Hilton Head is a large island. It’s bigger than it looks or than you think it’s going to be. It’s deceiving. So how in the world do you decide what to do on Hilton Head Island? Well, you just have to narrow it down to the things you enjoy, but first and foremost it’s a great place to spend time in the sand and sun. You have to rent bikes. It’s a must. The island is known for it’s bike trails that snake across every plantation making it an ideal way to travel. It’s also the perfect way to take in the scenic beauty of this place. You can quickly stop to watch an alligator or a flying egret. You can easily find parking for your bike when the beach gets crowded. The best part is you can work off all of that fresh seafood you are going to enjoy!
Here’s a list of some of the great things to do on Hilton Head Island if you are planning a trip over Spring break or this summer!
BEACH. BEACH. BEACH.
Because we stayed in Sea Pines Resort, we had access to their beach club house access. It was a short bike ride from the villa we rented, but it was not easy for us to find with directions the first day. We were all turned around, but someone gladly pointed us the right way.
I recommend getting to the beach early in the day to get a good spot. The Sea Pines Beachclub area filled up very quickly. It was not overly crowded considering it was August, but it also certainly wasn’t a quiet spot.
Sunrise on the Beach
If it’s a nice quiet time on the beach you are searching for, then you have to get up for sunrise. It’s a wonderfully calm and peaceful time of day, especially at the beach.
Sunrise is also a time when dogs are allowed on the beach during certain times of the year! In fact, here are the beach rules for animals on the beach in Hilton Head:
Animals on the Beach
- Are not permitted – Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day
- Must be on a leash:
- Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. April 1 through Thursday before Memorial Day
- Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday after Labor Day through September 30
- Must be on leash or under positive voice control at all other times.
- Persons in control of animals on the beach are required to remove and properly dispose of the animal’s excrement.
Sunset walk with your dogs on the Beach
Again, with how dog friendly Hilton Head is, a dog walk on the beach is a must! Get out there in the early evening hours when everyone else is walking their dogs – it’s a great dog owner social hour.
Visit Harbor Town
If for no other reason than to see this charming little part of the island, the quintessential red-striped lighthouse, and the huge live oak trees.
You can take the free Sea Pines trolley to Harbor Town or ride your bike down there. It may seem far, but it was only an easy 15 minute ride.
Harbor Town is also a fabulous spot for a bite to eat and a bit of shopping. You can pay a few bucks to go up into the lighthouse or take the little ones to the playground.
The Liberty Oak in Harbor Town also plays host to many local events and concerts, including an annual free Gregg Russell concerts.
Talk to the Parrots in South Beach
South Beach IS Salty Dog. South Beach is where you can enjoy a burger and ice cream cone at the original Salty Dog Cafe.
There are about ten Salty Dog shops where you can pick up everything from t-shirts to beach towels to beer cozies covered in that familiar dog face.
Don’t leave South Beach without a visit and a chat with the talking parrots. There are three of them and if they aren’t hanging out in the tree at the South Beach Inn, then they are inside the Salty Dog shop nearby where a giant cage is set up for them to live.
Shop at the Sea Pines Farmers Market
Every Tuesday at the Shops at Sea Pines Resort you will find the Farmer’s Market – a community event bringing farm fresh and LOCAL to residents and visitors on Hilton Head Island.
We found an abundance of local artistry, handmade items for sale, local produce and fresh seafood. We purchased the makings of a delicious dinner with fresh veggies, locally caught shrimp and scallops, and berries with a homemade sweet custard bread for dessert. Yum!
Be sure to enjoy a fresh lobster roll from the Lowcountry Produce Market & Cafe while at the Farmer’s Market – it’s well worth it.
Take a Dolphin Cruise
This was such a neat and fun experience! Not only did we get to see the local dolphin population, but we got a scenic tour of the island from a vantage point only enjoyed by boat. It was so memorable and I captured so many photos that this needs it’s own post to really show you the experience! 🙂
Don’t forget to pack the essentials for your getaway to Hilton Head (or any beach for that matter)! Here’s a quick list of my must-haves.
HomeAway.com provided the great graphic above!! Check out their site if looking for a house or condo to rent for your beach getaway.
Enjoy your trip!!