A walk to Coco’s on the Beach requires advance consultation with the Hilton Head Island Tide Chart. Low tide was my friend. To make the journey from where I was staying towards the heel of the Island, you have to cross an inlet. When J and I crossed, an hour and a half after low tide and just around mid-day on a Tuesday, the water was barely ankle deep at most points and the inlet just a narrow line of water fed by the ocean cutting up through the sand. An hour later, that ankle-deep line was a hip-deep stream. And with a current strong enough that kids were having fun letting it carry them along a short-ways.
The walk to Coco’s was a people-watching quick-paced 50-minutes up the beach in bare feet, flip flops in hand, to the elevated open-air bar giving you a view through the palm trees to the ocean beyond. Coco’s is the quintessential beach-side bar – all laid back with a sense of hot, salty, sandy, and sunblock There’s a nod to old hippies (they’re welcome) and a sign that although (the owner?) may be of a certain age, he’s seen all the best bands. So true. Vibrant in their primary colors of blue, red, and yellow, square wooden stools front the wraparound bar and equally vivid wide square tables.
Coco’s serves a range of burgers and beers and sandwiches and cocktails in plastic cups. The Fried Bologna “Ohio Style” Sandwich that J ordered – pickles and onion rings layered on top of the lightly fried thick bologna slice – was delicious. So was my beefy Swiss and ‘Shroom Burger. Coleslaw and a bag of chips served on the side. Order at the window; pick up when your name is called over the mic. Try to read all of the signs running the length and width of the walls all around and above the counter. Take your photo in front of the multi-colored signpost. Or just sit and eat and have a beer and feel the breeze. You really are at the beach.