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22 May 2020
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What to Do

COVID-19 Update 2020: To limit the coronavirus spread, attractions may be closed, have partial closures, or request that guests adhere to their safety guidelines.

We’ve all heard it before: money doesn’t buy happiness. Quality time spent with your loved ones, on the other hand, is a reliable source of joy. We’ve compiled a list of the best free things to do on Hilton Head Island so that you can save a little coin while still having a blast with your family. There’s nothing quite like seeing a smile light up your children’s faces. Read on for some of our suggestions. Then, get a free copy of our 7-day itinerary for even more local insight! 

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8 of the Best Free Things to Do on Hilton Head Island 

“That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.” — Henry David Thoreau

1. Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge 

Nature lovers can revel in the opportunity to spot alligators basking in the sun, turtles poking their heads out of the water, and birds flying overhead at the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. It’s the perfect place to explore walking trails, birdwatch, and enjoy nature’s beauty. 

2. Coligny Beach

Coligny Beach is the perfect destination for family fun. You’ll find benches, bathrooms, showers, gazebos, and swings in the park. Additionally, you can easily walk to ice cream shops, seafood restaurants, and beach supply stores. 

3. Coastal Discovery Museum 

The entire family will have a blast learning about the Lowcountry at the Coastal Discovery Museum. Stroll along marsh-front boardwalks. Explore magical gardens such as the Camellia Garden, Heritage Garden, and the Carnivorous Plants Bog Garden. 

4. Fort Howell

If you consider yourself to be a history buff, you won’t want to miss out on an opportunity to visit Fort Howell. The structure remains in ruins, but you can hike forested trails and read about the rich African American history that played a roll in its original construction during the Civil War. 

5. Shelter Cove Harbour Events 

Whether you’re visiting during the holidays or in the summertime, you’ll find that Shelter Cove hosts an exciting array of free events that the whole family can enjoy. Some of our favorite events to look forward to each year include: 

  • Holiday Lights & Holiday Boat Lights in December
  • The Shannon Tanner Kids Shows in the summer
  • Harbourfest Fireworks in the summer
  • & more! 

6. Audubon Newell Preserve

Hike the series of easy walking trails that wind you through 50 acres of naturally preserved land. You will encounter a diverse array of flora and fauna that make their home in the Lowcountry. This preserve is even home to a beautiful bog, which is a feature unique to barrier islands. 

7. Lawton Stables Petting Zoo | With Sea Pines Access 

While Sea Pines charges a small fee per car, some of the attractions inside are free! The Lawton Stables Petting Zoo is the perfect stop for families with children who love animals. Guests can stop to pet and feed goats, sheep, miniature donkeys, miniature cows, pot-bellied pigs, alpacas, Shetland ponies, and chickens. 

8. Stoney Baynard Plantation Ruins | With Sea Pines Access 

While you’re in Sea Pines, take some extra time to check out the Stoney Baynard Plantation Ruins as well. This mansion is marked on the National Register of Historic Places and is a beautiful sight to behold amongst ancient oak trees draped in Spanish moss. 

Beach Properties Sea Pines Vacation Rentals

Are you interested in staying in this community? Sea Pines is a resort-style community on Hilton Head Island. Here, guests can enjoy luxurious amenities, including three championship golf courses, a 600-acre forest preserve with bike paths and walking trails, and access to the beach at Sea Pines. You will also have access to all the attractions, such as the Lawton Stables Petting Zoo and the Stoney Baynard Plantation Ruins. 

View Sea Pines Properties

Stay in Your Dream Vacation Home 

With so many free things to do on Hilton Head, your vacation will surely be packed with fun, adventure, and excitement for the whole family. Another great way to save money on your getaway is to check out our ever-rotating special deals. You will also receive a Beach Properties Island Discount Card in your welcome package when you book a stay in one of our properties. You can use this during your stay to receive discounts at area shops, restaurants, golf courses, tours, and attractions! Are you ready to start planning the family vacation of your dreams?

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