Hilton Head Island is a fantastic destination for all sorts of activities. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a fun family vacation, or an outdoor adventure, Hilton Head Island has something for everyone. For couples, the island offers plenty of wonderful restaurants, luxurious beachfront resorts, and romantic activities like a dolphin or sunset cruise. For families, there are plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained, from kayaking and golf to beach days and exploring the many nature trails. Adventurers can take advantage of the Island’s water sports, like jet skiing, sailing, and deep-sea fishing. No matter what type of vacation you’re looking for, Hilton Head Island has it.
Whether you’re a foodie looking to explore new culinary delights or a family seeking fun and engaging activities, these carefully curated selections of restaurants and activities have something for everyone.
First Tee – The Lowcountry
Experience golf on the Island with the only par-3 course — perfect for instruction, children and senior play. Driving range, putting green and disc golf course, open to everyone. $10 donation for adults, $5 donation for kids — all you can play.
LOCAL Life Insider Tip: You don’t need to bring clubs — the pros at First Tee will lend you a set at no charge.
151 Gumtree Road, Hilton Head Island
Outside Hilton Head
Over 5,000 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor. Experiences include Dolphin Eco-Tours, Private Adventures, Paddleboarding, Skiing, Tubing, Pontoon Rentals and more. Their guides, USCG-licensed captains and reservations team are experienced, knowledgeable and personable.
LOCAL Life Insider Tip: The Dolphin Eco-Tour is a top-seller and will please everyone in your group, so book early.
Kayak Hilton Head
Whether experienced or a first-time family group, going on a dolphin kayak tour will likely be a highlight of your vacation. Most dolphins are known by name. Founded in 2001, Kayak Hilton Head’s knowledgeable and experienced guides have been showing guests a great time on the waters of Hilton Head for 23 years.
Local Life Insider Tip: The early morning tours are our favorite. Reservations recommended.
18 Simmons Road, Hilton Head Island • 843-684-1910
Pool Bar Jim’s
This is Hilton Head’s hidden gem. Jim will serve you the best frozen drink you have ever had. This Hilton Head icon has been blending and serving his world-famous frozen concoctions for 30 years and published a must-have book. Check out the hundreds of 4.5 star reviews on Yelp, Trip Advisor and Google.
LOCAL Life Insider Tip: The Lava Flow is insanely good. Try the Hawaiian Mai Tai if you want something fruity.
10 North Forest Beach Road, Hilton Head Island (Behind the Sea Crest)
Salty Cat Sailing Charters
Gliding across the waters of Calibogue Sound, guided by the wind while watching the sun slip into the Daufuskie Island backdrop with your favorite cool drink, is truly the perfect way to experience Lowcountry living. Relax in the shade on comfortable bench seating, or stretch out on the trampoline and work on your tan.
LOCAL Life Insider Tip: There is no better way to take in a sunset than on the Salty Cat. Cheers.
232 S. Sea Pines Drive, Hilton Head Island • 843-671-7007
Palmetto Bay Sunrise Cafe
A local hot spot for over 18 years. It might be because of the heavenly biscuits n’ gravy, or it might be the popular quiche. There is something for everyone, even your dog on the dog-friendly patio. Over 1,000 raving Google reviews and Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice can’t be wrong.
LOCAL Life Insider Tip: The Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with hashbrowns are our go-to. With a Mimosa, of course.
86 Helmsman Way, Hilton Head Island • 843-686-3232
Beach + Water Activities
Bask in the natural vitamin D and enjoy some relaxing time on any one of Hilton Head’s amazing beach spots. There are many to choose from, so here’s your ultimate beach guide. Hilton Head Island is a paradise for water activities. Enjoy a day of kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, sailing, and more. A kayaking dolphin tour is one of our favorite activities. Take a boat tour around the island to explore the unique scenery, or go deep sea fishing for a chance to catch some local fish. Grab your snorkel and explore the underwater world. Here’s a list of great public fishing spots and the best places to crab. Hilton Head Island has something for everyone, whether looking for a day of relaxation or filled with fun in or on the local waters. Find rentals and tours here.
Golfing on Hilton Head
The courses on Hilton Head Island are beautiful, with lush greens, rolling fairways, and breathtaking views. The island offers a variety of courses, from beginner-friendly to more challenging layouts. With its mild climate and abundant wildlife, it’s an ideal place to enjoy a round. And for those looking for a challenge, there are championship courses to test your skills, such as Harbour Town Golf Links, which is home to the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage golf tournament. Enjoy the only par-3 course, perfect for instruction, children and senior play. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely round or a competitive challenge, Hilton Head Island has the course for you.
Biking on Hilton Head
Biking on Hilton Head Island is a great way to explore the island. With miles of trails, it’s easy to find a route that suits your needs. The island is also bike friendly with plenty of bike racks and shops offering bike rentals. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, Hilton Head Island has something for everyone. Enjoy the views of the Atlantic Ocean, marshes, and maritime forests while riding around the island. Take a bike tour or get rentals here.
Shopping on Hilton Head
Hilton Head Island is a great place to shop. From luxury boutiques to beachwear stores, you’ll find something to fit your style. Find some of our favorite places to shop the latest style trends here. There are also plenty of souvenir shops to pick up a unique memento of your time spent here. Hilton Head Island has amazing local talent, so be sure to check out handmade items such as artwork or crafts, home decor, soaps, honey, craft spirits and more. You can find many of these things at the local markets.
Hilton Head Nature and Wildlife
Nature lovers of all kinds are sure to find something to marvel at on beautiful Hilton Head Island. Explore the island’s salt marshes, woodlands, and beaches, which are all home to a bounty of marine life, birds, reptiles and more. If you are a bird lover, here is a list of the best places to spot them. Or stroll along the sandy beaches while hunting for these common shells. There are hundreds of areas to explore on and around Hilton Head, some very popular and some off the beaten path. Here are some of the best secret spots worth checking out. Venture off the island and discover other local sea islands and what they are all about. Soak in the beautiful scenery on one of these trails. If you have a furry companion, the Lowcountry has many beautiful dog parks for both you and your furry friend to enjoy.
Hilton Head History
Hilton Head Island has a long and varied history, beginning with the Native Americans who first settled there in the 1500s. Later, the island was used as a base for Civil War operations and eventually became a popular vacation destination for wealthy families from the mainland. In 1956, Charles Fraser developed Sea Pines, the first resort on the island, leading to the growth of the island and its popularity with tourists. Today, Hilton Head Island is a premier vacation and golf destination, boasting pristine beaches and world-class amenities. With ample historical sites to explore, there’s so much to learn about the island’s past. Learn more about the local history here.
Fine and Fun Dining on Hilton Head
Hilton Head Island offers a plethora of dining options for every taste. Whether you are looking for a casual atmosphere or a high-end experience, there is something for everyone. From fresh local seafood to steak, classic favorites to gourmet cuisine, it’s all here. In addition to traditional fare, you can find a variety of international flavors, such as Italian, Mexican, and Asian. Enjoy a sunrise breakfast or a tropical afternoon at a beach bar. With such a wide array of choices, you are sure to find something to please everyone in your party. Click here for a list of our favorite restaurants.
Events on Hilton Head
Discover our list of curated things to do in the Hilton Head, Bluffton and Beaufort areas here.
Rainy Day Fun on Hilton Head
The weather on Hilton Head is usually full of sunshine, but the island does see its fair share of rain. Although exploring Hilton Head’s natural beauty, beaches, and outdoor activities are probably at the top of your to-do list while visiting, there are plenty of indoor activities to keep you busy in the event of a rainy day. Browse a few of our top picks here.