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10 Dec 2021
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What to Do

Planning a family trip always has a ton of hoops to jump through, people to please, and time off to reserve. If you are anything like us, you haven’t had time to plan your Hilton Head Island family vacation, then don’t fret. We’ve already planned it for you! Read on to discover the top restaurants, activities, and things to do during your next getaway. Afterward, download our free 7-Day Guide to have all our recommendations at your fingertips. Our mobile-friendly guide is perfect for families on the go.

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The Best Hilton Head Island Family Vacation

Planning the Perfect Beach Day

The excitement of your beach vacation will inevitably have you and the kids waking up early in the morning after your first night’s stay. Make the most of your early morning rise with a trip to the beach! Whether it’s a lazy day with no agenda or an action-packed day on the water, Hilton Head Island is perfect for beachgoers of all ages.

Beach Rentals 

Ease into your vacation by packing light and having all your beach gear delivered to your doorstep. LowSea Bike, Beach and Baby Rental offer various beach rentals, including chairs, umbrellas, beach toys, bicycles, and more. They will even deliver to your home and pick up at no additional cost!

Public Beach Access

Every community on Hilton Head Island offers convenient beach access. Take a look at our beach guide to decide which one best suits you. Or, opt for an oceanfront home with a private boardwalk!

Family Attractions & Activities for the Little Ones

There are so many ways to have fun with the kids on Hilton Head Island. Here are a few of our favorite activities:

Lawton Stables 

There is so much to do at Lawton Stables! Here, adults and children can embark on a horseback riding tour through the 600-acre Sea Pines Forest Preserve. Pony rides are also available for children under seven. Remember to stop by the petting zoo during your trip, where you’ll have a chance to meet goats, sheep, miniature donkeys, and more.

Zipline Hilton Head and Aerial Adventure

Zipline Hilton Head & Aerial Adventure is perfect for adventurous kids who are ten years and older. This park’s zip line tour offers two hours of jam-packed fun. Along your ride, as you glide past ancient oak trees, you can look forward to sweeping views of the island’s waterways and marshes. The views don’t get much better than this!

Pirates of Hilton Head

Pirates of Hilton Head offers families a one-of-a-kind experience. It is the first and the only pirate ship on Hilton Head Island! First, every child receives their pirate name and learns the art of talking like a pirate. Afterward, the search begins for the ship’s stolen treasure. These cruises fill up quickly, so buy your tickets in advance. Keep in mind that an adult must accompany children.

Outside Hilton Head Surf Camp, Cruises, & More

If the adults require some “me time,” then head on over to Outside Hilton Head. The activities here are suitable for all ages! Day camps are available for teenagers and younger children, and these programs are typically two to three hours long. Kids can do everything from surf lessons to beachcombing to crabbing and more. However, you can also experience Outside Hilton Head as a family. Kayak tours and sunset cruises are other popular activities. And, for the ultimate day of family fun on the water, you can even rent a boat! Take a look at our free Hilton Head Island Guide for more kid-friendly activities.

Indoor/Rainy Day Activities

In preparation for a chance of rain, it’s always great to have a list of activities at hand. Here are three great ways to spend a rainy day on the island.

The Sandbox Children’s Museum 

The Sandbox Children's Museum is suitable for children eight years old and younger. Here, you’ll find 11 interactive exhibits. Each exhibit is designed with key educational components, including fine motor skills, math skills, language skills, and more. Summer programs and Parent’s Night Out programs are also available.

Station 300 Bowling

Station 300 has everything that you need for a fun day or night out with the family. The bowling alley is home to 24 lanes, a laser maze, and various arcade games. If you work up an appetite after a few games, grab some nachos or a slice of pizza at their full-service restaurant. The bowling alley opens each morning at 10:00 a.m. and stays open well into the night, so it’s always a great time to play! Station 300 Beach Properties Advantage Discount: Free $5 arcade credit.

Northridge Cinema 10

A family movie night out is an excellent way to wind down after an action-packed vacation. After dinner with the family, catch one of Hollywood’s latest motion pictures at Northridge Cinema 10. It is one of the best movie theaters on Hilton Head Island. Families can reserve their tickets and their seating in advance, so you’ll never need to worry about finding a row of seats together. The cinema features reclining chairs with footrests, a game room, and even a beer and wine bar. See what’s playing tonight!

Family-Friendly Restaurants & Kid-Approved Eats

From quick bites like pizza by the slice to local eats like fresh-caught seafood, Hilton Head Island restaurants have it all. Here are a few places that many families on the island love.

The Salty Dog Cafe 

No list of family-friendly restaurants is complete without The Salty Dog Cafe. This beloved restaurant has served up excellent eats for over 30 years. On the menu, you can look forward to craft cocktails, a delicious raw bar, hamburgers, seafood, and more. In addition, the restaurant hosts special kids’ events throughout the year. Take a look at their events calendar to see what’s coming up!

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse is the place to go for a family-style barbecue dinner. Take advantage of the island’s beautiful weather by dining on the outdoor patio, where you’ll find a complete outdoor bar and deck with a fireplace and corn hole! Here, diners can indulge with hearty dishes, like beef brisket, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, and more. A kids’ menu is also available for the little ones! Smokehouse Beach Properties Advantage Card Discount: Free chips and dip with the purchase of two entrees.

Duck Donuts

When it comes time for a sweet treat, make your way to Duck Donuts. Their menu is full of specialty donuts. You can also create your own donut. Choose a coating, a topping, a drizzle, and voila! Simple. Fun. Delicious! Duck Donuts Beach Properties Advantage Card Discount: One free donut with any purchase. Take a look at our restaurant guide to find more recommendations and exclusive Beach Properties discounts!

Free & Affordable Things to Do

The best things in life are free, and the activities on Hilton Head Island are no exception to the rule! Save money and have a blast with these annual events.

Hilton Head Farmers Markets 

The farmer's markets on Hilton Head Island are more than just great places to shop. They are all-out celebrations! These farmer's markets are free to attend. However, we recommend bringing along a bit of money so that you can stock up on local goodies, like fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade salsas and jellies, fresh-baked bread, and more.

Free Summer Fireworks Shows at Shelter Cove

Shelter Cove Harbour Fest is one of the summer’s best-kept secrets. Visitors can enjoy free fireworks shows, live entertainment, great food, arts and crafts, and more! The fireworks shows take place each Tuesday evening from mid-June through August. Take a look at the Shelter Cove Harbour Fest schedule for more information.

The Gregg Russell Concert Series

The Gregg Russell Concert Series is the best place to go for kiddos who love to sing and dance! These free shows are specially geared toward younger children and take place from Sunday through Friday. Visit the Hilton Head Visitors’ Bureau website for more information on upcoming shows.

The Best Place to Stay on Hilton Head Island 

For an unforgettable Hilton Head Island family vacation, don't settle for a standard hotel room. There are so many luxury amenities to enjoy when you choose a Beach Properties vacation home or villa! For an all-inclusive experience, select a property in Hilton Head’s family resorts, Sea Pines and Palmetto Dunes. These communities are home to gorgeous beaches, fantastic events, oceanfront restaurants, and more. Each of our vacation homes features a private pool. And, exclusive discounts at the area’s top attractions are always included with your stay.

If you need help finding the perfect vacation home, take advantage of our free digital concierge. Submit your desired travel dates, budget, and preferred amenities, and our vacation planners will deliver handpicked recommendations on where to stay, so that you can make the most of your trip. If you have any questions, contact us at Beach Properties. We can’t wait to welcome you to South Carolina’s most beloved sea island!

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