Visitors are often surprised to learn how many wineries, breweries, and even distilleries are on Hilton Head Island. It’s true, our small island is chock-full of unique experiences that tell the Lowcountry tale piece by piece. True, this 12-mile stretch of paradise certainly can’t compete with the likes of destinations known for having a craft brewery on every corner, or a winery on every hillside, but Hilton Head can hold its own with its delicious local vintages, ales, and cocktails.
We’ve put together a list of spots on and around Hilton Head Island that make for a great afternoon of tasting, finding great gifts or a reminder of the island to take home with you, and even listening to live music in friendly atmospheres. In this article, we’ll be focusing on just the distilleries. If you’d like to read our winery and brewery guides, click either link at the bottom of this article.
Hilton Head Distillery
14 Cardinal Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
The only distillery located on Hilton Head Island, this facility makes for a great activity for those wanting to try delicious rum concoctions. This local distillery offers festive tiki cocktails, as well as scheduled cocktail classes, a tasting bar, and daily tours that let you behind the scenes of the production facility. After your visit, head to the bottle shop to bring a bottle home to remember your trip by. Guests wanting to take a tour must be 21 years or older, and groups wanting to spend some time in the Tasting Room must be at least 16 years old–but of course, those doing the tasting must be 21 years or older.
Burnt Church Distillery
120 Bluffton Rd, Bluffton, SC 29910
A short drive from Hilton Head Island, and located in the Old Town district of the charming town of Bluffton, the Burnt Church Distillery has become a fast favorite for locals and visitors alike. The distillery’s mission is “to craft authentic Lowcountry spirits that honor local history and give back to the community,” which is accomplished every day starting with the facility being named after Burnt Church Rd.
Taking a tour of the facility and tasting some of the craft spirits is a must, but that’s just the start of your visit. Peruse The Study, an entire room dedicated to telling the history of Bluffton, SC, or take a spin through The Mercantile, a curated collection of merchandise specific to the distillery mixed with finds from local shops. Pick out a cigar from the onsite humidor to enjoy outside with your whiskey, or spend some time in The Sanctuary, where you can order a cocktail, a beer from sister company, Side Hustle Beer Co., a glass of wine, or a customized brick-oven pizza from Pizza Co. As if that weren’t enough, check out the list of scheduled events for artisan markets, live music, and even yoga!
Daufuskie Island Rum Co.
270 Haig Point Rd, Daufuskie Island, SC 29915
Include this stop on your Daufuskie Island day trip’s itinerary, because you won’t want to miss it. Tucked away in the dense greenery of this one-of-a-kind island, you’ll reach this rum distillery by golf cart on a few dirt roads–trust us, follow the signs and you’ll make it there! Started in 2013, the Daufuskie Island Distillery has definitely made a name for itself, which has led the facility to double its size. Currently under construction, tours have been postponed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stop in and enjoy a cocktail or buy a bottle of delicious flavored rum, vodka, or bourbon. Sit a spell on the deck outside and order a bite from the On Deck Diner, open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday. This spot also is known for its lineup of live music, so always check the schedule of events before you go!