One of the BEST things to do on Hilton Head Island is a scenic Dolphin Boat tour where you can get an up close view of the island’s local dolphin population and a tour of the island from a different perspective.
We decided on the super early morning 8am trip (it was all my fault) because I thought it would be quiet, peaceful and a great way to start the day. Plus, once the tour is done, you still have the rest of the day to play on the beach! I had also hoped that early morning might mean active dolphins, but it turns out it is their feeding time, so they were hangry in search of vittles.
In the end the early morning time worked out because a super storm rolled in as we were heading back in and they might have cancelled the next tour because of it.
This is our boat! Our Dolphin boat tour was with Dolphin Discoveries – a division of Kayak Hilton Head. The six of us had this boat all to ourselves for a totally private 2 hour excursion!
The cost was $45 per adult and $35 per kid – totally worth the value. They guarantee that you will see dolphins on your trip and if you do not, then they will take your group out again for free!
So as I said, it was early morning…the water was glassy, the clouds puffy, and everything just generally picture perfect.
We drove through the marshes, past anchored sailboats, including this sunken one, beyond all of the million dollar homes into the open water.
And we saw a rainbow over Daufuskie Island. It was seriously a beautiful morning!
This is where we encountered our first pod of Dolphins. We got a quick glimpse of one Dolphin searching for breakfast in harbor near the docks, but we finally really saw several swimming around our boat after we got out in more open water near Daufuskie.
Not a bad way to spend a morning, eh? After spending several minutes watching this pod of dolphins and realizing they were moving on, so did we. We drove all the way out to the South Beach area of Hilton Head along the Land’s End shoreline where there is a deep water barrier that a lot of sea life like to hangout. Looking out beyond it was eerie because it was difficult to distinguish water from sky the ocean was so vast beyond the island. Alas, we saw some birds, even one take a dive to catch something, but no more dolphins. A storm seemed to be rolling in, so we started the journey back.
Our awesome guide let our friends’ boys take a spin behind the wheel in the open waters! They absolutely loved this and had such a blast!
We made a stop to get pictures in front of the lighthouse. This is the only spot where you can see the entire red-striped lighthouse and get a picture in front of it!
We made one final stop at this oyster shell encrusted inlet to pick out a few “souvenirs”.
Those ominous looking clouds were our sign it was definitely time to say goodbye and finally head back to the dock.
Our Dolphin Boat Tour was such a great way to spend a morning during our trip last August! We just had a long weekend stay on the island, but felt like this was an unforgettable experience not to miss. So if you are staying on Hilton Head for a week or just a few short days, we definitely think you should get out on the water! There are a ton of boat tour companies on the island, but we can certainly recommend Dolphin Discoveries of Kayak Hilton Head! Find them on TripAdvisor here.
I will leave you with this fun video of us zooming through the marshes of Hilton Head (where our friends lost their hat and had to fish it out of the water, so when they say hold onto your hats, hold onto your hats ;p)!