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Wheelchairs on the beach? Hilton Head says sure!

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Daniel

I never liked the beach.  I didn't like the fish, the taste of salt water, but most importantly, I didn't like the sand.  Because let's face it, beaches are not friendly to wheelchair users.  In fact, loose sand may be the absolute worst surface for navigating a chair. The front wheels get stuck, meaning you have to do a wheelie through the dry sand. And that is why Hilton Head deserves kudos for making their beaches as accessible as possible!
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Dan on the beach in Hilton Head


As the Atlantic Ocean tide rises and falls, it leaves behind a large area of flattened, packed sand that is easily navigable for us disabled-folk. So the city put in a long, flat mat that covers the entirety of the dry, soft sand that the tide never touches. 

This means I got to enjoy all the perks of the beach without leaving my chair behind.  Over the course of the week, I watched the pelicans dive-bomb for fish in the early morning, and saw the sun set. I got to ride the waves about eight feet into the ocean, and I got to build sandcastles with our younger cousins (all the while having my bathing suit stealthily filled with sand by a 3-year-old).  These were all experiences I never thought I could have or would have missed out on because beaches were such a pain for me.

Thanks to Hilton Head for giving me the full experience of my vacation-not just a few ramps and an ice cream shop.



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2 Comments

Hilton Head Kat said:

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Hi, Dan! As a six year resident and Realtor of Hilton Head Island, I really enjoyed this blog! The hard packed sand and relative lack of rip currents were big considerations when we bought our first place here. I'm glad you enjoyed the beach and I hope you return many times!

Daniel said:

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Kat,

Derin and I are for sure considering a return trip to Hilton Head. Not only had the city made the beaches accessible for my wheelchair, but there was also an online list of each accessible beach available to us. All in all, it was a very pleasant experience!

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