While you could spend your entire vacation enjoying Hilton Head’s 12 miles of beautiful beaches, don’t pass up all of the island’s exciting outdoor activities including golf, tennis and cycling. Many golf courses and tennis courts, along with some of the most picturesque biking trails, are located within the island's plantation communities and only available to guests, so plan your trip accordingly and stay in a place that will give you access to these amenities.
Hot Tips: Beachwear is appropriate almost anywhere on Hilton Head, but many of the golf courses have strict dress codes.
Where to Stay
Hilton Head is a great vacation destination no matter what your budget. If you want a full-service resort, you’ll find plenty of options nestled in the island communities of Port Royal Plantation, Sea Pines, Palmetto Dunes and Shipyard Plantation. There are also a number of fine choices for those trying to save a few bucks. While these budget-friendly hotels may not offer oceanfront accommodations, most are just a short drive to public beach access points and receive high marks for their cleanliness and customer service.
Hot Tips: Some of the luxury hotels can be pricey, but many offer special packages that include resort credit, which can be utilized at on-site spas, golf courses and restaurants.
Hilton Head is teeming with fun, family-friendly eateries, from lively seafood restaurants to always-hopping pizza joints. If you’re looking for lots of options in one place, head to Coligny Plaza or Harbour Town, where you can peruse all the menus before making a decision. Some of the best restaurants, however, are located off the beaten path. You may need to use your GPS to find them, but it will be worth the effort.
Caution: Hilton HeadĀ's popular restaurants get very crowded during the high season. Plan ahead or plan to wait.
Be Sure to Sample: The islandĀ's fresh, delicious seafood.
Hilton Head’s laid-back vibe makes it the perfect place to enjoy a night on the town. For an authentic beach vacation experience, head to one of the island’s oceanfront bars. If you like to bar hop, be sure to check out the “Barmuda Triangle,” an area near Sea Pines that features several bars within walking distance of one another. Hilton Head also has a comedy club, jazz bar and several karaoke bars for those looking for other forms of entertainment.
Take It or Leave It: Some of the best bars are located in restaurants, so you can eat first and party later without having to leave the building.
Hilton Head has several popular shopping areas including Harbour Town, Coligny Plaza and Shelter Cove, which are perfect for the casual shopper who wants to pick up a few trinkets to bring back home. Hard-core shoppers should head over the Hilton Head bridge and visit the island’s two Tanger outlets, featuring upscale stores such as Saks Off Fifth, Michael Kors, DKNY, Lucky Brand Jeans and more.
Avoid: Driving to the outlets can be tricky on weekday mornings and evenings as commuters make their way to and from work. Plan accordingly.