As America’s Favorite Island, Hilton Head is the ultimate retreat destination for families and solo tourists alike. It offers 12 miles of pristine beaches, world-class resorts, and impressive water sports that everyone can enjoy.
One of the best marinas on Hilton Head Island is Shelter Cove Harbour. It’s located directly across from the entrance of the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort and provides guests with grandiose access to the vast waters surrounding the island.
Shelter Cove is a peaceful, quiet, and relaxing destination that aims to engage, entertain, and help visitors unwind. Whether it be a quick weekend getaway or a long week vacation, taking a moment of pause in Shelter Cove Harbour is the best decision anyone can make to refresh and revitalize their senses.
A Little Background on Shelter Cove Harbour
Shelter Cove was built in 1983 and is now considered one of the largest deep-water yacht basins in Hilton Head. It became famous immediately as a water sports destination, but soon after, it became well-known for Harbourfest.
From its water sports culture to its traditional festivals, there’s no doubt that the Shelter Cove community on Hilton Head Island loves to have fun. That’s why on top of the usual attractions at this marina, visitors can also enjoy live nightly entertainment, weekly summer fireworks displays, quaint boutiques, and local dining.
Shelter Cove is exceptionally welcoming of tourists and the community makes sure to give every visitor something to look forward to.
Attractions in Shelter Cove
Here are some of the top attractions to do and see when going on a vacation to this pristine island.
According to Fishing Booker, Shelter Cove ranked in the top 10 of the best summer fishing destinations in the country in 2022. It continually surprises visitors with the different kinds of seasonal fish available in the marina, and that’s not all. It’s also beginner-friendly!
Even those with no fishing experience will enjoy the chance to fish at Shelter Cove and try their luck. They’ll be surprised at what new fish will cross their path.
Shelter Cove Harbour is the ultimate spot for fishing, and it’s one experience that tourists wouldn’t want to miss. While the best time to fish is during the summer, anyone has a high chance of catching all sorts of fish all year round. From sea bass, sheep’s head, black drum, sharks, cobia, redfish, trout, and king mackerel during the spring to barracuda, tarpon, and Spanish mackerel in the fall, there’s a wide variety of fish species to discover in the waters of the Shelter Cove marina.
To make the experience worth it, it’s best to rent fishing charters with experienced fishers to guide every visitor in their fishing journey. Because as fun as fishing is, it should also be safe. With the help of experts, guests can rest assured that they can make the most of this spectacular opportunity.
Enjoy Dolphin Encounters
Besides fish, dolphins are another type of sea creature worth seeing while at Hilton Head Island. They’re majestic creatures that leave every sight-seer in awe, and there are a number of ways to get up close and personal with these water mammals.
One way to see these beautiful creatures is to go on a Native Son Tiki Boat Dolphin Tour. Tours are available all year round and offer a private and personalized trip for families and groups of up to six passengers. On this tour, all guests can enjoy sightseeing in the comfort and safety of a custom-built Tiki boat. Because of the personalized experience, they can bring their own snacks, music, cocktails, and so on to make the experience even more memorable. Plus, if they want to add other fine touches, they can contact Captain Byron for special additions.
Another option that’s available from June to August is an attraction known as Dolphin Seafari: Dolphin and Fireworks Tour. The experience lasts two hours and concludes with a banging fireworks finale. Due to its popularity, this tour is best reserved in advance.
Participate in Water Activities
If anyone is looking for more active attractions, they can enjoy a wide range of water activities, including, swimming and diving. They can also participate in water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, and boating.
Besides these high-energy activities, guests can also enjoy a relaxing cruise down the Harbour. Some examples of cruises and private boat rentals are the Captain Hook Party Fishing Boat, Captain Mark’s Dolphin Cruise, and the Crabber J II. These adventure cruises offer exhilarating entertainment for the whole family to enjoy during a much-needed vacation.
Check Out the Iconic King Neptune Statue
What better way to celebrate the town’s love of water than by putting up a magnificent statue of none other than the Roman god of the sea, King Neptune?
This statue was designed and installed by sculptor Wayne Edwards; it depicts Neptune holding a trident in the center of Shelter Cove Harbour.
While it may seem like a straightforward statue for most passersby, it hides an interesting detail. This impressive work of art also doubles as a sundial. When the shadow of the trident falls beyond the statue base (which spans over 26 feet wide), the numbers will indicate the precise time. Because of its size and magnitude, it’s even considered one of the world’s biggest figurative sundials.
That’s not all. The sculpture is strategically placed in such a way that it aligns the Ursa Major constellation with the North Star.
Knowing this little tidbit of information, who wouldn’t want to check out this famed sculpture? Tourists and locals frequently visit the statue to admire it and take pictures.
Visit the Towne Centre
If guests want a glimpse of the modern world and enjoy some real-world conveniences away from the waters, they can head over to the Shelter Cove Towne Centre, which won the 2020 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice.
Here, families can visit numerous boutiques and dine in some of the well-loved restaurants. It’s a great place to spend the day if tourists just want to pamper themselves and splurge on some items.
Other shopping destinations in the area include Southern Tide Signature Store, which is the first and only store on Hilton Head Island to offer men’s, women’s, and kids’ apparel and accessories. It’s owned and operated by the resort across Shelter Cove — Palmetto Dunes Resort — and exudes a laid-back lifestyle and coastal charm.
Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina is likewise another great option for year-round shopping, dining, and entertainment. Much like the Southern Tide Signature Store, this shopping area has a laid-back ambiance, but with a more Mediterranean-village flair. Here, families and friends can explore some of the best shops, waterfront activities, and restaurants.
Join Upcoming Events
At its very heart, Shelter Cove is a community that brings people together. As such, one of the best things any visitor can do in the city is to participate in the community’s upcoming events.
In April, there will be a music and taste festival on the Harbour, a community market, a sidewalk sale, and a series of dinner parties anyone can join! There will be more events in the following months where tourists can meet new people, engage in fun activities, and immerse themselves in the culture of the city.
With summer just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to plan a trip to Shelter Cove to experience the Harbour’s signature summer event: HarbourFest.
This event lasts all summer long and features incredible entertainment fit for families of all ages. From fireworks, face painting, and carnival games to music and food, the festival is an event nobody wants to miss.
In 2023, the community is celebrating its 34th year of HarbourFest, so guests can expect more incredible experiences to mark this milestone. Some of which include a weekly celebration leading up to the main event, safe outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy, in-store shopping to freshen up the wardrobe, waterfront celebrations to commemorate the community’s love of water, exquisite dining experiences with marvelous waterfront views, and entertainment for all.
Enjoy lots of games, art and crafts, and fun family activities at HarbourFest!
Visit Shelter Cove Harbour for an Unforgettable Experience
Truly, Shelter Cove Harbour on Hilton Head Island is the perfect place to relax, refuel, and restart. From water activities and dolphin explorations to shopping and being part of a bigger community, this destination provides the best avenue for people looking for a great vacation.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience Shelter Cove. Book a trip with Beachside Hilton Head Island to this spectacular town and create unforgettable memories.