Hilton Head Sightseeing: How to See the Island’s Natural Beauty

Hilton Head sightseeing adventures await on this popular island destination in South Carolina. Active types can head to trails and see wildlife. More leisurely travelers enjoy seeing hidden beach retreats. Even history buffs and photographers will relish in all the island offers. No matter what interests the group, Hilton Head features natural beauty seldom found anywhere else. To get started, here are the top spots.

8 Ways to Experience a Hilton Head Sightseeing Adventure

hilton head sightseeing biking

Photo: Dan Costin

Ride Bike Trails

Hilton Head prides itself on its eco-friendly travel practices, especially when it comes to bicycling. The city has several paved paths, and biking not only provides a way to see the island, but also reduces traffic and harmful emissions. Families can ride on more than 100 miles of paved share-use paths or cruise the island on 6 miles of bike lanes. Nearly 25 percent of the main streets have bike lanes or paved shoulders, helping ensure riders’ safety.

Spend the Day at Coligny Beach

Whether looking to relax on the beach or play hard, Coligny Beach Park is a must-see. Much more than a beach, this park features a boardwalk, paved trails, art and mini water park for cooling off. Take the family to the boardwalk to see stunning sunrises and sunsets, or sit on the swings that face the ocean. Cologny Beach Park also offers public beach access and free Wi-Fi, making it easy to share every beach vacation moment.

hilton head sightseeing beach

Take a Hilton Head Sightseeing Tour, Fishing Charter

Guided tours provide opportunities to meet locals and experience Hilton Head sightseeing in a fun way. Dozens of companies offer boat tours and fishing charters, and families will find one that fits their interests.

From action-packed tours full of wildlife to relaxing sunset sailing, Hilton Head has a tour for everyone. Book a boat and see dolphins and other marine life, or hop in a kayak or canoe and search for them. Many charters also head into the Atlantic for deep sea fishing and shrimping. View a full list of charter rentals.

Head to the Light

The lighthouse that is. A must for any Hilton Head sightseeing vacation is Harbour Town Lighthouse and Museum. For more than 40 years, the lighthouse and museum have delighted guests. When visiting, climb 10 levels and see something new and educational on each one. At the top, overlook the boats and surrounding harbor. The museum also features the largest collection of lighthouses in the U.S. at the gift shop, which sells gifts and souvenirs.

Spend the Day at Sea Pines

Sea Pines Forest Preserve welcomes nature fans to roam on 605 acres. The preserve was first inhabited by nomadic Native Americans who left the Sea Pines Indian Shell Ring, an elliptical mound of shells and other materials. The 4,000-year-old ring is a top attraction and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Families can also walk or go horseback riding on two marked trails: Blue Arrow (1 mile) and Orange Arrow (2 miles). While at the preserve, visit Heritage Farm, a community farm used solely for assisting Hilton Head’s underprivileged residents.

hilton head sightseeing birds

Get Up-Close with the Low Country

At Coastal Discovery Museum, guests of all ages can learn about Hilton Head and its special residents. Make reservations to get a live encounter with snakes, raptors and birds. Or take a narrated Segway tour through the area, providing an easy way for the family to see the area. Other sites include Honey Horn, an on-site historic community; the butterfly enclosure; critter meet-and-greets; and special water cruises.

See Birds at Pinckney Island

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge offers Hilton Head sightseeing opportunities that include wildlife viewing, photography, education, hunting and fishing. Hike or bike more than 14 miles of trails, and see more than 250 species of birds, raptors, deer, red fox and bobcats. Hunters can attend the one-day white-tail deer hunt in November, and fishermen enjoy year-round saltwater fishing options.

Spread Out On Remote Beaches

Known as the “locals’ beach” to visitors and residents, Folly Field Beach Park is a less populated beach with live oaks and Palmetto trees. The park offers beach access, restrooms, a boardwalk, seasonal rentals and parking. Those staying in Folly Beach have the easiest access to the park and beach as it’s located in proximity to many vacation rentals in the area.

Another hidden gem is Driessen Beach Park at the end of Bradley Beach Road. Guests will find ample parking, a small boardwalk, playground and beach gear rentals. Both spots are perfect for a more secluded getaway in Hilton Head.

Start planning your Hilton Head vacation and browse rentals in the area.

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