"Hilton Head protects its trees, prohibits billboards and sign clutter, has lots of bike trails, no high-rises," according to one of 522 sustainable tourism experts asked to rank 111 islands by National Geographic Traveler magazine.
So why did the South Carolina island fare poorly in the ranking? Golf courseslike the one picturedand gated communities make the place "pretty monotonous in a squeaky-clean way," another expert explained.
"This island is the poster boy for tourism development gone wild," another expert said. "There is extreme pressure to continue development even though the population living there wants to stop development."
(Both National Geographic News and Traveler magazine are part of the National Geographic Society.)