is a small South Carolina town which is internationally recognized for its world-class golf and tennis as well as beautiful wide beaches and year-round sub-tropical climate on the Atlantic Ocean.
It's an important tourist destination and a haven for retirees and second-home owners who escape harsh northern winter weather.
is one of the small towns in Beaufort County where visitors will also enjoy the rural areas and the small historic town of
which is the seat of county government.Around Hilton Head...
Alder Lane Beach
This is not considered a park, although it is free beach access with amenities maintained by the town. Outdoor showers, restrooms, matting for handicap accessibility, and seasonal lifeguards are provided.
Seafood Restaurant & Wine Bar
Alexander’s is popular for its extensive wine list, as it has received the Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator magazine since 2001. The list includes new world or old world labels in a wide price range and retail availability which saves a stop at a different shop for a bottle to take home.
De Aarts Ob We People XV
of Coastal Carolina
Visiting musical and dramatic shows are hosted here as well as special community events and art exhibits in the gallery. Something is always going on, with varying themes and ticket prices. It’s professional and popular, with tickets which should be reserved early for the big shows.
Chinese, Japanese, Thai
Sushi bar, dim sum, lunch buffet, and great Asian fusion entrees. It's contemporary and stylish with a welcoming ambiance.
A 50-acre sanctuary for preserving the natural environment and protecting the habitat of indigenous plants and animals. Trail guides with plant and tree labels help the visitor navigate. Guided walks can be arranged for groups.
Small restaurant and bar indoors and large backyard with shady seating and games to fill the waiting time. This is an extremely popular local-flavor restaurant. Reservations are not taken, and a wait during prime dinner hours may be lengthy but the full bar with appetizers is available too. Live entertainment is in the yard during the summer.
the main attraction
Beach access is ideal from any of the major resorts where equipment and beach showers are often provided. Public beach access is available, but it’s necessary to know where to find it as many beach entrances are private. In all of South Carolina, the beach itself is public property and free to visit; however, private property owners often prohibit parking or access for the general visitor to reach the oceanfront.
bistro and pizzaria
Homemade dough for New York style crust pizza and red or white sauces with a good variety of fresh toppings; traditional Italian entrees; big subs and salads. Reasonably-priced wine list and fabulous desserts of tiramisu, cannoli, spumoni and more.
The town maintains some 50 miles of public bike trails, and another 50 miles of bike paths are within the private developments for their residents and guests. It's the most popular exercise of many who live or visit the island, whether biking on the hard-packed beach sand or along the pathways. It delivers the most scenic view of the natural beauty, especially away from traffic which is sometimes congested.
at Shelter Cove Marina
Sunsets over the harbor are never better than at this spot. The bistro has outdoor seating which is dog friendly and even has a puppy menu which is prepared by Lucky Dog Cuisine. Indoor dining also offers the harbor view.
It's at the Palmetto Bay Marina
and delivers a view, especially during the season with outdoor seating.
Burgers and Brew
Watch for date to be announced for next year. All new event on Oct. 13, 2012, a fun-filled day for the family with features of best burgers and brew from local restaurants. Burgers of chicken, shrimp, crab or other varieties, and winning restaurants named by professional judges as well as by People's Choice voting.
Metered parking, albeit limited, and no amenities are provided here, although it is public town park with a path to beach access.
original Bar & Grill
A popular spot proud of its reputation for attracting fun loving drinking boaters. It’s often crowded and not intended for a quick visit. They say "Don't get your shorts in a knot" if you have to wait for a table or for your food. Have another beer and enjoy the view.
Charlie’s L’etoile Verte
an upscale favorite
The menu changes daily with choices based on the freshest available local fish and usually including lamb, steak, duck and other dishes.
formerly Charley's Crab
The creek-front location is a long-time favorite, and the change to one of the Chart House
nationwide group is welcomed by many visitors.
annual October event
This is a super HOT
and fun family event scheduled for the second Saturday each October. It's sponsored by the Kiwanis Club and includes a local competition of anything-goes chili which is judged in professional and amateur categories. Local judges name winners as well as the attendees who vote after sampling it all for one ticket price. Music is provided by local groups such as the Port O'Johns
; beverages are extra; antacids are available :)
Coastal Discovery Museum
exhibits, tours and educational programs
Coastal Discovery Museum currently is partially located in the first building across the bridge onto the island. Additional exhibits and programs are located at historic Honey Horn where the museum plans to be headquartered.
Coligny Beach Park
primary beach access
Parking is free, albeit limited, and a swimming area is designated with a lifeguard on duty during the summer beach season. Outdoor showers and restrooms are provided by the town, and beach rentals are offered during the season.
center of the action on the south end of the island
The plaza’s name came from Admiral Gaspard de Coligny who was one of the Protestant leaders sponsoring the early French Hugenot voyages to the New World.
and Motoring Festival
The cream de la cream of car shows,
in Harbour Town
This was the first building in Harbour Town, designed by Ralph Ballentine as his artist studio. He created it to resemble a rice barn, and authentic materials were acquired from demolished houses and churches in neighboring counties.
Steakhouse and Seafood
This tavern and steakhouse features prime beef with a father-daughter team carrying on a family tradition of 100 years of serving fine food and drink. Its dark wood paneling and white linen service are that of a classic steakhouse.
for seafood lovers
Plenty of local seafood options in a casual setting with indoor or outdoor seating with a water view.
Crazy Crab - Harbour Town
in Sea Pines
It's fresh seafood at its best. From soups and salads to fried, steamed or boiled, it's all here. Some of the favorite lunch items are the Fried Grouper Sandwich
, the Fried Oyster Sandwich
or the Broiled Platter
with fish, scallops, shrimp and stuffed flounder. Anything your heart could desire is piled on a sandwich or a platter. Most diners want to begin any meal with the famed She Crab Soup
Hilton Head Island Beach Resort
This hotel within Shipyard Plantation has received the AAA Four Diamond award for its 15th year. It's also a business-friendly meeting hotel. Take a tour► for the full view.
family-friendly off the beach
This is a family resort on a little island across the marina from Shelter Cove Harbour. Walking across the bridge offers easy access to several restaurants, and the summer evening entertainment suits every age.
Dolphin & Nature Tours
SS Pelican or Island Queen
Island Queen is a 45-foot covered boat that is used for the dolphin watch cruises and can carry up to 40 passengers as approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. These tours last about 90 minutes.
Driessen Beach Park
town park with amenities
Amenities include limited meter parking and 30 spaces reserved for permit parking
which is available only to residents and property owners; showers; playground; boardwalk; restrooms; picnic pavilion; grill; seasonal beach rentals and seasonal lifeguards.
E L A's
Blu Water Grille
It’s on the waterfront overlooking Shelter Cove Harbour with spectacular views including sunset. Docking fees are free with reservations. (It was formerly the site of Ocean Grille.) It's owned by a local family and features bright open decor showcasing a collection of America's Cup replica sail boats and works by local artist Pete Karis.
Local fresh seafood (plus meats and produce from nearby farms) is one of the highlights of many vacations to the South Carolina Lowcountry. Fish, oysters and shrimp choices vary with the seasons. Most restaurants offer daily specials with the freshest direct from the docks.
Traditional Mexican dishes with freshly prepared items daily in family restaurants. Popular with locals and visitors.
First African Baptist Church
established in 1862
This is the oldest church on Hilton Head. When slaves were freed, Blacks were allowed to build their own churches in Mitchelville
. A minister was selected from the community, and he began this church with 25 members. It is now a large active church welcoming to visitors.
Fishing & Nature Tours
by Drifter Excursions
Drifter Excursions offers deep sea fishing and nature tours.
Folly Field Beach
public park with beach access
Outdoor showers, boardwalk from parking lot to beach, restrooms, seasonal beach rentals and seasonal lifeguards plus the convenient location make this a popular spot for family visits.
Restaurant and Lounge
It’s casual American-Italian. Soups, salads, flatbread pizza, burgers or pasta entrées are widely varied for lunch. Dinner entrées include vegetarian choices plus an ultimate combination of lobster mac and cheese.
Pizza & Pasta
Fresh sauces made daily, homemade dough for pizza and calzones and good quality ingredients are the trademark of this friendly casual restaurant. Any type of topping or filling is offered as well as sub sandwiches, hoagies and signature weggies (a sandwich baked in pizza dough). Original Philly cheesesteaks are the real deal with bread brought in from Philly.
Take a golf trip to the Lowcountry, and experience scenic beauty and activities along the way.
annual February events
While the rich Gullah history and heritage is celebrated any time, the month-long Gullah Celebration every February includes one of the many recognized opportunities for large scale tasting events as well as an art exhibit
and various additional activities.
shopping, dining, entertainment
Harbour Town Golf Links
home to the PGA Heritage Classic since 1969
The famed course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye and opened in 1969.The yardage is 6973 from where the pros tee it up.
Harbour Town Lighthouse
at Sea Pines
This is the most recognized landmark of Hilton Head and worth a visit to Harbour Town with additional shopping, dining and activities within Sea Pines. It was built in 1970, the first privately financed lighthouse built since the early 1800s.
by Pete Dye
The newest course on Sea Pines opened in 2007. Golfers call it a masterpiece.
Hilton Head Diner
Breakfast, burgers or sandwiches anytime distinguish the character of this true diner. If it's not breakfast or lunch time, there's pork chops, tilapia or Italian cuisine, meatloaf or liver and onions. Cheesecakes, fruit pies and more desserts are baked here and available for take out. There's a full bar, a children's menu and a jukebox at each booth. Not much that isn't found here.
Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis
Resort and Conference Center
This is the oldest resort on the island and one of the largest with 900 units which all are privately owned and available through a room rental program.The condos are two-bedroom tennis villas, one-bedroom ocean villas or Admiral's Row which is top of the line.
historic plantation site
Honey Horn is the site of impressive live oaks draped with Spanish moss and historic buildings and farmland dating from the 1850s.Talks and walks through the woods are opportunities to see and learn about nature such as the Native American’s use of the Yaupon holly and other important plants and trees.
Hudson’s Seafood House
on the Docks
Casual and typical seafood house on the docks, this is the oldest of the island’s restaurants, and the view showcases the special catch arriving daily. It may be cobia or the ubiquitous and most popular shrimp. The restaurant boasts of serving 40,000 pounds of shrimp, 3,000 gallons of oysters and 12,000 softshell crabs each year.
The location in the Village at Wexford is convenient to shopping and lodging. Dining is good quality in a casual atmosphere indoors or out. The lunch menu features soups, burgers and salad plates or a few of the entrées from the dinner menu.
Inn at Harbour Town
must visit for ultimate luxury
This is a AAA Four Diamond for the seventh year and a Mobile Four Star boutique hotel within the 5,000-acre Sea Pines resort which displays a Scottish flavor.
for tastings and special events
Cherries, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, chocolate, oranges, cranberries, apples, cinnamon – any of these flavors appeal to you today? Oh, yes, grapes are crushed and mashed! Magic is worked within tanks and barrels for a fermentation process. And voila, it’s wine! With tastes ranging from subtle combinations of these fruits to a margarita, Island Winery has put it into a bottle of wine. Not all together of course!
public park with beach access
Named by Coastal Living
magazine in 2012 among "21 Best Beaches." The only South Carolina beach selected for this list.
Italian Heritage Festival
at Shelter Cove Park
Annual event usually set for the third Saturday in September, this includes plenty of Italian food, grape stomping, silent auction, Italian car show, kids' activities and entertainment.
music after dinner
It’s well known for the jazz performances and the concept of the venue itself conveniently located in the Village at Wexford.
This small restaurant is quite casual, and its location makes it convenient for guests on the south end of the island. Vegetarian meals and the kids’ menu make it a popular choice for selective families. The menu includes fresh seafood, veal and pasta dishes.
Cajun Seafood Hut
This French Quarter Cafe is a Cajun seafood hut with some of the best you can find outside N'awlins. Traditional Cajun creole seafood specialties, fried baskets and Big Easy PoBoys
are just a start.
seafood and steakhouse
Panoramic water views over the harbor are a treat. Take a camera to catch the pelicans posing nearby or showing off their fishing skills.
horseback riding and petting zoo
Trail rides, pony rides, carriage rides, riding instruction and training.
Lovely little French-style bistro tucked away into a shopping center, this is a favorite of many locals. It's cozy and friendly with one of the owners on site and attentive to guests.
Mall at Shelter Cove
the only enclosed mall
A few important choices for serious shoppers moved from here into the new Tanger Outlet Mall in 2011. Remaining stores are only the anchor department store Belk, Jos. A. Bank and GNC.
cheese pizza Happy Hour 3-4 pm
This good Italian restaurant is a casual convenient spot for picking up an order or staying to watch a ballgame, especially if it involves Ohio State. Outdoor dining is comfortable too.
Delicious flavors include seafood and steak
Resort and Spa
This resort hotel is rated Four Diamond by AAA for the eighth year. It is within Palmetto Dunes Plantation directly on the beach, and the views are direct oceanfront, ocean view or island view. Choose a big corner room for the most spectacular look at the ocean, or choose the presidential suite for the largest parlor space, wet bar, and Jacuzzi on the fifth floor.
It's casual and comfortable with wonderful Italian cuisine. Reservations are suggested, although it's easy to dine at the bar without reservations.
Mitchelville was known as the nation’s first freedmen’s village built during the Civil War. Although only ruins, this is a significant African American site on the north end of Hilton Head Island. Only the tabby foundations of a few buildings remain, speaking to the history of the island.
public park with beach access
Restrooms, beach matting for handicap access, no additional amenities provided at this north-end park which is less frequented than many of the southern beaches.
oldest Hilton Head course
Designed by George Cobb in 1960, the Ocean Course at
Sea Pines underwent a complete face lift and was brought up to date by Mark McCumber in 1995. He made a course that is both a challenge and very playable for all levels of golfers. It has been awarded a Beginner Friendly Course Certification. Low handicappers will have to be playing their best game because of lagoons and bunkers, especially if they are playing from the McCumber tees, which make the course 6906 yards. Besides the lagoons, water comes into play on 12 of the holes. There are many risk and reward holes where low scores can be made.
Thai Japanese Asian Fusion
Contemporary decor and friendly welcoming ambiance with wide variety of sushi and entrees along with talented chefs performing their culinary tricks on hibachi tables in separate section. The wine list is extensive.
Old Fort Pub
Four diamond dining
From Carolina Trout to New Zealand Lamb and many more entrée choices, Executive Chef Keith Josefiak dishes up dinners which live up to his stellar reputation spanning many years
in fine restaurants in the Lowcountry.
Old Oyster Factory
on Broad Creek
The site was the home of the Broad Creek Oyster Factory, a cannery which closed in the 1990s.
Ocean Front Resort
Previously the Hilton, this hotel was rebranded and renamed in. 2012, with a comprehensive renovation. It will be the only Omni in South Carolina. It was named a Four Diamonod property by AAA.
One Hot Mama’s
"Mama" Orchid Paulmeier is a tiny young Filipino chef mixing southern traditions with her own tasty touches. The popular and vivacious personality was a 2011 Food Network Star finalist.
The outdoor outfitter and tour operator Outside Hilton Head
offers a wide variety of activities from the convenient Shelter Cove
location or from Palmetto Bluff. Stand Up Paddleboarding is popular including SUP Yoga classes. Fishing, kayaking, touring, skiing, kneeboarding, group programs or summer children's camp offer year-round choices of high quality outdoor experiences.
annual November event
A major gathering for oyster lovers is set for a mid-November weekend each year. In addition to steamed, fried and chowder for the oyster eaters, shrimp, chili, hotdogs and hamburgers are offered.
3 courses at oceanfront resort
Three world class golf courses were designed by three of the big names in golf design: Arthur Hills
, Robert Trent Jones
and George Fazio.
Patty's Pig 'N' Pit
Lots of pork, barbecued, pulled or chops and much more including burgers (maybe with bacon), chicken, steaks, smoked fish, shrimp and southern sides with non-traditional touches and choices of signature sauces. Creative stuffings for potatoes and chili or gumbo also are special.
Natural Wildlife Preserve
The Pinckney Island Natural Wildlife Preserve offers amazing displays for bird watching with as many as 200
native species. Egrets, ibis and herons are the graceful long-legged shore birds which never fail to capture the photographer’s lens or the nature artist’s brush.
Several small shops and service businesses along with a half dozen restaurants and coffee shops, this is larger than it appears at first glance. The back side is especially attractive with outdoor dining along the duck pond.
Italian ice cream
Although primarily chosen for dessert, this could be a favorite place for lunch. Gelato is the Italian version of ice cream and is lower in fat, cholesterol and calories than ice cream. Made by hand, it has no artificial ingredients. Several flavors or combinations are served.
fine food, wine, art, ambiance
The open kitchen dishes out fine fresh seafood in an upscale atmosphere with a light Caribbean flair reflecting some of the experience brought by Chef Sean Walsh. It’s often chosen for lunch with large sensational salads, creative sandwiches or seafood entrées.
The Kobe beef burger is far more than a burger with foie gras and truffles. Seating is indoor or outdoor.
It's a bit of a pub with such semi-Irish menu specialties as fish and chips or corned beef and cabbage as well as Blarney Burgers. Also, there are plenty of American sandwiches, steaks, seafood and pasta with a lowcountry touch. Daily lunch or dinner specials, and sometimes coupons, can be found on the website.
annual May festival
Mid-May (May 18, 2013) marks the Rib Burnoff
and Barbecue Festival
sponsored by the Kiwanis Club. Restaurants and amateurs begin cooking the night before the festival, and competition HEATS UP
every year. Food typically may come from a dozen cooks including Frankie Bones
, the Smokehouse
and One Hot Mama's
Roastfish and Cornbread
Chef David Vincent Young prides himself on true country cooking with items not found too many other places, such as Sweet Potato Cornbread
, Sweet Potato Cheesecake, collard greens
. Po boys, alligator or conch fritters are popular too. Expect reasonable prices and a big platter of almost any fresh fish such as tilapia, tuna, catfish, flounder, grouper plus oysters and shrimp.
Robert Irvine’s eat!
the ultimate experience
The famous host of Dinner: Impossible comes direct from Food Network to bring beautiful dinners to his restaurant.
He is also known for his coaching on Food Network's The Worst Cooks in America
and for his newest network venture Restaurant: Possible
. He might be spotted in the local restaurant chatting with guests here too.
fine dining almost hidden
The feel is dressy, but casual and friendly keeps it comfortable. The open kitchen in the center of the room invites seating around the chef’s table to watch the chefs at work, although a few quaint dining room tables also are available.
environmentally-friendly way to see nature under sail
Advanced Sail offers a special experience on the water. The owners have lived here for more than 30 years and have hosted sailing charters for 23 years .
restaurants and shops
Restaurants, bars and food choices at South Beach Marina Village in Sea Pines:
Mexican on the marina
Known for margarita and other cocktail specialties plus homemade Sangria and a good selection of Mexican Cerveza, (that's good beer!) the menu includes almost any imaginable Mexican meals.
Mesquite hardwood grilling lends the true flavor of the southwest to the New Mexico style menu.
Scott’s Fish Market
dinner with harbour view
With a theme of “Love, Surf, Fish, Eat,” don’t you think it’s serving up fun and food! It’s not actually a market, but a casual restaurant specializing in fresh seafood, pasta, entrée salads, sandwiches and steaks.
Sea Grass Grille
lowcountry beach theme
This small eatery is not particularly sophisticated and often overlooked. The menu is predominantly seafood including scallops, and several fish choices. Other entrees are rack of lamb, duck, pork or veal entrées.
Homes, villas and the Inn at Harbour Town
offer fine accommodations for any vacation, whether a golf group or family trip. It's a gated community with everything that could be desired. The rentals range from deluxe to moderate comfortable accommodations which are in separate sections: Oceanside, South Beach, Harbour Town or plantation. The North Forest Beach is outside the gated resort.
Sea Pines Forest Preserve
free nature walks
A horseback or walking tour of the Sea Pines Forest Preserve is an opportunity for unmatched enjoyment of the surroundings.
not fancy, just good
It really doesn't look like much, and it's almost hidden, but locals and repeat visitors alike will say it's the only place to eat. At least, it's often the first recommendation of anyone you might ask.
fun and food
Typically set for late April on a Friday evening and full day Saturday, this annual fundraiser has been enjoyed for five years.
Shelter Cove Harbour
Retail shops include gifts, art, apparel, kids’ clothing, home and garden accessories. Special events are frequently in the complex which is waterfront with scenic views of the marina on Broad Creek.
Sheri's Edible Designs
custom cake art
Create! Indulge! Inspire! That's her idea, and it's always sweet and scrumptious.
Shipyard Golf Club
There are three nine-hole courses at Shipyard Plantation: Clipper, Brigantine
. These can be played in three 18-hole combinations. No matter which combination is chosen, golfers will find a challenging and enjoyable round of golf. As with all lowcountry golf, one can expect water. Throughout these 27 holes, there is water coming into play on 25 holes.
Grill and Cafe
Skull Creek Boathouse
formerly Boathouse II
It's on the creek with indoor or outdoor seating and a perfect sunset view with a countdown till sunset time displayed daily on the website. Watch the website or Twitter for news of happenings and special events such as the Full Moon themed parties.
The new location is attractive with a large bar area, big dining room and great deck around the outdoor fireplace. It's a friendly spot to watch a game on TV or sample the 12 beers on tap.
Casual and comfortable, as well as conveniently located in Coligny Plaza
, this is one of the favorite places for a big bucket of steamed oysters. Plenty of other seafood is available including shrimp, clams, mussels, crawfish, snow crab legs and more.
Anyone who has ever eaten a hot dog from a vendor’s cart on the sidewalk will recognize the concept.
Small and a bit hard to find, upstairs with no access for handicapped, and parking is limited, but the views and the food are worth the stop off the beaten path.
more than 50 brands
Two separate complexes are part of the Tanger Outlets, with Tanger 1 rebuilt and re-opened in 2011. The two sections are approximately a mile apart, and not within walking distance of each other, although both located on the same corridor which is U.S. 278 also known as Fording Island Road.
New American and Greek
It's a wide variety of beautifully-prepared tapas with meats and seafoods plus creamy soups and creative salads. A few of the many tempting choices include Fried Green Tomatoes, Cajun Alligator, Jambalaya, Lobster Thermidor, Venison Chasseur, Grilled Lamb Chops
and Duck au Cassis.
world-class golf tournment
From the first tournament on Harbour Town Golf Links in 1969, with few more than 5000 spectators, today Sea Pines Resort is host to more than 100,000 spectators for this world-class golf tournament.
Beer & Growler Bar
Most popular bar EVER for beer lovers :) Rotating taps with 36 craft beers and growlers to go.Wine keeper system too. Big burgers.
The Village at Wexford
dining and boutique shopping
Some fine dining, British Open Pub
, Pino Gelato, and casual restaurants Robert Irvine’s eat!, Antonio’s, Hugo’s and The Jazz Corner
are in this little village grouping along with boutique shops for clothing, jewelry and a variety of home and personal accessories.
New in late 2011 and truly divine, this little bistro is tucked away in a corner of Park Plaza, but it's a lovely spot for a fine Italian meal, maybe even a special romantic dinner. Cozy atmosphere is surrounded by Italian-themed murals. Outdoor seating is available too.
Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa
The Westin has been named a AAA Four Diamond hotel for 17 years. The 412 guest rooms are located on the beach within Port Royal Plantation. All guest rooms and suites have private balcony or patio.
Wine & Food Festival
annual March event
The next festival is set for March 4-9, 2013, with the Uncork
introduction on Jan. 25 and the International Judging
18th annual event
Local restaurants cook their best wings in mid-March in a fun-filled and family-friendly festival. It's set for March 22-23, 2013. It's a lot of good food, a friendly competition among some of our favorite restaurants and fun for everyone.
small plates, big wines, serious cocktails
Trendy and especially suitable for couples and young groups. Small plates and specials match the fun atmosphere.