There’s something for everyone vacationing in Hilton Head, SC—and we have the perfect vacation rental option for you! You may meet some new friends while you’re there too, joining the over two million visitors who head out annually to Hilton Head for their vacations—attracted, no doubt, to this breathtaking community because of its beaches and natural beauty, the shopping and dining options, and the wonderful golf and tennis. The warm waters and subtropical climate on Hilton Head Island make it a fantastic year-round vacation destination—so why not head to Hilton Head Island for some sun, sand, and surf?
Hilton Head Island has a rich and interesting history stretching back to the early days of America. Commissioned by some Barbados planters to find new land to grow food crops, English sea captain William Hilton reached Hilton Head Island in 1663. Hilton, however, was not the first European to visit the Island—a group of French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution had colonized Hilton Head Island as early as the 1560s. Not much is known of an earlier native civilization of Escamacus Indians that inhabited the Island as far back as four thousand years ago.
The history of Hilton Head as a vacation destination began in 1956, when Charles Fraser created a master plan for a resort community after a bridge to the mainland was constructed. The first of the Hilton Head family resorts—Sea Pines Plantation—came up soon, occupying almost one-third of the island, and other resorts soon followed. Incorporated as a town in 1983, Hilton Head Island is now home to several environmentally-planned resorts—the cotton fields of lore have been replaced by lush green golf courses, beautifully designed tennis courts, and shimmering lakes.
Apart from the relaxing family-favorite activities such as building sandcastles and frolicking in the waves, Hilton Head offers biking and hiking, fishing and kayaking, shopping and historical sites. With 24 championship golf courses and more than 350 tennis courts, there are lots of sporting options too.
The waters that surround Hilton Head Island are not only pristine and beautiful, but they’re also some of the warmest waters on the Eastern Seaboard—perfect for kayaking, diving, surfing, and almost all other types of water sport. Check out the Hilton Head Island beaches from a vantage point high above the water while parasailing—or try your hand at water skiing, paddle boarding, and windsurfing.
The secluded pier on Old House Creek is perfect if you’re interested in the shrimp and fiddler crabs. You can also power your way on a jet ski through the beautiful blue waters or kayak the pristine inlets. How about a catamaran cruise round the island and the rivers surrounding Bluffton to experience the natural beauty of the region? Charter a boat for a day of deep sea fishing out on the Gulf Stream—in the waters around Hilton Head, you can catch snapper, grouper, kingfish, cobia, blue fish, spot tail bass, swordfish, and shark.
To get up close and personal with the friendly Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, you just need to join a guided dolphin watch cruise. If you take the late night Turtle Watch, you might become on the few people ever get to see the endangered giant loggerhead sea turtles. Or do you prefer to cruise down beautiful Broad Creek for a chance at encountering osprey, egrets, pelicans, bald eagles, manatees, sharks, mink, and otter?
The Coastal South Carolina Lighthouse Tour features the Harbour Town Lighthouse, Haig Point Lighthouse, Tybee Island Lighthouse, Cockspur Lighthouse, Hunting Island Lighthouse, Morris Island Light-Folly Beach, Charleston Lighthouse, and Georgetown Lighthouse. You can end a perfect day with a romantic sunset dinner on any of the waterfront restaurants in Palmetto Bay Marina.
If you are you more of a land lubber, you can take a zip-line canopy tour to discover the beautiful wildlife and foliage of the Low Country. With its protected wetland, Hilton Head Island is a bird watcher’s heaven—come here for a chance to spot the snowy egret, the large blue heron, the white ibis, and the cattle egrets. If you’re interested in learning more about the birds of Hilton Head Island, you can take a bird-watching tour at the Audubon-Newhall Preserve, which covers about 50 acres on the southern end of the island. Or you can head out to Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge with its 14 miles of scenic trails, to get in touch with your wildlife-loving side.
Are you still looking for more outdoor activities and adventures? With more than fifty miles of bicycling trails, Hilton Head Island offers you a chance to enjoy the healthy lifestyle with the wind in your hair and pedals at your feet. If having too much fun leaves you looking to be pampered head to toe, then you can end your day in pure relaxation with a signature treatment at any of the island’s spa resorts.
Hilton Head Island’s remarkable landscapes, gorgeous seascapes, unique ecology, and historical sites have summoned generations of voyagers—Native Americans, English, Spanish, French colonists, and African-Americans. Grab your opportunity to leave your own footprints on these gorgeous sands! Check out our hundreds of fabulous Hilton Head vacation rentals here.