Activities and Sports Around Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a foot-shaped barrier island that measures only 42 square miles. But this semi-tropical paradise is filled with white-sand beaches, salt marshes, lagoons, and lush forests of mossy oaks, palmettos, magnolia and pine that attract not only two-legged visitors, but also the four-legged and the winged kind. As you explore the endless array of outdoor activities, you are guaranteed to come across some of our natural inhabitants.

Golf Courses

Explore some of the nation's finest golf courses at Hilton Head Island, including South Carolina's only PGA tour course at the Sea Pines Resort. Golfers of all experience levels will love taking a swing at any one of the island's many courses, with each location providing equal parts challenging terrain and stunning views.

See Hilton Head's Golf Courses

Harbour Town Marina

 

Harbour Town Marina is one of the most well known spots on the island; this is home to our landmark Hilton Head Island lighthouse. The marina is filled with relaxing rocking chairs under the shade of old oaks, local boutiques, and great restaurants. At night, the party starts for the kids with nightly concerts by Gregg Russell under the famous Liberty Oak. Harbour Town is also home to the Harbour Town cruise boats, Vagabond, Spirit of Harbour Town, and Stars and Stripes.

South Beach Marina

 

South Beach Marina is a visitor favorite. Located at the ‘toe’ of the island—Hilton Head is shaped like a shoe—this marina has everything you are looking for. This small marina is modeled after a New England-style fishing village. The village is filled with gift and souvenir shops, restaurants and tons of water activities from parasailing to Jet Skis to Zodiac dolphin cruises. The night brings on a whole new kind of fun; outdoor entertainment is a nightly event where the sound of Jimmy Buffet and the screams of delight of children fill the air. The outdoor bar at Salty Dog Cafe is the place to be on the hot summer nights where face painting and ice cream bars keep the kids happy.

Shelter Cove Marina

 

Shelter Cove Marina is the home of the giant bronze statue of Neptune, god of water. Not only is this Neptune statue the landmark of Shelter Cove, but he is also one of the world’s largest working sundials. Centrally located, Shelter Cove is one of the most popular areas on the island. Featuring boutique style shops, local restaurants and events galore, this area is a definite family favorite. Every Tuesday, in the summer, you and your family are invited to Harbourfest, Shelter Cove’s signature event featuring live entertainment and fireworks. The famous Shannon Tanner will also delight the kids, and the kids at heart, with his high-energy performances. Families return year after year to see his shows.

Family Beach Portraits

 

Capture your vacation memories with professional portraits and remember your vacation for years to come. With all of the stunning beaches and venues Hilton Head has to offer, you’ll have the beauty of the island as your backdrop.

 Biking

 

The Island has more than 100 miles of paths to explore and miles of sand-packed beaches allow delightful bike rides along the Atlantic Ocean. Bike rentals are readily available and can be delivered to your home or villa during your stay.

 

View Hilton Head Bike Pathway System

Segway Tours

 

Whether you are interested in history, nature, culture, or just having a fun ride, a Segway tour is fun for the whole family. Kids and grandkids 12 and up (and even 10+ on some tours), parents, and grandparents can all enjoy this activity together.

 

Visit Hilton Head Segway

Adventure Cove

 

The Adventure Cove family fun center offers fun and games for visiting families. There are two mini golf courses, each with 18-holes and a challenging Caribbean-style design. Find more fun and games here at HIlton Head Island’s largest arcade.

 

Visit Adventure Cove

Zipline

 

Adventure Hilton Head is just the start of the thrills and family fun you'll find with us in the heart of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. 

 

Visit Adventure Hilton Head

Cordillo Tennis and Pickleball Courts

 

Located off of Pope Avenue, Cordillo Tennis Courts is home of four tennis courts. These courts were reconstructed in 2019 and feature markings for pickleball as well. Engage in a friendly competition with friends and family.

 

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Port Royal Golf and Racquet Club

 

Set amidst pines, maples, live oaks, and the ocassional magnolia, the racquet club is one of the premier tennis facilities in South Carolina. It features 8 new Har-Tru clay courts and two pickleball courts. 

 

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Smith Stearns Tennis

 

The Smith Stearns Tennis Academy at The Sea Pines Resort is designed for individual junior player development and to help them prepare for the highest level of competition possible in both collegiate and professional tennis. 

 

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Sea Pines Racquet Club

 

The tennis facility at Sea Pines features 20 clay courts and is guided by the direction of former U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Stan Smith. A range of professional adult and junior tennis instructional programs are available.

 

Van der Meer Tennis Center

 

The Van Der Meer Tennis Center offers 14 hard courts, including four that are covered and lit. It offers adult and junior clinics, summer camps and is home of the Van der Meer Tennis Academy for elite tennis players.

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Van der Meer Shipyard Resort

 

Named as one of TENNIS Magazine’s top 50 US Tennis Resorts, Shipyard Tennis Resort features 20 courts. The Resort offers a selection of adult and junior clinics, daily programs, and summer camps guided by professionals on clay courts.

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Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center

 

At the heart of the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center, you’ll find 19 clay courts, including four lit for night play.. A wide variety of instructional programs for adults and juniors, led by skilled professionals will help bring your game to a whole new level.

Pleasure Boating

 

Sailing, kayaking, and jet skiing are popular activities in Hilton Head's many marinas and harbors. After making a reservation, you will receive our guest services directory, which includes great information and recommendations about the area.

View Boating Rentals

Fishing and More

 

Fishing is a popular pastime on Hilton Head, and there are many ways to enjoy the sport. You can surf cast from the shore, dig for clams, gather oysters, toss a shrimp net, drop a crab line, or charter a boat for fly-fishing.

Paddleboarding

 

This surface water sport is a popular Hilton Head Island activity, allowing you to stand, glide and explore the ocean and creeks on a large surfboard. See new views from the water with a workout that’s fun and rewarding.

View Paddleboard Rentals

Jet Ski and WaveRunner

 

A Jet Ski or WaveRunner is an exciting way to get around on the water. Rent a personal watercraft for the day or just a couple of hours.

Parasailing

 

Parasailing is a great way to see Hilton Head from a “bird’s eye” view. Fly through the air on your own or with a friend, you’ll be able to see the lighthouse and the bridges and probably dolphins below. See Hilton Head like you have never seen it before.

Kayaking

 

Kayaking is one of Hilton Head’s favorite activities. Paddle through Hilton Head’s tidal creeks and salt marshes with knowledgeable guides. Kayaking is fun, safe, and easy—making it the perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy.

Dolphins

 

The dolphin is another favorite around Hilton Head Island. You will often see them off the shore in the ocean, playing in the waves or just out looking for a snack. Since dolphins are air-breathing mammals, they are easily spotted when they come up for air. The waters around Hilton Head Island are one of the few places on Earth where dolphins routinely use a technique called “strand feeding” where schools of fish are herded up onto mud banks, and the dolphins lie on their side while they feed before sliding back down into the water. One of the best ways to get a close encounter with this friendly local is an eco-tour. Enjoy beautiful Hilton Head Island by charter with H2O Sports. Join them for your family adventure. Explore the wondrous waters of the low country on an amazing Dolphin excursion or sail along with playful dolphins in your wake. The choice tour company for National Geographic, the BBC and Discovery Channel; their focus on nature, ecology, and fun will make your excursions unique and unforgettable.

Visit H2O Sports

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

 

Another famous friend of the island is the loggerhead sea turtle, an endangered species protected by federal law. In the spring and early summer, the loggerhead females come to the island to nest. They often arrive at night and will dig a hole by the soft sand near the dunes. She will lay approximately 100 eggs, bury them, and return to the sea. Approximately two months later, the baby loggerheads will hatch, crawl out of the sandy nest, and make a run for the sea. Only one in 10,000 loggerhead eggs will become an adult. There are many enemies the baby loggerheads will have to deal with before they even reach the sea; raccoons, birds, crabs and humans just to name a few. Another problem they are faced with is the fact that they are guided from the nest to the sea only by the reflection of the moonlight on the sea. That’s why there are laws protecting sea turtles with fines for anyone that disturbs a nest or interferes with their survival in any way, including having their lights on at night. These laws are enforced from May 1 through October 31.

Birds

 

Bird watchers, you are in the right place! Other than the beach, the best places for bird watching on Hilton Head are the Sea Pines Forest Preserve and the Audubon Newhall preserve on Palmetto Bay road or off island is the Pinckney Preserve. For a guided tour check out the Alligator and Wildlife tour located in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. The most common bird to find on the beach is, of course, the seagull. Other very common shore birds, known for their longer legs, are brown pelicans, terns, egrets, black skimmer, and ospreys. Only 10 years ago, osprey sightings were quite rare. Today, the numbers have bounced back and you will often see ospreys diving from great heights to catch their prey in the waters below or nesting in TV and electrical towers. Another bird that has made a comeback in the Lowcountry is the bald eagle. If you ever look out your window and notice an island that was not there yesterday, it is not a mirage, it is thousands of birds floating together in the water! These are scaup, a type of duck, and the ‘island’ they form is called a raft.

Alligators

 

One of our most famous creatures is the alligator, often seen sunbathing on the banks of the lagoon or just swimming along. Fall and spring are the best times to see these cold-blooded reptiles as they leave the water to bathe in the sun and increase their body temperature. If you have ever golfed on Hilton Head then you will have definitely come across the ‘gator! It is illegal to feed the gators for a number of reasons, mainly because they can outrun humans and most other animals in short distances; and when provoked, they become aggressive. It is safest to stay away from the banks of the lagoons.