What to do in Hilton Head, South Carolina
This sunny island is much more than an internationally known golf destination. Here are our favorite restaurants, hotels and activities in this low-country hideaway.
Hilton Head Island is the quintessential summer destination. Ideal for families, this island offers gorgeous beaches, a pristine natural environment of salt marshes, lagoons and creeks, palmetto trees and magnolias, over 250 restaurants and 24 world-class golf courses.
Where to eat
Hilton Head lies on the Intracoastal Waterway, making it the perfect dining location for seafood lovers. From no-frills to white-tablecloth dining, all of Hilton Head Island's restaurants showcase the best of low-country cuisine.
Travelers need to drive no more than two miles onto the island before reaching one of its best restaurants — The Crazy Crab at Jarvis Creek. Specializing in incredibly fresh seafood and classic low-country recipes (get the She Crab soup!), this institution is a can't-miss. Although The Crazy Crab has a second location at Harbour Town, the Jarvis Creek location is much bigger and has outdoor seating overlooking the water.
If seafood isn't your style, try a plate of sizzling fajitas at Aunt Chilada's Easy Street Cafe. Insider tip: Head over on a Tuesday to play "Flip it and Sip it," where the bartender flips a coin and if you call it correctly, your drink costs a dollar. On Saturday morning — or any morning — there's no better place for a stack of flapjacks than Hilton Head Diner.
What to do
Where to begin? Hilton Head Island is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. The Atlantic Ocean is the area's biggest playground, allowing for activities including sailing, surfing, scuba diving, parasailing, windsurfing, waterskiing and more. The marshlands make it the perfect environment for kayaking, fishing, crabbing and bird-watching. The island's 50 miles of nature trails make biking the preferred mode of transportation, providing easy access to the specialty boutiques and gourmet food shops in Harbour Town.
Hilton Head Island's biggest attraction is as a golf destination, due to over 20 championship courses. Every year, Harbour Town plays host to the RBC Heritage tournament, one of the most popular and most respected stops on the PGA tour.
Where to stay
Hilton Head Island has an array of accommodations, ranging from luxurious resorts and boutique hotels to expansive beachfront villas. Beach Properties of Hilton Head maintains a portfolio of one- to seven-bedroom luxury homes and villas — all within minutes of the beach — that are fit for special gatherings like weddings or family reunions.
If hotels and resorts are your preference, Marriott holds a monopoly with eight Vacation Club properties scattered all over the island. The Inn at Harbour Town is the ultimate in luxury, with a divine location to match. Set in the heart of Hilton Head Island's famed Harbour Town, the 60-room boutique hotel is steps away from the Harbour Town Yacht Basin, overlooks the Harbour Town Golf Links and is in walking distance from the historic Harbour Town Lighthouse as well as galleries, restaurants and shops.