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9 Best Things to Do on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island is a popular vacation spot in South Carolina. Many people flock here to enjoy the miles of beach and its oceanfront resorts. However, there are plenty of other things to do on the island besides the sandy shore. From shopping to eating to outdoor recreation options, a vacation on Hilton Head will be nothing but boring. Embrace everything this South Carolina island has to offer when you experience these top things to do on Hilton Head.

Coligny Beach Coligny Beach

Coligny Beach

What Is It?: Coligny Beach is Hilton Head’s most popular beach. Since it is such a popular attraction, the beach is equipped with facilities like showers, bathrooms and even beachside bars too.

Why Do It?: Many people vacay at Hilton Head Island to simply enjoy the beach there. Spanning miles, you are bound to find a great spot to enjoy the sandy shore here.

Good to Know: Guests to the beach can also rent chairs and umbrellas here as well. A lifeguard is on duty during the busy summer season.

Coastal Discovery Museum Coastal Discovery Museum
Credit: Coastal Discovery Museum by coastaldiscovery.org

Coastal Discovery Museum

What Is It?: Head to Coastal Discovery Museum for educational fun on Hilton Head Island. This museum, located in 68 acres, offers free admission, making it a great option for budget travelers.

Why Do It?: A great attraction for kids, the Coastal Discovery Museum is sure to keep the entire family entertained. At this coastal museum, guests will find exhibits that focus on the area’s history, environment and culture. Explore the butterfly house, walk the trails on the property, or enjoy one of the many programs offered here.

Good to Know: The museum is even home to Marsh Tacky horses, the wild horses that inhabit the island.

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
Credit: Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Flickr

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

What Is It?: There is a 4,000-acre wildlife refuge found near Hilton Head Island where outdoor lovers can hike, bike and fish. The Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is home to a number of native plant and animal species, such as alligators, crabs, white-tailed deer, red fox, over 250 species of birds, and even bobcats too.

Why Do It?: If you’ve grown tired of the crowds on Hilton Head, Pinckney offers some quiet and solitude during your trip to this area of South Carolina.

Good to Know: Admission to Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is free. Scenic hikes to consider during your visit here are the strolls to White Point and Dick Point.

Hilton Head Island Bike Trails Biking in Hilton Head
Credit: Biking in Hilton Head by kevinr via Twenty20.com

Hilton Head Island Bike Trails

What Is It?: With over 60 miles of public biking trails that run throughout the island, biking is an efficient way to get around here.

Why Do It?: Biking isn’t only economical but also enjoyable; many of the trails go through scenic areas. Furthermore, most of the roads in Hilton Head also have bike lanes too, so there is really no excuse not to bike your way around here.

Good to Know: If you don’t have your own bike, there are a number of places around the island to rent bikes.

Hudson's Seafood House on the Docks Hudson's Seafood House on the Docks
Credit: Hudson's Seafood House on the Docks by hudsonsonthedocks.com

Hudson's Seafood House on the Docks

What Is It?: One of the best seafood joints on the island is Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks. This local eatery offers not only a great seafood menu but also unforgettable waterfront views.

Why Do It?: You shouldn’t visit Hilton Head without indulging in some seafood. Plus, the seafood dishes here are all made with freshly caught fish and crab.

Good to Know: Hudson’s is a great option no matter what time of day, as it’s open for brunch, lunch and dinner too.

Golf Golfing at the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island
Credit: Golfing at the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island by seapines.com


What Is It?: Golfers heading to Hilton Head should take advantage of the incredible golf courses found on the island. There are actually two dozen golf courses scattered around the island.

Why Do It?: The courses here were designed by world-renowned course designers, so they will not only offer fun challenges but also breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Good to Know: If you’re new to golfing, consider visiting The Golf Academy at the Sea Pines resort for a crash course before hitting the green.

The Jazz Corner The Jazz Corner
Credit: The Jazz Corner by thejazzcorner.com

The Jazz Corner

What Is It?: For those looking for nightlife in Hilton Head, consider visiting The Jazz Corner. This jazz club opens nightly at 5:15 p.m., and features live music every day of the week.

Why Do It?: There is nothing better than listening to some of the most talented jazz artists today while enjoying gourmet Southern fare.

Good to Know: Serving well-made cocktails and dinner too, The Jazz Corner is a great option for date night in Hilton Head Island.

Sea Pines Forest Preserve Sea Pines Forest Preserve
Credit: Sea Pines Forest Preserve by Ron Cogswell via Flickr

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

What Is It? Another outdoor oasis to visit while in Hilton Head is Sea Pines Forest Preserve. This preserve is a protected wildlife area, so it’s popular among animal lovers and bird watchers.

Why Do It?: Sea Pines Forest Reserve has a number of walking trails and boardwalks. However, there are two notable sites to visit while you’re here, the Warner W. Plahs Wildflower Field and the Sea Pines Shell Ring.

Good to Know: The Sea Pines Shell Ring is actually the island’s oldest archeological site, which was left by nomadic natives nearly 4,000 years ago.

Harbour Town Harbour Town
Credit: Harbour Town by Michael Stokes via Flickr

Harbour Town

What Is It? Tourists flock to Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island to eat, shop and snag a picture with the island’s iconic red-and-white-striped lighthouse.

Why Do It?: Found in the Sea Pines resort community, Harbour Town is a great place to enjoy a sunset dinner or purchase a souvenir from the number of shops and boutiques.

Good to Know: Learn about Hilton Head Island’s history at the Harbour Town Lighthouse. It is also home to the Liberty Oak and Gregg Russell Harbour Town Playground.

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