Things to Do in Hilton Head Besides Golfing and the Beach

With 12 miles of pristine beaches and 24 championship courses on the island alone, new homes in Hilton Head are a beach bum and golfer’s dream. However, this little corner of paradise off the coast has so much more to offer then just golf and beaches! Hilton Head attractions and the Hilton Head lifestyle is turning the secluded island into a fast-growing destination for vacationers, snowbirds, or those looking to escape the city hassle.


So, if you are looking for more to do in Hilton Head that isn’t golf or beach related here is our top 6 choices to explore.


1. Explore Harbour Town

No visit to Hilton Head Island would be complete without spending some time in Harbour Town. Located in the elegant Sea Pines Resort district, this waterside neighborhood offers the best of the island for shopping, dining, or entertainment. Shop ‘til you drop in the charming boutiques, enjoy delicious refreshments from the varied eateries, or start your next boating adventure from one of the charter tours that depart from the marina. Besides, Harbour Town is also home to the iconic lighthouse, with its red and white stripes. Climb to the top to get one of the best views over Hilton Head Island!


2. Ride Your Bike

What is good for your health, good for the environment, and is a convenient and economical way of transportation? Biking, of course! With over 60 miles of bike pathways across the island, HHI has the distinguished honor of being recognized by the League of American Bicyclists' Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community Award.


3. Get Closer to Nature

The pristine beauty of HHI makes the island one of South Carolina's fastest-growing destinations. Wildlife sightings are a regular occurrence, including over 200 species of birds, bottlenose dolphins, and sea turtles. There are plenty of options to get up close and personal with flora and fauna on the island. Hilton Head attractions include countess options for boat tours and safaris. Don’t miss a visit at Newhall Audubon Nature Preserve, Pinckney Island Nature Preserve, and Sea Pines Forest Preserve to recharge amid untouched nature.


4. Discover the Gullah Culture

Hilton Head is a place of natural beauty. However, it is also one of the centers of the rich Gullah culture. The isolation of the island allowed enslaved Africans brought to the Georgia and South Carolina Lowcountry to create and nurture a unique culture, language, and community style, preserving much of their original African traditions. This spirit of independence contributed to the Sea Islands, becoming the first place in the South where slaves were freed. Furthermore, Mitchelville became the first self-governed freedmen’s town in America on the grounds of the former Drayton Plantation on Hilton Head Island. The Gullah culture continued to flourish with little influence from the outside world until the end of the 20th century. Nowadays, the Gullah community is 300,000 strong, with its language, foods, music, skills, and art shaping the culture of Hilton Head and the southeastern coast.


5. Try a New Water Sports

Being surrounded by marshes and the ocean, it is no wonder that water sports are among the best things to do in Hilton Head. Whether you are looking for a leisurely cruise, a sea safari, or the fishing trip of a lifetime, you can set sail on one of the multiple chartered cruises leaving from HHI. If you prefer mixing sport to pleasure, try your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding. Meanwhile, adrenaline lovers can enjoy riding on a jet ski or taking a bird's eye view paragliding over the island.


6. Enjoy the Local Food Scene

Partaking in Lowcountry cuisine is one of the most enjoyable parts of visiting South Carolina. Hilton Head has no shortage of delightful dining establishments to satisfy all palates. Of course, the freshest seafood is often on the menu, with many restaurants offering a view to match. Gullah cooking is all about making the most of what is readily available in the area. It is at the origin of many Southern favorites, with ingredients like peanuts, okra, rice, yams, peas, hot peppers, sesame seeds, sorghum, and watermelon. From familiar comfort food to the unexpected, from refined dining to toes-in-the-sand joint on the beach, Hilton Head food scene offers something for everyone.


Easy access to the beach and world-class golf courses are undeniably part of the appeal of living in Hilton Head. However, there is so much more to HHI and the surrounding areas. From nature to culture, new homes in Hilton Head offer you access to a small island with so much to do that it can keep you busy for a lifetime!



Contributed to Your Home blog by Alix Barnaud

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Published 12.30.20

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