Hilton Head Island–A Family-Friendly Destination

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Are you starting to think of places your family would love to visit during spring or summer break? It can sometimes be hard to come up with a list of potential places—let alone one destination—that the whole family can agree on.

Hilton Head Island has always been a place for families to return to year after year for fun and relaxation fit for all ages. Don’t believe us? Travel+Leisure’s Lindsay Cohn collected twenty-two of the best destinations for families to travel to on their next vacation within the United States in an article that you can read here, and we were not surprised to see our beloved island on the list.

Kids playing on the beach
Photo by Amber Faust

Cohn lists a few reasons why Hilton Head is great for families, but we’d like to go a step further and give you more information about some of the ideas listed in the article:


One of the most appealing aspects of Hilton Head that brings many visitors to the island is the idea of enjoying a warm day on the beach. With more than 12 miles of uninterrupted sandy beaches that look out into the Atlantic Ocean, visitors and locals alike can break out the beach gear and have fun in the sun.  Find the nearest public beach access to you here.

Beach entrance

Lowcountry Cuisine

Hilton Head and the surrounding Lowcountry are known for their delicious cuisine. Some people can’t wait to get here and eat nothing but fresh seafood dishes, but sometimes the picky eaters among us aren’t too happy with that idea. In that case, don’t fear! The island is full of many different types of food that’ll put a smile on everyone’s face.

Wildlife Viewing

Unlike other popular beach destinations, Hilton Head prioritizes keeping the island as natural as possible. That means you’ll see more local wildlife and fewer neon signs and light pollution. The most infamous creature that you’ll probably see on your next trip to the island is an alligator. Depending on what time of the year you’re visiting, the island keeps up with the sea turtle nest count and looks forward to birding in the winter.

Sea turtle nests


Whether you like golf or not, there’s no denying the incredible championship courses that the island offers. Opportunities for clinics and private lessons for all ages abound for both golf and tennis. Interested in pickleball? This newest sports craze has taken the island by storm—learn more about how your family can play here.

Pirate Cruise

Great for families with children between the ages of three and ten, hopping aboard the Black Sparrow on a quest for pirate treasure is always a fun experience.

Photo by Pirates of Hilton Head

Children’s Museums

Located in the Lowcountry Celebration Park that’s just steps away from Coligny Beach, the Sandbox Children’s Museum is a great place to take a break from the heat or step out of the rain to learn more about everything from the surrounding area to S.T.E.M projects.

Other museums that the whole family may enjoy are both the Harbour Town Lighthouse Museum and the Coastal Discovery Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate.  

Dolphin Watching

Hilton Head has a year-round dolphin population, meaning you’ll always have the chance to spot the playful creatures. You can always keep your eyes peeled during your day at the beach or over breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a marina, but for a better chance to get up close to some dolphins, book yourself a seat on a dolphin cruise with One HHI or private experience from Hilton Head Boat Charters.

Photo by Shelby Cohron

Water Sports

Cohn mentions going on a zodiac ride, which is a hard bottom raft used to navigate the surrounding waters. There are many more opportunities to get on the water for thrill seekers and those looking to relax. Rent a jet ski or creek cat from Lowcountry Watersports if you’re looking for something a little more fast-paced. For slowing down and enjoying the beautiful view, we recommend paddle boarding and kayaking with One HHI.

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