How to Visit Hilton Head Island Like a Pro
Start planning your beach trip to Hilton Head Island, ranked the No.1 Island in the Continental U.S. and No.2 Island in the World by Travel + Leisure Magazine (2017). With over 250 local restaurants, miles of pristine beaches, and a temperate year-round climate, Hilton Head Island is the perfect getaway for couples and families alike. Use our guide below to make certain you don’t miss out on all of the things to see, eat, and explore.
With 12 miles of beautiful Atlantic beach front, Hilton Head Island has some of the best beaches in the United States. Set up your umbrella for a relaxing day on the beach, let the kids play in the water, or get your exercise along the shore. The island’s hard-packed sand is perfect for a long bike ride or a sunset walk along the coast with family and friends. See more information on biking the island below!
Hilton Head Island’s food scene offers authenticity and a small town feel to help satisfy your food cravings. With over 250 locally-owned restaurants, there is plenty of cuisine to tickle your taste buds with. Check out the island favorites below:
- Java Burrito: A favorite amongst locals, this burrito/coffee shop combo is a unique off-the-beaten-path option.
- Salty Dog Café: Fun for the entire family, with some of the freshest seafood and beautiful waterfront views. Don’t forget to grab one of their famous t-shirts!
- A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant: Cozy garden seating with Shrimp N’ Grits to die for, immerse yourself in true southern charm.
- Hudson’s: Located along the Port Royal Sound, patrons enjoy a truly unique dining experience with a breathtaking view.
Play a round or two on one of Hilton Head Island’s 24 golf courses that were crafted by golf’s most distinguished architects. Adjacent to the luxurious oceanfront Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa is Port Royal Golf Club, featuring 54 holes of legendary golf. Plan your golf getaway around the annual RBC Heritage - an April PGA TOUR stop for nearly 50 years.
See the island from another perspective when riding a bicycle. There isn’t a place you can’t see when you travel the 60+ miles of paved and dirt public paths. Watch the sunrise along the beach, ride to dinner by marshlands, and explore all that Hilton Head Island has to offer when you rent or ride your own bike. Visit Hilton Head Island’s bike rental webpage to find the closest rental to you, and view all bike paths here.
Whether you’re a boating enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or animal lover, Hilton Head offers water activities for everyone. Watch the majestic dolphins swim along your boat on a guided catamaran cruise or rent your own watercraft so you can see the islands waterways on your own time. If you are into action and adventure, participate in the many water sports available on the island, including paddle boarding, parasailing, waterskiing, and windsurfing.
Calling all eco-tourists! Head to the great outdoors on Hilton Head Island for a chance to see 200+ species of birds or attend a Turtle Talk at the Coastal Discovery Museum about the island’s endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtles. Take a boat tour to see the bottlenose dolphins, go bird watching at the Audubon-Newhall Preserve and Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, or take a trip to ZipLine Hilton Head and soar through the abundant wildlife and foliage of the Low Country.
For generations, visitors young and old have fallen in love with Hilton Head. The authenticity of this historic island has not faded with time, providing island-goers with a charming location to get away from it all. The best part? Hilton Head is a year-round destination with moderate temperatures throughout the winter that still make many of the island’s activities enjoyable. Traveler Tip: Hilton Head’s lowest rates come in the shoulder and winter seasons when kids go back to school. Watch for price drops in mid-August and lasting through spring break season.