Hilton Head Island in lovely South Carolina is not only one of the newest vacation destinations in the United States– it was only attached to the mainland by bridge in 1956– it’s also one of the fastest expanding. Actually, in addition to seeing its populace virtually double in the past decade, greatly as a result of an increase of seasonal locals, this one-of-a-kind location on the most southern pointer of South Carolina’s Atlantic coast is now experienced by some 2.5 million travelers yearly.
The huge draw? In addition to the many fun things to do here for families, its leading vacationer destinations, as well as its fantastic resorts and resorts, Hilton Head Island– normally simply referred to as Hilton Head, or HHI to those well-informed– is a heaven on earth for beach enthusiasts as well as outside lovers.
All told, HHI boasts over 12 miles of lovely coastlines, all of them vast with attractive dunes offering an all-natural obstacle to the enjoyable tasks found inland. Include in this its several acres of secured wildlife as well as nature preserves, enjoyable water adventures like dolphin cruises and angling charters, as well as endless paved bike routes, as well as you’ll never ever be tired. And also with outstanding golf and also plenty of fantastic restaurants, there’s numberless excellent reasons to stick around as well as explore this lovely Low Nation heaven.
Keep in mind: Some businesses might be temporarily shut because of current international health and safety issues.
1. Take Pleasure In the Unlimited Coastlines
Nonetheless much fun there is to be had elsewhere on Hilton Head Island, it’s to the beaches you’ll wish to go first. Beach access factors are anywhere, typically containing (typically) complimentary public car parking and a timber boardwalk or sandy path leading through the dunes to the water. That first glance of the Atlantic is constantly a reward, followed by the reality you don’t need to go far in any direction to escape any kind of crowds that may have established chairs or beach coverings.
If strolling the beach is much more your thing, knock on your own out. HHI boasts over 12 miles of pristine sand to check out walking or by bike (yes, beach biking is urged, very easy, and enjoyable). While daybreak is a good time to stroll, make certain to head house as soon as dusk gets here; the island has a strict plan avoiding lights on its beaches as a result of their crucial environments for nesting sea turtles.
For those traveling with kids who intend to swim, you may intend to pick a beach location that uses lifeguards (at the very least throughout the prime beach season). These include Coligny, Islander, Driessen, and also Folly Area Beaches. The other leading beaches to check out include Burkes Coastline (excellent for cycling), Fish Haul Creek Beach (one of the quieter places), and the beautiful tree-lined Mitchelville Coastline (the quietest as well as finest for couples).
2. Unwind in Coligny Beach Park
The busiest of Hilton Head Island’s top beaches adjoins charming Coligny Beach Park. Although it’s the closest the island has to a typical seaside scene– close-by Coligny Plaza boasts many shops as well as dining establishments– it’s tastefully done.
Whether you get here walking, by bike, by auto (auto parking can be limited), or on among the handy trolley buses that connect the nearby parking area to the water, you go into the beach through a pleasant park area, which supplies facilities such as change rooms and outdoor showers, as well as bathrooms. There are likewise a number of wonderful seats locations, consisting of dubious gazebos with rockers, in addition to tough swing chairs. And of course, there’s even free Wi-Fi below.
Beach gain access to is made easy for those with flexibility issues thanks to rubber matting laid across the sand. It leads straight to the sea, where beach chairs can be rented.
3. Explore the Bike Trails and also Do Some Beach Biking
In a world overrun by cars, a vacation to Hilton Head Island is a refreshing modification. Not only does its 12-mile stretch of Atlantic-facing beaches motivate you to go out as well as stroll, yet this really forward-looking vacation location is home to one of one of the most considerable bike path networks in the United States. In fact, it’s the excellent chance to park as well as forget the cars and truck for the duration of a remain, instead choosing pedal power. You can bring your very own, or rent one from your resort, hotel, or any type of among the numerous bike rental locations that have sprung up.
Basically almost everywhere you transform there are bike paths, either lining the roads leading into as well as around the island, or setting off into the trees or toward the beach, making it simple to run away the congestion, noise, as well as fumes of routine website traffic, and instead check out at your leisure. As well as provided its flat topography, it’s extremely simple to pedal here.
HHI is among just 21 locations in the US to be awarded the League of American Bicyclists’ Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Area Award. Bike traffic flows in harmony along some 117 miles of paths shown to walkers (” On your left!” is an often listened to welcoming bicycle riders call out to pedestrians), plus one more six miles dedicated only to bikes.
And also, naturally, there’s an added 12 miles for beach cycling, a remarkable experience that has you riding leisurely along the hard-packed sand surface at low tide on bikes with unique wider-than-normal tires. While it’s normally simple to comprise your route as you go, bike course maps are anywhere to locate, whether in shops and dining establishments, resorts and resorts, or at practical path stands or bike rental places.
4. Shop in Coligny Plaza
Hilton Head is popular for its numerous bike courses and pedestrian boardwalks. One of the nicest stretches of paths leads from Coligny Coastline Park and the parking area around Coligny Circle to the shops, dining establishments, as well as enjoyment possibilities at Coligny Plaza.
This always dynamic plaza is enjoyable to check out. In addition to the normal souvenir present shops and also dining establishments, there are a variety of uncommon locations to visit worth taking a look at that sell premium styles as well as devices, and less-traditional foodstuffs.
A favorite among the 30 or more shops as well as dining establishments located here is the remarkable Sweet Carolina Cupcakes (make sure to buy some to take home with you, as well). Coligny Plaza is also home to a cinema, and also during the busier months, free live songs can be appreciated outdoors as you take part in an al fresco snack or dish.
5. Climb the Harbour Community Lighthouse
Undoubtedly Hilton Head’s many recognizable spots, the Harbour Town Lighthouse is a must-visit. Situated in the heart of Harbour Community in the snazzy Sea Pines Resort district at the Island’s south end, this famous red and also white candy striped lighthouse offers not just as a navigation help to boat web traffic using the Harbour Town Marina and the Intracoastal Waterway, it’s likewise a top-notch museum.
The lighthouse was erected in 1970 and stands 90 feet high. A visit will certainly lead you past a number of fascinating exhibitions as you climb up the building’s interior upwards towards the checking out platform. Highlights consist of screens of historic pictures as well as artifacts related to the island’s history (it has actually been lived in some 10,000 years) as well as an unique display showcasing the duty of the Coast Guard over the decades.
The views from the top of the lighthouse are magnificent. From here, you can see over a big part of the island, along with nearby Daufuskie Island, and also even to Tybee Island in the nearby state of Georgia. There are likewise 2 gift stores on-site, and occasions as well as functions such as wedding celebrations can take advantage of the building with previous reservation.
6. See Harbour Community
Harbour Town itself is also well worth exploring. Taken into consideration the commercial hub of the high-end (and also big) Sea Pines Hotel, it’s a terrific area to shop. Purchasing highlights include a number of great store stores marketing posh clothing, residence design, and also furnishings, as well as a fantastic option of crafts, gifts, fashion jewelry, and also art. There are likewise plenty of wonderful eating options, consisting of casual fare at the Harbour Community Pastry Shop & Café, which serves excellent baked products, sandwiches, espresso coffees, and teas, all offered al fresco.
Harbour Town is also a center of sporting activity. Much of the activity focuses around the marina. Here, you can grab a cruising adventure aboard a popular racing private yacht, hop aboard a dolphin watching cruise ship, send out the kids on a pirate ship adventure on the Black Blade, lease a Jet Ski, or embark on a kayak eco trip.
Golf players are additionally well-catered to at the renowned Harbour Community Golf Links, popular for its famous 18th hole (just go for Harbour Town Lighthouse). There’s likewise a tennis club with world-class courts, together with a big journey play area for the kids. (Editor’s Note: while auto parking is free, there’s a tiny admission to pay when entering this ritzy hotel and residential area, even if getting in by bike or walking.).
7. Return To Nature at the Coastal Exploration Gallery.
A must-visit while on Hilton Head Island– particularly for nature lovers of all ages– is the Coastal Exploration Museum. This popular instructional facility is set on 68 acres of land, a few of it abutting the shore, as well as makes for an enjoyable half-day adventure. You’ll take pleasure in discovering such native tree species as the spectacular online oak, so-named as they never ever completely lose their foliage, in addition to a nearly 500-year-old Southern Red Cedar.
There’s lots of wildlife, as well, including several varieties of birds and also butterflies. Most importantly, a lot of the residential or commercial property can be checked out merely by following its network of well-marked nature trails, consisting of three fun marsh boardwalks along the tidal Jarvis Creek.
Various other noteworthy functions are the Bird’s- Eye View Theater, an exterior cinema staging normal occasions and programs, as well as a reproduction covering ring constructed from local shellfish in a design known to have been utilized for over 4,000 years.
The Coastal Discovery Museum is likewise the website of a preferred once a week farmers market, plus a large annual art show.
8. Walk the Trails mixed-up Pines Forest Preserve.
Additionally worth a see for nature fans is Sea Pines Forest Preserve. Situated in the Sea Pines Playground, it’s a delightful area to check out walking (and also very easy to get to by bike).
Established in 1970, highlights of this crucial nature book include a network of walking routes and also wetland boardwalks, an ancient original shell ring (it’s reputedly 40,000 years of ages), and also plenty of wildlife (consisting of alligators). Various other enjoyable points to do below include wagon rides, horseback riding, led watercraft excursions, and fishing. It’s a great place for a family members outing, too.
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