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Plan Your Hilton Head Holiday: Best of Hilton Head

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Explore Hilton Head

Blissfully free of splashy neon and rampant development, Hilton Head Island is known for its natural beauty, including white-sand beaches and wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for loggerhead sea turtles, alligators, snowy egrets, and dolphins. The posh resort town and its 12 miles of beach is heaven for sporty types, who have access to tennis, volleyball, polo, charter fishing, cycling, kayaking, and some of the best fairways in the country. In between beach time and outdoor exploration, there are world-class restaurants to try (oysters are a speciality), ritzy shopping centres to visit, and the Gullah Museum to experience. And don't miss the colourful Harbour Town Lighthouse, the island's icon. Want more Hilton Head recs? We’ve got them below.
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Essential Hilton Head

How to do Hilton Head in 2 days

Tournament-worthy golfing, nature preserves, and all the seafood you can eat
Read on

A nature lover’s guide to Hilton Head

Hilton Head oozes Southern charm, from its fragrant magnolia gardens to its oak-lined avenues. This lowcountry hot spot is also a nature lover’s escape. You can kayak in wildlife-filled wetlands, cycle on the tranquil bike paths, or stroll around the nearby island of Daufuskie. Here are my five favourite outdoor adventures on Hilton Head.
  • Hilton Head Boat Charters
    518
    The best way to see Hilton Head is by speedboat. (It is an island, after all!) My family rented one from Hilton Head Island Boat Charters and explored Bull River a bit before cruising over to the Vanishing Island, a sandbar only visible at low tide. Here, we encountered a stingray and a treasure trove of seashells. The best part? On the way back, six bottlenose dolphins played in our wake.
  • Coastal Discovery Museum
    1,267
    The historic Honey Horn plantation has been transformed into a 70-acre open-air museum and botanical garden. (Don’t miss the Marsh Tacky horses and the blooming Camellias—there are more than 135 species here!) Though you’re allowed to wander freely, I recommend joining a nature walk, a Gullah heritage tour, a history seminar, an art class, or a child-friendly scavenger hunt. Check the seasonal event programme for exact details and dates.
  • Hilton Head Bicycle Company
    241
    Hilton Head is famous for its miles of pleasant bike paths. This bike rental and cycling tour company provides e-bikes for an extra boost, allowing you to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. On the two-hour history and nature tour, you’ll ride on the hard-packed sand at Coligny Beach and stop at gator-filled lagoons while learning all about the island.
  • Tour Daufuskie
    329
    My family loves off-the-beaten-path activities, so we always explore Daufuskie by golf basket (rented from Tour Daufuskie). The island isn’t very developed, save for a restaurant, a general store, and a coffee shop. The main highlight was Melrose Rookery, where dozens of wood storks and egrets perch in the trees from March through June. Tip: Bring binoculars to see the birds and the baby gators in the water below.
  • Lowcountry Watersports
    2,442
    On this 90-minute kayak tour, an expert pointed out ospreys and hawks as well as blacktip reef sharks. (It was a thrill seeing one for ourselves!) Without a guide, we probably wouldn’t have spotted dolphins too. It added to the experience to have him talk about the local flora and fauna, giving us some interesting background info on the island’s biodiversity.