10 Reasons to Vacation in Port Royal Hilton Head


The Port Royal Plantation on Hilton Head is a smaller resort area on the northeastern curve of the island, known as the heel of Hilton Head Island. If you’re seeking quieter seclusion away from the crowds, yet still staying close to the top attractions and activities on Hilton Head Island, the Port Royal Plantation is the Hilton Head destination for you!

Southern Living’s “The South’s Best 2022 Awards” recently ranked Hilton Head Island #1 in The South’s Best Beach Towns 2022. With southern charm and hospitality, award-winning golf and tennis, tranquil nature walks and bike paths, and miles of unspoiled, sandy beaches at your doorstep – Port Royal is a top destination to spend your vacation on Hilton Head Island.

1. UNTOUCHED NATURAL BEAUTY


From lush Lowcountry landscapes to stunning Atlantic seascapes, natural beauty abounds in Port Royal Plantation. Guests have access to miles of scenic trails weaving through old moss-laden oak trees, saltwater estuaries and freshwater lagoons for fishing and crabbing, and wild, secluded beaches along the historic Port Royal Sound and Atlantic Ocean.

The top activities in the Port Royal Resort Area include fishing, crabbing, bike riding (bring your own or rent locally), exploring the historic sites on a golf cart, and simply living the coastal lifestyle on Port Royal’s beautiful stretch of beaches.

2. AMAZING BEACHES & BEACH CREDIT!


The Port Royal Plantation is home to some of the best and quietest beaches on Hilton Head Island. Islander Beach Park is one of the best beaches on Hilton Head Island with a shady park for beach BBQs and picnics, a large playground for the kids, wide stretches of sandy beaches and calm Atlantic waters for swimming. Other nearby options for a beach day include Folly Field Beach, Driessen Beach, and Burkes Beach – swim, surf, sunbathe and enjoy ocean adventures in Port Royal Plantation on Hilton Head Island.

For a different beach experience, Fish Haul Beach Park is a hidden gem overlooking the Port Royal Sound. While it’s not the best beach for swimming on Hilton Head, you can walk the pristine shoreline to historic Mitchelville Beach Park, birdwatch from the observation deck, hike the enchanting beach trails, and beachcomb for unique shells. Fish Haul Beach Park features four unique habitats – maritime forests, marshlands and creeks, ancient sand dunes and the tranquil Port Royal tidal flats.

Beach Credit! Sunset Rentals offer complimentary beach gear packages in select Port Royal vacation rentals. Whether you’re looking for top quality beach gear, kayak and paddle board rentals, boogie boards to ride the waves or beach games for a day by the ocean, we’ve got your vacation beach gear in Port Royal covered!

3. TEE OFF ONE OF THE TOP EXOTIC GOLF COURSES IN THE WORLD


The Heritage Golf Collection on Hilton Head Island features 81 holes of championship golf at the Shipyard Golf Club, the Oyster Reef Golf Club, and two world-class courses at the Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club. Nestled along the Atlantic Coastline, the Port Royal Golf Club is ranked one of the “Top 75 US Golf Resorts” by Golf Digest and one of the “Top 10 Exotic Golf Courses in the World”.

For warming up and to improve your game, the Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club features a world-class practice facility with a driving range, putting green, and short game practice area with PGA professional instruction throughout the year. The Port Royal Club is also home to Hilton Head Island’s first FootGolf Course – golf with a soccer ball and great fun for the whole family!

The Barony Course is one of the first golf courses on Hilton Head Island, designed by George W. Cobb in the early 1960s and set in lush Lowcountry landscapes. Robbers Row Course was later designed by George W. Cobb and William C. Byrd in 1967, one of the most exotic golf courses in the world set on former Civil War grounds, rich in history and natural beauty with live oaks, magnolias and luxury homes lining the fairways. Golfers can enjoy after golf happy hour and the tastes of the Lowcountry at Robbers Row Grill in the southern mansion-style Port Royal Clubhouse.

4. CHAMPIONSHIP TENNIS CENTER


The Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club is also ranked one of the Top 25 Tennis Resorts in the World! The Port Royal Racquet Club offers top-notch tennis instruction and award-winning tennis on eight new Har-Tru clay courts in a scenic setting on Hilton Head Island. Pickleball is a Hilton Head Island tradition and if you’re not yet a player, the Port Royal Racquet Club is the perfect place to get up to speed with America’s fastest growing sport!

5. HISTORICAL SITES & ATTRACTIONS


The historical Port Royal Sound and Port Royal Plantation is the original landing site of Captain William Hilton on the island in 1663. The Battle of Port Royal began in 1861 and the town of Mitchelville was established in 1862, the first self-governed town of freed slaves in America. You’ll find historical sites and markers across the Port Royal Plantation at Fort Walker Park, Steam Gun Beach, Fort Sherman, Fish Haul and Fort Mitchel, and along the fairways of the Robbers Row Golf Course.

Experience the rich history of Port Royal on a walking tour of historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, a Gullah Heritage Tour of the historic Gullah neighborhoods, or a living history tour of the Zion Chapel of Ease and Baynard Mausoleum, the resting place of four Revolutionary War Heroes and the oldest structure on Hilton Head Island. The Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horns offers guided and self-guided tours of the historic sites on Hilton Head Island.

The Port Royal Plantation is only a short drive from the charming Lowcountry town of Bluffton, SC. Take a walking tour of the historic Spanish-moss draped homes and buildings in Old Town Bluffton nestled among the stately oaks along the May River.

6. PORT ROYAL ARBORETUM


Visitors to the Port Royal resort area have access to the Port Royal Arboretum, a quaint arboretum nestled near Fort Sherman, between Fort Walker Drive and the Robbers Row Golf Course. The arboretum features paved walkways, nature paths through ferns, cypresses and palmettos, scenic overlooks, an azalea garden, and is full of wildlife and native Lowcountry plants.

7. AWAY FROM THE CROWDS


Port Royal Plantation is a quieter Hilton Head Island community, away from the crowds yet only a short drive (or energetic bike ride!) away from the attractions, restaurants, shopping and activities in neighboring Hilton Head Island resort areas. If you’re seeking a quieter vacation on Hilton Head, look no further than Port Royal Plantation.

8. NEARBY DINING & SHOPPING


Port Royal Plantation is close to Hilton Head’s best dining and shopping, yet you have amazing options close to home too! Guests have an option of outdoor patios with poolside and oceanfront dining at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa and Marriott Barony Beach Club, Lowcountry cuisine at the Robbers Row Grill, and you’re only a short drive to Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks and Skull Creek Boathouse for waterfront dining on Skull Creek.

9. CLOSE TO HILTON HEAD’S TOP RESORT AREAS & ATTRACTIONS


Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina

Distance: 3 miles

  • Waterfront on Broad Creek
  • Accessible by Bike Path
  • Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
  • Watersports, Activities & Eco-Tours
  • Boat Rentals & Fishing Charters
  • Year-Round Events, Festivals & Live Music

Palmetto Dunes Resort Area

Distance: 3.5 miles

  • 3 Miles of Immaculate Beachfront
  • Three Championship Golf Courses
  • Seasonal Palmetto Dunes Buggy
  • Quick Access to Shelter Cove Marina
  • World-Renowned Tennis Center
  • Miles of bike trails

Shipyard Resort Area

Distance: 6.6 miles

  • Shipyard private beach access 
  • Miles of scenic trails 
  • Championship Golf & Tennis Center 
  • Centrally located to Hilton Head downtown 
  • Great location for family reunions, and gatherings 
  • Access to the Shipyard Beach Club 
  • 20 Tennis Courts located in Shipyard

Forest Beach Resort Area

Distance: 7.3 miles

  • More than 100 shops and restaurants
  • Miles of walking, jogging, and biking trails
  • Updated Coligny Beach Entrance
  • Free Family Entertainment
  • Miles of Sandy white beaches

Sea Pines Plantation

Distance: 8.5 miles

  • 5 Miles of Sandy White Beaches
  • Easily accessible beach access passes 
  • Three World-Class Golf Courses
  • Tennis Facilities
  • Restaurants, Entertainment, and Shopping at Harbour Town
  • Miles of Bike, Jogging, and Walking Trails
  • Sea Pines Trolley Available

10. PORT ROYAL PLANTATION VILLA COMMUNITIES


Port Royal Village has quiet golf villa communities nestled along the fairways of the Barony Golf Course, boasting tranquil Lowcountry lagoon and golf views, and seasonal pools (perfect for an after-golf or after-beach dip!), and walking distance to oceanfront dining at the Port Royal resort hotels.

The Links Villas

3 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom Golf Villas, Sleeps 6-8

$250 Beach Gear Credit included

The Links in Port Royal Village are spacious, luxury Lowcountry style golf villas, located on the Port Royal Barony Golf Course, a short walk from the Marriott Barony, Westin Hotel, and Islanders Beach Park. Our selection of Port Royal Links Villas boast views of the Barony fairways, access to a seasonal community pool, and select villas include a golf cart for your vacation in Port Royal. 

Devonshire & Beckenham Villas

2-3 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom Golf Villas, Sleeps 6-9

$250 Beach Gear Credit included

The Devonshire and Beckenham Villa complexes are nestled nearby on the banks of a tranquil lagoon overlooking the 9th hole of the Barony Golf Course. These quiet Port Royal communities share a sparkling seasonal pool on the fairways, a BBQ area and picnic sites on the lagoon, and are a short walk to miles of Atlantic Coast beaches on Hilton Head Island.

Sunset Rentals proudly boast one of Hilton Head Island’s largest selection of private vacation homes and villas in the top resort areas of Hilton Head Island, and complete with all the amenities for a luxury vacation in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Start planning your Hilton Head Island vacation today with our team of vacation specialists at Sunset Rentals.


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