Hilton Head boasts 12-plus miles of beautiful beaches — Photo courtesy of Lee Coursey
Perched on South Carolina’s coast and just a short drive from historic Savannah, Georgia, Hilton Head Island is the perfect place for your next beach vacation. If the sound of crashing waves and smell of salt water aren’t enough to lure you to this happening Southern beach town, then check out the following 10 reasons why you should pull out your calendar and start booking your trip to Hilton Head.
Hilton Head's beaches are perfect for long walks — Photo courtesy of Lee Coursey
1. Twelve-Plus Miles of Beautiful Beaches
Hilton Head’s Atlantic Ocean beaches are the perfect spot to enjoy a day frolicking in the surf, building sandcastles and working on your tan. There are five public access points for those hoping to catch some rays and all hotels, resorts and plantations provide their guests with direct beach access. Best of all, the entire stretch of beach is open to the public, so visitors can feel free to explore the beach from end to end.
The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa is a favorite among travelers — Photo courtesy of Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa
2. Luxury Resorts
Staying in the lap of luxury is a breeze on Hilton Head. Full-service resorts like the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa and the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort feature fantastic accommodations, glistening pools, on-site restaurants and spas, easy access to the beach and other amenities.
Kids and adults alike go crazy for the s'mores at Frankie Bones — Photo courtesy of Frankie Bones
3. An Array of Eateries
From high-end restaurants like the Sage Room to family-friendly establishments such as Frankie Bones, Hilton Head boasts restaurants to satisfy every palate and budget. And, of course, the island has an abundance of seafood restaurants, including local favorite the Sea Shack, which specializes in fresh catches and down-home cuisine.
The Tiki Hut bar features lovely ocean views — Photo courtesy of Tiki Hut
4. Laid-Back Nightlife
Whether you prefer a quiet evening sipping wine by candlelight or a cold beer and an ocean breeze, you’ll have no trouble fitting in to Hilton Head’s casual nightlife scene. Music aficionados will love the Jazz Corner, which features live performances, great food and libations. For tasty tropical drinks and a view of the water, check out the Tiki Hut on Coligny Beach.
There are big name retailers and great buys at the Tanger Outlets — Photo courtesy of Tanger Outlets, Hilton Head
5. Stores Galore
Hilton Head is a shopper’s dream, with two outlet centers featuring drool-worthy retailers like Joe’s Jeans, Michael Kors and Saks Off Fifth. The outlets are just off the island; if you don’t want to venture that far, you’ll find plenty of great shopping nearby in Harbour Town, Coligny Plaza and Shelter Cove.
The Sandbox Children's Museum is the perfect rainy day activity for kids — Photo courtesy of Sandbox Children's Museum
6. Fun, Family-Friendly Activities
Hilton Head is teeming with activities designed with little ones in mind. The Sandbox, an interactive children’s museum, is the perfect place to take fidgety kids on a rainy day. When the weather’s nice, kids can tee off at one of the island’s three miniature golf courses. And no trip to the island is complete without enjoying the music of Greg Russell, who has been entertaining kids in Harbour Town for the past 30 years.
Many of Hilton Head's golf courses, like the championship course at Harbour Town, feature beautiful water views — Photo courtesy of Harbour Town Golf Links
7. A Golfer’s Paradise
With more than 20 championship courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and Pete Dye, golf enthusiasts can happily spend their entire vacation on the links. Hardcore golfers may want to plan their trip to coincide with the annual RBC Heritage PGA Golf Tour each spring to see some of the world’s best golfers in action.
Biking is a popular sport on Hilton Head — Photo courtesy of Brian Birke
8. Sensational Cycling
Bring your bike with you or rent one from one of the island’s many bicycle rental outfits, because Hilton Head boasts an impressive 50-plus miles of multi-use trails. In fact, the bike-friendly town recently received a silver level award from the League of American Bicyclists.
Shelter Cove Marina Fishing Charters is one of several island fishing charters — Photo courtesy of Palmetto Dune Oceanfront Resorts
9. Fruitful Fishing
Fishing is a popular sport on the island, but you don’t need to be a local to get in on the action. Visitors can book a fishing charter, hit up one of the area’s many lagoons or see what’s biting in the surf.
Handmade sweet grass baskets are common in Gullah communities — Photo courtesy of Gullah Heritage Trail Tours
10. Fascinating Gullah Heritage
Hilton Head is proud of its Gullah heritage, and there are numerous resources for those interested in the island’s history. Be sure to stop by the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head or take a Gullah Heritage Trail Tour to become immersed in this unique culture.