Hilton Head Travel Guide

Hilton Head Island is America’s favorite island, with 12 miles of pristine beaches and everything you need for the ultimate vacation. Enjoy relaxing in the sun, and enjoying the sand and surf on some of the best beaches in the country. Continue reading our Hilton Head Travel guide, packed with all the information you need.

On Hilton Head Island, a new adventure awaits you. Build sandcastles and splash in the waves on one of the top 10 family beaches in the U.S. Explore the Island by land on a bike ride or a hike, or on the water kayaking or fishing. Browse boutiques for the perfect souvenir, take a guided tour by land, air or water, or visit one of the many historical sites. See why Hilton Head Island has been chosen “#1 Island in the Continental U.S.” and “#2 Island in the World” by Travel+Leisure Magazine, and the “Top Island in the United States” by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine. Our Hilton Head Travel Guide will help you plan the vacation of a lifetime. You can also visit all of the best South Carolina beaches here.

Hilton Head Weather – When to Visit

Visiting Hilton Head Island in the summer is the best time as many seasonal activities reopen, events pop up on the calendar, the water is warm for swimming in and the sun sets a little later each day. When preparing for your trip, make sure to book your stay in advance as the villas and hotels book up fast. This is the best time of year for biking with over 50 miles of bike trails covering the Island, so there's plenty to explore.

Summer showers and thunderstorms tend to frequent the Island, so take an umbrella or raincoat. Temperatures in the summer will be in the mid to upper 80s in June thru July and highs in upper 90s in August. Make sure you take along the best beach gear with you to enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

Best Hilton Head Beaches

Coligny Beach, Hilton Head SC, Hilton Head Travel Guide, things to to in Hilton Head, Hilton Head tours & activities, best Hilton Head hotels, best Hilton Head restaurants, best Hilton Head bars, best Hilton Head beaches, best time to visit Hilton Head
Coligny Beach

Coligny Beach is Hilton Head’s most popular beach. You'll find plenty of free parking and easy beach access. It also has a boardwalk with public restrooms, outdoor showers, shaded seating, and a fountain for kids to play in. The Tiki Hut sits right on the edge of the beach, where you can buy refreshing cocktails and play a game of beach volleyball.

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Driessen Beach (Bradley Beach), Hilton Head SC, Hilton Head Travel Guide, things to to in Hilton Head, Hilton Head tours & activities, best Hilton Head hotels, best Hilton Head restaurants, best Hilton Head bars, best Hilton Head beaches, best time to visit Hilton Head
Driessen Beach (Bradley Beach)

Driessen Beach, most commonly known as Bradley Beach, is popular with the locals because of its ample parking and uncrowded shores. This mid-island gem offers a retreat from the large crowds. Driessen is popular among locals due to its ample parking and uncrowded shores offering a retreat from the large crowds.

Folly Field Beach, Hilton Head SC, Hilton Head Travel Guide, things to to in Hilton Head, Hilton Head tours & activities, best Hilton Head hotels, best Hilton Head restaurants, best Hilton Head bars, best Hilton Head beaches, best time to visit Hilton Head
Folly Field Beach

Folly Field Beach has easy beach access to accommodate wheelchairs, large rolling coolers, and beach buggies. There are restrooms along the boardwalk for your convenience along with showers to rinse off. One downside to this beautiful beach is more limited parking, which you have to pay for by the hour ($1 per hour).

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Burke's Beach, Hilton Head SC, Hilton Head Travel Guide, things to to in Hilton Head, Hilton Head tours & activities, best Hilton Head hotels, best Hilton Head restaurants, best Hilton Head bars, best Hilton Head beaches, best time to visit Hilton Head
Burke's Beach

This is a beautiful stretch of Hilton Head coastline. Right down the road is Chaplin Community Park, bringing you everything from basketball and tennis courts to a playground and even a fenced-in dog park! but there’s still a beautiful stretch of Hilton Head coastline waiting to be enjoyed.

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Fish Haul Beach Park, Hilton Head SC, Hilton Head Travel Guide, things to to in Hilton Head, Hilton Head tours & activities, best Hilton Head hotels, best Hilton Head
Fish Haul Beach Park

Fish Haul Beach Park, has one of the most natural beaches on the island, Fish Haul Beach Park is sure to please; be sure to keep your eyes open for hermit crabs, and who knows, while you’re looking you might find some deer tracks in the sand.

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Best Hilton Head Tours & Activities by Viator

Creek Cat Tour

Zoom around Hilton Head Island on a small, motorized “creek cat” boat during this guided tour. Get views of all the quintessential sights, as well as access to some smaller marshes and wildlife-rich areas. Enjoy the opportunity to operate your own creek cat under the supervision of a guide; multiple departure times available. Visit here to learn more about the Creek Cat Tour.

Hilton Head Pirate Ship Adventure Sail aboard the Black Dagger

Embark on a nautical adventure aboard the Black Dagger pirate ship, which transforms kids into little pirates for a treasure hunt on the waters of Hilton Head. The crew provides kids with pirate costumes and pirate lessons before setting sail in search of treasure. This family-friendly cruise has a choice of several departures in the morning and afternoon, making it easy to fit into your schedule. Learn more about the Hilton Head Pirate Ship Adventure here.

America's Cup 12-Meter Yacht Afternoon Sail from Hilton Head

A sailboat cruise from Hilton Head is a peaceful way to see stunning Lowcountry landscapes without the noise of a moor. Join a captain and crew aboard a 39-foot long (12 meter) sailboat that competed in America’s Cup—head through quiet waters and past gorgeous scenery without the roar of a motor. You can even try your hand on deck and help out with the sails. Learn more about the afternoon yacht sail from Hilton Head here.

2-Hour Guided Kayak Nature Tour of Hilton Head

Explore Hilton Head Island's beautiful coastal habitat in the seat of a comfortable and stable kayak. A trained interpretive naturalist will lead you through the ever-changing tidal creeks and salt marsh estuaries so you can witness it for yourself. Observe herons and osprey flying gracefully above the sea grasses…perhaps some dolphin dining on menhaden in the shallows…fiddler crabs scurrying in unison across the glistening mud flats. Learn more about this Guided Kayak Nature Tour here.

Parasailing Adventure at the Hilton Head Island

Enjoy the beautiful views of Daufuskie Island, Calibogue Sound, Harbour Town Lighthouse, Harbour Town Yacht Basin, South Beach Marina, and all the other breathtaking views the Lowcountry has to offer. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for Hilton Head Island’s famous bottlenose dolphins. Learn more about the Parasailing Adventure here.

Best Hilton Head Restaurants

Old Oyster Factory

Overlooking Broad Creek, the Old Oyster Factory is a waterfront Hilton Head restaurant for family and children of all ages. With fresh-caught seafood and a wide range of steaks and delicious desserts, you'll be sure to enjoy your meal while taking in one of Hilton Head's best views. Telephone: 843-681-6040 Web: Old Oyster Factory

Truffles

Many of their favorite recipes have come from family gatherings and are prepared daily with the finest ingredients, utilizing farm to table freshness and locally sourced products whenever possible. Telephone: 843-815-5551 Web: Truffles

Sage Room

Favored by locals and visitors alike, The Sage Room in Hilton Head Island offers elegant, palate pleasing American fare from the four corners of the world. Telephone: 843-785-5352 Web: Sage Room

Lowcountry Backyard

Enjoy some of the best shrimp and grits in all of South Carolina at Lowcountry Backyard. They also specialize in local seafood as well as locally produced South Carolina tea and honey. Telephone: 843-785-9273 Web: Lowcountry Backyard

Santa Fe Cafe

Go and listen to live music next to the cozy oak fire on their outdoor rooftop cantina or enjoy their open-kitchen at the chef’s counter. Telephone: 843-785-3838 Web: Santa Fe Cafe

Best Hilton Head Beach Bars

Tiki Hut

The Tiki Hut is located in front of the Beach House resort at Hilton Head Island’s most popular beach, Coligny Beach. So naturally, it's the island's most well-known and packed beach bar. Telephone: 843-353-6514 Web: Tiki Hut

Coco's on the Beach

Coco's on the Beach is a colorful beach bar located at Singleton Beach. It can be harder to get to than some of the other beach bars on the island, but that doesn't mean it should be overlooked. Telephone: 843-842-2626 Web: Coco's on the Beach

Jamaica Joe'z

A fun and festive Beach Bar with frozen specialty drinks and an awesome view of the beach as well as the island's largest outdoor pool! Telephone: 843-842-0044 Web: Jamaica Joe's

Pool Bar Jim's

Oceanfront Pool Bar specializing in Tropical Frozen Fresh Fruit Drinks. Pool Bar Jim, whose actual name is Jim Lisenby, has been serving drinks for locals and tourists at various bars on the island for decades and has become a major staple. Telephone: 843-816-4648 Web: Pool Bar Jim's

Sea Salt Beverage Co.

For the love of Rum Buckets, great staff, and celebrating vacation on Hilton Head Island, Sea Salts Beverage Co. is the #1 beach bar in the South. Telephone: 843-363-3400 Web: Sea Salt Beverage Co.

Best Hilton Head Hotels

26 Comments

  1. Stephanie

    I’m quite surprised since I didn’t know this was an i eland. The pictures provided on this article are amazing. Those beach destinations, that are not only beaches but they also look like a perfect mid-day getaway. Not to mention, some of them have a historic vibe to them. Santa Fe café sounds like something I would really enjoy after things with covid start to fall back into place and we can fully enjoy the experience of having a night out with friends while listening to some relaxing and serene music. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Glad you enjoyed reading and learning about Hilton Head.  Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations.

      Reply
  2. DashDNations

    Hilton head was a place I’ve heard about a lot but didn’t think much of. It was always just another beach to me but this sounds a lot better than I thought I’m not sure if there are more activities in the area than what you listed but I might not blow it off the next time it comes up as a trip option like I have in the past.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      There is lots to do in the area, and it is a great choice for a beach destination 🙂  Hopefully you will give it a try!

      Reply
  3. Deborah

    Wow! After reading this article I am even more anxious for our border to open so I explore those beaches. I am always looking for new and wonderful beaches to explore. You have really gone all out and even found adventures for us to try and hotels to book our stay out. Thank you for being so thorough and giving those of us who are not from America a taste of what we can experience. Once the border opens you can be sure I will be ready to explore new places.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Sounds good Deborah, glad you enjoyed!  Thanks for visiting 🙂

      Reply
  4. Dan

    Hi, wow, after the year we have just had Folly Field Beach looks like bliss and somewhere I would love to take the family for a well earned break. You have a really good post here and the destinations look amazing. I’m sure as we come out of lockdown the info you provide will be very popular. Dan

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Great Dan!  I think everyone is ready for some vacation time 🙂  Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  5. AL. S.

    I have never heard of Hilton Head Island but it looks like something I need to look into. How my wife and I are looking for a beach vacation after everything got canceled for our anniversary because of Covid. We were going to do a beach vacation so this looks like a perfect place to consider.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      It would be a great place for an anniversary!  Please let me know if you need any additional information.

      Reply
  6. Dozzy

    Thanks for sharing, you have made me want to travel now. What a beautiful place? When you really see beautiful things or places, you will be a bit confused about which one to go for. But you really explained each one very well. Many people will find them interested, I Will definitely visit after covid. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Good!  You will enjoy a Hilton Head beach vacation for sure.  Thank you for visiting Beach Travel Destinations.

      Reply
  7. Sharon

    Enjoyed watching the video of Hilton Head. The Fish Haul Beach Park would be the beach that I would most like to visit. When I travel, I enjoy taking local tours because they take you to places that you wouldn’t find on your own. I am glad that you included information about the local tours on your site. After a long, cold winter these beaches look so inviting. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      They would look inviting after a long cold winter, and after COVID for sure.  I live in Florida, so this is just a hop, skip and jump for me.  Glad you enjoyed my Hilton Head Travel Guide.  Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  8. richardgb

    Hi Leahrae, thank you for introducing Hilton Head, which I had not heard of before, as a holiday location. It looks like a fantastic place for an activity holiday! A great combination of water and land activities with a selection of very nice looking hotels. Whereabouts is it situated in the USA, please?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Hilton Head is in South Caroline on the East Coast of the U.S. not far from Charleston.  It is a great destination with so much around to see and do 🙂  Let me know if you need any other information.

      Reply
  9. Resonant

    ADD a Vacation Planner (Bot) to help them plan an itinerary. And set the Emails Up to Contact 3 weeks b4 vaca, just a friendly list reminder. Then 1 week before, and then the day before. if it were my travel site I would also add a store where you can buy luggage, and travel-sized items, Create Directions and itinerary as just a gesture, it’s up to them to follow. But if they are ever like, what do we do, they can see the itinerary suggestions, which could be local ads and local events 

     

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      I do have “travel stores” for everything you need to plan your vacation at the top under the categories 🙂  A vacation planner bot is a great idea though, thank you!

      Reply
  10. Ann

    Hilton Head Island is justifiably famous for its incredible beaches and its world-class golf courses. It’s regularly voted one of the best vacation destinations in the world. This Island grabbed my attention as a small kid when I first heard of Disney’s Hilton Head Island resort. I haven’t gone yet, but I would like to go someday.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      You will have to Ann, I believe you would enjoy and it will be worth the wait.  Thanks for visiting my Hilton Head Travel Guide.

      Reply
  11. Geoff

    Such a beautiful beautiful place.  As number one, it is definitely a place that I need to visit.

    The beaches look wonderful with all that white sand.  Coligna beach looks particularly inviting.  It looks like a wonder place to spend the day with the whole family.

    There are lots of great trips to go on.  The Creek Cat tour sounds like one worth going on.

    It will be great to see these places alive and thriving again.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      I agree!  It is time we all start vacationing again.  I can deal with the precautions that is for sure.  Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations.

      Reply
  12. Cynthia

    What a beautiful and long stretch of beach this is!  Living in New Hampshire, I’m used to seeing the short and rocky beaches we have here so I would love to go to Hilton Head to take a nice long walk on a nice long beach!  I think I would have to go on the Hilton Head Pirate Ship Adventure Sail aboard the Black Dagger, followed by a drink at the Tiki Hut while the kids take an afternoon swim.  Thanks for posting!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Sounds like a good plan to me Cynthia.  Thanks for taking the time to leave comments.  

      Reply
  13. Alejandra

    Thanks so much for sharing a good article to read today to learn more about Hilton Head travel guide, as my husband was telling me that things might look better for Summer and we might be able to travel again, he asked me to get some information about some good places to visit, and I knew I could get that information on your website, and it looks like Hilton Head Island might be a good place to visit this year, it has everything! Quiet and beautiful beaches to visit and some activities we could try, I will forward your website to my husband as he can read the full article and we can talk about it later. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Great Alejandra!  I am glad you enjoyed and you and your husband would enjoy.  Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you or provide any additional information.

      Reply

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