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19 May 2021
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Seasonal Events

In the summertime, the living is easy on Hilton Head Island. Warm and sunny weather invites long, lazy days at the beach. Maritime forests with towering oak trees offer bountiful shade and fresh air for breezy evening bike rides. There is history to discover, fresh seafood to taste, and waterways to explore. Make the most of your summer on Hilton Head with our thoughtful local input!  

There is so much to do, and so little time, so we’ve created a guide to the island’s top summer events and activities to cut down your planning time. If you’d like to simplify your planning even further, remember to request a copy of our free 7-Day Hilton Head Itinerary. You’ll find top recommendations on restaurants, cruises, kids’ activities, and more! 

Three of the Best Ways to Plan the Perfect Summer on Hilton Head Island 

If you’re planning a trip to Hilton Head in the summer, you’re in for quite the experience. Between lazy days bumming it on the beach and exciting afternoons embarking on outdoor adventures, there’s no shortage of things to do on the island. 

1. Have Some Fun in the Sun  

kids playing on the beach

One of the best reasons to visit Hilton Head Island in the summer is to soak up all that South Carolina sunshine. Whether you’re planning to spend your days relaxing on the beach or seeking out adventure in the waves, you’ll find no shortage of outdoor adventures that the whole family will love. Include these fun-filled activities in your to-do list:  

  • Plan an epic beach day with your friends and family 

  • Book a boat tour to get out on the water  

Travel Tip: Keep the local wildlife in mind during your visit! You might see everything from dolphins and sea turtles to manatees and alligators. 

2. Plan a Day Trip to Experience More of the Lowcountry 

savannah georgia

Get to know more about the Lowcountry when you plan an exciting day tripOne of the best parts of visiting Hilton Head is its proximity to other amazing destinations! Travel to fascinating historic cities, charming beach towns, and quiet islands for even more adventure. Here are some of our favorite places to visit, all within a two-hour driving distance 

  • Daufuskie Island  

  • Savannah, GA 

  • Charleston, SC 

  • Bluffton, SC  

  • Tybee Island  

  • Beaufort and the Sea Islands  

  • so much more! 

Travel Tip: Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit! This packing list guide for your vacation will help ensure that you have everything you need before you get here.   

3. Attend One of the Best Summer Events & Festivities  

fireworks shelter cove

Shelter Cove Harbour Fest | Mid-June through August 

One of Hilton Head’s best-kept secrets is Shelter Cove Harbour Fest. The free weekly fireworks show is one of the event’s greatest draws. In addition to spectacular fireworks displays, you can look forward to great food, arts and crafts, and live entertainment. These summer shows light up the island every Tuesday, beginning at dusk! Please keep in mind that last-minute cancellations may be necessary if there is a chance of rain. Check out the Fireworks & Performance schedule for more information!   

live music family concert

The Gregg Russell Concert Series | Sunday through Friday 

The Gregg Russell Family Concerts are a true Hilton Head tradition. For over 24 years, families have enjoyed songs under the Liberty Oak in Harbour Town. All ages are welcome, but the songs here are specially geared towards younger children. These concerts take place Sunday through Friday. You can find a detailed concert schedule by visiting the Hilton Head Island Visitors’ Bureau website. 

farmers markets

Summertime Farmers Markets | Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays 

No list of Hilton Head summer events is complete without the farmers' markets!  Fill up your picnic basket with the South Carolina Lowcountry’s freshest in-season, summer produce. Summertime brings about the harvest of freshly picked peaches, blueberries, blackberries, juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, and more. You can also find various locally made products, like jams and salsas, farm-fresh eggs, shrimp straight from the boat, and more.  

Remember, our island’s farmers' markets are more than just a great place to shop. They are all-out celebrations! Read the Blog.  

Live Music Festival Guitar

Hilton Head Island Music Festival | June 

The Hilton Head Island Music Festival is the longest-running music festival on the island. Every summer, locals and visitors gather to celebrate The Palmetto State and its world-class artists. Remember to come hungry because there is always a great selection of food from the island’s favorite vendors, like Lowcountry Fire & Rice and Captain Woody’s. The music lineup features an eclectic blend of smooth tunes, like rock, blues, reggae, and funk. And, the performances go on, rain or shine.  

5K runners

Hilton Head Firecracker 5k Run & Family Walk | July 4 

If you are looking for a fun way to incorporate exercise into your July 4 getaway, then you need to sign up for the Hilton Head Firecracker 5k Run & Family Walk. This Independence Day tradition offers something for runners of all ages and fitness levels. Pick your challenge with either the Adult 5k Run or the Kids 5k Run. Whichever race you choose, you can look forward to plenty of post-race celebrations at the end. Music, fresh fruit, cold refreshments, and door prizes await you at the finish line. Register for the next Firecracker 5K and take part in this annual summer event! 

shrimp and grits

Hilton Head Shrimp Festival | September 

Sample delicious shrimp dishes from a variety of the region’s most popular restaurants. Maybe you’re craving a zesty creole dinner. Perhaps your taste buds would prefer something rich and hearty like a heaping bowl of shrimp and grits. Celebrate the flavors of the Lowcountry at this highly anticipated annual event and join in the festivities that accompany it. Read the Blog. 

Make the Most of Your Summer Beach Vacation in Beautiful Accommodations 

After watching the fireworks at Shelter Cove or filling your basket at a local farmers market, head to a beautiful island home to complete your experience. Beach Properties offers an impressive collection of properties that will set the scene for your beach vacation this summer on Hilton Head Island. Stay near all the best attractions, restaurants, and summer events on Hilton Head!  

Beach Properties Beach Access

Whether you choose a luxury home in the resort community of Palmetto Dunes or a cozy beach bungalow near Bradley Beach, you can always look forward to the best amenities when you select a vacation rental with Beach Properties of Hilton Head. Each of our homes and villas features either a private pool or access to a private community pool, and you’re always a short trip from the beach! 

If you are ready to plan your Hilton Head summer getaway, browse our collection of vacation rentals today. If you need any help choosing the perfect home for your family, submit your preferred criteria to our digital concierge. In 48 hours or less, our vacation planners will deliver customized recommendations to your inbox!