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 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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.