Are you getting tired of the fast-paced city life? Do you need a place to catch your breath and escape the hustle and bustle? Hilton Head Island is the perfect safe haven for those looking to escape the buzz of city life. There’s nothing better than outdoor dining in Hilton Head.
Hilton Head Island is a quaint town in South Carolina known for its Atlantic Ocean beaches and sprawling food scene. From classic seafood restaurants to a refreshing outdoor dining experience and top-rated fine dining, you can find it all here at Hilton Head Island.
If you’re about to take your vacation in Hilton Head, here are 10 outdoor dining restaurants you should never miss according to Beachside Hilton Head.
#1. Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks
Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks is one of the many outdoor dining seafood restaurants you can’t miss in Hilton Head. This long-standing restaurant has been providing scrumptious seafood cuisine since 1912. The restaurant started as a family business until it became a local staple and a tourist attraction.
Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks is famous for its fresh shrimp, oysters, soft-shell crabs, and fish. Hudson’s has a lot of best-sellers, but one you shouldn’t miss is the Neptune Platter from their Brunch and Lunch menu, which consists of deviled crab, oysters, scallops, shrimp, and seasonal fish.
If you can’t decide what to order, they have a Can’t Decide sampler on their Dinner menu, which consists of two beer-battered shrimp, blackened scallops, mini crab cakes, oysters Rockefeller, and oysters Hudson.
You can visit the Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks at 1 Hudson Road from 11 AM to 9 PM every Monday to Saturday, and 10 AM to 9 PM on Sundays. This restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so if you want to enjoy a great meal with a spectacular view, make sure to get there early.
#2. Skull Creek Dockside
Next on our list is another well-known restaurant in the town, Skull Creek Dockside. This restaurant is not only lauded for its delectable meals, but also for its fantastic waterfront view. From its full-pane glass windows to its covered patio dining area, you’ll have a perfect sea view as you indulge in some of the best seafood dishes in town.
Skull Creek Dockside offers a wide selection of classic seafood dishes like shrimp, flounder, oysters, and other specialty items such as their signature Artisan Pizzas. Their seafood dishes are freshly caught from local waters and cooked to perfection.
The Skull Creek Dockside may be famous for its seafood menu, but they’re also known to have the best barbecue in Hilton Head. If you’re in the mood for savory barbecue dishes, try their Southern Pride BBQ Combo.
The Skull Creek Dockside is located at 2 Hudson Rd, and they’re open daily from 11 AM to 10 PM. The restaurant accepts reservations during lunch hours and Sunday brunch, but not during dinner hours.
#3. Coast, Oceanfront Dining
Coast, Oceanfront Dining is another outdoor restaurant you shouldn’t miss during your vacation to Hilton Head. This exquisite seafood restaurant is part of the luxurious Sea Pines Resort. The Coast boasts a world-class dining menu paired with a lavish waterfront dining experience.
Coast serves a wide selection of seafood dishes like seared ahi tuna, seared sea scallops, and pan-roasted Atlantic salmon. You can also enjoy their cast iron plancha dishes like North Atlantic salmon, ahi tuna, or the day’s fresh catch.
Despite the restaurant’s vast, mouthwatering seafood menu, Coast is also famous for its frozen cocktails. You can enjoy a variety of smooth and fruity frozen cocktails, such as their frozen margarita, mango madness, and frozen banana bonanza.
You can visit Coast at 87 N Sea Pines Dr from 11:30 AM to 5 PM for lunch, and 5 PM to 9 PM for dinner. Since this is a popular restaurant in town, reservations are highly advised.
Another popular outdoor restaurant from the Sea Pines Resort, Quarterdeck is an excellent fine dining destination for its 270-degree view of the Harbour Town and Calibogue Sound. This two-floor eatery features a bar and a covered patio dining area on the first floor as well as a rooftop oyster bar where you can enjoy its famous panoramic view.
Quarterdeck has a lot of mouthwatering dishes on its menu, such as the Fried Captain’s Seafood Platter, lighthouse hamburger, and the fresh catch of USA Atlantic salmon. You can also indulge in their signature dishes like filet mignon and lobster, lobster thermidor, Market Fish Imperial, and South Carolina Grouper Rockefeller.
Their Oysters on the Half Shell are best enjoyed with a glass of their specialty cocktails and a scenic sunset view of the Calibogue Sound as the setting light dances with the waves.
This restaurant is open from 11:30 AM to 9 PM every weekend. You can find this restaurant conveniently at 160 Lighthouse Lane, beside the enormous Harbour Town Lighthouse.
#5. Captain Woody’s
Captain Woody’s is also a well-known and excellent dining place in Hilton Head. The restaurant is the place to go if you’re not into the fine dining experience and just looking for a casual outdoor dining spot while enjoying the majestic view of the open waters.
This beachfront restaurant and grill serves various classic seafood and meat dishes, such as Alaskan Snow Crab Legs, steamed shrimp, blackened beef bites, and hush puppies. They’re also famous for Woody’s fish sandwiches, which come in various fish selections and preparation methods.
Another popular item on their menu is the Woody’s Seafood Platter, which features a vast selection of seafood classics like shrimp and grits, Angus ribeye, surf-n-turf, and saltwater fish. The choice of seafood is grilled or golden fried, depending on your preference.
Captain Woody’s is located at 6 Target Rd and is open from Monday to Saturday from 11 AM to 9 PM. Like Hudson’s, this restaurant doesn’t accept reservations regardless of the party size.
Poseidon markets itself as a mid-island dining, shopping, and entertainment spot. This restaurant is perfect for watching the sunset, enjoying the cool sea breeze, and indulging in delicious seafood dishes. Posseidon features four main bar and dining sections: the NautiBar, the dining area, World Is Your Oyster Raw Bar, and a rooftop bar.
Enjoy an exquisite dining experience at their indoor dining area, where you can also find the World Is Your Oyster Raw Bar. If you want to enjoy a serene waterfront experience, you can grab a drink and lounge at their NautiBar. You can also head to their rooftop bar to enjoy the panoramic view of Shelter Cove Community Park and Broad Creek, or dance until your feet ache.
This waterfront restaurant also features a variety of seafood menus, but their popular selection is the Coast-to-Coast Specialties. This menu includes their most famous dishes, such as the Coastal Combination, Slow Roasted Prime Rib, Mixed Grill, and Seared New Bedford Scallops.
Poseidon is open from 11 AM to 10 PM from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, you can visit from 10 AM to 10 PM. If you’re coming with a large party, you can make your reservations beforehand to avoid the long queue. You can find Posseidon at 38 Shelter Cove Lane, Suite 121, Shelter Cove Towne Center.
#7. Up the Creek Pub & Grill
Up the Creek Pub & Grill is another perfect option for those more into a laid-back and casual atmosphere. This waterfront restaurant overlooks the lowcountry marshes and is famous for its beautiful sunset view and boat dock. This restaurant is perfectly situated where you can watch boats pass by while enjoying your lunch or dinner.
Up the Creek serves some of the most delicious seafood dishes in Hilton Head, including their popular entrees like the 1 LB Steamed Shrimp, Mahi Mahi, Fried Flounder, and Fried Shrimp. They also serve scrumptious and filling seafood sandwiches, like the Shrimp Salad Sandwich, Trigger Fish Sandwich, and Fried Flounder Sandwich.
Up the Creek is part of the Broad Creek Marina, the newest addition to Hilton Head’s nautical facility. You can find the facility at 18 Simmons Road near Adventure Hilton Head. Up the Creek is open from 11 AM to 9:30 PM every day.
#8. Scott’s Fish Market Restaurant & Bar
If you want to enjoy the beautiful seaside view of Hilton Head and exquisite seafood dishes without breaking the bank, Scott’s Fish Market Restaurant & Bar is for you. This restaurant was founded in 1988 to provide a casual and laid-back atmosphere while serving some of the freshest seafood dishes in town.
Scott’s Fish Market is famous for its Fresh Seafood Selections line in their dinner menu, which includes entrees like Cajun Seared Tilapia, Charbroiled Mahi Mahi, Baked Sea Scallops, and Herb Parmesan-crusted Grouper. They also feature a Raw Bar selection on their lunch menu, serving freshly shucked oysters and chilled shrimp cocktails.
Scott’s Fish Market is located at 17 Harbourside Lane inside Shelter Cove Harbour. They’re open every Wednesday to Saturday from 11 AM to 2 PM for lunch, and 4 PM to 9:30 PM for dinner.
#9. Panini’s on the Waterfront
If you’re a sucker for Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, Panini’s on the Waterfront is the perfect place for you. Panini started as a small restaurant in Creek Shopping Plaza and eventually moved to Bay Street, Beaufort, to expand and serve more customers.
Panini’s on the Waterfront offers a vast selection of Italian specialty dishes. Their gorgonzola cheese fries and Mediterranean salad are favorites among their customers. They also serve popular Italian entrees like fettuccini alfredo, baked ziti, and fried shrimp platter. You can even build your own pizza with their selection of sauces, cheeses, and toppings.
Panini’s on the Waterfront is located at 926 Bay Street, Beaufort, and they are open from 11 AM to 3 PM every Monday and from 11 AM to 8 PM every Tuesday to Saturday.
#10. ELA’S On the Water
ELA’S On the Water is the last al fresco restaurant on our list. This popular seafood restaurant is known for its glorious waterfront view and delicious southern-inspired cuisine. There are no walls in the dining area of this restaurant, so you can truly enjoy the fresh air and spectacular sunset view while dining, no matter where you sit.
ELA’S offers a brunch, dinner, and wine menu. They offer several classic entrees like eggs benedict your way, steak and eggs, shrimp cocktail, and surf and turf. If you ever find yourself here, try their ahi tuna tartare and ELA’s truffle fries.
ELA’S On the Water is located at 1 Shelter Cove Ln., and they serve dinner every day at 5 PM. Currently, they’re not available for lunch until further notice. However, they serve brunch every Sunday from 11 AM to 2 PM.
Have Your Best Time at Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head is a fantastic vacation spot to escape the bustling noise and fast-paced movement of city life. With the calm Atlantic waters surrounding you, a beautiful sunset in front, and an appetizing dish wherever you go, you can truly relax and recharge your soul. As you’ve read, there are so many great outdoor dining options in Hilton Head.
Other than crawling through all the fantastic restaurants in town, you can do countless other things on Hilton Head Island. Rent a boat, go kayaking with your friends, do some paddleboarding, or explore the town’s history. Detach from the noise and give yourself the break you deserve.
Book your vacation now with Beachside Hilton Head and discover the wonders of Hilton Head Island.