Hilton Head Island – A Perfect Destination for the Active Traveler

March 16, 2021

Hilton Head Island is a beautiful secluded beach community in the South Carolina Lowcountry, only 45 minutes north of Savanna. Boasting accolades such as “#1 Island in the Continental US” by Travel+Leisure and “Top Island in the United States” by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, it’s the perfect US beach destination for the active traveler and outdoor enthusiast.

Easy social distancing is high on the list of things to consider when choosing a travel destination during Covid, and Hilton Head Island ticks this box (and most of the boxes!). Only 12 miles long by 5 miles wide, you can explore the top attractions of Hilton Head Island on bike or foot, discovering many hidden gems along the way. The top attractions and activities on Hilton Head Island are mostly geared around the island’s natural preserves, wildlife refuges, scenic waterways, and beautiful beaches. Let’s explore Hilton Head Island.

The Beaches of Hilton Head Island

Voted one of the Top 10 Family Beaches in the US and boasting 12 miles of Atlantic Ocean beachfront, the beaches of Hilton Head Island are the main draw for visitors looking to escape the city. Hilton Head has a beach for every type of traveler with no shortage of sandy attractions and activities to enjoy. Coligny is the most popular and busiest stretch of sand with excellent amenities, readily available beach rentals, a variety of food options, and lifeguards for the kids. Other family-friendly Hilton Head beaches with lifeguards on duty are Islander, Driessen, and Folly Field. For a little more seclusion, join the ocean critters on the secluded shores of Mitchelville Beach or Fish Haul Creek Beach. Your only personal encounter may be with the crabs, dolphins, and Loggerhead Sea turtles that nest on the shores from May to August.

Water Sports & Adventures

Hilton Head Island is a perfect destination for the active traveler with an abundance of water sports and on-the-water adventures. Cast your line on an inshore, offshore, or deep sea fishing charter, reel in a Tiger Shark on a shark fishing excursion, and kayak the Intracoastal Waterways. Harbour Town and Shelter Cove are a hub of water sports activities with sailing excursions, pirate ship cruises, tubing, and watercraft rentals. Encounter dolphins in their natural habitat on a sunset dolphin and nature lover tour from Broad Creek or enjoy a birds-eye view of Hilton Head Island on a parasailing adventure. There are water activities for all ages on Hilton Head Island.

Wildlife & Nature Preserves

Hilton Head Island has a diverse eco-system with saltwater marshes, forested wetlands, and a wide variety of plants and wildlife. From beautiful birdlife to reptiles and amphibians, a wildlife encounter is a given on Hilton Head Island. Explore the walking trails and wetland boardwalks of Sea Pines Forest Preserve, or go birdwatching, kayaking, fishing, or hiking at the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge with tidal creeks, freshwater ponds, and over 10 miles of trails. If you’re a bird or nature lover, or dream of a personal encounter with marine wildlife, a nature tour of Hilton Head Island is always a highlight!

Hiking & Biking Trails

Hilton Head Island has over 60 miles of bike paths and nature trails to explore, and with one of the most extensive bike path networks in the US, you can bike everywhere! Pick up a cruiser or fat bike from Island Cruisers Bike Rentals and explore the island on wheels. You can bike along the 12 miles of shoreline too and Burkes Beach is best for beach biking on Hilton Head Island.  For the best hiking on the island, head to the scenic trails of Sea Pines Forest Preserve, Hilton Head Audubon Newhall Preserve, Mitchelville Freedom Park, or Jarvis Creek Park. Discover the scenic beauty of the Lowcountry as you explore miles of walking trails and boardwalks with colorful birdlife, wildlife, and even the occasional alligator!


For a thrilling family activity (and the highest view on the island) head to Broad Creek for a zipline and aerial adventure above the treetops with Zipline Hilton Head. Fly through the trees on a zipline adventure or swing through six different courses on the Aerial Adventure High Ropes Course. View the island from a scenic perspective on this family-friendly Hilton Head Island attraction.


Golfing enthusiasts are spoilt for choice when it comes to tee time on Hilton Head Island. An award-winning golfing destination, the island is home to over 20 world-class championship golf courses, sculpted by notable architects such as Robert Trent Jones Sr., Jack Nicklaus, and Pete Dye. Tee off on the legendary Harbour Town Golf Links with views of the Calibogue Sound and the candy-striped lighthouse or enjoy some family-filled fun with a round of mini-golf at Adventure Cove.

Heritage & History

Hilton Head Island has a rich heritage and history and is home to many historic sites, ruins, and the island’s landmark, the Harbour Town Lighthouse. Climb 114 steps for spectacular views all the way to Tybee and step back in time with historic photos and artifacts of the island. Learn about ocean life, wildlife, birds, and butterflies at the Coastal Discovery Museum and explore the Stoney-Barnyard Ruins at Sea Pines. Daufuskie Island is a historic district on the US National Registry and is only a ferry ride away on the scenic Intracoastal Waterway. Discover historic sites, visit the Daufuskie Artisan Village or learn about the unique Gullah-Geechee culture on a guided Gullah Tour. Don’t leave without beach time on the secluded, isolated, and simply beautiful beaches of Daufuskie Island!

Wining & Dining

Eating out on Hilton Head Island is an adventure in itself with a plate for every palate, sunset views, live music, and a laid-back island vibe. Indulge in seafood on the waterfront, tapas at a gastropub, traditional southern cuisine at a BBQ joint, or fine-dining by candlelight. Sample hand-crafted artisan wine at a local winery, Carolina craft spirits at a distillery, or ice-cold lager at a brewery. The nightlife on Hilton Head Island is vibrant and ranges from intimate jazz bars to late-night music venues. Soak up sunset views from a rooftop bar, live it up with live music at a Tiki Hut on the beach, sip frozen cocktails at a pool bar, or hit the dance floor at a nightclub.

Escape, unwind and discover the best of Hilton Head Island with Beach Properties of Hilton Head, the best in Hilton Head Island Beach Vacations. Their hand-picked selection of rental properties ranges from budget-friendly condos to luxury vacation homes and villas overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

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