Popular Activities in Hilton Head

Hilton Head is brimming with fun-filled and exciting activities for all ages. Whether you’re in for a thrilling adventure or prefer a more laid-back experience, there’s something for everyone in this charming island town. From outdoor activities to cultural experiences, here are some popular activities in Hilton Head. Use this guide of popular activities in Hilton Head to build your itinerary and make the most of your trip.

Relax at Coligny Beach Park

The Coligny Beach Park is the most popular attraction in Hilton Head, and for good reason. This expansive beach offers visitors a chance to relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy various water activities such as swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

The park also offers amenities like restrooms, showers, and beach equipment rentals. Parking is free and several restaurants and shops are nearby. This makes it a perfect spot for a day out with family and friends. While you’re there, enjoy the stunning sunset views from the beach.

Reconnect With Nature at Sea Pines Forest Preserve

The Sea Pines Forest Preserve spans over 600 acres of unspoiled natural beauty, making it an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking and biking trails wind through the preserve, allowing visitors to explore the diverse landscape of marshes, ponds, and forests.

You can also take a guided nature tour to learn more about the local flora and fauna or ride horseback through the preserve. During your visit, look for alligators, turtles, and other wildlife. Make sure that you don’t disturb the animals and respect their natural habitat.

Have Waterfront Dinner at Ocean Lounge

What’s a Hilton Head vacation without enjoying a scrumptious meal with a stunning ocean view? The Ocean Lounge at The Sea Pines Resort offers just that and more. You can enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean with floor-to-ceiling windows while savoring delicious seafood dishes.

The restaurant also has a cozy outdoor seating area perfect for enjoying cocktails during sunset. The menu features locally sourced ingredients, including fresh seafood from nearby waters. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins swimming by while dining.

Stroll Along Harbour Town

When you’re done with your meal, stroll through Harbour Town. This picturesque marina village has boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. You can also climb the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse for stunning views of Hilton Head and the surrounding waters.

During your walk, make sure to stop by the Harbour Town Playground if you’re traveling with kids. The playground has a pirate ship and plenty of other fun activities to keep children entertained while you relax in the nearby seating area.

Hit Links at Harbour Town Golf Links

If you and your party love a round of golf, then Harbour Town Golf Links is a must-visit. This world-renowned golf course has hosted the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage tournament for over 50 years and offers breathtaking marshes and Calibogue Sound views.

The course is challenging yet enjoyable, with strategically placed bunkers and greens. Don’t forget to take a photo at the iconic 18th hole, where you’ll find the famous red-and-white striped lighthouse. Hilton Head has many other excellent golf courses, so make sure to research and book in advance.

Go for a Dolphin Boat Cruise

A dolphin boat cruise is a must-do activity on Hilton Head Island. These cruises take you through the island’s serene waterways, providing a close-up view of playful bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat.

The cruises often include insightful commentary from knowledgeable guides who share fascinating facts about the local marine life and ecosystem. It’s a perfect activity for families, couples, and nature enthusiasts, offering both excitement and tranquility.

Visit the Coastal Discovery Museum

The Coastal Discovery Museum is a gem for those interested in learning about the island’s natural history and cultural heritage. The museum features interactive exhibits, historic buildings, and beautiful grounds, including gardens, live oaks, and a boardwalk through marshes.

You can explore everything from the island’s early history to its diverse flora and fauna. The museum also offers guided tours, workshops, and special events throughout the year, making it an educational and engaging destination.

Visit the Fish Haul Beach Park

Fish Haul Beach Park is a quieter, more secluded beach option on Hilton Head Island, ideal for those looking to escape the crowds. The park is known for its unspoiled natural beauty, bird-watching opportunities, and expansive tidal flats.

It’s a great spot for beachcombing, picnicking, or simply enjoying a peaceful day by the sea. The park also has a rich history, with remnants of the island’s Gullah culture evident in the area.

Relax at Driessen Beach Park

Driessen Beach Park is a favorite for families and beachgoers looking for a well-equipped beach experience. The park features amenities such as picnic areas, grills, a playground, and a boardwalk leading to the beach.

The wide sandy shores are perfect for sunbathing, building sandcastles, and swimming. Lifeguards are often on duty during peak seasons, making it a safe and enjoyable spot for everyone. The park’s facilities and easy access make it an ideal location for a full day of relaxation and fun.

Go for a Getaway at the Daufuskie Island

A short ferry ride from Hilton Head, Daufuskie Island offers a unique getaway experience. This small, charming island is steeped in history and culture, with no bridge connecting it to the mainland, preserving its secluded feel.

Visitors can explore its historic sites, visit artisan shops, enjoy the pristine beaches, and dine at quaint local restaurants. Golf carts and bikes are the primary modes of transportation on the island, adding to its laid-back and rustic charm.

It’s a perfect escape for those looking to immerse themselves in a slower pace of life and explore a different side of the Lowcountry.

Visit the Lawton Stables

Lawton Stables offers a fantastic way to explore Hilton Head Island’s natural beauty. This family-friendly attraction features horseback riding through scenic forest trails, providing an intimate experience with the island’s lush landscape.

For younger visitors, the stables offer pony rides and a small animal farm where kids can interact with friendly farm animals. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a novice, Lawton Stables has something for everyone, making it a perfect outing for nature lovers and families.

Visit the Historic Stoney-Baynard Plantation Ruins

The Historic Stoney-Baynard Plantation Ruins — located in Sea Pines — provide a fascinating glimpse into the island’s past. This site includes the remains of a grand antebellum plantation house and its surrounding structures.

Visitors can walk through the ruins and learn about the plantation’s history, including its role during the Civil War. Interpretive signs along the trails offer insights into the lives of the people who lived and worked there, making it an educational and evocative experience for history buffs and curious travelers.

Take Your Child to The Sandbox

The Sandbox is a hands-on, interactive children’s museum designed to stimulate creativity and imagination. With various themed play areas and exhibits, kids can engage in activities like building, painting, and role-playing.

The museum’s exhibits are geared towards young children, offering a safe and exciting environment for them to learn and play. From a pretend flight deck to a mini grocery store, The Sandbox is a perfect spot for families with young kids to spend a few fun and educational hours.

Have a Fun Brunch at Shelter Cove

Shelter Cove is a vibrant waterfront area known for its dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Having brunch at one of the many restaurants in Shelter Cove is a delightful experience, with options ranging from classic American breakfast dishes to international cuisine.

Many eateries offer outdoor seating with beautiful views of the marina, making it a relaxing way to start your day. After brunch, you can stroll around the harbor, visit boutique shops, or enjoy live music and events that frequently take place in this bustling area.

Explore the History of Hilton Head at Gullah Heritage Trail Tours

The Gullah Heritage Trail Tours provide an in-depth look at the rich cultural history of the Gullah people, descendants of enslaved Africans who settled in the Lowcountry regions of Georgia and South Carolina.

These guided tours take you through historic Gullah neighborhoods and significant sites, offering stories and insights into their unique language, traditions, and contributions to the region’s heritage.

The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who bring the history and culture to life, making it a profoundly enriching experience for anyone interested in learning about this important aspect of Hilton Head’s history.

Rent a Bike and Explore One of Hilton Head’s Beach Parks

Hilton Head Island is renowned for its extensive network of bike trails, making it a perfect destination for cycling enthusiasts. Renting a bike is one of the best ways to explore the island’s beautiful beach parks, such as the aforementioned Coligny Beach Park or Driessen Beach Park.

These parks offer well-maintained paths that wind through picturesque scenery, including lush forests, open meadows, and pristine beaches. Cycling along these trails provides a fun and active way to experience the island’s natural beauty, and there are plenty of spots to stop, relax, and take in the views.

Shop Local at Hilton Head Farmers Market

The Hilton Head Farmers Market — held at the Coastal Discovery Museum — is a vibrant gathering place to find fresh, locally grown produce, artisanal goods, and handmade crafts. It’s a wonderful opportunity to support local farmers and artisans while enjoying the island’s community atmosphere.

Strolling through the market, you can sample delicious food, pick up unique souvenirs, and chat with the vendors to learn more about their products. It’s an ideal spot for food lovers and those looking to experience the local flavor of Hilton Head.

Paddle Through a Salt Marsh

Paddling through Hilton Head’s salt marshes offers a unique and peaceful way to explore the island’s diverse ecosystem. Kayaking or paddleboarding in these serene waterways allows you to get close to the abundant wildlife, including birds, fish, and sometimes even dolphins.

Guided tours are available for those who want to learn more about the area’s natural history and ecology from knowledgeable guides. The experience of gliding through the calm waters surrounded by the beauty of the marshlands is both relaxing and exhilarating.

Join the Calibogue Sunset Cruise

The Calibogue Sunset Cruise is a must-do activity for those seeking a memorable and scenic experience on Hilton Head Island. This cruise takes you through the Calibogue Sound, offering stunning sunset views over the water. As you relax on the boat, you can enjoy the vibrant colors of the sky and the tranquil ambiance of the evening.

Many cruises also provide opportunities to spot dolphins and other marine life, adding to the magic of the experience. It’s a perfect activity for couples, families, and anyone looking to unwind and appreciate the island’s natural beauty.

Lounge Around at Islanders Beach

Islanders Beach Park is a favorite among locals and visitors for its laid-back vibe and beautiful beachfront. The park offers excellent amenities, including picnic areas, a playground, restrooms, and outdoor showers, making it a convenient spot for a full day of relaxation.

The wide sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing, building sandcastles, and enjoying the gentle surf. The park is less crowded than some of the island’s more popular beaches, providing a peaceful and serene environment to lounge, read a book, or simply soak up the sun.

Where To Stay in Hilton Head

With countless popular activities in Hilton Head Island, finding the perfect place to stay during your visit is non-negotiable. Your ideal place should be within your budget range and proximate to the places you plan on visiting.

Beachside Hilton Head offers a vast range of vacation rentals. From cozy bungalows to luxurious beachfront villas, you can find the perfect accommodation option for your trip. These rentals provide all the comforts of home, along with amenities such as private pools, fully equipped kitchens, and beach access.

Browse our available properties or contact us for assistance finding the ideal vacation rental for your Hilton Head Island getaway.