The Best Things to Do on Hilton Head Island, SC

Beautiful weather, rich history, fresh seafood, and endless beaches make Hilton Head Island the perfect place to vacation throughout the four seasons. Although it may be small in size, measuring at fewer than five-miles wide and 12-miles long, this beloved sea island has a lot to offer. There are endless things to do on Hilton Head Island, SC. Read on for a sneak peek.

Beaches

Each beach on our island has its own unique personality and charm. When it comes to choosing the perfect beach for you, it all depends on what you want to do! Some of our island’s most beloved beaches include:
  • Forest Beach at Coligny Beach Park - Because of its central location, Forest Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Hilton Head Island. This beautiful beach is within walking distance of more than 100 shops and restaurants.
  • Palmetto Dunes - This beach resort community encompasses over 2,000 acres. Visitors can enjoy championship golf courses, award-winning tennis, and endless outdoor activities.
  • Sea Pines - Sea Pines is a private, gated community that is perfect for the entire family. Here, you can enjoy private beach access, championship golf, tennis, and more. This beach is also famous for its proximity to the candy-striped lighthouse at the Harbour Town Yacht Basin!
Sunrise on the beach.

View our Beach Guide to learn more about our beaches!

Biking & Walking Trails

Hilton Head Island is a cyclist’s paradise! The community is home to over 60 miles of bike trails and paths. Many of these paths traverse lush marshes, maritime forests, and wooded areas filled with ancient oak trees. Take your time to explore the island’s vast ecosystems and natural beauty on these trails and paths:
  • Jarvis Creek Park is a 53-acre park with lakeside paths. You’ll love exploring the ancient oak trees draped in Spanish moss! The pathway here is a 1.1-mile loop.
  • Fish Haul Creek Park is a historic park at Mitchelville Freedom Park. The trail traverses marshes and a maritime forest. A quiet and secluded beach awaits you at the end of the path!
  • The Sea Pines Bike Trails have over 15 miles of trails to explore. During your trip, remember to explore the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, a protected wildlife habitat where you’ll find wetland boardwalks, fishing docks, and more. If you aren’t staying at Sea Pines Resort during your vacation, there is a small fee for a day pass.
Local Tip: Ocean tides typically range from 6 to 9 feet with two high tides and two low tides every 24 hours. Low tides expose the hard sand and present the perfect time to ride bikes on the beach! View our biking guide to learn more.


Fun on the Water

Have you met Hilton Head Island’s most famous and friendly resident, the bottlenose dolphin? If not, then what are you waiting for? No Hilton Head Island vacation is complete without exploring the waterways. Here are some of our favorite ways to spend a day on the water:
  • Bayrunner Fishing Charters is a deep-sea fishing charter on Hilton Head Island that has served the community since 1970. Fishing trips are customized and ideal for both beginners and seasoned anglers!
  • Saltmarsh Paddle Tours offers rentals and guided kayak and SUP tours. You’ll likely catch a glimpse of a dolphin, blue crab, or even a sea turtle!
  • Dolphin Discoveries is the perfect place to enjoy dolphin tours, beachcombing, shark fishing, and more!
smiling dolphin in the water.

For more recommendations on water adventures:
view our water sports guide. This guide also contains valuable information on ways to save with your Beach Properties Advantage Discount Card!

Sports

With more than 360 hard, clay, and grass tennis courts, Hilton Head Island is an oasis for tennis lovers. Golf players will feel equally at home on the island with more than 40 courses to choose from. Some of the island’s most famous places to play are:
  • Harbour Town Golf Links, home to the famed RBC Heritage PGA Tour.
  • Sea Pines Racquet Club, rated the best tennis program in the nation by Tennis Magazine.
  • Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center, ranked as one of the “50 Greatest U.S. Tennis Resorts" by Tennis Magazine.
View our tennis guide and golf guide for more recommendations.

For the History Buff

When you take the time to explore the history of Hilton Head Island, you will walk away with a new appreciation for all that the island offers. Dive into history at these museums and historic sites during your next vacation!
  • Coastal Discovery Museum - A one-of-kind museum where you can learn the fascinating history of the South Carolina Lowcountry. You can explore historic buildings onsite, a heritage garden, ancient oak trees, and more.
  • The Baynard Plantation Ruins - The standing remains of an 18th century antebellum plantation home which played a significant part in the Civil War.
  • Mitchelville Freedom Park - In 1862, Mitchelville was the first self-governed town of freed slaves in America.
The Stoney Baynard Ruins.

Local Tip:
For those who wish to dive even deeper into history, historic downtown Savannah, GA, is only one hour away from Hilton Head Island, making it ideal for a daytrip.

For the Foodie

When you think of dining on Hilton Head Island, what comes to mind? Is it a savory Lowcountry boil with fresh-caught shrimp? How about a sweet, brown sugar peach cobbler? Whatever it is that you can dream of, you’ll likely find it at one of the island’s top restaurants. Exceptional seafood, soul food, eclectic eats, and fine dining await!
Bowl of shrimp and grits.

View our restaurant guide for handpicked recommendations on where to eat!

Unique Hilton Head Island Experiences for the Entire Family

Some Hilton Head Island activities are too unique to have a category! When it comes to experiencing the Lowcountry like a local, some of our favorite things to do include:
  • Lawton Stables Horseback Riding  - A 24-acre stable and equestrian center with a small animal farm, pony rides, and trail rides through Sea Pines Forest Preserve.
  • Farmers Markets - The farmers markets on Hilton Head Island are more than just wonderful places for shopping, they are celebratory events! Come out for fresh seafood, local produce, jams and jellies, craft vendors, live music, and more.
  • Zipline Hilton Head - An aerial adventure park that offers a wonderful way to see Hilton Head Island from a new perspective!
If you are looking for more fun activities for the entire family, view our kid-friendly activities page!

Health & Wellness

Relaxation and self-care are two of the most important aspects of any vacation. Keep yourself looking and feeling your best by taking advantage of the wellness classes and spa services available on the island! We offer special discounts through the following wellness service providers: Woman doing yoga at a studio.

View our spa and fitness pages for a complete list of discounted services!

If you are looking for more fun things to do on Hilton Head Island, SC, take a look at our Advantage Discount Card page. You'll find over 100 recommendations on restaurants, golf courses, tours, and more that offer special discounts to Beach Properties vacationers!