Craig Hyde

Get the low-down on this laid-back community.

Setting: Isle of Hope lies along the Intracoastal Waterway,10 miles southeast of Savannah. Access is limited to two smallroads. The average temperatures range from a high of 92 to a low of72 in July and from 60 to 38 in January.

Attractions: Relatively unspoiled, unchanged, and peaceful,the area offers close proximity to Savannah's great restaurants,shopping, and historical sites. It's 40 miles south of theexcellent golf courses around Hilton Head Island, SouthCarolina.

Drawbacks: Hurricane season runs from June through November.The housing market is tight, because choice properties tend to getsnapped up as soon as they go for sale. Although the communitytakes measures to make mosquitoes feel unwelcome, the pesky bugscan still be prevalent during the summer. Gardeners have found thatisland deer like to munch on perennials.

Housing Options: Grand antebellum homes and summer bungalowsmix along the waterfront bluff. Houses in the island'sinterior―almost all well-tended and with wideporches―come in a variety of styles and sizes. The island hasno apartments or condominiums.

What It Costs: Recent sale prices of the water-viewantebellum homes along Bluff Drive range from $1.2 million to $2.4million. Some of the waterfront houses are being torn down in favorof grander, more modern replacements. A 1,500-square-foot ranchhouse inland sells for $150,000 to $180,000.

Your Next-door Neighbors: For many residents, Isle of Hope(population 2,600) serves as a bedroom community for Savannah.Doctors, lawyers, stockbrokers, and other white-collar workers makethe island their year-round residence. Retirees enjoy the serenesetting, and young parents find the community a wonderful place toraise children. A few locals occupy houses that have been passeddown through several generations.

Where You'd Spend Free Time: The marina is the hub ofactivity for both residents and those traveling along theIntracoastal Waterway. Boating, fishing, and crabbing are popular.The pleasant weather invites walking, biking, and pushing strollersdown the live oak-shaded streets.

(published 2004)

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