Things to do in Hilton Head: The Best Planning Guide You Need

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things to do in Hilton Head

In the southeastern region of the United States of America, in South Carolina is Hilton Head. The island is now becoming one of the best places to visit with family and friends to the gorgeous destination that stretches over 12 miles of beaches great for walking, biking, and dolphin watching among many other amazing things in Hilton Head Island, SC.

All around the island surrounded by miles and miles of sunny beaches fit for a relaxing walk out with friends, or to grab a bike because there are plenty of biking trails around the island, or proudly take your cousin out for a tour of the island, South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island is the best place to do it among many other things and also to have fun while you’re there.

The island offers hundreds of opportunities for you to take a break and relax.

There is also one more thing Hilton Head, SC, is famous for, and it’s not just beaches that the island provides but also excellent golf courses that adults enjoy. The golf courses allow people to socialize and meet a lot of friends.

So, whenever you decide to visit Hilton Head Island, SC, then make sure to get note down the following places to visit so you can get the best visit as well as the best experience for a memorable visit.

Things to do in Hilton Head
by camylla battani/ unspalsh

Things to Do in Hilton Head Island:

Beaches to Visit:

  1. Coligny Beach Park:

Address: 1N Forest Beach, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, United States.

Hilton Head Island is one of the famous public beach parks in Coligny Beach Park, an oceanside-developed beach park that has become one of the best famous tourist attractions in Hilton Head, SC so visiting here should make your list of things to do in Hilton Head Island.

Coligny Beach Park is an open space with fine dunes around for you to lie down and tan your way under the gorgeous sun or you can also grab your bike out for a spin for fun. While you can of course bring your equipment while you visit but if you did forget something the lifeguards stationed nearby on the beach have your back.

South Carolina’s Coligny Beach Park has lifeguards stationed for you to provide amenities that you can rent while you visit the beach. Some of the amenities provided there are lounge chairs, access mats, shaded gazebos, umbrellas, and many more so you can also enjoy the visit to the beach park to its full potential.

Although those supplies are not the only ones provided in this beach park in South Carolina. After a good soak under the sun, and playing in the water with your kids, the beach park also provides showers, changing rooms, clean bathrooms, splash pads and the best one is free parking.

The beach park is completely equipped with every possible best thing and also it is family-friendly so you can share your fun with your families too. About less than a mile from Coligny Beach Park, at the south end of Hilton Head Island, is Coligny Plaza situated on Pope Avenue filled with around 60 stores and restaurants.

The shopping mall contains stores for clothing, gifts, rentals, apparel, bakeries, sandwich shops, and a lot more for you to buy souvenirs and also buy or rent beach equipment for the beach park to have fun. The best thing about Coligny Plaza mall is the ice cream that you and your kids must try without fail.

things to do in hilton head
by pixabay/ pexels

  1. Mitchelville Beach:

Address: 124 Mitchelville Beach Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926, United States.

Among the many beaches in Hilton Head, if you are in search of a beach holiday in Hilton Head, SC but your vibe is to chill in a calm place, with less crowd, and more relaxation, then Mitchelville Beach is the place for you.

On the northeastern side of Hilton Head Island, Mitchelville Beach is a place filled with deer tracks on the sand and a peaceful place for a good relaxing walk or good to take your bike out to ride or just hang out with your family among other things to in Hilton Head.

Unlike all around the island, Mitchelville Beach isn’t the modern setting that others tend to be. There are no lifeguards around so it is always safe to have someone you know with you. The beach doesn’t provide many amenities but there are some around like bathrooms, a few picnic tables, and also outdoor showers available for you to use if you want.

This beach in Hilton Head is also known as Fish Haul Beach Park where visitors are few which makes the whole visit calm and relaxing because it’s just you, the beach, and your family or friends. the shore of Mitchelville Beach is covered with coastal flora. The beach is also surrounded by tide pools and also salt marshes at low tide.

While you’re there be sure to note for deer tracks but be more mindful because there may be Hermit Crabs around, so if you are bringing kids make sure to take watch out for them.

To get to the beach there is large free parking available and the parking in Mitchelville Beach has got one of the largest parking in the whole of Hilton Head Island after Coligny Beach Park. But also there are no bridges or broad walks or beach mats available here so it’s optional for you to bring your own.

  1. Burkes Beach:

Address: 60 Burkes Beach Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 2992, United States.

At the end of the Beach Burkes Road, Hilton Head, SC, near Chaplin Park is Burkes Beach. A calm beach is good for rewinding because of the calm and also because there’s less crowd which makes it one of the best things about South Carolina.

Burkes Beach, unlike others, doesn’t share the popularity but that also makes it one of the best things to do in Hilton Head, SC. Also, there is a fun park near Burkes Beach called Chaplin Park with fun things to do.

It’s a community park that offers free basketball and tennis courts so you can go play with your friends and family. And while you do that your kids can have fun at the playground. There’s also a dog park if you bring your dogs on your trip. You can also bike around the park to the beach. After that, you can head to a hotel nearby and also grab an ice cream, like Marriott’s Surfwatch, which is the nearest one about a four-minute walk away from Burkes Beach.

Just because Burkes Beach isn’t one of the top tourist attractions doesn’t mean you don’t have to visit it. Visiting Burkes Beach can be like a wrap to your Hilton Head, South Carolina tour. The beach has a calming and relaxing vibe to it good for picnics, swimming, biking, and also photography you can try among other things to do in Hilton Head.

things to do in hilton head
by ameen fahmy/ unsplash

  1. Folly Field Beach:

Address: 55 Starfish Drive, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29928, United States.

Unlike all the beaches in Hilton Head, Folly Field is situated in a residential part of a neighborhood in Hilton Head Island. It has a great spot of oceanfront with a beautiful view with a broad walk that stretches to the beach park nearby.

Folly Field Beach Park is perfect in the evening for a stroll or to take your bike out. It allows accessibility to wheelchairs and also provides amenities like vending machines, showers, restrooms, and beach mats for you to use whenever you want.

Folly Field is unique in its way like every other Hilton Head beach so be sure to add it to your trip in your list of things to do in Hilton Head.

Take Your Kids Here:

  1. Coastal Discovery Museum:

Address: 70 Honey Horn Drive, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926, United States.

For nature lovers out there, this place in Hilton Head Island, SC is an important one that should never be missed. The Coastal Discovery Museum is a children’s museum on 68 acres of land in Lowcountry at 70 Honey Horn Drive, Hilton Head, SC.

The museum is an educational center open for both adults and kids to explore the place and have a good time without any admission fees, although donations are appreciated. The Coastal Discovery Museum is a non-profit organization that was started for the community of the people. The main goal is to spread knowledge about the heritage of the Lowcountry and its national history.

The tourists and locals are made to tour the museum’s grounds and learn a lot about the flora and fauna which are the best things in the Coastal Discovery Museum. The trip also offers bike trails if you prefer.

While visiting this children’s museum in South Carolina be sure to look out for the two unique plants live oaks and the Southern Red Cedar. The live oak trees are one the unique plants because of their quality to never lose their foliage. And the Southern Red Cedar is known to be at least 5 centuries old.

Apart from the live oaks and the 5-century-old tree, also be sure to look out for the seasonally grown garden plants.

Hilton Head’s Coastal Discovery Museum is also for the aquatic animals residing there. Some of them are shrimps, turtles, crocodiles, crabs, and also dolphins. The shell ring in here holds some of the must-see things to do in Hilton Head, SC. When the warmer months of the year roll in be sure to look out for the native butterflies while you’re there.

You don’t have to go to this museum in Hilton Head just for the educational experience of it. There are some more things to do in Hilton Head Island, SC because apart from the educational tour you can also go for some adventure.

The museum offers guided kayaking and also to watch dolphin cruises. You can also check out the famous weekly farmers’ market nearby and also the shell ring from the local shellfish.

  1. Arts Center of Coastal Carolina:

Address: 14 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, United States.

Exactly in the center of Hilton Head Island in Shelter Cove is the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, perfect for bringing your kids for a few fun final days after all that adventure in your trip for things to do in Hilton Head.

Arts Center of Coastal Carolina has a theater of 349 seats is where the locals are there to host several festivals, events, and visual performances including dramas, musicals, and comedies that are produced annually at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Hilton Head, SC. Your visit here will be a mildly fun one compared to the adventures near Hilton Head. But you can always visit here first or whenever you want.

Some of the events hosted here in the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina are The Taste of Gullah, Youth ArtsFest, and Christmas Holiday Tree Lighting. There are also education programs available for young minds to opt from so make sure to add to your things to do on the Hilton Head list.

  1. Harbour Town:

Address: 149 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head, SC 29928, United States.

Harbour Town is one of the best tourist attractions in the whole of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. A town that offers so much for both adults and kids of all ages. From pirate ship adventures to gold courses to a museum in a lighthouse to a ride in the Intracoastal Waterway. The town of Harbour Town is a one-fan package in South Carolina.

First of all, there’s the red and white striped lighthouse of about 90 feet tall filled with historical relics and photos through the 114 steps that eventually lead to a gift shop at the top of the lighthouse for you to buy handcrafted souvenirs. This lighthouse and museum are situated near the harbor in the district of Sea Pines Resort at 149 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head.

Since 1970, the lighthouse of Harbour Town was built and open to the public filled with artifacts starting from the Civil War era but some artifacts are about 3000 BC. The museum in the lighthouse is the reason it’s called Harbour Town Lighthouse and Museum which you should add to your list of things to do in Hilton Head.

You can travel there by any means but makes sure to try the Intracoastal Waterway before going on to the other things that Harbour Town of Hilton Head, South Carolina, offers.

Next, you can take your kids to an adventure-packed pirate ship called The Black Dagger where they wear pirate costumes and go on a small cruise. This will be a good one to go on right after the educational experience at the lighthouse museum.

For the adults, you can try the golf courses nearby called Harbour Town Golf Links which is famous for its 18th hole where you just have to aim for the Harbour Town Lighthouse and Museum.

things to do in hilton head
by nikhil mistry/ unsplash


Take a Ferry Ride to an Island:

  1. Daufuskie Island:

Address: Daufuskie Island, South Carolina 29915, United States.

One of the best jewels of visiting Hilton Head Island is Daufuskie Island situated in the middle of Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head. The distinctiveness of Hilton Head’s Daufuskie Island is the whole place and the aesthetic vibe that the tiny island carries with itself.

Visiting Daufuskie Island for a holiday is like two vacations in one because you have to get to Hilton Head island before you can ever step foot on Daufuskie island. After all, getting there takes a one-hour ferry ride.

There are no bridges or any shortcuts to get there so a ferry ride is the only way. In this way, you can enjoy both Hilton Head Island, SC, and also Daufuskie Island. But the ferry ride is worth the risk and also kind of fun for the tranquil experience you will get in visiting the small island.

While Hilton Head is about 12 miles, the small island, Daufuskie is 8 miles long and 2.5 miles but the small island is filled with the most amazing Antebellum mansions, high-end shops, restaurants, and art galleries. The mere low amount of cars will amaze you but at the same time is such a sight to behold with the moss-filled oak trees that surround the island.

Visiting Daufuskie Island should make your list of things to do in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina not just for an extreme getaway but also to witness the historic district since 1982 that the island is with the history of its role in the Civil War. The island was the home of the original Gullah inhabitants during the Civil War. So this makes Daufuskie Island a historical place to visit.

The island is so small that its occupants amount to only 300, give or take. It has only 2 resorts and only one private residential community. The secluded island offers great bike trails, golf courses, paddle boarding, and horse riding so be sure to try them all among other things to do in Hilton Head.

Nature Lover’s Spot:

  1. Pinckney Island National Wildlife:

Address: Pinckney Island National Wildlife Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926, United States.

Hilton Head Island has another natural getaway that is perfect for wildlife enthusiasts that has a hint of archaeology touch to it. Pinckney Island National Wildlife is a protected reserve started by the Pinckney family more than 2 centuries ago.

Before it was a wildlife reserve, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge was first a plantation that was originally established by the Pinckney family in the middle of the 18th century.

The plantation stood on for 2 centuries but eventually, the 4000 acres of land was turned into a refuge in 1945. This is where the black soldiers who fought the Civil War were buried. Their headstones still stand to this day. Be sure to add it to your list of things to do in Hilton Head.

As for the archaeological part of the reserve, this vast land in South Carolina is said to hold pivotal sites of archaeology because it is said to contain evidence of human habitation from around 10,000 years ago. This reserve of Hilton Head Island is a whole package filled with wildlife and history.

The wildlife that inhabits the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best attractions ranging from birds like bald eagles, herons, white ibis, shorebirds, and egrets. This place is the holy grail for a wildlife photographer. Some of the animals you are likely to encounter are bobcats, armadillos, alligators, deer, and a wide variety of fishes.

When visiting Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge make sure to bring your cameras along if you like to take photos, but there are some other adventures you wouldn’t want to miss here. Fishing, hunting, hiking, and cycling through the 10 miles or even taking your bike through the trails to get to the viewpoints are some of the fun things to do in Hilton Head Island.

things to do in hilton head
by sterlinglanier lanier/ unsplash

  1. Sea Pines Forest Preserve:

Address: Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928, United States.

Another one of the best things to do in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina if you are a nature lover is to visit Sea Pines Forest Preserve. The nature and wildlife of the calming place are one of the reasons why it is also one of the top places to visit in Hilton Head, SC.

Located in Sea Pines Resort, Sea Pines Forest Preserve was established on 1 June 1971 although it was set up in 1959. It was initially discovered by the native Indian nomads almost 4000 years ago who settled here for a while before eventually moving out.

The forest preserve of Hilton Head is a wild mixture of green trails, swamps, and alligators. Strangely enough, it is situated near Coligny Beach Park but the difference in the scenery of the place is mind-blowing. While the beach park is filled with dunes and fun things to do on the other hand Sea Pines Forest Preserve is whole not different with its greenery which is also a great spot for a nice picnic or a walk or also to bike around.

Hilton Head Island is known for its variety of tourist attractions for its uniqueness but what makes Sea Pines Forest Preserve an equal but different and unique one is the original Indian shell ring that is reportedly at least 40,000 years old. It was the remnants of the ceremonial plaza that the Indian nomads left.

The Sea Pines Forest Preserve consists of broad walks, swamps, and wetlands where alligators are sure to roam around freely so be sure to look out for them. You can also try fun things like biking the trails or walking them, with a guide of course. And while you’re still there you can try the wagon ride, horseback riding, fishing, and also a guided boat tour among all the things to do in Hilton Head.

Bonus Place in Hilton Head:

Palmetto Dunes:

Address: 6 Trent Jones Lane, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, Unites States.

When you are visiting Hilton Head be sure to add Palmetto Dunes to your trip list because it is the premier tennis court on the island where awards were won. Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Court is a place of high quality and also a fun place to try sports while you still try other things to do in Hilton Head.

Here you can engage in sports activities because it offers almost 25 courts for you to try with matches and tournaments if you wish. Lessons are also taught but are sure to try Pickleball, a sport made from the combination of badminton, ping pong, and tennis.

Hilton Head of South Carolina is a fun place to travel to with the numerous amount of free beaches, golf courses to try, and wildlife to explore, with your kids or your friends. There are so many options to try and also an island to see with a ferry ride, Hilton Head Island has it all.


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