RedWeek Travel Guide: Hilton Head Island

published on March 6, 2023 by

Discover the beautiful coast of South Carolina. Known as “America’s favorite island,” Hilton Head Island offers an idyllic family travel destination, with more than 12 miles of beaches, extensive bike and nature trails, and several acclaimed golf courses.

Hilton Head Island Things To Do

  • Hilton Head Beaches: Pack the sunscreen — there are more than 12 miles of uninterrupted beaches to enjoy on Hilton Head Island, so you will definitely be spending a lot of time on the sand. Islanders Beach, a local favorite, offers grills and pavilions making it a perfect picnic spot. The expansive Singleton Beach is great for spotting Hilton Head’s diverse wildlife, from bottleneck dolphins to bald eagles. And Folly Field Beach is a secluded gem, with fewer crowds and awe-inspiring sunrises for the early risers. Take note: the best time of year to swim in Hilton Head is the summer, when the weather is usually in the high 80s Fahrenheit. But otherwise, you can enjoy the beach life here year-round.  
  • Hilton Head Golf Courses: With some of the best fairways on the east coast, Hilton Head Island attracts golfers of all experience levels, who flock to the destination to play a few rounds on such famed courses as the Pete Dye-designed Harbour Town Golf Links and Oyster Reef Golf Club. Don’t miss the 10th hole of the Robert Trent Jones Course at Palmetto Dunes, which offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • Fishing Adventures: Hilton Head is a terrific fishing vacation option. Expert guides will take you out to artificial wrecks and reefs that are filled with grouper, snapper and black seabass in the fall and spring and amberjack, cobia and Spanish mackerel in the summer.
  • Village At Wexford: One of the best places to go shopping on Hilton Head Island, the upscale Village At Wexford is home to more than 30 retail outlets, restaurants and more. The Village also hosts a year-round farmers’ market every Wednesday — a great way to sample some of the destination’s most beloved local vendors. 

Family Friendly Hilton Head Island

  • Lawton Stables: Experience the beauty of Hilton Head Island on horseback. Lawton Stables offers trail rides that are suitable for all ages and experience levels. The guided ride will take you through the extraordinary Sea Pines Forest Preserve, through peaceful meadows and forests.
  • Coligny Beach Park: There are plenty of family friendly beaches on Hilton Head Island. But if you had to pick one that your kids are guaranteed to love, Coligny Beach is a safe bet. The waves are gentle, the sands are clean, there are a wide array of amenities and there’s space for everyone. Another added bonus: Coligny Beach is wheelchair accessible. 
  • Dolphin Cruises: People aren’t the only ones who love Hilton Head. Bottlenose dolphins frolic in the waters just off the coast and in the area’s salt marshes and inlets. On a dolphin cruise, you can spot these magnificent mammals year-round. 
  • Bike Trails: Hilton Head is a two-wheel paradise. The destination boasts more than 60 miles of bike trails and many places to rent vehicles. The Pope Avenue Bike paths are popular for cyclists, tracing the coastline and leading to lovely lagoons. Good to know: when the tide is out, you can take your bikes right out on the beach!
  • Sea Turtle Season: For a Hilton Head eco-adventure like no other, visit the destination from May through October, when hundreds of loggerhead turtles visit the shores here, where they nest and give birth to their young. Volunteer organizations can help visitors have a safe and respectful experience during this annual event. 

Where To Eat

  • Hudson’s Seafood House On the Docks: Thanks to its privileged coastal location, Hilton Head seafood is legendary. At Hudson’s, located on Port Royal Sound for more than 50 years, enjoy catch-of-the-day offerings, complemented by gorgeous ocean views. The soft-shell crabs come highly recommended. 
  • Chez Georges Bistro & Bar: South Carolina’s classic “Lowcountry” cuisine gets a French twist at Chez Georges. The seasonally inspired menu features such delicacies as Moules-Frites (mussels with fries), Bouillabaise (a delicious seafood stew) and a daily selection of oysters, all prepared using locally sourced ingredients. 
  • Hilton Head Social Bakery South: Located in Shelter Cove Marina, this classic bakery is a great place to grab supplies for your Hilton Head picnic. Choose from flaky croissants, fresh-baked baguettes, savory pastries and more, all made from scratch each morning. 
  • Burnt Church Distillery: Experience the spirit of Hilton Head at this popular distillery, offering authentic Lowcountry bourbon and vodka. There’s much more than just tasty beverages to sample here, though; take a tour to see how Burnt Church crafts every bottle and order a pie or two from the adjacent Pizza Co. 

Where To Stay

  • Marriott’s Grande Ocean: This luxury Hilton Head resort makes it easy to enjoy the destination’s calm coastal breezes and beach views — each two-bedroom/two-bath villa features a furnished balcony overlooking the ocean or lagoons.
  • Marriott’s Barony Beach Club: Located in Hilton Head Island’s vibrant Port Royal Plantation area, Marriott’s Barony Beach Club is a place to refresh and recharge. The world-class Namaste Spa offers rejuvenating body treatments, indulgent massages, and restorative beauty therapies.
  • Marriott’s SurfWatch: A spectacular Hilton Head Island resort, Marriott’s SurfWatch takes advantage of its oceanfront location, with an outdoor pool that overlooks the Atlantic — as does the stylish Sea Salts Beverage Company Pool Bar & Grill.

Start planning tour Hilton Head Island vacation with RedWeek now. 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,