Fourth of July Events on Hilton Head Island

There is always something to do on Hilton Head Island, especially during the summer months. Add a holiday into the mix, and visitors are in for a real treat! If you’re celebrating Fourth of July with us, here is a rundown of some events and activities that’ll be held on July 4th.

USA 5K

8:00am

Coligny Beach

1 Coligny Circle, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Start your holiday with a morning run (or walk) on the beach! All ages and skill levels are invited to the USA 5K, produced by the Hilton Head Running Company and benefiting the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Patrol. All participants receive a festive t-shirt and finishers medal. This run will be held entirely on the beach at low tide, so expect hard, flat sand and plenty of room to run or walk.

Register here!

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36th Annual Firecracker 5K

8:00am

Jarvis Creek Park

100 Jarvis Park Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Celebrate Independence Day at the annual Hilton Head Firecracker 5K! This family-friendly race and walk is Beaufort County’s oldest and largest race. Beginning at 9:00am, there will be three runs for kids that will be separated by age and distance. After the run, join in on the celebration at the post-race party and barbecue. Participants are welcome to enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers, and two complimentary beers for those that are 21+. Have a blast with games for kids, the Patriotic costume contest, and a DJ on site. Can’t be there the day of? There’s a virtual run available!

Register here!

HarbourFest at Shelter Cove Harbour

Shelter Cove Harbour

1 Harbourside Ln, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Listen to a live, patriotic performance by local favorite, Shannon Tanner, either at the 6:30pm or 8:00pm show. This family-friendly event features entertainment and activities for kids by Cappy the Clown from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Enjoy a pleasant evening in the Harbour with waterfront dining and shopping. The night will end in a dazzling firework display at 9:00pm.

Click here for the map of the complimentary shuttle provided for the event.

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The Nice Guys at Coligny Plaza

6:30pm-8:30pm

Coligny Plaza Center Stage

1 N Forest Beach Dr, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Visit Coligny Plaza for a live performance by The Nice Guys, a local band known to cover today’s latest hits. Every Monday you can find them on Center Stage, and the Fourth of July is no different!

Check to see what other local bands are playing at Coligny Plaza throughout the week.

Approximately 1:30pm-2:00pm

Hilton Head Island Coastline

A South Carolina tradition that you don’t want to miss this Fourth of July, Salute From the Shore is a way that those enjoying their day on the beach can take a moment to honor our country’s armed forces. This military flyover stretches the length of South Carolina’s gorgeous coast starting at 1:00pm–so keep an eye out on the sky! Dress in your red, white, and blue, and head to the beaches to see a combination of fighter jets and personally-owned vintage military planes pass by.

Harbour Town Fireworks

Approximately 9:00pm

Harbour Town in Sea Pines

Make your way into the Sea Pines property to enjoy the Fourth of July Fireworks over the famous, Harbour Town Lighthouse. Set next to the gorgeous Calibogue Sound, enjoy the night’s festivities including food and live music before the firework show commences. Arrive a few hours early to grab a bite to eat, to do a bit of shopping, or visit the Lighthouse Museum before sundown.

Please keep in mind that there is a gate fee to enter the Sea Pines property.

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HarbourFest Fourth of July Fireworks

9:00pm-9:30pm

Shelter Cove Marina

1 Harbourside Ln, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

The grand finale of that night’s HarbourFest, enjoy spectacular fireworks over the Shelter Cove Marina.

Click here for the map of the complimentary shuttle provided for the event.


To stay up to date on the island’s events and for more information on activities and island-wide discounts, fill out the form below.

Hilton Head Island’s Sea Turtle Season

There is only one thing that can rival the excitement of summer vacation on Hilton Head Island, and that’s sea turtle season!  The long stretch between May and October welcomes the island’s most seasoned visitors—Loggerhead sea turtles.  The local community and non-profit groups such as Sea Turtle Patrol HHI and Turtle Trackers of HHI, work tirelessly to protect these endangered creatures.

Never touch adult or baby sea turtles. Report any stranded, injured, or deceased sea turtles on one of Hilton Head Island’s beaches.

Once the sun goes down and beachgoers have left for the day, the stage is set for nesting sea turtles to make their way up the beach to lay their clutch of eggs.  After finding a nesting site that’s dark and quiet, the female may lay an average of 110 eggs per clutch, and 4 clutches per season.  Loggerheads are also known to nest at least once on what is considered their natal beach, or the beach where they themselves hatched.

If sea turtles are disturbed while nesting, they will return to the water and try again later that night or within a few days.  The egg’s survival is dependent on whether or not the sea turtle finds a fitting site to nest, so it is crucial that our beaches maintain the necessary conditions.

Lights Out

You might’ve already heard the term, “Lights Out for Sea Turtles!” Although it doesn’t necessarily affect the interior of the island, it’s important for everyone to know.  Beaufort County has a lighting ordinance set from May to October that prohibits visible light on beaches, including houses, resorts, as well as flashlights.

Why is this important? Not only do nesting sea turtles keep away from brightly-lit areas on the beach, there’s a possibility that once hatched, the babies might get distracted by other light sources that are in the opposite direction of where they need to go.  Sea turtles are phototactic creatures, meaning that they are drawn to light.  In this case, baby sea turtles are hard-wired to know that if they follow the moonlight reflecting on the ocean’s waves, they’ll make it to the water’s edge.

Clean Up

When you’re ready to leave the beach for the day, make sure to pack up all of your gear and take it with you.  Personal property left unattended overnight will be disposed of.  Beach furniture and larger objects can pose as obstacles for nesting sea turtles, sometimes even entangling them!

Hilton Head does a great job at providing trash cans in convenient locations along the island’s beaches, so even if you happen to spot a stray piece of trash that wasn’t yours, please pick it up on your way out.

Keeping our beaches clean helps the entirety of island wildlife, not just sea turtles.

Fill in Holes

Although it’s a sad thought to build a sandcastle and moat only to have to knock it down again, we need to keep the beaches as level as possible.  It’s important to limit the number of obstacles both adult and baby sea turtles could potentially come into contact with. Volunteers who walk the beach do a great job at filling holes and flattening sandcastles each evening. Their time would be better spent educating beachgoers about sea turtles if everyone did their part in preparing the beach for the night.

Keep Off the Tracks

If you’re out for an early morning stroll and happen upon some wavy-looking tracks in the sand, make sure to stay off of them!  It’s important to leave the sea turtle’s tracks intact so that Turtle Patrol knows where to find the nest. Once the nest has been found and marked, Turtle Patrol will make x’s through the tracks.

Sea Turtle Patrol HHI

This volunteer-based 501C3 non-profit organization is responsible for searching beaches on Hilton Head Island for turtle tracks and nests. After a nest has been found, it is marked and entered into the SCDNR database for further monitoring throughout the 45-day incubation period. After the hatchlings emerge, the team then inventories the nest 3 days later.

Click here for more information.

Check on the latest sea turtle nest count on Hilton Head Island here!

Turtle Trackers of Hilton Head

Also a 501C3 volunteer-run organization, the Turtle Trackers of Hilton Head’s main mission is to assist in the preservation efforts of endangered sea turtles that nest on Hilton Head, as well as educating the public about the best ways to protect hatchlings headed to the ocean. You can help the Turtle Trackers by cleaning up after your day at the beach as well as flattening any sand structures you made or fill any holes you’ve dug.

Click here for more information.

Turtle Trackers’ Turtle Talks

8:00pm-9:00pm, FREE to attend

Every Monday from June 6th through August, except on July 4th

Lowcountry Celebration Park Pavillion; 94 Pope Ave., Hilton Head Island, SC 29928


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Pedal Hilton Head–May 1st, 2022

Celebrate National Bike Month and Hilton Head Island’s award-winning cycling community by joining in on the 14th Annual Pedal Hilton Head.  Rain or shine, locals and visitors alike will participate in one of six different rides that accommodate every level of rider.  From a fun, family-centered two-mile beach ride to a grand tour of the island in the sixty-two-mile ride, there is a carefully planned route for everyone to enjoy.  

Event proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head Island.  Not only is it Pedal’s mission to be a marquee cycling event in the island’s Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community, but the event organizers’ main focus is to fund as many programs and scholarships as possible for the kids who benefit from the Boys and Girls Club.  Pedal, and Pedal-for-a-Kid program specifically, continues to be a successful fundraising event year after year, and directly supports programs that focus on academic success, healthy lifestyles, and the importance of being good, productive and caring citizens.

For more information, or if you’d like to register for Pedal Hilton Head, click here.

For discounts on rental bikes and other activities, fill out this short form below:

What to Do for Mother’s Day on Hilton Head Island

Mother’s Day is coming up, and if you’re drawing a blank trying to think of something to do for your World’s Best Mom, here are some ideas of some of the best things to do if you find yourself on Hilton Head Island this year.

Plan A Picnic

Take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and treat your mom to an al fresco spread on one of the island’s beaches or parks.  Nothing beats eating lunch outside on a warm, sunny day, and your mom will love this thoughtful gesture and quality time with you.  Grab all of mom’s favorite eats and everything else you’ll need at Piggly Wiggly.  Not sure what to pack in the cooler?  Try preparing something new like this tasty Thai Mandarin Salad with Peanut Orange Chipotle Dressing or these delicious chicken wraps.  Have a sweet tooth?  These easy-to-make Raspberry Jam Thumbprint Cookies will be a hit!

Spend some time in the sunshine at one of the island’s beautiful parks, and enjoy a Sunday afternoon picnic. Photo by Liana Mikah

Paint Some Pottery

Fun for all ages, make a reservation for yourself and your mom at the island’s very own pottery studio, The Art Café. With hundreds of items to choose from, you both will have a great time creating your own masterpieces.  Located on the second story above Rockfish, the studio has paired with the restaurant to serve food and beverages in the evenings.  If you and your mom want to enjoy a relaxing time painting and sipping on refreshing drinks from The Art Café’s patio, think about making your reservation anytime after four o’clock.  Give the staff three days to hand-glaze and process your pieces, and your new favorite keepsake will be ready to pick up!

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Brunch, Anyone?

You can never go wrong with taking your mom to a delicious brunch to start Mother’s Day off right.  Hilton Head is home to an array of cafés and restaurants that serve fantastic brunch favorites, and of course if Mom is an early riser, breakfast.  Because Mother’s Day lands on a Sunday, expect the brunch crowds to be more crowded than usual and make a reservation ahead of time if you can.  For our guide to some of the best brunches on the island, click below:

Go for a Bike Ride

Something that should already be on your to-do list while visiting Hilton Head Island regardless of the occasion, rent bikes and let Mom decide where to going exploring.  From miles of bike paths to open stretches of beautiful beaches, make sure to ask for a bike basket in case you happen to stop at any of the island’s shops in between! Remember to take a break and lock up your bike to grab a bite to eat—your mom (and legs) will thank you!

Find the perfect size and style of beach cruiser to explore the island with at Wheelz of Hilton Head.

Day Trip to Daufuskie Island

Spend the day with Mom on Daufuskie Island, a sea island situated between Hilton Head and Savannah.  Only accessible by ferry, this lowcountry gem is a great escape from the crowds. The island has few paved roads, making golf carts the best way to explore the five-mile-long island.  While there, enjoy a delicious meal of fresh seafood and other local ingredients at one of the dining locations on Daufuskie that take advantage of their beautiful surroundings and offer outdoor seating.  Remember to bring your camera while roaming the island and soak in the Lowcounty’s natural beauty.

Daufuskie Island is rich in culture and heritage. The island’s story is still told through historical sites such as the First Union African Baptist Church, pictured above. Photo by Yohan Marion

For more information and discounts on the activities listed, fill out the form below. If there’s any additional dining, shopping, and/or activities on Hilton Head Island that you’re interested in, please let us know!

Celebrating Earth Day, Every Day

Hilton Head Island is an idyllic escape from neon signs and chaotic cities—and that wasn’t an accident.  Over the years, locals and generations of visitors alike have worked hard to preserve and protect the island’s natural habitats throughout the town’s stages of development.  If it weren’t for the early visionary and developer of Sea Pines, Charles Fraser, and continued conservation efforts such as the creation of the Hilton Head Land Trust in 1987, the island would’ve looked very different.

Fraser’s use of strict land-use covenants and sincere respect for wide-open spaces started a trend that ultimately caused Hilton Head Island to be considered a leader in environmental activism.  Additional public, residential, and tourist-driven communities all share the same respect for the island’s natural beauty.  This desire to showcase Hilton Head’s natural landscape instead of buildings is the reason why you might drive past a shopping center ten times before you knew it even existed.

Preserving this natural paradise is always on the island’s mind, but in honor of Earth Day, here are a few ways to keep Hilton Head Island beautiful for generations to come:

Skip the Straw

In the summer of 2018, Beaufort County encouraged everyone to participle in something called a Strawless Summer.  Four years later, local communities have continued finding ways to either replace plastic straws with greener options or encouraged people to just simply skip the straw.  The next time you head out for your beach day, try swapping a to-go cup for an insulated, reusable cup so your drink can also stay colder for longer!

It might not seem like saying no to a plastic straw would make much of a difference, it’s not only an easy way to help limit single-use plastics, but it takes one of the most detrimental pieces of trash out of the ocean.  The shape and size of a plastic straw make it more dangerous if consumed by wildlife.

Skipping the straw is not only an easy way to help limit single-use plastics, but it takes one of the most detrimental pieces of trash out of the ocean.

Bring a Tote Bag

Efforts to reduce single-use plastic doesn’t stop at plastic straws in Hilton Head.  Beaufort County started a plastic bag ban in 2018, so it’s always a good idea to bring a reusable bag or two when you’re in town.  Having an extra bag while traveling is always a good idea as it is.  From having a designated snack tote for your road trip to having an extra bag on hand to carry wet towels back from the beach, you will certainly find a use for reusable bags on your vacation even if a trip to the grocery store isn’t on your to-do list.

Leave Nothing but Your Footprints:

The town has provided baskets at beach entrances in efforts to make picking up trash along the beach that much easier!

      Now that you have that reusable bag handy, make sure that everything you’ve brought to the beach leaves with you.  If you see trash that previous beachgoers have left behind, please do us a favor and pick it up!  The island’s beaches have plenty of receptacles that make disposing of your garbage easy.  The town has even added baskets at beach entrances to help those who want to help our beaches stay clean.

      Not only is it important to pick up your beach toys and any trash you might have, but always remember to fill in any holes you might have dug. A hazard the entire year, filling in holes in the sand is especially important during the summer. During nesting season, sea turtles are deterred from laying their eggs in a safe location if they run into any barriers or holes in the sand.

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Attend Hilton Head’s Annual Beach Clean Up

Respect the Wildlife                                 

      Wildlife and their habitats are always considered a priority on Hilton Head Island. The entire reason behind conservation efforts, respecting local wildlife is necessary in keeping the island a natural paradise. The best way to show your respect is to leave them be! Feeding—and especially harassing–wild animals is never a good idea and could cost you a big fine!  Take as many pictures of all the dolphins, deer, and alligators you’d like, just don’t put yourself or them in dangerous situations and give them plenty of space.

Here is an example of why it’s so important to pick up after yourself. Regardless of where you are on the island, your trash will end up interfering and endangering local wildlife.

      Not only should you let the wildlife alone, but you should also stay away from the dunes on the island’s beaches.  The island’s beaches are large enough, so there really is no need for biking or walking through the dunes. Serving as important storm barriers, the dunes are also home to various native species and allow animals to navigate the island without having to cross any roadways.  Dunes are also where many sea turtles decide to nest.  

      Speaking of sea turtles, the island has a saying during turtle season in the summer months—lights out for turtles! This simply means that all outside lights near the beach should be turned off. Baby turtles look for the moonlight reflecting off of the ocean, so if they were to see other lights in the opposite direction, they may not make it to the waterline.


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Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival 2022

February 21-27, 2022

Get ready to experience one of the best seafood festivals on the map during this week-long extravaganza held in and around Hilton Head Island. Where artfully prepared food meets the South’s coastal heritage, the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival will certainly exceed all expectations during this year’s 15th Anniversary lineup.

Events over the course of the festival range from celebrity guest chef dinners and culinary demonstrations, to excursions off-island that highlight both local history and the fishermen that make it all possible. Pair that with wine tastings, fresh catch specials, fishing instruction, and more!

Here are the scheduled events for this year’s festival.

Tickets are available for the festival’s main event scheduled for Saturday, February 26th from 1:00-4:30pm. Held at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina, this family-friendly event will offer live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, samplings from more than 100 food and beverage vendors, and more! Make sure to stick around because the day’s festivities will conclude with the 15th Anniversary Fireworks Celebration that is sure to dazzle!

The Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival is the primary fundraiser for the David M. Carmines Memorial Foundation. For more information, visit the festival’s website.

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26th Annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration

This February, the heritage and history of the Gullah people on Hilton Head Island is honored with the month-long 26th Annual Gullah Celebration. Visitors from near and far will be able to experience the Gullah culture through a collection of events that highlight the food, music, and art of the Gullah people. Opportunities to learn more about Gullah history from firsthand information abound, making this celebration such a special experience.

For a schedule of the events being offered, see below:

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Arts Ob We People: Exhibit and Sale

February 1st-27th; 10:00am-4:00pm

Art League Gallery, 12 Shelter Cove Ln., Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Learn more about this event.

Freedom Day Celebration

Saturday, February 5th; 10:00am-1:00pm

Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, 229 Beach City Rd., Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Learn more about this event.

26th Annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration Opening Party

Wednesday, February 9th; 5:00pm-7:00pm

Art League Gallery, 14 Shelter Cove Ln., Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Learn more about this event.

A Taste of Gullah

Saturday, February 12th; 12:00pm-3:00pm

Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, 14 Shelter Cove Ln., Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Learn more about this event.

Gullah Market: Arts, Crafts, Music, and Food

Saturday, February 19th; 11:00am-5:00pm

Coastal Discovery Museum, 70 Honey Horn Dr., Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Learn more about this event.

Celebration of African American Authors

Saturday, February 26th; 12:00pm-3:00pm

Rotary Community Center, 11 Recreation Ct., Bluffton, SC 29910

Learn more about this event.

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14 Things to Do on Hilton Head Island for Valentine’s Day

There are plenty of ways to spend your Valentine’s Day this year on Hilton Head Island. Here are some ideas of how you can celebrate the day, rain or shine! 

Photo by Felipe Callado on Unsplash

Have brunch at Palmetto Bay Sunrise Café.

Known for their Stuffed French Toast and Crab Cake Eggs Benedict, Palmetto Bay Sunrise Café might just become your go-to brunch on the island! On a beautiful day, their dog-friendly patio is the perfect spot to sip on some coffee—or a mimosa!

Explore Hilton Head Island’s miles of bike trails.

A Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community, Hilton Head Island boasts more than 60 miles of beautiful pathways, making the island easy to navigate. If you’ve left your bicycles at home, stop by Wheelz of Hilton Head and they’ll get you ready to roll. Their location is also a quick ride from Coligny Beach if you’d like to take a spin along the waterline at low tide. 

Discover the Harbour Town Lighthouse Museum.

Climb to the top of what has become the symbol of Hilton Head Island to see amazing views. During your ascent, you’ll learn about the history of the island and of the Sea Pines property. The museum’s gift shop is a great place to find artwork, authentic models, books and more. 

Pick up something sweet at The Island Fudge Shoppe.

What is Valentine’s Day without chocolate? The Island Fudge Shoppe has a delicious collection of hand-dipped chocolates, homemade fudge, and more! Located in the Coligny Plaza Shopping Center, this island favorite will definitely satisfy any sweet tooth. 

Fly with Hilton Head Helicopter Tours.

A great way to make your 2022 Valentine’s Day incredibly memorable, Hilton Head Helicopter Tours offers an array of different tours ranging from a quick 8-mile loop, to longer trips focused on admiring the beautiful Lowcountry coastline and wildlife—monkeys included! You read that right; take the Monkey Safari Tour to fly over a secluded island where over 3,000 rhesus monkeys roam freely. 

Visit the Carolina Tasting Room.

Since 2015, the Carolina Tasting Room has been the go-to place to find locally sourced wines, beers, and other products. With over 50 Local and Regional Wines to try, you can quite literally taste the Lowcountry! This Hilton Head tasting room also is known for their wine smoothies in many different delicious flavors. 

Take a walk along the beach–any beach!

Hilton Head Island is home to more than 12 miles of pristine beaches. You won’t have to worry about a crazy amount of heat or humidity in February, so grab a sweater and enjoy all that the crowd-free coastline has to offer. You might even spot some dolphins! For more room to roam, check what time low tide is on our monthly tide chart

Relax at Fountain Spa.

Make sure to schedule in some time to relax and pamper yourselves this Valentine’s Day. Enjoy a massage or design your own spa package. 

Take a private dolphin cruise.

Book a private dolphin cruise for just the two of you, or invite two more couples along to join in on the search for dolphins. A great way to see Hilton Head in all of its glory, your knowledgeable captain will navigate the water finding as many opportunities for you to see dolphins as possible.  

Play some mini golf.

Putt Putt is as fun a date idea as well as a staple to Hilton Head Island. Play a round at Legendary Golf for country-club style miniature golf, or at Adventure Cove if you’d rather continue the competition to the skee-ball lanes or air hockey table. 

Give virtual golf a try.

Whether you’re already a fan of virtual sports games or you’re looking to try something new this Valentine’s Day, Chronic Golf is the place to go! With a wide variety of multi-sports games and over 125 virtual golf courses to pick from, the two of you are guaranteed to have some fun—especially with a full menu and bar to order from!

Listen to a live jazz concert at The Jazz Corner.

Reserve a table to enjoy one of two live jazz concerts per night over dinner or drinks. This award-winning jazz club and restaurant has the perfect, intimate atmosphere you’re looking for to spend your Valentine’s Day evening. 

Celebrate on the Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise.

Vagabond Cruise is offering a Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise to make your February 14th one for the books! Upon boarding the Spirit of Harbour Town, you’ll receive a complimentary glass of champagne. Enjoy a delicious meal prepared by the award-winning chefs of the Sea Pines Resort all while taking in the gorgeous views and sunset


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Chamber Restaurant Week

January 29th-February 5th

The 14th annual Chamber Restaurant Week will kick off on Saturday, January 29th. With more than seventy restaurants participating, locals and visitors to both Hilton Head Island and Bluffton will be in for a treat! 

A highly anticipated celebration of local cuisine, contributing restaurants serve up specialty-priced or prix-fixe menus. Chamber Restaurant Week is also a time for introducing new dishes as well as celebrating crowd-favorites. 

Here is the 2022 participant list. 

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