Wide sandy beaches, world-class hotels, and famous golf courses. Hilton Head Island has it all for the tourist. A great place to kick back and enjoy the sun and warmth, Hilton Head is also filled with activities and adventures for all ages.
Boating, bike riding, and horseback riding are just a few of the fun things to do while you are on the Island. Even on a rare rainy day, there is entertainment and enlightenment to be found in the Lowcountry.
Hilton Head is located in Southeastern South Carolina. A barrier island is located just off the Atlantic Coast north of Savannah, Georgia. From Interstate 95, use Exit 8, U. S. Route 278. A half hour drive with bringing you to a four-lane bridge, which covers the short distance over the Intracoastal Waterway to the Island.
To help you establish a mental picture of the Island, Hilton Head is best described as a shoe on a map. The ankle is near the mainland and the toe furthest south, with the Atlantic Ocean running along the sole of the shoe. Maps are in most tourist publications, which are available at stores, restaurants, and visitor centers.
Hilton Head is truly an island, and water is the focus for much of the fun and entertainment. The ocean beach is twelve miles long, and runs the length of the island, facing the Atlantic and Port Royal Sound. The beach is public, but access is limited, and many access points are in private, gated communities called Plantations.
On the other side of the island are several marinas, with dolphin watch trips, sightseeing cruises, sailing, and fishing charters. Shelter Cover Harbor, located mid-island, Broad Creek Marina, and Palmetto Bay Marina all have several choices for an all-day fishing trip or a short excursion.
Sea Pines Plantation has two locations for boating fun, South Beach Marina and Harbour Town. Sea Pines does charge a gate fee for day visitors, but there are many attractions to make the investment worthwhile.
Bicycles can be rented in several places on the Island, and some offer delivery. There are many miles of bike and walking paths, which cover virtually the entire island.
The beach can be an excellent place to ride. All but official vehicles are prohibited on the beach, but the hard-packed sand is perfect for bikes. For those unfamiliar with the area, there are a few things to note. The size of the beach varies during the day, as the tides ebb and flow. The water advances hundreds of feet in some areas and can cover most of the beach. Be sure that you are able to return when you need to. The tides cycle every twelve and a half hours.
The winds on the beach can be quite strong, and easy riding in one direction may be very taxing on the return trip. It can take almost twice as long to pedal into the stiff ocean breeze. Consider starting your ride into the wind, and enjoy the tailwind on the way back.
In Sea Pines, Lawton Stables offers trail rides through the live oaks and along the marshes on docile and well-mannered horses. Championship golf can be played at dozens of courses in the area. The courses are immaculate and challenging, and the prices are premium. Check the tourist publications for specials.
If the rain requires you to take cover, there are three movie theaters on the island, a shopping mall, and the Coastal Discovery Museum. The showers are often intense but brief, and the skies clear in time for a lovely sunset over Broad Creek. Enjoy the view, after a fun day on the Island.