We always have outdoor things to do here in the Lowcountry. But as far as classic family fun outings, there was a void for decades as we all walk the delicate balance of entertaining our kids without, as so many online commenters put it, “becoming Myrtle Beach.”
Over the past few years, Roger and Pam Freedman have been building a family outing empire that combines the fun with the outdoors at Broad Creek Marina since opening a zipline park in 2012 that has become a go-to staple for tourists and locals alike.
Now comes the next chapter of the story, as the Freedmans are preparing to open the island’s first go-kart course. It’s all part of the rebranded Adventure Hilton Head.
The high-performance, driver-friendly electric double and single carts are the latest in racing technology, equipped with advanced safety features, with height and weight guidelines allowing for single drivers approximately 8 years old and up. The double carts are made for kids 3 and up to drive along with an adult.
The go-karts will run about $15 per ride with a number of packages available for repeat rides and families to combine driving with the zipline adventures. It’s all part of a planned mid-August re-opening of the park with new COVID safety protocols in place. Both the high-flying ecotour of seven ziplines with its dual cable racing finale and the Aerial Adventure, a six-rope obstacle course opened in 2016 with four levels of ability and 50 challenging obstacles, have been updated to provide even more adrenaline-pumping excitement.
Adventure Hilton Head is a true full-day outing, complete with the popular Up the Creek Pub and Grill and a new addition already winning online raves, the park’s Paddles food truck. The adjoining marina offers a full array of water sports, dolphin tours and boat rentals.
Roger Freedman said the new additions are the culmination of listening to customer feedback and working with the Town of Hilton Head Island to make it happen.
“We have to thank the town staff and the passionate community for their continual support of this project which had its own curves along the way,” Freedman said.
Adventure Hilton Head general manager Nate Jones is excited to bring something to the area he wishes he’d had growing up on the island.
“I grew up here and now I’m raising my family here,” Jones said. “Our adventure park expansion will be the perfect playground for young and young at heart alike. We can’t wait to enjoy kids’ laughter again.”
New restaurant coming to Moss Creek: You might have noticed the signs and construction work recently in the Moss Creek plaza. There is a new pizza option coming later this year. Mama G’s Pizza Bistro Bar is completing renovations and planning for a November 2021 opening, according to its website.
The restaurant owners say this is a family business dream 25 years in the making. They promise their Roman style pizza with a delicious crisp crust, made from “Italian 00 flour, certified San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and love,” will be the star of the show. Follow the restaurant’s progress online at mamagpizzahhi.com.
And just across the road … : If you have been hoping for another car wash on the U.S. 278 corridor, your wish is about to come true. The first South Carolina location for the W4 Express Car Wash chain is getting ready to open across the highway from Moss Creek at 1492 Fording Island Road next to Markraft Cabinets. The chain offers a full array of cleaning options, a monthly wash club, and both a family and a fleet plan to keep your vehicular beauty looking new. Check out w4wash.com for more details on the planned Aug. 6 Bluffton grand opening and to apply to work for W4.
Is Chic-Fil-A open yet? No. Soon though, people. New drive-through lanes are built and officials did the latest round of hiring interviews on July 30.
New restaurant openings
• Top Dawg Tavern, 13 Harbourside Lane Building 2, Unit CD, Hilton Head Island, 843-785-5600, topdawgtavern.com: Imagine searching for both the white whale and a unicorn. That’s what both tourist and local families on Hilton Head have long said is akin to their pursuit of affordable, high-quality, dine-in options across the bridge. Now, you have a new option waterside at Shelter Cove Marina just next to the music shell.
Top Dawg is a regional chain started in Athens, Ga., that has opened its fifth location to go along with spots in Bethlehem, Ga., Columbia and Summerville. We got a chance to attend their soft opening and were thoroughly impressed with the bang for the buck, the vibe (island chill meets 17 big-screen TVs, booths and an indoor and outdoor bar) and the variety of comfort food options for all ages. We got to try the filet bites (tenderloin minis over a bed of mashed potatoes), the mozzarella sticks and epic-sized Bavarian pretzel for appetizers; the Cobb salad, Guinness-dipped fish and chips (cod with a hint of the Irish pub fave and addictive string fries), kids’ spaghetti and the brunch French toast for entrees; and the cheesecake with raspberry drizzle and chocolate delight (molten lava cake with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream) for dessert. The prices are far below island norms in comparison to the sizeable portions, something that Top Dawg officials say has been a signature of their brand.
• Grooby’s, Too NY Deli and Restaurant, 12 Sheridan Park Circle, Unit A, Bluffton, 843-707-9696: It took a little longer than owner Stacy Gruber was hoping, but after a successful soft opening, the new eatery opened its doors July 30. Gruber, the niece of restaurant owner Barry Gruber, has gone out on her own after 30 years of working at the island foodie fave Gruby’s. Stacy promises “more meat than your mouth can handle” on all the sandwiches and a full slate of breakfast, salads, hot and cold lunch sandwiches, and dinner entrees to go, alongside a full-service bar.
We’ve heard you must try the famous No. 5 Poppy sandwich (named after Stacy’s dad) and the lox and bagels platter, but honestly, the menu is loaded with potential. The restaurant will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Check out the full menu on their Facebook page by searching “Grooby’s, Too.”
Own or see a new business that should be on all of our radars? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure to get the word out.
Tim Wood is a veteran journalist based in Bluffton.