5 Unique Ways to See Hilton Head Island


If you’ve visited Hilton Head Island at least once before, you know how magical it is to leave the mainland behind you and be suddenly surrounded by the beautiful intracoastal waterway atop either bridge. With the lush, green island ahead of you, shrimping boats to the right, all passengers in the car keep their eyes peeled for dolphins swimming by. This feels only second to that marvelous moment when your feet touch the soft sand and you hear the waves crashing onto shore.

This is how visitors normally see Hilton Head. Through easy drives from one end to the other, atop bikes cruising through the island’s miles of pathways, or walking along the beach or through the many local shopping centers.

You may love the tradition of it all, and look forward to seeing your favorite island in the ways you’re accustomed to. But what if we told you there’s so much more in store? Break out of your comfort zone and try one or all of these unique ways to see the Hilton Head you know and love.


Picture by Rajiv Perera


For some visitors, this is a classic way to see the island and feel that rush of adrenaline on a warm, sunny day. Not only will you have great views of the Harbour Town Lighthouse and Yacht Basin, but you’ll be able to see Daufuskie Island and of course, the island’s playful bottlenose dolphins.

Beachgoers watching parasailers fly above the Calibogue Sound always wish that they would’ve thought to make reservations for this incredible experience themselves. So, this your sign: reserve your seats now!

Island Head is the premier watersports company for parasailing. Leaving from Hilton Head Harbour at various times throughout the day, you and your family can board the 31’ Ocean Pro parasail boat to take turns flying up into the sky. All flyers have the option to stay dry or to make a splash, and tandem to triple flights can be accommodated based on weather conditions.

Island Head

(843) 686-4386 | Website


Picture by Hilton Head Helicopter Tours

Helicopter Tours

For a truly unforgettable experience that is more affordable than one might think, those looking for the best views of Hilton Head need to sign up for a helicopter tour. Choose one of many different tours led by Hilton Head Helicopter Tours to decide on what you’d like to see.

Wanting to explore beaches overhead or to see marine life like sharks, sea turtles, and dolphins? Some tours include seeing multiple lighthouses, finding shipwrecks, and even spotting monkeys—that’s right, monkeys. Tours vary in time up in the air and how far you’d like to travel from the island, and all ages are welcome to fly!

Hilton Head Helicopter Tours

(843) 505-7182 | Website


Picture by Ibrahim Boran

Dinner Cruises

For a much more relaxed and luxurious new perspective of the island, make reservations to dine on the surrounding waters with Vagabond Cruise. Allow the award-winning chefs of the Sea Pines Resort to prepare a delicious plated meal for you and your crew to enjoy. Choose between a table inside the comfortable climate-controlled cabin that features panoramic views, or al fresco on the shaded topside deck.

You can’t go wrong with hopping aboard the Sunset Dinner Cruise, and depending on the season, you’ll see the gorgeous setting sun beside Daufuskie Island or along the waters of Broad Creek. During the summer months, those wanting an early-bird dining option may decide to join in on the Dinner with the Dolphins Cruise. Throughout the year, Vagabond Cruise does an excellent job at including dinner cruises for holidays and special events, so check the calendar! All ages are welcome, and reservations can be made online.

Vagabond Cruises

(843) 363-9026 | Website


Picture by Hilton Head Segway

Segway Tours

Visitors looking for a new way to experience the island, on the island should consider taking a Segway tour. There are actually two, really great touring companies on the island, so it won’t be hard at all finding the perfect tour for you.

Let’s break it down:

Hilton Head Segway is perfect for history buffs and nature lovers. Early risers will love the Sunrise Tour of the gardens, boardwalks, parks, and Coligny Beach at the south end of the island. The Shelter Cove Veterans Memorial Tour and Historic Mitchelville Tour are especially popular among those looking to learn more about the history of the island. All tours offered will allow you to experience the natural beauty of Hilton Head and learn more about the island’s past.

Island Segway is for those who still want to get a piece of the island’s history and beauty, but is a great option for foodies! Again, early risers will love the Morning Segway and Coffee tour that lets you experience the island’s beautiful paths but also make room for coffee and delicious pastries. Other tours popular for foodies are both the Segway and Smoothies and the Taco Tour—a favorite for those wanting to find the best tacos on the island.

Hilton Head Segway

(843) 800-6004 | Website

Island Segway

(843) 684-2004 | Website


History Tours

You haven’t truly seen Hilton Head until you’ve taken a tour from the expert historians at Hilton Head History Tours. This 3-hour tour brings you to the significant historical island locations and allows you to fully see and understand how the island came to be what it is today. Fascinating and recommended for everyone, no matter if they’re a self-proclaimed history buff or not, this tour is as exciting as it is comfortable as the motor coach’s air conditioning is truly blissful on a summer’s day.

Hilton Head History Tours

(843) 949-0144 | Website



For potential discounts or further information about any of the activities listed in this article, please fill out the form below:

April 2023 Tide Chart

If you’re visiting our beautiful island during the month of April, it’s a good idea to know when High or Low Tide is happening before you plan your beach bike ride or sunrise stroll.

Fill out the short form below to receive your printable tide chart:

The Mermaid of Hilton Head Talks Conservation

By Nina Leipold, Contributor

Have you ever been out on a boat and seen a dolphin come right up to you or another boat and thought: “How cute is he?” Or have you ever walked on the beach, found a sand dollar, and taken it home with you because it would make the perfect seaside addition to the centerpiece on your dining room table? It turns out that these are common Hilton Head Island temptations, but as a mermaid, I have learned to look at these common allurements from a different perspective.


Photo by Dean Lofgren


As I continue to spend more and more time in or on the water and on the beaches of Hilton Head, I am lucky enough to observe these animals in their natural environment and learn their behaviors. It is quite often I see dolphins begging boats for food which is not only bad for their health but it also puts them at risk of getting hit by boat propellers. Parallel to this issue I have also unfortunately seen many horrible dorsal fin injuries. I worked closely with dolphins in the past and have been getting to know our local dolphins, and it is obvious to me that they are very smart animals. This being said, the circumstances beg the question: If they weren’t being fed by boaters, would we see a significant decrease in dorsal fin injuries? They can swim up to 25 miles per hour and know to get out of the way of boats, therefore it becomes my conclusion that the begging and these injuries go hand in hand.

It is also not uncommon to see people (especially in the summer months) carrying handfuls and even buckets full of living sand dollars. One can only assume they didn’t put them in the bucket only to put them back into the ocean. These massive sand dollar slaughters happen every year and no one seems to bat an eye. “They’re just sand dollars.” They may be “just sand dollars” however they are an important part of our ecosystem and if they are gone, or if their population is depleted enough, it begins to affect other species, which turns into a ripple effect. Yes, it may take years for us to begin to see our environment being diminished from the lack of what happens to be a crucial member of our ecosystem, but it will happen, and the future of our environment could potentially suffer an innumerable amount of disadvantages.


Photo by Terri Cnudde


Hilton Head Island is a unique vacation spot that people love to visit year after year because of its gorgeous beaches, its unique environment, and of course, its wildlife. If the wildlife disappears, the allure of Hilton Head goes with it. Luckily, there is a simple solution to prevent this problem: Be aware of your environment and be respectful of mine. It is my job as a mermaid to protect my ocean home and the beaches that accompany it which I have been accomplishing through education. I have three children’s books out currently: Sammy the Sand Dollar, Mermaid of Hilton Head, and Mermaid of Hilton Head: Dolphin Seafari. All of the books serve the purpose to spread awareness and education about conservation as well as create an interest.

Being respectful of our ecosystem doesn’t just mean stopping feeding our dolphins. It includes turning off your lights if you are beachfront after 10 pm between May and October. It includes picking up litter on the beach – not sand dollars. The most important thing you can do to help is to educate. Most of the tourists who are extirpating our ecological community don’t even know they are doing it. Spreading awareness could be the most essential weapon in defending our natural surroundings and keeping our beautiful island as resplendent as ever.

Stay up to date on all things Hilton Head Island by signing up for the Hilton Head Guest Services newsletter:

March 2023 Tide Chart

If you’re visiting our beautiful island during the month of March, it’s a good idea to know when High or Low Tide is happening before you plan your beach bike ride or sunrise stroll.

Fill out the short form below to receive your printable tide chart:

What to Know About RBC Heritage 2023

When’s the busiest time on the island, you ask? Other than gorgeous, hot summer days that beckon not only visitors out of their hotel rooms, but residents of surrounding towns to flock to the beach?  If we’d have to guess, we’d say the weekend that the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament is wrapping up and competition is coming down to the wire—it’s a busy time for sure, but it’s oh so exciting!

This year’s RBC Heritage will take place April 10th-16th.

That being said, if you’ve booked a stay during this time period and have no interest in golf whatsoever, the good news is that you’ll have no problem finding a spot on the beach to catch some rays. We do recommend making dinner reservations to your favorite places, getting those rental bikes reserved in advance, and staying clear of the Harbour Town area.



So, what exactly is the RBC Heritage?

2023 marks the 55th playing of this golf tournament at Harbour Town Golf Links, an award-winning golf course that was named the best course in South Carolina. A stop on the PGA Tour, the RBC Heritage directly follows the Masters in Augusta. This year’s purse is said to be $20,000,000, which is more than double that of 2022, meaning that even more popular golfers are expected to attend. Exciting, indeed!

Hilton Head Island’s image as a resort destination is heavily linked to this tournament. Charles Fraser, developer of Sea Pines, announced that the first Heritage Classic would be played on this little-known sea island in 1969. Golf legends such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus brought attention to both the tournament and the island itself. Now, more than 100,000 golf fans flock to the island each year to catch a glimpse of the action. Learn more about the tournament’s traditions here.

Another component of the RBC Heritage is the Heritage Classic Foundation. Founded in 1987, donations upward of $49.1 million have been sent to charities in South Carolina. With focuses on the local community, educational scholarships and grants, the environment, and more, this foundation is passionate about the betterment of the region.

According to Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, they were chosen by the Heritage Classic Foundation to be their charity beneficiary of choice for this year’s PGA Tour Charity Challenge. Follow the following members on their selected 8-player fantasy team as they play in tournaments scheduled from January to August:

Scottie Scheffler

Justin Thomas

Tom Kim

Davis Riley

Gary Woodland

Joel Dahmen

John Rahm

Will Zalatoris

Take a look at this year’s schedule of events:

Monday, April 10th

Pro-Am Presented by Boeing

The course is closed to spectators.

Tuesday, April 11th

Opening Ceremonies

12:00 pm

18th Green

Attend the traditional opening ceremonies and parade in Harbour Town. This year’s parade will include 2022 RBC Heritage Champion, Jordan Spieth, board members of the Heritage Classic Foundation, volunteers of the tournament, and state dignitaries.

Youth Day Putting Contest

2:00 pm-3:00 pm

Putting Green

Children under the age of 15 years old can compete in this contest. Those wanting to join may register in the tent beside the Harbour Town Golf Links Clubhouse.

Pro Practice Rounds

All day

Wednesday, April 12th

RBC Heritage Pro-Am

7:00 am-7:00 pm

Thursday, April 13th

First Round

Starting Times:

7:20 am-9:00 am

11:50 am-1:30 pm

Friday, April 14th

Second Round

Starting Times:

7:20 am-9:00 am

11:50 am-1:30 pm

Saturday, April 15th: Plaid Nation Day

Third Round

Starting Times: 8:30 am-1:30 pm

Plaid Nation Games

12:00 pm-2:00 pm

Heritage Lawn

Don’t forget to wear your plaid!

Spectators are encouraged to compete in hole-in-one, various trivia, and a best-dressed competition.

Sunday, April 16th

Sunrise Service

7:30 am

Liberty Oak

No ticket is needed to attend this nondenominational service.

Final Round

Starting times: 8:30 am-1:30 pm

The trophy presentation will be held immediately after play has ended on the 18th green.


Hilton Head Island’s IrishFest 2023

Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day like an islander on March 11th and 12th during this year’s IrishFest! The annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade is the largest and most anticipated parade on the island, bringing bands and specialty groups from across the country and the local community together.

South Carolina’s oldest parade, Hilton Head’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade was founded by local business owner, Tom Reilley and his friends and family. The grand marshal for the 38th annual parade will be Stan Smith, a tennis champion and now local of Hilton Head Island.

If you’re going to be in town, make sure to pack accordingly and wear your green!


IrishFest Concert

Saturday, March 11th, 2023 | 4-7pm

Lowcountry Celebration Park

A new tradition started in 2022 to celebrate the return of the Saint Patrick’s Day parade after a brief hiatus, the IrishFest weekend will be kicked off by an outdoor concert at the Lowcountry Celebration Park.

This is a FREE event and all are welcome to join in on the fun! Bands in attendance will be:

Boston Police Gaelic Column P&D

NYPD Emerald Society P&D

The Fenian Sons, a Boston Irish Rock Band

IrishFest Parade

Sunday, March 12th, 2023 | 3:00pm

Pope Avenue

The main event that is expected to bring up to 25,000 spectators, the IrishFest Parade will step off near the entrance of Lowcountry Celebration Park, continue on Pope Avenue, and end at Park Plaza off Office Park Drive.

Because this is such a big day in that area of the island, plan accordingly and find parking early enough so you can find a place to watch the parade! Breeze Trolley is offering one-way trips from 11 am-2 pm, picking up at the USCB campus and dropping off near Lowcountry Celebration Park.

For more information about IrishFest, visit their website.

Want to stay in the know of all Hilton Head Island events and activities? Sign up for the HHGS Newsletter:

Beachcombing on Hilton Head Island

Written by Erin Laytham Lentz

Over two million people per year descend upon Hilton Head Island to enjoy sunshine and miles of sandy beaches. There are few things as relaxing or rewarding as strolling the beach in search of treasures that have washed up on shore. The most commonly found shells on Hilton Head Island include the Lettered Olive, Branded Tulip, Channeled Whelk and Atlantic Jackknife. In addition to a variety of shells, beachcombing on Hilton Head Island can reveal island life discoveries such as sand dollars, horseshoe crabs, clams, oysters, starfish and many mollusks. Sea shell hunting is fun for all ages and creates instant souvenirs from a memorable vacation.


Photo by Forest SImon


Before you go beachcombing, however, make sure you know how to tell the living from the dead sea life. The island is well-known for its beautiful and abundant sand dollars and starfish. Sand dollars are protected, and many are alive. Removing a living sand dollar from the beach can result in a hefty fine. One of the ways to differentiate a live sand dollar is that they are “fuzzy.” If the cilia and velvety skin is missing then it is not alive. Sand Dollars can vary from a deep brown to a purplish-red color when alive. They will produce a harmless substance called echinochrome which turns your skin yellow. They cannot survive out of water more than a few minutes so if you find one, return it to its home on the ocean floor. After the animal dies, the sun fades its color and it turns to a silvery white. 


Photo by Wicker Woodson


Starfish (Sea Stars) are stunning animals that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Though they live in the ocean and are called fish, they are not fish. They are identified by their five arms, and will generally move their arms if picked up. It is not unusual for a live starfish to drop an arm as a defense mechanism when they are threatened or grabbed. The starfish will regenerate another arm with one year. Mollusks such as clams, scallops and oysters occupy shells which they live in for their protection. Any empty or uninhabited shell can be collected and cleaned in a bleach/water combination, then dried in the sun.

Shark’s teeth are sought and found on Hilton Head if you know where to look. There are beaches such as Fish Haul’s Creek, Burke’s Beach and Mitchelville Beach that are less populated. The teeth can be found in clusters in these public parks in proximity to the beach and tidal marsh. Some people venture out on a day trip to nearby beaches, Folly Beach or Pawley’s Island and attest to the quality and size of the teeth found there compared to other beaches. The shark’s teeth are often found south of a pier, between rock piles or between the dunes and water’s edge right out in the open.


Photo by Roman Wimmers


Do you prefer to comb the beach for treasures in the sunny, warm tourism months or prefer the cooler winter temps when the beach is largely to yourself? Regardless of your preference, on Hilton Head Island, combing the beach is a year round activity. For successful beachcombing it is suggested to bring a bucket or bag, a shell guide, beach-friendly sandals and sunglasses. Many local companies offer beach walks and beachcombing tours that educate participants on the value of the dunes, the sea creatures and different types of shells. There are beachcombing excursions that include searching for shells, sand dollars, starfish, crabs and shark’s teeth. The Lowcountry Sandbars can only be visited during low tide so some trips often depart at different times of day depending on the tide.

Fill out the form below to receive a Mini Island Discount Packet to use on activities, shopping, and dining on Hilton Head Island!

Where to Watch Super Bowl LVII on Hilton Head Island

Super Bowl LVII is fast approaching! On February 12th, we’ll get to watch the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs battle it out for the title of 2023’s Super Bowl Champion. Do your vacation plans happen to line up with the most exciting night of football? Better yet, do you know where you’ll be watching the game on Hilton Head Island? If you haven’t decided yet, we’re here to give you a few suggestions.

Reilley’s Grill and Bar

Already known to be a great spot for sports fans, Reilley’s has both indoor and outdoor seating. There are TVs indoors, but the real gem for those wanting to catch the game will be the outdoor bar—and don’t worry, the outdoor heaters will keep you warm if it happens to be a bit chilly.

You should expect this establishment to be as busy as it is festive since it is already known as a local crowd favorite. We recommend making reservations, especially if you want to join in on the Valentine’s Day specialty menu that coincides with the Super Bowl. For more information, click here.


Plate recommendation: the Buffalo Shrimp and Spring Rolls are two of our favorite appetizers to share!


Mellow Mushroom

You can’t go wrong with pizza on game day, so take your group to this well-known spot where you can order your favorites and sit back and watch the game on many of the various TVs throughout the room. There are plenty of tables and seats at the bar, but we recommend getting there early enough to grab one.

This option might be the best one for those who get a little too into the game—order online and pick up a pie in time to get back to the comfort of your condo or room to enjoy. That way you can watch, pace around, or even holler at the TV to your heart’s content.

Photo by Brenna Huff

Pizza recommendation: mushroom lovers will love the Holy Shiitake pizza, but you can never go wrong with a House Special.

Carolina Crab Company

For great atmosphere and beautiful views, head over to the Carolina Crab Company located in Palmetto Bay Marina. This seafood-lovers paradise features indoor and outdoor seating and is a great place to watch the game from any seat.

On both Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm, all bars and high-top tables will have the option to order from the C3 Football menu that includes certain plates and drinks at discounted prices to celebrate the big game. This includes All You Can Eat Peel N’ Eat Shrimp, Buffalo Shrimp Nachos, buckets of domestic and imported beers, and much more. For the full event menu, click here.



Hinchey’s Chicago Bar and Grill

Another great place for catching the game is Hinchey’s Chicago Bar & Grill. With happy hour from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm every day, a great menu to order from, and TVs throughout the room, you’ll wonder why you didn’t stop in for a game before!

If you’re bringing a party of 5 or more, please call to reserve a table. Hinchey’s is in a convenient location on the south end of the island and has plenty of parking, so the only thing you’ll need to worry about is if your team wins or not!

We recommend the Toasted Ravioli as a shared plate. The Crab Cake Dinner and Ribeye Steak are two main plates you won’t want to share!

For information about how to receive discounts on some of the restaurants mentioned in this article, fill out the form below:

February 2023 Tide Chart

If you’re visiting our beautiful island during the month of February, it’s a good idea to know when High or Low Tide is happening before you plan your beach bike ride or sunrise stroll.

Fill out the short form below to receive your printable tide chart:

Upcoming 2023 Hilton Head Island Food Festivals & Events

The beginning of a new year is always an exciting time on Hilton Head Island. As the weather gradually heats up, more festivals and events dot the calendar! If you’re visiting the island within the next couple of months, make sure to come hungry! Here are some of the festivals and events that are coming up!

If you aren’t going to be in town for any of these events, don’t worry! Check out where you can grab a quick bite to eat or dine at some of the best restaurants and cafes on the island.

Photo by Cloris Ying

Chamber Restaurant Week

Jan. 28 – Feb. 4

The 15th annual Restaurant Week is back and better than ever! It’s always an exciting week to be on the island since it’s a great way to try restaurants that are new to you, and of course, visit your favorite spots. Participating restaurants in Hilton Head and Bluffton will offer specially-priced or prix-fixe menus.

See a full list of restaurants here.

Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival

Feb. 20 – 26

The main fundraiser for the David M. Carmines Memorial Foundation, the 16th annual Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival is set to wow guests once again. Attend celebrity guest chef dinners, cooking demos, wine tastings, and more. The best pitmasters, mixologists, and scholars in the south will help you experience and celebrate southern culinary culture. Set in the Lowcountry’s beautiful landscape, indulge in delicious cuisine and learn more about the area’s fishing heritage.

Tickets are on sale now!


March 18 | 11 am – 5 pm

Lowcountry Celebration Park

Spend the afternoon in the sunshine surrounded by delicious wings from 20-25 local restaurants, competitions for adults and kids, and a kid zone complete with a rock climbing wall and bungee jump. Admission is $10 per person, and children under the age of 11 are free! All food, beverages, and activities are sold separately, and tickets for these are $1.00 each.

Find more information here.

Hilton Head Food & Wine Festival

March 19 – 25

Supporting the local community for 38 years, the Hilton Head Food and Wine Festival’s wine auctions and tasting events benefit the John F. & Valerie Currie Educational Scholarship Fund for college students following their passion for either hospitality or tourism. With many different events throughout the festival period at different locations around the island, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the best food, wine, and craft beer in the Lowcountry.

Purchase your tickets here!

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