Millions of adventure seekers flock to South Carolina every year to enjoy Hilton Head Island’s world-class beaches, golf courses and seafood restaurants. It’s no wonder so many travel authorities agree it’s one of the best vacation spots in the world.

If you’re heading this way anytime soon, it’s time to read up on Hilton Head’s top seafood restaurants. There are various cuisine options in the area, but nothing beats having fresh shrimp, clams, or salmon in this little piece of paradise.

Ready to indulge in a gastronomic feast? Let this guide clue you in on the best island eats this side of town!

1. Hudson’s Seafood House On The Docks

Address: 1 Hudson Road, Hilton Head Island

Contact: (843) 681-2772

Ever heard of a business literally built on oysters? That’s what Hudson’s Seafood House On The Docks (or simply Hudson’s to locals) is!

Initially, the Hudson family ran an oyster processing facility in the area in 1912. The discarded shells formed part of the foundation of the current restaurant. It has been around since 1968 and has been a longtime favorite of residents and tourists alike.

If you’re big on views and fresh-caught seafood, Hudson’s is the ideal place for you. Plus, if you’re lucky, you can even get a glimpse of the daily seafood catch.

Whether you’re looking for crab, shrimp, oysters, or other types of fish, Hudson’s will give it to you straight from the sea. The whole family — pets included — is welcome for brunch, lunch, dinner, or drinks.

2. Skull Creek Dockside

Address: 2 Hudson Road, Hilton Head Island

Contact: (843) 785-3625

No Hilton Head Island vacation is complete without a meal at Skull Creek Dockside. More popularly known as Dockside, it’s one of the top waterfront restaurants on the island. Its covered patio and outdoor bar enhance the dining experience for guests.

The best part about dining here is that there’s food for everyone in the family. It boasts a unique menu with items like pan-roasted mussels, calabash shrimp, and crab cake in lobster cream sauce. Plus, barbecue lovers are in for a treat because they can get beef brisket, baby back ribs, or pulled pork with their favorite seafood.

Apart from enjoying the scrumptious food and breathtaking views, visitors can also shop at The Ship Store. The quaint store showcases one-of-a-kind locally made gifts from the Lowcountry.

3. Red Fish

Address: 8 Archer Road, Hilton Head Island

Contact: (843) 686-3388

Looking for a fancy restaurant for date night, a birthday party, or some other celebration? Red Fish is just the place.

The restaurant offers a mouthwatering blend of seafood, steaks, fresh produce, and Lowcountry specialties. You can create your meal from a beautiful selection of starters, entrees, and desserts. Don’t miss out on the shrimp spring roll, miso-mirin barramundi, and koji-cured day boat scallops!

Red Fish sources its fruits and vegetables from its sister company, Bear Island Farms. This farm-to-table feature makes it possible for the restaurant to serve the freshest ingredients to guests.

For regulars, the restaurant’s extensive wine list makes it stand out from other dining spots on the island. This collection has garnered several awards, including Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator and Best Wine Selection from the Hilton Head Monthly Magazine. Wine lovers can enjoy their vino on the spot with their meal or visit the on-site retail shop to add more bottles to their stash.

4. Scott’s Fish Market

Address: 17 Harbourside Lane, Hilton Head Island

Contact: (843) 785-7575

In 1988, the original owners built Scott’s Fish Market in Shelter Cove. The goal was to create a casual waterfront dining establishment serving moderately priced fresh seafood. Today, over 30 years later, Scott’s remains true to its mission.

Many visitors have heard about Scott’s seafood, but the team also offers hand-cut steak, homemade pasta, and delicious desserts. Pro tip: Add the baked scallops, crab soup, and fried seafood platter to your order.

Scott’s features indoor and outdoor seating, both with bars. Whether you’re craving a cold beer, a shot of whiskey, or a glass of frozen margarita, the bar crew can deliver. Indoor guests can watch their favorite sports teams on TV, and outdoor diners can bask in the glorious view of boats and sunsets.

This pet-friendly establishment serves dinner seven days a week from 4:00 PM to 9:30 PM and lunch from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM Tuesdays through Saturdays. If the weather allows, the restaurant provides guests with live entertainment nightly.

5. The Sea Shack

Address: 6 Executive Park Road, Hilton Head Island

Contact: (843) 785-2464

Are you looking for a seafood restaurant created and recommended by locals? The Sea Shack is all that — and more! Guests won’t find a fancy ambiance here, but they can dine and wine as the locals do.

Whatever month you’re planning to visit, expect to wait a few minutes before the 5:00 PM opening time. The wait should be about 15 minutes during lean months and twice that in the summer.

Here’s how The Sea Shack’s made-to-order system works. You place your order at the register, telling the staff how you want your food — steamed, grilled, or fried, for example. You also fill your own drinks as you wait for the server to deliver your fresh, hot, and tasty meal to your table.

The Sea Shack has been satisfying seafood cravings since 1998. Next time you’re in town, drop by to taste its famous crab, shrimp, and scallop dishes. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try its alligator, frog, and conch offerings!

Plan Your Next Hilton Head Vacation Now

Are you ready for your next Hilton Head Vacation? With the right rentals, seafood restaurants, and experiences, it will be one for the books!

Call Beachside Hilton Head Island at (843) 342-9909 if you need help planning your perfect vacation.