Located in the lower country region of South Carolina, Hilton Head Island is a popular destination that has been drawing visitors from all over for several years now. This barrier island is situated 90 miles to the south of Charleston city and is well-known for its stunning weather, relaxed lifestyle, sustainable fresh cuisine, rich history, 12 beautiful miles of Atlantic Ocean beach, and over 60 miles of pathways to explore. It is the perfect island destination for those in a need of a vacation.
Hilton Head is a unique American vacation destination since it appeals to multiple generations. You could spend the morning riding a bike around this island or visit one of many pristine and wide beaches with the family, followed by enjoying cocktails and coastal cuisine at a restaurant (250 to choose from) on this 12-mile island.
While the travel industry continues to recover, it appears that the pandemic is finally coming to a close in the U.S, this island is eagerly waiting to invite visitors back, thanks to plans put in place last summer that aims to protect not only the health but also the well-being of the community, workforce, and visitors. Whatever plans you have for your vacation, you will likely find them when visiting Hilton Head. Here is a guide to this island and what it has to offer for all types of travelers.
– It Is Easy To Access
Hilton Head is located on South Carolina’s Southeast coast, approximately 30 minutes from Savanna, Georgia. It is located 45 minutes from Savanna/Hilton Head International Airport, which serves most of the main United States carriers that come from several hubs all around the country. This island even has its very own airport. In the last 12 months, this airport has experienced an increase in service directly from many of the main carriers.
Hilton Head has interesting geography that also makes it a pleasant location to drive through, especially for the visitors that reside in the eastern parts of the U.S. It is easy to drive in a single day from some of the main East Coast cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., but a lot less if you reside in the Southeast’s main cities such as Atlanta or Charlotte.
– There Are Many Accommodations To Choose From
If you have decided to pay a visit to Hilton Head, you have a plethora of accommodations on offer from home rentals to villas and luxury resorts. This stunning shoreline is easy to reach from all the touchpoints. On the southern part of Hilton Head Island is the Sea Pines Resort close to Harbour Town Yacht Basin, which is also bordered by Harbour Town Golf Links and Harbour Town Lighthouse.
If you are planning to travel with your family, vacation home rentals are a good option. You can access rental packages and special deals on the Hilton Head Island website.
If you prefer full-service resorts, you can choose from over 20 hotels, inns, and resorts on Hilton Head Island. For those that have Marriott Bonvoy points, the island is home to 2 full-service Marriott properties which include the Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa and the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa.
The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort is a category 6 property (60,000, 50,000, or 40,000 points awarded per night) while the Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa is a category 5 (40,000, 35,000, or 30,000 points awarded per night, which will depend on the season). Both properties are eligible on the nights relating to off-peak or standard availability for the certificate to a maximum of 35,000 points for Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card customers, or certificates up to a maximum of 50,000 points per-night for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card customers.
If you are planning on booking luxurious accommodation, we strongly recommend the Montage Palmetto Bluff. It forms part of American Express’s Fine Hotels And Resorts Program. Situated along the May River, this property is a short and enjoyable drive from Hilton Head Island.
– Hilton Head Is The Ultimate Paradise For Golf And Tennis
With 24 golf courses to choose from, Hilton Head Island is the ideal destination for professional and advanced golfers. Each year, the Island kicks the summer off by hosting the RBC Heritage tournament that is presented by Boeing. This PGA event is held at Harbour Town Golf Links on The Sea Pines Resort. Many golfers regard this as a bucket-list golf course. In addition to golf, this island is well-known for also being a popular tennis haven. Hilton Head is home to more than 500 courts. It is also the proud home to 8 of the 100 tennis resorts, which include B.J. Stearns, and on the Sea Pines Resort is the Stan Smith-led Hilton Head Tennis Academy.
– Foodie Paradise
With more than 250 restaurants, dozens of farmers’ markets, bakeries, and a host of other shop types to choose from, you can tantalize your tastebuds when visiting Hilton Head. Here you get to enjoy a few of the best traditional Low Country cuisines, such as crab cakes and local oysters, along with high-end, cutting-edge dining, and a few of the Southeast’s top sustainably-prepared meals. Enjoy whatever you decide on with an oceanside refreshing cocktail. Each year, this island hosts several culinary events, including the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival, the oyster roasts, and the Hilton Head Island Wine and Food Festival.
– Several Outdoor Activities
As mentioned previously, Hilton Head Island offers 12 miles of soft sand and pristine beaches. They are wide offering more than enough space during low tide, or you can choose to ride a bike along one of the shorelines. The warmest waters can be found here, making Hilton Head Island the perfect spot for children and the “young at heart” to swim.
Other than enjoying a few beach activities, there are also many water activities on offer, including kayaking, fishing, dolphin-watching, and paddleboarding.
Some of the land activities include bird-watching, ziplining, or a visit to Pickney Island National Refuge and the Audubon-Newhall Preserve with more than 60 miles of attractive leisure pathways to enjoy biking, running, or walking.
– Loads Of Family Fun
There are many family activities on offer when visiting Hilton Head Island. From riding bikes on a leisure pathway or the beach to dining or enjoying one of the kid-friendly concerts at Sea Pines in Harbour Town. Children, parents, and grandparents all enjoy the dolphin-watching boat tours or exploring institutions like the Coastal Discovery Museum, one of the Smithsonian affiliate museums. This venue features live Oak trees with Spanish moss, trails, a beautiful butterfly enclosure, gardens, and the marsh house tour. Hilton Head also houses a thriving and dynamic arts community, along with a few of the best productions in South Carolina, galleries, and live music spots throughout the year.
– Steeped In History
Hilton Head has a fascinating history. For more than 300 years, the Gullah ancient culture remains a vibrant and active part-of-life on Hilton Head Island. These influences are still prominent in African folktales, craft items, and African names, in addition to the Gullah language (a Creole that is similar to Krio in Sierra Leone). Many of the treasured food cultures associated with low country stem from Gullah gravy and shrimp, rice purlo, okra gumbo, all cooked according to time-honored African cooking spices and techniques.
Historic Mitchelville, located on Port Royal Sound of Hilton Head, was the very first town that was self-governed by the freed slaves in the U.S. General Ormsby Mitchel established the town in 1862. He was a Union forces commander that occupied Hilton Head Island. The town was only built by and for those who were granted freedom before the Emancipation Proclamation as the Port Royal Experiment. Through the Mitchell Freedom Park and the Mitchellville Preservation Project, the Gullah people, direct descendants of this town, keep their stories alive. The whole family is invited to explore the history of the Gullah people and how they continue to impact Hilton Head through the Gullah Museum, the Gullah Heritage Trail Tours, and the Heritage Library.
Regardless of what your idea of a great vacation involves, it is on offer by Hilton Head. This island is easy to access and provides several lodging choices for every type of budget and traveler accompanied by cultural heritage and abundant natural beauty. Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway to enjoy time in the sun or spending several weeks exploring everything this island has to offer with your family, you can’t go wrong when you vacation on Hilton Head Island.