Hilton Head is a bustling island paradise with tons of great attractions. It has everything from wildlife and green spaces to golf, museums and fine dining. It’s hard to go wrong here and the island has something for everyone to enjoy. The outdoors are fantastic with public lands and waterways to explore and golfers can spend a lifetime working through the quality courses. Art, live events, shopping and beaches make Hilton Head a paradise for visitors and residents alike.
Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
This wildlife refuge is made for nature lovers. It has fishing, hunting for whitetail deer, bird watching, 14 miles of biking trails and wildlife like alligators, foxes and more. Naturalist classes are available and offer a great way to learn about this fascinating ecosystem so bring along a pair of binoculars. With more than 4,000 acres and several islands to explore, you can get lost enjoying nature here. The island is also an important historical site. It operated as a plantation but has also been inhabited dating back 10,000 years. Numerous archaeological sites exist here, making it an exciting destination for a trip back in time.
Coastal Discovery Museum
The region around Hilton Head island is known as low country by the locals. The salt marshes, coastline and unique ecosystem are accompanied by a rich history. The Coastal Discovery Museum showcases this through history, displays and access to tours for kids. They even have wild horses left by the Spanish hundreds of years ago. These Marsh Tacky horses offer a living glimpse into the history here. Trail systems offer self-guided tours through the 68-acre property that has some oceanfront views. Birds are abundant and a 500-year-old red cedar tree is magnificent to view. The grounds also serve as the location for a farmers market, art show and other important local events and gatherings.
Located near the Sea Pines Resort, Harbour Town has the famous lighthouse with red and white stripes. It still functions as a navigational beacon for the Harbour Town marina and the 90-foot tall structure holds a wonderful museum. Take a climb to the top for spectacular views of the surrounding islands and region. The Harbour Town marina is also a great place for shopping and tours that begin from the docks. Clothing shops are popular, and Harbour Town Bakery and Cafe is a favorite stop for beverages and snacks. Dolphin tours are common and run most days with guaranteed sightings. You can also book a fishing trip or cast a line on your own from this area. The golf links in this area are also world famous for scenery and challenging greens.
This beach is one of the most popular on the island and for good reason. The beach is easily accessible, and it even has access for the handicapped via firm matting under sections of sand. Coligny beach and adjacent park have WIFI available and there is plenty of space to layout in the sand or grab some shade under a gazebo. The entire setup is made for lounging, swimming and enjoying the outdoor space. Outdoor showers and restrooms are available for free and a trolley transports visitors between car parking areas and the beach. Coligny plaza brings everything together with shops and food. The plaza even has a movie theatre and live music on occasion.
Arts Center of Coastal Carolina
The arts center is a staple in the community and it offers a large theatre and community events throughout the year. Plays, live music, comedy shows and other events are running throughout the year. The center attracts some big names for live shows, making it possible to hit the beach all day while making fun plans for the night. They also have educational programs for kids and art exhibitions rotating throughout the year.
This smaller island is easily accessed from Hilton Head via ferry or water tax. The boat ride alone is exceptional with opportunities to view dolphins and marine life. Many visitors take a bicycle to ride around the island. Renting a golf cart is also an option for touting up and down the 5-mile long island that is essentially one big beach with a small population of residents. For such a small place, the island is loaded with artists and musicians who are inspired by the 3-miles of white sand beach and excellent views.