Behind the Scenes at Beach Properties: Karen Marts

Karen Marts – The Wildlife Expert

karen pic
Karen and her Parrot, Freedom

Karen is our favorite “Bird Nerd”, the kind of person who will jump in a car at a moment’s notice and drive 3 hours to see a snowy owl.  (Birders know this is like the hole-in-one of birding opportunities!)  Not only does she seemingly know everything about birds, she is a Certified South Carolina Master Naturalist.  Karen has thousands of short videos posted to her own YouTube channel, covering all forms of wildlife and her adventures in pursuing and filming them.

As a Vacation Planner here at Beach Properties she is equally well-informed, and a truly helpful and upbeat employee.  She always goes the extra mile for our guests, and can be relied on to help you find the perfect vacation rental to suit your needs.

Of course she loves to talk about the wildlife here, so ask for her when you book your next vacation if you share that fascination!  She can be reached at 800-671-5155 ext 1227.


Where are you from originally?

Newton, New Jersey

What brought you to Hilton Head?

I was selling men’s clothing for S & K Famous Brands in Pensacola, Florida.  They offered me a Junior Assistant Manager’s position in Hilton Head Island, and eventually I became manager of the store.

How long have you been living here?

28 years!

How long have you been with Beach Properties?

A decade!

Do you have any pets or children?

I have a Panama Amazon, which is a sub-species of the Yellow-Fronted Amazon.  His name is Freedom.  He was adopted from Feathered Friends Forever Rescue/Sanctuary 4 years ago.  Freedom the Parrot is an ambassador for all parrots, shedding light on the plight of captive birds as well as conservation in the wild. 

What is your favorite restaurant or place to go on the island?

We have so many fantastic restaurants on the island, so I don’t have a favorite.  I highly recommend CQ’s, Michael Anthony’s, Frankie Bones, Sea Grass Grille, and the Crazy Crab on the North End (marsh views) for dinner.  For lunch you can count on It’s Greek to Me, Fiesta Fresh, and Giuseppe’s Pizza.

What would you recommend our guests do or see on Hilton Head?

Hilton Head Island is a tropical paradise, brimming with wildlife in the forests, lagoons, marshes, and ocean.  We have an abundance of bird life and I suggest visiting Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge.  The refuge is 4,053 acres, with 40 miles of trails for walking or biking.  Just a 12 minute walk to Ibis Pond will reveal a rookery, which is a sanctuary for hundreds of wading birds.  You can see nesting Great Egrets, Black-Crowned Night Herons, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Tri-Colored Herons, and White Ibis from April through August.  Wood Ducks, American Coots, and Common Moorhens can be seen floating around the pond.  Song birds, raptors, and shorebirds can be easily photographed around the refuge along with American Alligators!

Superman or Batman?


Pepsi or Coke?

I prefer coffee!

If you had to sum up Hilton Head in one word what would it be?