon learned to excel.

Smith captured the 1959 Maryland State Jaycee Championship at age 17. Three years later, he began working as an assistant professional at Green Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania.

Smith subsequently would hone his skills at Laurel Oak Country Club in Gibbsboro, New Jersey; Indian Spring Golf Club in Marlton, New Jersey; High Point Golf Club in Ivyland, Pennsylvania; Wedgwood Country Club in Turnersville New Jersey; Woodcrest Country Club in Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Galloway (New Jersey) National Golf Club; the Williamstown (New Jersey) Golf Center; Bethpage (New York) State Park; Riverwinds Golf Club in West Deptford, New Jersey; and White Oaks in Newfield, New Jersey. Smith also founded The Golf Group, a golf course consulting firm in 2004.

From 2008 until his death, Smith served Valleybrook Country Club in Blackwood, New Jersey.

Smith attended Loyola College in Baltimore, turned professional in 1961, and was elected to PGA Membership in 1964. A dominant figure in the Philadelphia PGA Section, he competed in five PGA Championships, the 1970 U.S. Open, 1992 Senior British Open and 11 PGA Professional Championships. He was a five-time Philadelphia PGA Champion (matched only by Art Wall). Smith won over 25 championships during his playing career.

Smith caddied for his son in 2007, when Dick Jr. made his debut in the PGA Professional Championship in Sunriver, Oregon. When Smith earned a berth in two U.S. Senior Opens, both at Saucon Valley in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, his brother Tom caddied for him in 1992, while Dick Jr. had the bag in 2000.

“My dad was a great player in the Section, at the national level, and he sacrificed a very successful PGA Tour Champions career by devoting his time to the PGA of America,” said Smith Jr.

Smith Sr. demonstrated that his abilities were not limited to playing. He was elected Vice President of the Philadelphia PGA in 1975, and was President from 1978-80. In 1984, Smith was elected to the national PGA Board of Directors, followed by a run for national PGA Secretary . . . which he won.

“I felt I represented a point of view that was important,” said Smith. “I represented the view of the rank and file.”

Celebrating 75 years with an eye toward the future

That passion for the PGA Member was inspirational for one of his closest friends, former PGA President Jack Connelly of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, who met Smith when competing in Section events. In fact, Smith, Dick Hendrickson and Connelly were the “Big Three” of Philadelphia PGA Section golf.

Smith won six Section Player of the Year awards, Hendrickson five, and Connelly four.

“He’s one of those guys you trust and a forward thinker,” said Connelly. “He thinks before he talks. It’s like E.F. Hutton (the famed commercial): 'When Dick Smith talks, everybody listens.'

Standing 6-foot-5, Smith towered over most of his colleagues, and was elected PGA President in November 1990 as the PGA prepared to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 1991. His primary focus was on education, employment and public awareness.

Using the 75th anniversary as a launching pad, three major events catapulted the PGA to the forefront. First, Jack Nicklaus captured the 1991 Senior PGA Championship on PGA National Golf Club’s Champion Course, which he had just redesigned near his home in South Florida. Smith presented the Alfred Bourne Trophy to Nicklaus for his wire-to-wire, six-stroke victory on national television.

A few months later in August, John Daly, a little-known 26-year-old from Arkansas, drove all night to enter the 1991 PGA Championship as the ninth alternate at Crooked Stick Golf Club, then stormed to victory in one of the greatest Walter Mitty tales in sports history.

“I just remember John walking up the 18th fairway as we were standing back by the hole, and he’s pumping up the crowd because he was a crowd pleaser,” said Smith years later. “He loved the crowd.” With extended television coverage on all four days of the event, the PGA Championship took on an exciting new identity with Daly’s victory.

The following month, the United States won the Ryder Cup on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina. The classic seesaw battle came down to the last putt on the last hole in the last match. Smith was alongside the 18th green with Captain Dave Stockton and the U.S. Team.

“The players were sitting in front of me, so I couldn’t see the final putt,” said Smith. “All I heard was the crowd. As the crowd roared, I stood up and saw the ball still sitting there, so I knew what had happened.” European stalwart Bernhard Langer missed a six-foot putt that would have won the Ryder Cup for Europe. As a result, the Langer vs. Hale Irwin match was halved, and the United States won for the first time since 1983.

By the end of the year, a revised PGA Grand Slam of Golf — featuring a $1 million purse for the winners of golf’s four major championships — was broadcast in primetime television from Hawaii and provided another promotional opportunity.

Those electrifying golf events of 1991, coupled with a new national promotional campaign, provided the PGA with the positive exposure it needed to communicate its message to the masses. Revised television contracts that included expanded broadcast distribution to more than 100 countries ensured a global reach for PGA messages.

Modernizing PGA Education

PGA “Business Schools” had been in place for almost 30 years when the PGA moved to modernize apprentice education.

“The PGA Education Program needs to be upgraded to reflect the needs of today’s industry,” wrote Smith, an advocate of PGA Professional certification.

Smith and the PGA Board engaged SRI International, a Stanford, California, educational firm, to review and assess how the PGA was educating prospective PGA Members. The result of this appraisal was the creation of the PGA Golf Professional Training Program (GPTP). This new program would introduce the golf industry to a new breed of PGA Professionals well-trained in all aspects of the game.

Smith believed that education was the key to employment. It was especially challenging as the PGA was experiencing an unprecedented growth phase to keep up with industry demand.

“When I became an officer, we had 12,000 to 13,000 Members and Apprentices,” recalled Smith. “When I went out as PGA President, we had 24,000.”

The PGA then embarked on creating a new program, PGA Career Services, which would enable PGA Professionals to help find meaningful employment, while providing to employers qualified candidates.

In 1991, the PGA reached another milestone with its 20,000th Member, which would test the consensus-building skills of PGA leaders.

“We need to listen to each other,” said Smith. “We need to have compassion for someone else’s point of view because that point of view is based on input from other members of our Association. The people in the east can’t forget that the Association also includes people in the west. And the people in the north have to understand the needs, problems and desires of the people in the south.”

Before the year was out, Smith would invite the first African-American and first woman to join the PGA Advisory Committee, which helped provide guidance to the rapidly growing organization.

When Smith was the PGA Director of Golf at Bethpage's famed Black Course, he became “graphic designer” when it was becoming crunch time and a logo was needed for the 2002 U.S. Open.

“My father told me he pulled up to his parking spot and looked at the shutters on the clubhouse,” said Smith Jr. “He said, ‘I’ve just figured it out.’ He pulled that caddie boy image off and got it in front of the art people. He said that they should add the five colors of the courses at Bethpage. It was approved and it became the U.S. Open logo.”

Smith Sr., who was a 1992 inductee of the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame and a 2005 PGA Hall of Famer, shares a rare Association honor of service with his son in the Philadelphia PGA Section. Dick Sr. was Section President from 1978-80, and Dick Jr. from 2006-07.

“I will always remember him spending five days with me at the PGA Professional Championship in Sunriver, Oregon,” said Smith Jr. “I missed the cut, but that was fine. I spent five days there with him on my bag, and I wouldn’t have traded that for anything in the world.”

7 Things to Do in Kiawah Island, South Carolina

It’s high time you added this Lowcountry destination to your beach bucket list.Follow winding, oak-shaded roads 25 miles southwest of downtown Charleston's cobblestone streets and celebrated restaurant scene, and you'll find yourself on Kiawah Island. Carved by the Kiawah River on one side and fronting the Atlantic Oc...

It’s high time you added this Lowcountry destination to your beach bucket list.

Follow winding, oak-shaded roads 25 miles southwest of downtown Charleston's cobblestone streets and celebrated restaurant scene, and you'll find yourself on Kiawah Island. Carved by the Kiawah River on one side and fronting the Atlantic Ocean on the other, the barrier island is a true escape. Here, nature reigns supreme: ten miles of beaches roll out along the Atlantic; cicadas form their own sort of soundtrack; and lights-out is often determined by the sea turtles' nesting season. Even so, there's plenty to do for travelers who like their time in nature punctuated with good food, luxurious creature comforts, and a frozen drink in hand. Here are seven things to do in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

Stay Like a Local

For access to all of Kiawah's amenities, from bike rentals to pools, you'll have to stay on the island. For an experience that's luxurious but unpretentious, book a room at The Sanctuary, an oceanfront hotel known for its five-star service and elevated onsite dining. For families who want a little room to spread out (or a kitchen), villa and home rentals are a smart choice; reserve through the resort directly, or book through a site like VRBO or Airbnb.

Spend a Day on the Sand

On the west end of the island, Beachwalker Park is Kiawah's only public beach access feels like a hidden gem, thanks to its wide, unspoiled expanses of sand. It offers the best of both worlds too: in addition to the ocean frontage, you can also score views of the Kiawah River here.

Hit the Links

Five state-of-the-art golf courses are open to the public. For avid fans of the sport, the Ocean Course alone makes Kiawah worth the trip. Host to two PGA Championships, the 18-hole course is not for the faint of heart. Raised above the dunes to capitalize on the expansive shore views, golfers are also subjected to ocean breezes (which don't exactly make for an easy or predictable trip around the green). Try Cougar Point for marsh views and a slightly less technical experience.

Go for a Cruise

One of the best ways to explore the island is to leave the car in park and take a beach cruiser for a spin (you can reserve them through the resort or bring your own). Between 30 miles of paved trails and 10 miles of hard-packed beach, there's no shortage of routes to explore. Ask for directions to the Marsh View Tower, an observation deck primed for birdwatching and soaking in the marsh and river scenery.

Visit Heron Park Nature Center

The naturalists here will school you in many of the species who call the island home, from bobcats and white-tailed deer to loggerhead sea turtles and American alligators. Sign up for a guided tour, like "Back Island Birding", "Marsh Kayaking," or "Ocean Seining and Beach Combing," or ask for their recommendations for the best nature-spotting places in the area.

Explore Freshfields Village

Built around a lush lawn, Freshfields Village has plenty of restaurants and shops to explore, plus a boutique stay, the Andell Inn. Pick up a beach read at Indigo Books; snag treats for your four-legged friends at Dolitte's; and gear up for island adventures SeaCoast Sports and Outfitters. Start the morning with coffee and a breakfast sandwich from Java Java; settle in for grilled cheese and a milkshake at retro Vincent's Drugstore & Soda Fountain; or cap off the day with house-made frosé from newly opened The Co-Op. Check their calendar for seasonal events, like summertime's "Music on the Green" concert series and farmer's market.

Venture to Bohicket Marina & Market

Make the short drive to neighboring Seabrook Island for a taste of the area's salty maritime culture. Snag a umbrella-shaded table on the upper deck at Salty Dog Café for fresh catch, a cold beer, and riverfront views of the boats coming and going from the marina.


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