Updated: Feb 28
There might be a lot of things to do in Hilton Head, South Carolina, however, it can become overwhelming at times and can be difficult to decipher which activities best suit your party.
The most sought out things to do in Hilton Head are family friendly activities. Hilton Head Island is a top family vacation spot and prides itself in being family friendly, however it is a common misconception that there aren’t things to do in Hilton Head that are family friendly. We are going to prove our Hilton Head Island critics wrong!
Obviously, our first choice for family friendly activities on Hilton Head Island is our Mermaid Encounter Boat Tour. The guided tour is a 75 minute magical adventure found only on Hilton Head Island. Young girls get so excited to meet a real mermaid in the wild, and young boys are just as excited to fight off the evil villain.
Enjoy dolphin watching as well, on this boat tour, making your family vacation out on the water as mermazing as possible. Once you return to land, we also offer our Shark Tooth Experience where you can pan for real shark teeth and keep them as a perfect Hilton Head Island souvenir.
If mermaids are not your thing we also offer a sunset cruise and dolphin cruise to get you out on the water to see some wildlife. All of our tours go by the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge.
If you are here with a group of adults, one of the best things to do in Hilton Head is go somewhere awesome and listen to some live music. The Tiki Hut on Coligny Beach and the Big Bamboo Cafe are popular destinations for great live music. They have good food, great drinks, and of course awesome music so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy being on island time.
Many adults who visit Hilton Head Island already know what they want to do when they visit, and it is often the reason that brings them here: golf. There are golf courses scattered about Hilton Head Island, and all of them are the best Hilton Head Island quality you dream about, however, none are as famous as the Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines Resort.
The 18th hole overlooking the Harbour Town lighthouse makes this one of the most recognized golf courses in the United States, and also the most photographed.
When you find yourself on the South End of the island, in Sea Pines Resort, it is always fun to check out our wildlife at Sea Pines Forest Preserve. While there might not be any dolphin watching or guided tours in Sea Pines Forest Preserve, you will be sure to see alligators in their natural habitats on one of the many bike trails found throughout the salt marsh.
Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a unique place where the wildlife can be found nearly untouched surrounded by salt marsh and the bike trails take you right through it all, bringing you close to Great Blue Herons, Spoonbills, Bald Eagles, Egrets, Alligators, Freshwater turtles, and even a variety of frog species. It is a great place to check out on a family vacation, as well.
If you happen to be a Civil War buff and are looking for some history on Hilton Head Island, be sure to check out the Coastal Discovery Museum. While it may not be entertaining enough to constitute a family friendly outting, it does not disappoint if you are looking for Civil War history in the area.
While some people just enjoy walking around the property to learn about Hilton Head Island’s Civil War history, the Coastal Discovery Museum also offers guided tours to extend your knowledge and get the most out of your search for Hilton Head Island Civil War history.
If history and learning about the Civil War isn’t your thing, maybe art will intrigue you. Hilton Head Island has some art galleries featuring local artists that have caught the attention of tourists globally. Nash Gallery, which is the most popular on the island, has so many unique items to see and purchase and many visitors say they could spend hours there.
Our favorite of the art galleries is Pluff Mudd Art which is located in Bluffton and it the perfect place to visit if you are looking for art galleries that offer fine art.
It doesn’t count as a visit to South Carolina if you forget to check out our salt marsh or a beach park. The Hilton Head Island salt marsh is a unique habitat that is a sure sign when you are in the lowcountry. There is nothing quite like the salt marsh and Hilton Head Island loves it that way.
The most popular of things to do in Hilton Head is the sole reason many people take a family vacation to South Carolina: the beach park. It doesn’t matter which beach park you choose on Hilton Head Island, you will be sure to get in some optimal dolphin watching right from the beach with the warm sand burying your toes. Coligny beach park is the most popular beach park as it offers free parking all day, but every beach park found on Hilton Head Island is just as beautiful.
If you are looking to end the day with the best meal on the island, many locals will recommend Hudson’s Seafood House, as it has become a Hilton Head Island tradition. While a seafood house on the docks is always fun, if you are looking for great cuisine with a relaxed atmosphere, be sure to check out a local secret: Nick’s Seafood and Steak House.
Nick’s might not be a seafood house on the docks, but they have some of the best food. As an added bonus, the crowds (as well as waits) are minimal compared to Hudson’s Seafood House. Nick’s is a local favorite you won’t want to miss on your South Carolina family vacation.
One of the most popular activities for every family vacation, that often follows that dinner out is getting your Family Portrait taken on the beach. This trend has been growing so quickly in the past few years, and because of that, there are many photographers that can be found on Hilton Head Island. We recommend Island Life HH Photography for your beach portraits. The quality of their photography is hard to beat, their pricing is more than fair, and they have a fast turnaround time.
Lastly, if you need to bribe the kids to cooperate for your family photos, ice cream is always a favorite. Nothing is more family friendly than ice cream after your family beach portraits! As any good South Carolina island should have, Hilton Head Island offers many different local ice cream spots - all are equally as good.
Whether you are visiting Hilton Head Island, South Carolina with your significant other, business colleagues, or as a family vacation, there are so many things to do in Hilton Head. From exploring bike trails and going to a beach park to going on a guided tour where you can meet a mermaid and get some dolphin watching in, to art galleries, and Civil War history as well as golf courses, food, live music, photography, and ice cream - there is something for everyone.
Hilton Head Island is a unique place that can be fun for adults as well as perfect for family friendly vacations and it is a place you don’t want to miss. Be sure you add Hilton Head Island, South Carolina to your bucket list soon because we can’t wait to meet y’all!