Welcome to our ultimate guide for discovering the best attractions and things to do in Hilton Head Island. Whether you are a first-time visitor, frequent traveler or a local resident, this charming island located in South Carolina has plenty to offer. From its pristine beaches to unique outdoor activities, world-class golf courses, historic landmarks, and exquisite dining options, Hilton Head Island is a true paradise for anyone seeking a vacation filled with adventure and relaxation. In this guide, we’ll highlight some of the top attractions and things to do on this island paradise that is sure to make your trip to Hilton Head unforgettable. So, get ready to pack your bags and embark on an exciting journey with us as we uncover some of the must-visit places on Hilton Head Island.
The 8 Best Tours with Locals in Hilton Head Island
- Hilton Head Island Guided Stand Up Paddleboard Tour
- Hilton Head Island Fun Group Segway Tour
- Hilton Head Island 75 Minute Jet Ski Tour
- Hilton Head Island 2 Hour Guided Creek Cat Tour
- Hilton Head Island Guided Dolphin Tour
- Hilton Head Island Virtual Reality Arcade Experience
- Hilton Head Island Dolphin Nature Cruise
- Hilton Head Island Round Trip Ferry Ticket to Savannah
The 8 Best Tours with Locals in Hilton Head Island
1. Hilton Head Island Guided Stand Up Paddleboard Tour
Discover the hidden treasures of Hilton Head Island on this guided stand up paddleboarding tour. You and your small group of up to 10 people will paddle through clear waters, exploring inlets and rivulets entirely inaccessible by boat. As you navigate through serene Lowcountry marshes, you’ll absorb spectacular views of the South Carolina coastline and encounter a vibrant array of indigenous wildlife, including pelicans, herons, egrets, and man. This 1-hour tour is the perfect opportunity to learn a new activity with your friends or family while benefiting from a professional local guide. With experienced SUP guides, you’ll learn basic paddleboarding techniques and get out on the water in no time. Don’t miss this chance to take in views of Lowcountry wildlife and soak up unbeatable views of pristine beaches and lush greenery.
2. Hilton Head Island Fun Group Segway Tour
Start your Hilton Head Island adventure with a group Segway tour. Meet your expert guide at Palmetto Bay Marina and ride down charming bike paths and boardwalks to the south end of the island. Take in the magnificent views of the island and enjoy learning about its fascinating history and ecological facts. Visit local parks and see the wildlife that call them home. This tour is not suitable for children under 12 years, people with mobility impairments, wheelchair users, visually impaired people, people over 275 lbs (125 kg), or people over 95 years. The tour includes the use of equipment (Segway & helmet), bottled water, gratuities/tips, and snacks. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience on Hilton Head Island.
3. Hilton Head Island 75 Minute Jet Ski Tour
Discover Hilton Head Island on an exciting 75-minute jet ski tour. Depart from Palmetto Bay Marina and enjoy a scenic ride around the island, taking in spectacular views and looking for local wildlife, such as dolphins, birds, and sea turtles. Cruise by stunning mansions and luxury yachts as you head towards the open riding area.
Once in the designated area, ride your own jet ski or simply savor the surroundings as you soak up the sun. The tour includes a professional guide who will ensure your safety and show you the best spots to explore. Note that the tour is not suitable for children under 6 years, pregnant women, people with back, heart, or mobility problems, people over 350 lbs (159 kg), and those who get motion sickness. Hotel pickup and drop-off, food, and drinks are not included, so ensure you bring your own. Join us for an unforgettable experience!
4. Hilton Head Island 2 Hour Guided Creek Cat Tour
Explore Hilton Head Island like a pro with a 2-hour guided Creek Cat tour. Navigate the waters at speeds of up to 30 mph and keep an eye out for local bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat. Admire the Harbour Town Lighthouse and sail past Bull Island, where exotic animals used to roam. Expert guides provide information about the island’s wildlife and ecosystem throughout the tour. Take in stunning views of Harbourtown & Daufuskie Island from the water. Explore smaller marshes filled with abundant wildlife, including egrets, eagles, ospreys, and otters. The tour includes a professional guide and bottled water for your convenience. Discover the best that Hilton Head Island has to offer on this exciting guided adventure.
5. Hilton Head Island Guided Dolphin Tour
Take in the natural wonders of Hilton Head Island on a fully narrated boat tour that takes you on an adventure into the waters surrounding the island. Get an up close and personal look at Atlantic bottlenose dolphins as they swim and play in their natural habitat. The local guide will provide interesting insights into the local ecosystem, the island’s history, and the habits of the dolphins you encounter.
Apart from dolphins, keep an eye out for other fascinating marine life such as pelicans, stingrays, and turtles. The guide will provide fascinating facts and anecdotes about all the wildlife you encounter on this guided tour.
This tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off, a narrated guided tour, and the exciting opportunity to observe and study Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in their natural environment. Food and drinks are not included, and the tour is not suitable for wheelchair users. So, come and join us on this incredible water adventure and create experiences that will remain with you for life.
6. Hilton Head Island Virtual Reality Arcade Experience
Experience a virtual reality adventure like no other on Hilton Head Island. With over 40 VR experiences to choose from, escape reality and immerse yourself in a world of gaming. You can play with others around the world or challenge your friends and family to an unforgettable virtual experience. Try your hand at exploring the solar system, shooting zombies, solving puzzles in escape rooms, and even defending yourself as a teddy bear against evil doll creatures. Choose between 20, 40, or 70 minutes of unlimited virtual fun. This tour includes a user-friendly VR tutorial, full access to over 40 VR experiences, multiplayer access, support and assistance from Immersive Specialists, and food and drinks. Please note that this tour is not suitable for everyone.
7. Hilton Head Island Dolphin Nature Cruise
Take a sightseeing cruise to explore the incredible nature around Hilton Head Island and its surrounding waterways. The Atlantic bottlenose dolphins are waiting to be seen and, with guaranteed sightings, this is sure to be a highlight of your vacation. Your expert crew will provide live narration as you admire the coastal landscape and learn about the dolphin’s lifecycle. Food and drinks are available for purchase on the spacious vessel, and a Sea Pines Resort vehicle entry fee is included. Join us for an unforgettable experience with an expert naturalist captain.
8. Hilton Head Island Round Trip Ferry Ticket to Savannah
Cruise through stunning intracoastal waterways to Savannah with this round-trip express ferry ticket from the Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head Island. The comfortable air-conditioned boat provides panoramic views and an open-air upper deck to relax on. During the return ferry trip, enjoy happy hour prices on selected drinks. Explore Savannah for over 4 hours before heading back to the ferry. The ticket includes the Sea Pines Resort vehicle entry fee, and food and drinks are available for purchase onboard. Please note that the tour is not suitable for people with mobility impairments.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hilton Head Island
1. What is Hilton Head Island?Hilton Head Island is a barrier island that is located in South Carolina. It is known for its beautiful beaches, golf courses, and tennis clubs. The island is also home to a number of restaurants, shops, and other attractions that make it a popular tourist destination.
2. When is the best time to visit Hilton Head Island?The best time to visit Hilton Head Island is between March and May or September and November when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Summer months can be extremely hot and humid, and the island can get crowded with tourists. However, if you love the beach and don’t mind the heat, summer can be a good time to visit as well.
3. How do I get to Hilton Head Island?Hilton Head Island is primarily accessed by car, as the island is connected to the mainland via a bridge. The nearest major airport is Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, which is located about 45 minutes away from the island. Some visitors also choose to fly into Charleston International Airport, which is about a two-hour drive from Hilton Head Island.
4. Where should I stay on Hilton Head Island?There are plenty of accommodation options on Hilton Head Island, including hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, and camping sites. Some of the most popular areas to stay on the island include Sea Pines, Palmetto Dunes, and Forest Beach. It really depends on the type of vacation you’re looking for, as each area has its own unique atmosphere.
5. What are the best things to do on Hilton Head Island?Some of the best things to do on Hilton Head Island include:
- Relaxing on the beach
- Golfing on one of the island’s many golf courses
- Taking a dolphin watching tour
- Exploring the island’s nature preserves and hiking trails
- Visiting the Harbour Town Lighthouse and Marina
- Trying out water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding, and parasailing
6. What are some good restaurants on Hilton Head Island?There are plenty of restaurants to choose from on Hilton Head Island, ranging from casual beachfront spots to upscale fine dining establishments. Some popular options include The Sea Pines Beach Club, Coast Oceanfront Dining, and Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana.
7. Are there any family-friendly attractions on Hilton Head Island?Hilton Head Island is a great destination for families, as there are plenty of activities and attractions that kids will love. Some popular family-friendly attractions include:
- The Sandbox Children’s Museum
- Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf
- Zipline Hilton Head
- Lawton Stables Pony Rides
- The Island Fudge Shoppe
8. What are the rules regarding beach access on Hilton Head Island?Public beach access on Hilton Head Island is limited, as much of the beachfront is privately owned by hotels and resorts. However, there are several public beach access points that visitors can use. The island also has strict rules regarding beach activities, including no glass or alcohol on the beach and no pets on the beach between 10am and 5pm during peak season.
9. What is the weather like on Hilton Head Island?Hilton Head Island has a subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Average temperatures range from the mid-70s in the winter to the mid-90s in the summer. Hurricanes are a potential threat during hurricane season, which runs from June to November.
10. What is the history of Hilton Head Island?Hilton Head Island has a rich history that dates back to pre-colonial times, when the island was inhabited by Native American tribes. The island was later colonized by Europeans and cotton became the primary crop. During the Civil War, the island was occupied by Union troops and became a safe haven for escaped slaves. In the early 20th century, the island became a popular vacation destination and the tourism industry has continued to grow ever since.
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Hilton Head IslandHilton Head Island is a popular vacation spot located in South Carolina. It is famous for its pristine beaches, world-class golf courses, and natural beauty. If you are planning a trip to Hilton Head Island and wondering how to spend your time there, this guide will help you. In this guide, we will list the top tourist attractions in Hilton Head Island and provide you with tips and recommendations to make the most of your vacation.
1. Explore the BeachesHilton Head Island is most famous for its beaches, and rightly so. The island boasts 12 miles of stunning coastline with beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and other water sports. Some of the popular beaches on the island are:
- Coligny Beach Park: This is one of the most popular beaches on the island with plenty of amenities like restrooms, showers, and food vendors. It has a wide stretch of sand, and the water is great for swimming.
- Burkes Beach: This is another beautiful beach with miles of white sand and dunes. It is a great place to relax with your family and friends.
- Driessen Beach Park: This beach has a playground, picnic tables, and grills, making it a perfect spot for family outings. It also has restrooms and showers.
2. Visit the Wildlife RefugesHilton Head Island is not just about beaches; it is also home to several nature reserves and wildlife refuges. Visiting these refuges is a great way to learn about the local flora and fauna and get up close with nature. Some of the popular wildlife refuges on the island are:
- Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge: This refuge covers 4,053 acres and is home to more than 250 species of birds and other animals. It has several hiking trails that offer beautiful views of the marshes and the waterways.
- Sea Pines Forest Preserve: This is a great place to explore the natural beauty of Hilton Head Island. It has several hiking trails that wind through the forest and around the lake. You may even spot some alligators and turtles here!
3. Play GolfHilton Head Island is a golfer’s paradise, with more than 30 world-class golf courses. Some of the best golf courses on the island are:
- Heritage Golf Course: This course is located in Sea Pines and is home to the RBC Heritage, the island’s premier PGA Tour event.
- Harbour Town Golf Links: This is another top-rated golf course in Sea Pines and is known for its stunning views of the harbor.
- Palmetto Dunes Golf Course: This course is located in Palmetto Dunes and has three championship golf courses that offer a challenging game to golfers of all levels.
4. Take a Bike RideHilton Head Island has more than 50 miles of bike-friendly paths and trails. Rent a bike and explore the island’s natural beauty at your own pace. Some of the popular bike trails on the island are:
- Sea Pines Forest Preserve Trail: This is a 4-mile trail that winds through the forest and around the lake. It is a great trail for bird watching and spotting other wildlife.
- Beach City Road Trail: This trail is a 2-mile loop that offers stunning views of the beach and the waterways. It is a great trail for beginners.
- Spanish Wells Road Trail- This trail is a 4-mile loop that takes you through the Spanish Wells community, with beautiful scenery along the way.
5. Go Shopping and DiningHilton Head Island has many great shopping and dining options to cater to all tastes and budgets. Some of the popular places to shop and dine on the island are:
- Harbour Town: This is a popular shopping and dining destination in Sea Pines, with a variety of shops and restaurants to choose from.
- The Village at Wexford: This European-style shopping center on the island has a variety of shops, art galleries, and restaurants to explore.
- South Beach Marina Village: This is a charming marina village with several shops and restaurants overlooking the harbor.
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