So sad that vacation came to a close but happy to be able to report on my ice cream finds on the beautiful island of Hilton Head, South Carolina. With nothing but sun and golf to keep you entertained, I decided a mini ice cream tour was a must. Unfortunately I only made it to three ice cream hot spots, since pulling myself away from the beach chair was harder than I thought, but all were worth it.
So if you've never been to HHI (Hilton Head Island) its a small island on the southern coast of SC known for its amazing golf courses and beautiful beaches. It's pretty slow on the island. If you don't like golf or the beach than forget it! It's families and golfers and oh so relaxing...seriously the first year we went sans-child it was tough finding nightlife open past 10pm! Anyways, back to the ice cream. We hit up three spots...The Salty Dog Ice Cream Shop, Marley's Homemade Ice Cream & Trading Co., and Hilton Head Ice Cream.
First stop, The Salty Dog Ice Cream Shop (at South Beach in the Sea Pines Plantation).
For anyone new to HHI, The Salty Dog Restaurant is a somewhat famous local spot on the island. Tucked in a marina with plastic tables all along the deck and nightly Jimmy Buffett-type entertainment (only til 9pm of course!), this place is always a must stop for our trip. But this year what was more enticing to me was the ice cream shop, forget dinner! So I used my child once again as an excuse for more ice cream and headed over. Not tons of choices but a few good ones. I opted for the Mocha Chip, little caffeine and chocolate, and Holly craved the Cookie Dough. As you can see by the picture, the small cone of cookie dough wasn't so small, they sure offered generous scoops. I always go for the dish instead but even that was filled to the brim. So the venue was picture perfect, island
music, boats along the marina, and lots of kids lined up for ice cream but I can't say the ice cream was perfect. Definitely not homemade or premium but decent. My biggest complaint with the mocha chip was that it lacked the chip and it was a bit icy. Holly's cookie dough was the better of the two. It had lots of cookie dough and the vanilla flavor was perfect. Same consistency but flavor was great.
Onto round two, Marley's Homemade Ice Cream & Trading Co. Once again, its a shop adjacent to a restaurant (boy they know how to suck in the parents after dinner!) but this ice cream was amazing! First we had dinner at Marley's Island Grill with fun steel drum entertainment and to keep the summertime island feel we ended with ice cream. At first glance you would think this is just an ordinary ice cream shop next to this big restaurant along a main road but all the ice cream is homemade and super premium. There was a good amount of flavors to choose from. I went for the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle and Holly had the Oreo. I struggled with my decision here. I wanted to try something not so ordinary but didn't want to be disappointed and that I wasn't. The chocolate ice cream was so decadent with ribbons of raspberry throughout and lots of pieces of rich chocolate truffles. It was super smooth and not too rich. Wow, this was SO good. Marley's obviously uses the high-fat stuff...and its all worth it. With island music in the background and two scoops, this was a perfect night. Oh...and the Oreo was just as good. Vanilla ice cream was super creamy and had just the right amount of oreos strewn about to not take over. Luckily Holly got full and I got to finish hers too! This was by far the best place out of the three.
And the final round, Hilton Head Ice Cream. This is your typical summer ice cream shop tucked away off the road amongst a few other shops. It's filled with obscure items like a cookie jar collection, a fish tank, bikes hanging from the ceiling...a true mish mash of stuff. I bet it's a place where scores of Little League baseball players line up anxiously after a game. With lots of flavors and a glass freezer to see all the great choices I was torn like an old sweater, so I got my two favorites, Mint Chocolate Chip and Cookie Batter. Seeing it was my last night on the island I didn't want to be disappointedwith choosing a random flavor. Holly went for the oh so blue, yellow, & red, Superman (fancy vanilla!), and the hubby who could care less about ice cream (how dare he) chose Heath Bar. As I said in the beginning this is your typical place and that is what we got, good ice cream on a warm summer night. It was as expected and not to disappoint. Not too icy, not too premium, and good flavor. A good simple way to end the vacation.
Been to HHI? Had ice cream there? Give us the scoop so I can try a new ice cream hot spot next year!