Hilton Head Island is one of the most popular vacation spots on the East Coast, mostly because the place maintains its natural island scenery (and golf courses) and pristine white-sand beaches. Visitors can relax while enjoying the many island activities, which include biking, kayaking, parasailing and trails for leisurely hikes. Many travelers also appreciate tours of Hilton Head's many historic landmarks, particularly its old homes and its scenic harbor.
A good way to get an overview of the island is aboard a Red Trolley Tour, which wends around the historic sites and nature spots. Or hit the water on one of the many cruises that embark regularly from various marinas around the island. If you have kids along, they'll be kept busy at the Sandbox interactive museum, which features a lot of fun stuff to do, like the airport terminal area, where they can fly their own plane. Or check out the Coastal Discovery Museum and learn about the natural history and cultural heritage of the Lowcountry. Another interesting destination is Harbour Town, where you can stroll around the marina and see the yachts at anchor -- or rent your own jet ski, if you're in an energetic mood. This is also where you'll find the historic lighthouse and its accompanying museum. Coligny Circle has a nice beach. Shelter Cove Harbour has fireworks on Tuesday nights and Old Town Bluffton has a lot of historic buildings and many art galleries.
Dining and Nightlife
Hilton Head is well stocked with restaurants, both upscale and casual. Try to find a place that specializes in Lowcounty cuisine, which focuses on seafood with a Southern spin. Harbour Town has a broad selection of restaurants, as does Shelter Cove. Like any tourist destination, the island has a lively nightlife scene, with a busy bunch of clubs and live music venues. The vibe here tends to be on the low-key side. The southern end of the island around Park Plaza is known as the "Barmuda Triangle." Harbour Town has regular outdoor performances that are often family-friendly.
The upscale Mall at Shelter Cove is the only indoor mall on Hilton Head. It's not huge but it offers a wide selection of high-end brands and specialty shops, as well as Belk, which is the only department store on the island. Coligny Plaza is another good retail location, with a variety of trendy boutiques, specialty and gift stores and its own theater. Harbour Town has a lot of galleries and gift shops within a short and scenic walk of each other. The Beach Market in "downtown" Hilton Head has a lot of tourist-centric shops where you can pick up a souvenir of your stay.
1 S Forest Beach Dr
100 William Hilton Parkway
10 North Forest Beach Drive
20 Bridge Street