bright sunset in marsh

Catch the Perfect Sunset on Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head is the land of epic sunsets and there are plenty of places to kick back and relax while watching the sun slowly fade into twilight. You can catch the perfect sunset from the many beaches, parks, marinas and public spaces. Plan a picnic, bring some supplies and soak in the red glow just before dark.

When is Sunset?

The sunset times do not have a drastic swing on Hilton Head Island. Places like Montana, Canada and Alaska will see early sunsets during winter and late sunsets during summer. Residents and visitors in these places must follow the timetables closely to catch the sunset. Hilton is lucky to have less of a variable when it comes to the sunset. This makes planning easy and the sunsets are reliable and beautiful. The sunset is generally between 8:00 and 8:30 pm so plan on arriving around 7:30 if you want to spend some time relaxing while catching the full sunset. You can still show up after 8:00 and manage to catch the last light as well.

What to Bring

Sunsets don’t require any supplies, but you can really maximize the experience with a few basics. If you plan an outing, bring along folding chairs or a beach blanket. Also bring a light sweater because the temperature will drop with the sun. An extra blanket never hurts either. A thermos of hot tea, bottle of wine and some snacks makes for the perfect sunset experience, especially when sitting on a beach. Cheese, salami, olives and crackers is always easy, but you can go all out with a full meal as well. If you don’t want to plan, dining out and taking an evening stroll is a great idea. You will find some great restaurants and shopping areas that also have views of the water. There are many ways to make the most of your sunset experience and some advanced planning will ensure you are ready to enjoy the view.

Favorite Locations

There are plenty of great places to catch a sunset on Hilton Head and long-term visitors can do some exploring to find those secret hideaways. Viewing from a boat is ideal but you will also find parks, public boardwalks and beaches with exceptional sunset views. Here are a few reliable and wonderful sunset locations to visit.

Harbour Town – The lighthouse, shops, restaurants and waterfront make this the perfect place to visit for a sunset. Grab dinner then walk around until dark. There is plenty to keep you entertained here and it’s a great option when you don’t have a picnic planned in advance.

Veteran’s Memorial Park – Another easy access location where you can sit down and watch the sunset from the Broad Creek overlook. If you want to just relax for a half hour before dark, this location is easy and the scenery is fantastic. It’s located behind a shopping area but you quickly leave the hustle and bustle of the developed area and the views are largely unobstructed.

Shelter Cove – You can walk around the marina and enjoy the seafaring culture during a sunset. Better yet, rent a boat or take a sunset cruise and watch directly from the water. This is a gorgeous area and is a favorite place to visit. The sunset cruise option is one of the best ways to experience the scenery on Hilton Head. Every visitor should consider doing this trip at least once.

Folly Field – If you want to have a picnic on the beach, Folly Field Beach Park is ideal. You can set up right on the beach, take a walk down the boardwalk and have access to the restrooms, outdoor showers and other facilities. This beach is so nice, the sunset is often too short. Consider spending the entire afternoon and staying through the sunset.

Pinckney Island Refuge – Combine your sunset trip with a full island refuge experience. Pinckney Island has great views for the sunset, and you will also encounter tons of wildlife. Alligators and deer are common, and many visitors come for the outstanding bird watching. Bring a pair of binoculars and a bird book and spend the afternoon and evening exploring through the sunset.