Here are ways to spend your Hilton Head Island, SC vacation

Planning your next Hilton Head Island vacation? We’ve got you covered.

Hilton Head Island is a beautiful vacation destination located in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Recently voted as Southern Living’s “Top beach town of 2022”, you don’t want to miss visiting this serene piece of paradise.

However, as with many vacations, it’s best to have a plan to get the most out of them. Below are six ways to fully capitalize on your Hilton Head Island vacation. Get ready to be immersed in a world of lush, tropical greenery, moss-draped live oaks, shaded bike paths, and miles of white-sand beaches.

Hilton Head bike rentals

Bike rentals are the spotlight of Hilton Head’s active yet leisurely experience. Whether it’s biking to Frozen Moo in Coligny Plaza for ice cream, rolling through one of the many winding nature trails or pedaling along the beach beside the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean, Hilton Head Island sets the tone for creating lasting memories with your loved ones. Be it a kid-friendly adventure or a romantic excursion, a bike ride along any of the well-mapped trails is sure to be an eye-catching way to explore nearly any part of town. Many of Hilton Head’s public bike trails can be viewed at

Visit Harbour Town lighthouse

Visiting the Harbour Town lighthouse is a necessity as it has become a Hilton Head Island icon. The red-and-white striped lighthouse is located at the south end of the island in the Sea Pines community. The lighthouse is open to the public every day of the week with a dedicated museum on the bottom level. Families can climb to the top of this 90-foot lighthouse for only $5.75 per person with children 5 years old and younger, active military and military veterans entering for free. Harbour Town is a great place to spend the day shopping, grabbing a bite to eat and admiring the boats docked in the Harbour Town Yacht Basin. After a short drive or bike ride through Harbour Town, South Beach Marina, also in Sea Pines, is a wonderful area home to several retail shops and the crowd-favorite, water-side restaurant, Salty Dog Cafe.

Stop by Coligny Plaza

Coligny Plaza is a fun adventure in the making for any family looking to explore part of Hilton Head Island. Located next to Coligny Beach, which offers free beach parking nearby, public art and miles of sandy beach to enjoy, Coligny Plaza features a variety of restaurants, retail shops, activities, live music and more. After lunch at The Sandbar, Skillets Cafe and Grill, or one of the other delicious eateries you’ll find there, make a reservation at the Art Cafe to paint your own pottery and order your favorite drink. With nearly 60 specialty restaurants and shops, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in Coligny Plaza. For more information, visit

Catch a movie at Park Plaza Cinema

Want to catch that newly released movie you’ve been wanting to see? Hop over to Park Plaza Cinema. Independently owned by a local husband and wife duo, this cinema is one like no other. Rated as the “Coolest movie theater in South Carolina” by Cosmopolitan Magazine, it is sure to stand out. Grab a funnel cake or your snack of choice, along with an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage from the concession stand before making your way into the theater. Once there, find your reserved seat complete with a fold-out tray, cup holder and personal reclining remote to get you into the most comfortable position to view the show.

Play a round of golf

Golfing is a staple on Hilton Head Island. The island is home to many award-winning courses nestled among the ocean breeze and gently swaying palmetto trees. Favored by some of the best players, not just in the country but around the world, one of these such courses is Harbour Town Golf Links. Home to the RBC Heritage PGA TOUR Golf Tournament and winner of several awards, including being ranked as the “No.1 golf course in South Carolina” by GolfAdvisor, this is a course that golfers can’t miss playing. Have family members who want to join in the fun but don’t want to spend a day on the course? Hilton Head is home to not one but three miniature golf courses that can bring just as much entertainment. Located centrally on the island, Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf is one of those putt-putt locations sure to bring a smile to your family’s faces.

Explore the Coastal Discovery Museum

Are you looking to know more about the history of Hilton Head Island? The Coastal Discovery Museum is the next place on your list to check out. This free admission, all-ages museum is designed to educate its visitors about the extremely unique cultures, environment and history of the Lowcountry. Located on a plot of land called Honey Horn, the Coastal Discovery Museum has ample space for you to explore and drop off your used oyster shells at their oyster recycling center. Additionally, they have a farmer’s market on Tuesdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. as well as a barn where you might meet various Carolina Marsh Tacky horses, which are a rare breed of horse native to this area of South Carolina. The museum offers a variety of exhibits, events, tours and experiences that are sure to be memorable. To view upcoming activities, visit their website at

This story was originally published March 30, 2022 6:00 AM.

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Sarah Claire McDonald is a Service Journalism Reporter for The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette. She specializes in writing audience-focused, unique, spotlight stories about people, places and occurrences in the Lowcountry. Originally from the Midwest, Sarah Claire studied news media, communications and English at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where she graduated in 2021.