If you squint your eyes just a little, you can see that Sea Pines founder Charles Fraser had something more useful in mind than prestige alone, when he imagined The Shops at Sea Pines Center.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

A gas station, post office, and bank are sure signs that this spot had a bit of Main Street built-in, as well as the scent of a store on Fifth Avenue and the ambiance of an atelier on Park, and the energy of a studio on Madison.

Now, even considering that here at Sea Pines Center, the gas station serves fried chicken reputed to be among the island’s best, and that the post office has a calligrapher and bookseller next door, and that the bank vault is now the wine cellar of a gourmet grocery, the point remains. The experience may well be extraordinary, yet the function is nevertheless down to earth.

As Far as We Can See

Some in-laws were fond of coffee-table books, and an image from one of them sticks in the mind. The drawing of a town plan from the remote fringes of the Roman Empire included a forum, a place where neighbors would “run into” each other to share the news of the day, exchange views, and move life along. Even in the smallest town, and even at the farthest reaches, this was a function they planned to encourage and accommodate.

And as far back as we can see, at any time and any place, a spot like this one played a role in the thriving of a community. In every village there was a well, a granary, or a grindstone where people got together in the normal course of their week. In every town, there was a courthouse square or a Main Street or a Church Street that brought people together.

In every city there was a marketplace – or plaza – where the things that people knew converged to become common knowledge, the collective point of view. These places became the heart of the community, because of what people shared when they got together there.

Imagine the Satisfaction

Imagine the feeling of accomplishment that comes, then, when we see our customers, friends, and neighbors doing here in The Shops at Sea Pines Center what people all through history have thrived in doing. We see long-time Sea Pines residents catching up with each other and sharing the latest local news. We see seasonal residents reconnecting after being away for a while. We see visitors and guests chatting, to see what’s going on this week that they would enjoy taking part in. Come, share that with us.

A plaza is the heart of a community. We are fortunate to have grown into that role, here in the middle of the original Hilton Head Island vision, the place where America’s favorite island resort began. We are happy to welcome you here, to offer the best of our island. And we are grateful, too.