For those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning, you might remember that my husband and I have been talking about Latitude Margaritaville in Hilton Head, SC (It’s really Hardeeville, but it’s branded as Hilton Head) for over two years. Why wouldn’t someone want to live where the party never ends and Jimmy Buffet’s laid back lifestyle is the template for life over 55?
It took my husband a minute to wrap his mind around visiting because he isn’t ready to move, but when I told him it was a two to three year wait for a house, he agreed.
We decided to participate in the Latitude Getaway option (formerly known as the Stay and Play). That option allows you to stay on the campus in one of the villas and enjoy all the amenities. You even get a golf cart to use during your stay there. It costs $199 a night and is well worth the price if you are serious about moving there.
I am fortunate to have a friend from high school Sherry Zuback Bean who lives in the community. She served as our personal tour guide and it just so happened that she lived right across the street from where we were staying.
The community is beautiful with a Caribbean flair . The houses are all one level and very nicely laid out. All the houses have a two-car garage. Check! Also, the guest room and extra bathroom are away from the primary bedroom. Remember this is set up for people over 55, so guests are going to be temporary.
Our villa came in a floor plan that is no longer available, but it still gave us a good idea of what it would be like to live there. Also, the villa came with a margarita machine. That thing was awesome. Apparently they used to give new residents one when they moved in, but they no longer do. I would have to buy one if we moved there. My husband said it was the best margarita he ever had.
We spent one afternoon touring 12 model homes. I loved having a chance to view all the models side-by-side. It definitely helped us get a better idea of what each on included, although there were a lot of upgrades. Still, there was a complete list of what was included and what wasn’t.
There are three different configurations of houses. The Cottages are set up in a quad with four driveways facing each other. It forms almost a little communal area for the homes. This is the least expensive option.
Then there are the Villas where two houses are attached. There are multiple styles and the Villas are spacious.
Finally, there are the Single Family homes that are not for families. No children except for a quick visit with grandma and grandpa.
All the options are great, it’s really about what you’re looking for and what you want to spend. When you’re looking at prices (I know you are already searching the website) the prices do not include the lots. Lots are priced separately and vary in price depending on your view.
What you gonna do?
Listen, relaxation is definitely available. There is one of the nicest pools I’ve ever seen and the margaritas are delicious and inexpensive, but people don’t just lounge in the sun every day. There is so much to do.
Of course, they have Pickle Ball and Pickle Ball leagues, but there’s also lawn bowling and tennis. However there are also, so many clubs including the Wine Fairies, Bible Groups, Choir, Writing Clubs and more. My husband wants to join a band down there so he can keep playing his bass.
And of course, there’s karaoke! After dinner at the Bar & Chill, we joined the karaoke night. There is video of me singing, but I threatened my husband if he posted it.
What really struck us about the evening was how supportive everyone was. Every singer was applauded, even me, and the audience was totally engaged. There were definitely some great singers and we met some of them personally when we accidentally crashed the choir practice the next day.
We took advantage of the state-of-the-art fitness club which included free weights, machines, a wide variety of cardio machines, fitness classes, an indoor pool and saunas.
I set up a morning swim in the lap lanes. I had a lane all to myself. It was great, but they have to be reserved ahead of time.
After the workout, we visited the Cinnabon food truck (Hey, I worked out first!) Luckily, it’s only there once a month or I could have a serious problem.
There really is truly something for everybody and the only time we saw people sitting around was at the bar. Of course, they were probably sitting at the big BINGO game, but it was sold out and we couldn’t get a ticket.
The next day, I decided to participate in one of the fitness classes — Fit Yoga. The instructor kicked my butt — the class was not for sissys. In the class, I met someone who had moved down from Philadelphia. She said she cried the whole first year they were there because she missed the city and ethnic food. Apparently, Mexican is the only ethnic food they do well down there.
It was great meeting her and getting a different perspective. She has stopped crying, has made friends and is planning a trip back to Philadelphia to eat.
The Next Step
After lunch, we got ready for the hard sell where they lock you in a room until you sign. Instead we met with our assigned salesperson, Caleb. He was pleasant and informative with an interactive screen so we could see all the floor plans and make virtual changes to the plans to meet our individual taste and needs. No hard sell. No reason, there’s a HUGE waiting list.
Yes, we put our name on the list, why not? It didn’t cost anything.
After our meeting, we went back to the Villa and relaxed on our screened in lanai drinking margaritas before dinner.
During the 10 hour ride back home, we talked about the prospect of moving. I have lived in the same town all my life, so the thought of moving is pretty scary, but we have time to think. It’s always fun to dream.
We will be going back for another visit. You can do two Latitude Getaways, so we are planning another one for early next year. My husband said, “If we have a heavy snowfall next year, you’ll have leverage.”
One thing that’s for sure, if we move to Margaritaville, we won’t be wasting away. We’ll be working out, walking, joining clubs, going to events, etc. I’ll let you know what we decide. Until then, we’ll just chill.
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Want to know more about Latitude Margaritaville, go to: https://www.latitudemargaritaville.com/ Tell them Karen sent you.