Hilton Head Island is a popular vacation destination in South Carolina, and for good reason. From stunning beaches to world-class golf courses, this island has something for everyone. But with so many attractions to choose from, it can be hard to decide what to see first. To help you plan your visit, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 must-see attractions in Hilton Head Island, with a focus on how to get there with Palmetto Car Service top-notch transportation services.
1. Harbour Town Lighthouse
The Harbour Town Lighthouse is one of the most iconic landmarks on Hilton Head Island. This red-and-white striped lighthouse stands tall at 90 feet and offers breathtaking views of the Calibogue Sound and the surrounding marina. The lighthouse was built in 1969 and has been a popular attraction ever since. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse for a small fee, and the reward is a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the island.
Apart from the stunning views, the Harbour Town Lighthouse also has a rich history. The lighthouse was constructed to guide boats safely through the Calibogue Sound, which can be treacherous to navigate. The lighthouse has been an important fixture on the island for over 50 years, and it’s a great place to learn about the island’s maritime history. Inside the lighthouse, visitors can explore exhibits on the history of the lighthouse keepers, the island’s earliest inhabitants, and the area’s unique ecosystem.
The Harbour Town Lighthouse is also a great place to take photos. The picturesque lighthouse and surrounding marina make for a stunning backdrop. It’s a popular spot for family photos, wedding photos, and even Instagram-worthy selfies. Overall, the Harbour Town Lighthouse is a must-visit attraction on Hilton Head Island, offering stunning views, rich history, and plenty of photo opportunities.
2. Coligny Beach Park
Coligny Beach Park is one of the most popular and picturesque beaches on Hilton Head Island. With 1.5 miles of pristine sand and crystal clear water, it’s the perfect place to relax, sunbathe, and swim.
Aside from its stunning beach, Coligny Beach Park is also known for its amenities. There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars nearby, making it easy to spend an entire day at the beach. You can grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink at one of the beachside bars, or browse the local shops for souvenirs and beach gear.
For those looking for more active pursuits, Coligny Beach Park also offers a variety of recreational activities. There are volleyball courts, playgrounds for children, and even outdoor showers to rinse off after a day in the sand. And for those who want to explore the surrounding area, there are bike rentals available nearby to traverse the island’s many bike trails.
Overall, Coligny Beach Park is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Hilton Head Island. With its stunning beach, wide range of amenities, and variety of activities, it’s easy to see why it’s such a beloved spot for tourists and locals alike.
3. Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina
Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina is one of the most popular destinations on Hilton Head Island. It is a beautiful and bustling marina that offers visitors a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon or evening, whether you’re a boater, fisherman, or just looking for a place to relax and enjoy the stunning views of the water.
The marina at Shelter Cove is a hub for boaters, with more than 170 boat slips available for rent. Whether you’re a seasoned boater or just starting out, the marina offers everything you need to make your day on the water a success. You can rent a boat, take a guided tour of the area’s waterways, or even book a fishing charter.
If you’re looking for a bite to eat, Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina has plenty of options. The marina features a variety of restaurants that cater to all tastes, from seafood and sushi to burgers and pizza. You can enjoy your meal while taking in the beautiful views of the harbour and watching the boats come and go.
In addition to restaurants, Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina is home to a variety of shops and boutiques. You can browse through the many stores, which offer everything from clothing and jewelry to home decor and souvenirs. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for a unique gift to bring home, you’re sure to find something you love.
For those looking for entertainment, Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina has plenty to offer. There are several outdoor areas where you can relax and enjoy live music, including the Shelter Cove Community Park, which hosts free outdoor concerts during the summer months. You can also take part in a variety of activities, such as kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or even a game of cornhole.
One of the most popular events at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina is the weekly fireworks show, which takes place every Tuesday during the summer months. It’s a great way to cap off a fun day at the marina, and the show is visible from most areas around the harbour.
If you’re planning a special event, Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina is also a great place to host a party or gathering. The marina offers a variety of event spaces, including outdoor patios, indoor banquet rooms, and even a yacht club. The professional staff can help you plan every aspect of your event, from catering and decor to entertainment and activities.
Overall, Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina is a must-visit destination on Hilton Head Island. It offers something for everyone, whether you’re a boater, a foodie, a shopper, or just looking for a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the views. So next time you’re on the island, be sure to stop by Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina and see all it has to offer!
4. Sea Pines Forest Preserve
The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a 605-acre nature reserve that is located within the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island. The preserve offers a unique opportunity for visitors to explore the diverse range of landscapes that the island has to offer. Visitors can explore the forests, wetlands, and lagoons on foot, bike, or horseback.
The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and many species of birds. One of the best ways to see the wildlife is by taking a guided tour of the preserve. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who will take visitors on a journey through the preserve, pointing out the different species of animals and plants along the way.
The preserve is also home to a number of historical landmarks. One of the most notable landmarks is the Indian Shell Ring, which is a 4,000-year-old Native American site that contains the remains of a circular shell structure. Visitors can also see the 50-foot-high Sea Pines Shell Ring, which was built by Native Americans over 4,000 years ago.
There are a variety of hiking and biking trails in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, ranging from easy to moderate difficulty levels. The trails wind through the forests, along the lagoons, and through the wetlands. Visitors can also take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalks that run through the preserve, offering stunning views of the marshes and lagoons.
In addition to hiking and biking, the preserve also offers horseback riding tours. Visitors can take a guided horseback ride through the preserve, experiencing the beauty of the forest and wetlands from a unique perspective.
For those who prefer to explore the preserve on their own, there are several designated picnic areas throughout the preserve. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch while taking in the beautiful scenery.
Overall, the Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a must-see attraction for nature lovers visiting Hilton Head Island. With its diverse range of landscapes and wildlife, it offers a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the island. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or horseback riding, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience at the Sea Pines Forest Preserve.
5. Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
Located just a short distance from Hilton Head Island, the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is a nature lover’s paradise that offers a glimpse into the region’s unique ecosystem. The refuge spans over 4,000 acres and is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including alligators, white-tailed deer, and a variety of bird species.
Visitors to the refuge can explore the area’s stunning landscapes by following the various hiking and biking trails that wind through the lush forests and scenic marshes. These trails offer a chance to witness the beauty of the Lowcountry up close and to experience the tranquility of the refuge’s many natural habitats.
One of the most popular trails at Pinckney Island is the Shell Point Trail, which winds through a dense maritime forest and offers stunning views of the surrounding marshes. This trail is approximately 4.5 miles long and is relatively flat, making it a great option for hikers and bikers of all skill levels.
Another popular trail is the White Point Trail, which is just over 5 miles long and takes hikers through a range of different habitats, including salt marshes, forests, and freshwater ponds. This trail offers a unique perspective on the diversity of the region’s wildlife and habitats, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the natural world.
In addition to hiking and biking, visitors to the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge can also enjoy a range of other outdoor activities, including fishing, wildlife viewing, and photography. There are several observation decks throughout the refuge that offer stunning views of the surrounding marshes and waterways, as well as a chance to see some of the refuge’s resident wildlife up close.
Overall, the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is a true gem of the Lowcountry and offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and diversity of the region’s natural habitats. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a birdwatcher, or just someone who loves to be outdoors, a visit to this stunning refuge is an experience you won’t soon forget.
6. Coastal Discovery Museum
The Coastal Discovery Museum is a fascinating interactive museum located on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This museum is dedicated to showcasing the natural history and cultural heritage of the Lowcountry region, which includes the surrounding coastal areas of Georgia and South Carolina.
The museum features exhibits on local wildlife, the area’s Gullah heritage, and the island’s history as a plantation. Visitors can explore the museum’s many interactive exhibits, which include touch tanks filled with live sea creatures, dioramas of local ecosystems, and a variety of artifacts from the region’s rich history.
One of the most popular exhibits at the Coastal Discovery Museum is the Marsh Tacky Horse exhibit, which showcases the history and significance of these unique and hardy horses that have been bred in the region for hundreds of years. The exhibit features a life-size replica of a Marsh Tacky horse, along with displays on the breed’s history and significance to the region’s cultural heritage.
In addition to its indoor exhibits, the Coastal Discovery Museum also offers a variety of outdoor programs and activities. Visitors can take guided tours of the museum’s beautiful grounds, which include a butterfly enclosure, several gardens, and a boardwalk that winds through a salt marsh.
The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and workshops for visitors of all ages. Kids can participate in hands-on activities and games, while adults can attend lectures and workshops on topics like local ecology, history, and culture.
Overall, the Coastal Discovery Museum is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in learning more about the rich history and ecology of the Lowcountry region. Its interactive exhibits, beautiful grounds, and engaging programs make it a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
7. Lawton Stables
Lawton Stables is a popular attraction on Hilton Head Island that offers visitors the chance to experience the island’s natural beauty on horseback. The stables are located within the Sea Pines Resort and offer a variety of trail rides, pony rides, and even a petting zoo.
One of the most popular activities at Lawton Stables is the trail ride. Visitors can choose from a variety of rides, ranging from a one-hour guided tour of the Sea Pines Forest Preserve to a two-hour beach ride along the Atlantic Ocean. The trails wind through scenic forests, marshes, and beaches, giving riders a unique perspective of the island’s natural beauty.
For younger visitors, Lawton Stables offers pony rides, which are a great way for kids to get up close and personal with these gentle animals. The pony rides are led by a handler and take place within a secure area near the stables.
In addition to horseback riding, Lawton Stables also has a petting zoo that’s perfect for families with young children. The petting zoo features a variety of farm animals, including goats, sheep, and rabbits, as well as some exotic animals like llamas and alpacas. Visitors can feed and interact with the animals, making it a great hands-on experience for kids.
For those interested in learning more about horses, Lawton Stables offers a variety of educational programs. Visitors can take part in a behind-the-scenes tour of the stables, where they’ll learn about the care and training of horses. The stables also offer riding lessons for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced.
Overall, Lawton Stables is a must-visit attraction for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of Hilton Head Island in a unique and memorable way. With a variety of trail rides, pony rides, and educational programs, there’s something for everyone at this popular island destination