What To Expect From a Trip to Hilton Head Island

It’s simple:  Hilton Head Island is one of America’s best kept secrets.  Why?  I have no idea.  Maybe it’s because they’ve kept the high rises and flashing neon to a bare minimum.  Maybe it’s because it’s not right off the interstate.  Maybe it’s due to the fact that a lot of the country has to drive past places like Myrtle Beach or Panama City to get there. 

No matter the “why” the “what” is far more important! 

The Beach

Let’s face it, nobody plans a beach vacation without a beach, and unlike so many places along the Atlantic Coast, Hilton Head offers wide, beautiful beaches to visitors.  With over 12 miles of breathtaking coastline, Hilton Head Island is world-renowned for their white sandy beaches, crystal clear warm water, and easy accessibility.  These wide, flat beaches are perfectly walkable (and you’ll see plenty of folks, locals and tourists, riding bikes on the beach), and ideal for visitors of all ages.  Not to mention they’re also extremely dog-friendly, with varying “off-leash hours” (you can find those here) throughout the year.  At a place and time when many public beaches are saying “no” to bringing your furball, Hilton Head says “YES!”

Where To Stay

Hilton Head Island knows what vacation-goers want, and they deliver.  There are numerous stunning hotels, inns and resorts on the island, including six AAA four diamond award winners!  Whether you’re looking to be pampered poolside, or for a more stripped back, cost-effective option, Hilton Head Island has something for everyone.  There are literally hundreds of AirBnB options and plenty of hotels with prices ranging from tame to insane. 

One favorite of many Hilton Head Directory readers is the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, nestled right along the pristine Hilton Head Island coastline, on eleven lush and beautifully landscaped acres.  No, we don’t live there, but we drive past it so often and many times, friends visiting the island have shared the wonderful experiences they’ve had.  You won’t be let down and you might not want to leave.  More than a few times, we’ve joined those same friends at the lagoon-style swimming pool, took naps in their covered cabanas, spent our mornings and evenings on the beach playing with cousins, nephews and nieces.  Something to remember if you have younger kids is, of course, how to keep them busy.  Sonesta has a “Just Us Kids”  club our friends with small children have always raved about…

The Great Outdoors

If there’s one thing Hilton Head Island knows how to do, it’s how to have fun.  There’s world-famous golf courses, every kind of water sport, over 50 miles of paths for walking and biking, and so much more. It’s one of those destinations where you can pack your itinerary full of adventures and excursions, or you can plan to do nothing but relax in the sun.

One day you might drop a kayak into the ocean, the sound, or the many miles of freshwater nearby with Outside Hilton Head.  Here’s a chance to get an up-close look at the islands rivers and marshes and the many oyster beds nestled along the water.  You’ll find you have a lot of options, from an hourly kayak rental or a fully guided daily tour led by a local nature guide and expert.   

Another day, you might check out ziplining with ZipLine Hilton Head, on a thrilling two-hour eco-adventure zipline tour!  Not only will you (and a lot of teenagers) have a blast zipping through Hilton Head’s massive live oak trees, but your friendly guides can also share boundless information about the wildlife on the island – and the views are absolutely incredible!

What to Eat

Anyone viewing the Hilton Head Directory should have already figured out there are over 250 restaurants on Hilton Head Island, and, while you can’t try all of them, as locals, you can bet we have some favorites.  From candle-lit fine dining with an stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean at Ocean Lounge, to live music and catfish by the water at Skull Creek Boathouse, to your morning coffee and fresh-baked croissants at Hilton Head Social Bakery… you and the family can definitely try to eat your way through the island.   Chances are, you won’t find a meal you don’t love!

Furball Friendly

Even beyond the dog friendly beaches, Hilton Head Island has so much to offer when it comes to traveling with your pup.  The many walking trails, parks, and dog friendly patios can make your time there with the doggos incredibly easy.  (See a helpful list of dog friendly options here.)

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