Top Things to Do in Hilton Head, South Carolina

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
March 18, 2020

Hilton Head Island is only 12 miles long, but its reputation has outgrown its compact size. Travel+Leisure magazine readers have even rated it the number one favorite island in the Continental U.S. While the island is loved for its beaches and golf, it offers much more — from outdoor adventures to historic and cultural attractions.

After some time in the sand, there’s nothing more relaxing than curling up in a vacation rental and reliving the day with loved ones. Here are some easy ways to make the most of your Hilton Head vacation.

Golf Like the Greats in Hilton Head

With more than 33 golf courses in the Hilton Head area, the island is known as a golfer’s paradise. Play the day away at courses designed by legends such as Robert Trent Jones Sr., Pete Dye, and Jack Nicklaus. You may also have the chance to see the stars in action at events like the PGA’s RBC Heritage, held at Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines.

Your Spot in the Sand is on Hilton Head

Beach at sunset in Hilton head, South Carolina

Hilton Head is an island surrounded by beaches, so you can get your fill of sun, sand, and surf. Although all Hilton Head beaches are public, public access is only possible in certain locations. Coligny Beach Park is a destination, with beachfront Coligny Plaza offering restaurants, shops, bike paths, and prime people watching.

Other beaches, such as Driessen Beach Park, offer a more tranquil environment. Coligny and Driessen beach parks, as well as Alder Lane Beach, Folly Field Beach Park, and Islanders Beach Park, are wheelchair accessible.

Looking to get your feet wet (literally)? Take your pick of experiences, from sailboat cruises to fishing charters, paddleboarding to waterskiing and everything in between.

Walk Hilton Head’s History

Hilton Head is home to a rich and diverse history. Visit the Gullah Museum to learn more about the Lowcountry Gullah people, the descendants of enslaved Africans who developed their own distinct traditions with deep African roots. Stopping by the Coastal Discovery Center is a way to get a comprehensive look at the region’s natural and human history, culture, and art over dozens of acres of trails, historic buildings, gardens, and exhibits.

Looking for a new perspective? Climb the 144 steps to the top of Harbour Town Lighthouse, a beacon of Hilton Head. Learn the history of the area as you ascend and enjoy the expansive view over the Atlantic. If you want to do more than look at the water, you can rent a variety of boats here, from kayaks to jet-skis.

At the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, you can take a woodland walk to visit the Shell Ring, a 150-foot shell deposit created 4,000 years ago by the Native Americans of the area.

Farmers market showcasing Hilton Head seafood, including oysters

Savor Hilton Head’s Lowcountry Cuisine

If you want to experience the full spectrum of culture in the Lowcountry, you must get a taste of local specialties, including fresh seafood, fried okra, hush puppies, peach cobbler, and Frogmore Stew. The island hosts farmers markets, culinary events, and food and wine festivals throughout the year.

Adrenaline Junkies Love Hilton Head

Although Hilton Head offers first-class lounging, it also invites exploration and adventure. Bicycling the island is a popular pursuit, and 60 miles of trails and flat terrain make it easy to bike and walk just about anywhere. You can also soak in views from a horseback trail ride or see the island at tree level on a zipline or ropes course.

To experience the natural environment, flora, and fauna of the area, visit Newhall Audubon Nature Preserve or Pinckney Island Nature Preserve. Hilton Head is home to wildlife like bottlenose dolphins, loggerhead turtles, and alligators, and nearly 200 species of birds, from the snowy egret to the large blue heron.

Get your Hilton Head Visitors Guide

Hilton Head offers a laid-back beach vacation experience that is closely tied to its local culture and environment. For more details on visiting the area and any upcoming events, download the visitors guide here:

Get your free Hilton Head Visitors Guide

Rest Easy with an Evolve vacation rental

The moment you book your vacation, you should start looking forward to your trip — not worrying about the little details. When you choose Evolve for your Hilton Head vacation rental, you can feel confident that the home you book will live up to our standards.

Every Evolve vacation rental you book comes with a team of hospitality experts, and we’re here to help make your stay more comfortable 24/7. To help you feel even more confident, we created The Rest Easy Promise: if a stay doesn’t match our standards, we’ll make it right.

Find Hilton Head vacation rentals you can count on.

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