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The friendly island of Hilton Head is known for its fabulous sandy beaches and world-class golf courses. Its relaxing, laid-back atmosphere is perfect for any vacation.
A boot-shaped island that lies just off the South Carolina coast, its spectacular scenery and natural features make Hilton Head a must for nature lovers as well as beach fans.
It's a versatile destination that appeals to all tastes. Whether you're in search of high-energy water sports or high-class shops and stores, Hilton Head has it all.
Hilton Head hosts numerous events and festivals each year. See the weekly fireworks at Shelter Cove or catch an art exhibition; there are lots of reasons to visit this Atlantic paradise.
Visit the exclusive marinas of Harbour Town to admire dazzling million dollar yachts or marvel at the beachfront mansions. Alternatively, book a charter and head out to sea; you're almost certain to spot bottlenose dolphins, and you may even see one of the elusive white sharks!
Dozens of fine restaurants have transformed Hilton Head into a dream vacation destination for gourmets. You'll find everything from fresh seafood to classic Italian cuisine on this sunny island.
An impressive 12 miles of sandy coastline includes areas that are ideal for children as well as beaches that appeal to water sports fans. Popular spots include the Disney Resort Beach area and South Beach.
Hilton Head is favored by artists and photographers for its unique light and amazing panoramic views. Grab your sketch pad or camera and create your own magnificent seascape.
Play like the professionals at Harbour Town Golf Links where the world-famous Heritage tournament takes place each spring. Alternatively, try the Arthur Hills course or book a tee time at the 18-hole George Fazio Golf course, Hilton Head's only 70 par course.
A magical salt marsh region between the mainland and Hilton Head, Pinckney Island is home to alligators, loggerhead turtles, deer and sea birds.
This terrific museum is on the southwest tip of the island. Explore exhibits and displays in the heritage buildings or walk around beautiful themed gardens.
The Art Center of Coastal Carolina is a must for art fans. This award-winning regional center showcases professional visual and performing arts and presents events and festivals throughout the year.
Rent a bicycle and take advantage of Hilton Head's great layout. Cycling is a popular activity with visitors and locals, and there are 25 bike crossings on its extensive network of trails. Be sure to ride along the beach at low tide for a memorable Hilton Head experience.
The famous candy-striped lighthouse at Harbour Town is one of the best-loved attractions on Hilton Head. The lighthouse has its own museum and shop and you can climb to the top for a bird's eye view of the island.
Plan your visit according to your interests and preferences. The Hilton Head summer season stretches from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and beach lovers will enjoy high temperatures and daily sunshine. Anglers should also visit during summer when the best conditions are assured. For golfers, September to May is the best time to visit Hilton Head. You'll benefit from a reduction in demand for tee times, and you can catch the Heritage tournament in April. Low season is also an ideal time for a romantic break.
Seasonal flights from Washington and daily flights from Charlotte land at Hilton Head Island Airport (HHH) which is within easy reach of the island's resorts and hotels. Savannah International Airport (SAV) is a good alternative if you're traveling from other parts of the US or from overseas. Direct access to Interstate 95 from the airport makes it simple to reach Hilton Head.
You'll find it incredibly easy to drive to Hilton Head. US Route 278 is the only road on and off the island, and it connects with 1-95 at Exit 8 forty minutes west of the island. The road also intersects with Route 170 between 1-95 and the island for those driving from Savannah and Beaufort.
Choose a family hotel in Hilton Head or book a stay at an impressive luxury resort like the Inn & Club at Harbour Town, part of the 5,000 acres Sea Pines Resort. The Inn at Palmetto Bluff is a good upmarket alternative that features a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, while the Comfort Inn, Forest Beach Road, is an affordable option. Many visitors rent an apartment for a comfortable home away from home stay.
Harbour Town – Known for luxury homes, superb marinas, fine resorts and restaurants and the famous candy-striped lighthouse.
Hilton Head – Lies to the north of the island and covers the largest area. Remarkable beaches like Dolphin Beach, plus unique stores, bars and restaurants.
Sea Pines – This vibrant community on the southern tip of the island is home to the iconic Salty Dog Cafe and some of Hilton Head's best accommodation.
Shelter Cove – Adjacent to Palmetto Dunes at the heart of Hilton Head Island. Catch weekly musical fireworks at the world's biggest deep-water marina.
Port Royal – The westward part of the island is defined by glorious sandy beaches that face the Atlantic Ocean. Try Folly Field Beach, Singleton Beach or Bradley Beach.
There is no dedicated transport system on Hilton Head although you can book local shuttle services or taxis. Many visitors opt for car rental.
Whether you're bringing the family car or renting a vehicle, you'll find that driving is the perfect way to get around. US 278 becomes the William Hilton Parkway once you reach the island. The road splits into US 278 Business which runs down the east of the island and US 278 which veers off to the Cross Island Parkway. As most businesses are located on the US 278 Business section, it's faster to take the Cross Island Parkway to Sea Pines Plantation or Coligny Beach at the south of the island. Both roads terminate at the Sea Pines Circle.
Hilton Head is small enough to traverse by bike, and over 50 miles of paved routes or packed sand means that it's even easy for children. Most main roads have an adjacent bicycle path. Bear in mind that cars always have the right of way so cyclists must wait till the road is clear at crossings. Some golf courses allow cyclists to use their golf cart path in the early morning or the evening when the course is closed for play.
Hilton Head is slightly more expensive than some US cities but still a remarkably affordable destination where you'll find everything from surf gear to designer clothing. Shop for t-shirts from the famous Salty Dog Café at its outlet at South Beach Marina or locally designed handbags and accessories from the Spartina 449 flagship store in Bluffton. Ocean-going essentials can be purchased from Hilton Head Outfitters at the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, or buy gifts for loved ones at the Blue Parrot.
Although Hilton Head covers an area of just 69.2 square miles, there are several chain supermarkets including Publix, BI-LO, and Whole Foods Market. Try to avoid shopping on Saturday when stores are much busier.
Hilton Head restaurants serve everything from subs to gourmet cuisine to tempt even the most discerning palate. Your vacation isn't complete until you've eaten at the Salty Dog Cafe. The original café serves sandwiches, seafood and snacks from its impressive waterfront base at South Beach. The Wreck of the Salty Dog or Jake's Salty Dog Pizza are fun alternatives; be sure to visit the Salty Dog Ice-Cream Shop in summer.
The Crazy Crab is another Hilton Head institution; this friendly restaurant has been dishing up fresh seafood for over 30 years. Head to Harbour Town to check the place out for yourself or, if you're bringing the dog on vacation, try its pet-friendly second restaurant at Jarvis Creek