5 Reasons to Visit Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Tripadvisor has deemed Hilton Head Island as one of the top-rated South Carolina vacation spots for lovers of the land and sea. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, promises sunshine, sugar-sandy beaches, beautiful sunsets, delicious food, and numerous activities for all to enjoy while staying at Sunset Rentals. First-time guests on the island will quickly come to discover why Hilton Head is one of the best places to visit in South Carolina on their own, but for good measure, we’ll give you five reasons to join us here for your next getaway. 

1. Discover the Hilton Head Island Restaurants

During your stay on the Atlantic Coast, it wouldn’t be right to visit without indulging in the deliciously fresh seafood in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The oysters on the island are a huge draw, and you’ll get your fill at the Black Marlin Bayside Grill. Along with oysters on the half shell, you’ll find other seafood eats, including lobster tacos, parmesan sea scallops, and jumbo stuffed shrimp to name a few! Not a seafood fan? Try an award-winning burger from Charbar Company or the authentic Italian eats from Giuseppe’s Pizza & Pasta! With over 250 cafes and award-winning Hilton Head Island restaurants, you’ll find something that suits every palate. Please check out our Hilton Head Island Restaurants page to learn more!

2. Versatile Land Activities

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is home to over 20 championship golf courses, which is just another reason we’re one of the best places to visit in South Carolina. Many travel from all over the globe to enjoy a game of championship golf on the beautiful layouts that feature natural views. Adrenaline junkies can explore a ziplining adventure at Zipline Hilton Head, which offers six separate courses and over 50 challenge activities. If you’re looking for more of a scenic experience on your South Carolina family vacation, explore the 60 miles of well-groomed, public bike trails around the island. There are many shopping options around the area, which includes everything from adorable boutiques to upscale options as well as outlets and specialty gift shops. 

3. Lovers of the Sea

There’s nothing quite like a magical sunset on an evening stroll on the 12 miles of beach in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Whether you want to swim, fish, head out on a sailboat tour or play a round of beach volleyball, the water activities are seemingly endless. Fly high over the Atlantic Coast with Sky Pirate on a parasailing adventure, rent a wave runner or stand-up paddle board from H2O Sports, which also offers dolphin and eco-tours. Perhaps an evening of entertainment and dinner with Savannah Riverboat Cruises will be the perfect way to end your vacation before heading home. 

4. The Active Nightlife 

Immerse yourself in the island-time culture of Hilton Head Island, which means, relax and enjoy your stay to one of the best places to visit in South Carolina. Not only will you find a variety of kid-friendly activities to enjoy during a vacation, but adults can enjoy the active nightlife on the island. Enjoy an entertaining evening of live music at the Big Bamboo, you’ll also find daily happy hour specials at One Hot Mama’s and late night dining options. Callahan’s is an excellent sports locale to challenge your spouse to a round of pool or play a fun game of beer pong and feel young again! 

5. Pet-Friendly Atmosphere

You’ll find everything from dog-friendly beaches to hiking trails as well as tours and restaurants that welcome Spot! We know that leaving your furry friend behind can cause a little pet-separation anxiety, which is why we provide pet-friendly lodging in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, so that your entire family can come on vacation. 

Beautiful South Carolina Vacation Spots

Whether you’re planning a romantic escape with your significant other, a girl’s trip, or a family vacation, you’ll find a variety of things to do for all ages in our sun-drenched paradise. We feature Hilton Head Island bike rental options on our website that you can rent during your stay, but you must reserve early as they are a popular option for our guests! If you’d like a vacation rental with a private on-site pool, ocean view, or patio, we’ve got a variety to choose from in Hilton Head Island. Please visit our properties page on our website to explore the vacation home or villa that best suits your needs. If you have any questions, please give our welcoming staff a call at 1-800-276-8991. 

A South Carolina Visitor’s Guide for Birding in hilton Head

A South Carolina Visitor’s Guide for Birding in Hilton Head Island

The best part about birding in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is that it’s an inexpensive way to get outdoors, and it’s great for every age. Hilton Head is one of the best places to visit in South Carolina for birding as our town is quite environmentally friendly, and there are hundreds of species that frequent the area. Search for Red-Shouldered Hawk or be on the lookout for the Pileated Woodpecker along with a variety of seabirds. Keep reading as we’ll provide a South Carolina visitor’s guide to birding around Hilton Head Island. 

Where to Go

Because birding is a popular pastime activity around the island, you’ll be happy to know there is a Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Birding Trail. All you have to do is use your cell phone and download the app to find information about the birds that frequent the area and birding sites where you can find them. Not only does the app act as a South Carolina visitor’s guide for birding, but it also provides understanding about the continued development of nature at each site that ultimately protects our feathered friends. 

Tips for Bird Watching

When you’re looking for birds on your South Carolina family vacation, there are different ways that you can identify birds just by appearance. Looking for colors, shapes, movements, how they sing and noting the time of year are all ways you can be sure of your findings. Bring a notebook along on your daily treks around Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, as it will be easier to make a note of a bird before it flies away. 

Popular Birds You’ll Find

While there are many birds in the area, there are several that you will more than likely see on your daily outings. Using the Hilton Head Birding Trail as a South Carolina visitor’s guide for birding will be the best way to identify the majority of them. We’ll go over a several that you can expect to see during your South Carolina family vacation. 

  • Great Blue HeronBlue-gray color (though there is a white phase), black wide stripe over eye, thick bill, long legs and neck
  • Great EgretWhite feathers, long yellow bill, and black legs
  • Bald EagleWhite head and tail, dark brown wings, yellow bill and legs
  • OspreyDark brown on back and white on the belly, small head, grey legs, waterbirds
  • Red-Shouldered HawkCheckered black and white wings, red on the breast, rounded wings, and fanned-out tail while flying
  • Pileated WoodpeckerSmaller size, dark in color, pointed beak, and a red mohawk
  • Brown PelicanThe only type of pelican around Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Versatile Vacation Homes All Sizes

Now that you have had a chance to review our South Carolina visitor’s guide for birding, you can have a fun day out spotting birds around the area. Whether you’re a family vacation, romantic getaway, or are heading to Sunset Rentals for a reunion, you’ll be in one of the best places to visit in South Carolina: Hilton Head Island. Our properties range from small one-bedroom rentals to vacation homes with up to 10 bedrooms for large groups. We encourage you to check out our Vacation Rentals page on our website. If you have any questions, please contact us at 1-800-276-8991.

Best Sushi/Asian Food in the Hilton Head and Bluffton Area!

Sushi is one of our many favorite comfort foods and there are plenty of places to enjoy some wonderful dishes in the area! Below are just a few.

Sake House
107 Fording Island Rd Ste 105

Bluffton, SC; 843-706-9222

Half of prices on certain Sushi items Monday through Thursday night 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm!


OKKO Japanese Sushi and Hibachi Restaurant

95 Mathhews Dr Suite C

Hilton Head, SC ; 843-341-3377

OKKO offers delicious dining and takeout to Hilton Head Island, SC. OKKO is a cornerstone in the Hilton Head Island community and has been recognized for its outstanding Thai cuisine, excellent service and friendly staff.


Fancy Sushi (Hilton Head and Bluffton)
2 Locations:

102 Buckwalter Parkway Suite 3

Bluffton, SC; 843-757-5003

435 William Hilton Parkway

Hilton Head, SC ; 843-715-4148


Both locations offer an assortment of unique sushi rolls and other wonderful sushi items as well!


Asian Bistro
51 New Orleans Road

Hilton Head, SC; 843-686-9888

Asian Bistro offers a variety of items including a buffet style option!


Chin Dynasty China Bistro
108 Buckwalter Parkway

Bluffton, SC 29910

Great place to stop by before or after a movie at Cinemark! Offers a variety of Chinese such as Pad Thai and Lo Mein and Japanese food items such as Sushi!


Calhoun Street in Bluffton

In one of Bluffton and Hilton Heads most Historic Areas you find more than just history to enjoy! Shops, Restaurants, Art Galleries and Festivals line the street. Below you’ll find some of our favorite spots to check out!

Shops to Enjoy

Birdie James
Moonlit Lullaby
The Storybook Shoppe

Restaurants to Try

The Cottage Bakery and Tea Room
The Pearl Kitchen and Bar
The Old Town Dispensary

Sites to See

Church of the Cross
Dubois Park

Art Galleries

The Filling Station Art Gallery

Pluff Mud Art

Maye River Gallery

Pizza on the Island!

There are several places to sit down and enjoy a yummy slice of pizza. Below are a few of the best in the Hilton Head/Bluffton area!

New York City Pizza
Known for their New York Style pizza! Enjoy a slice or two!

4 Locations: 3 on Hilton Head and 1 in Bluffton

Below is the website with more details on locations and menus:


“Little things are the difference between good and Great”

Mellow Mushroom
2 Locations of several across the United States :

Bluffton: 878 Fording Island Road; 843-706-0800

Hilton Head: 33 Office Park Road Unit 15; 843-686-2474

Enjoy a specialty pie or create your own! Several other delicious items as well!


Midici Italian Kitchen- The Neapolitan Pizza Company

One of many locations in the United States! Enjoy a great wood-fired pizza and definitely try the burrata!

Hilton Head: 7 Greenwood Drive Ste C; 843-842-7999


Local Pie
Local Pizza Restaurant! 2 Locations! 1 in Bluffton and 1 in Hilton head!


Dough Boys Pizza
Local company that provides a variety of times such as pizza, salads, and subs!

1-B New Orleans Road; 843-686-2697


Hilton Head Island Shrimp Festival

The second annual Hilton Head Island Shrimp Festival will be held Friday, September 20 and Saturday, September 21 on the lawn adjacent to the Liberty Oak in Harbour Town.

Head on down to try some of the island finest local offerings!!

Friday, September 20, 5-8pm

Craft Beer Night – $35

Lowcountry Boil and Barbecue

Enjoy samples from over 12 local and regional breweries. Must be 21 years and older.

Saturday, September 21, 2-5pm

Shrimp Festival – $35

Children 8 and younger are free. Enjoy an assortment of shrimp dishes from nearly 20 participating local and regional restaurants; craft beer and wine; live music by rock band Cranford Hollow; and a fun zone for children, including face painting and bouncy houses.

Two-Day Tickets – $65

Admission for Friday’s Craft Brew Fest is $35; admission for Saturday’s Shrimp Fest is $35; a two-day ticket is available for $65. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Children ages 8 and younger are free on Saturday. A portion of the event’s proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island.

Restaurants with a View

Hilton Head Island has many different waterfront dining spots you can enjoy while you are on your vacation. Here is a list of some waterfront restaurants we have to offer on Hilton head Island. Trust us the views are unforgettable!!!

Waterfront View

Hudson’s Seafood

Location: 1 Hudson Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Hours: Monday Through Saturday 11am to 9pm, Sunday 10am to 9pm

Happy Hour: 4pm to 6pm

The Old Oyster Factory

Location: 101 Marshland Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Hours: Monday Through Sunday 4:45pm to 9pm

Happy Hour: 4:45pm to 6pm

Coast Oceanfront Dining

Location: 87 N Sea Pines Dr, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Hours: Monday through Sunday 11:30am to 9pm

Marina View

The Salty Dog Café

Location: 232 S Sea Pines Dr, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Hours: Monday through Sunday 11am to 10pm

Fishcamp on Broad Creek

Location: 11 Simmons Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Hours: Monday through Sunday 11am to 10pm

Skull Creek Boathouse

Location: 397 Squire Pope Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Hours: Monday through Friday 11am to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 10pm

Happy Hour: 4pm to 7pm

Skull Creek Dockside

Location: 2 Hudson Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Hours: Monday through Friday 11am to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 10pm

Happy Hour: 4pm to 7pm

The Quarterdeck

Location: 160 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Hours: Monday through Friday 11:30am to 9pm

ELA’S On the Water

Location: 1 Shelter Cove Ln, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Hours: Sunday through Friday 11am to 2pm, 5pm to 10pm and Saturday 5pm to 10pm

Beachside View

The Tikki Hut

Location: 1 S Forest Beach Dr, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Hours: Monday Through Friday 11:30am to 10pm

Coco’s on the Beach

Location: 663 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Hours: Monday through Sunday 11am to 10pm

Saturday Football is back!

Saturdays in the south during the fall can be quite fun if you are a college football fan! Whether you cheer for Clemson to South Carolina to Georgia to any of the northern states; there is always a team to cheer for on College Football Saturday! Here are some local sports bars to cheer on your favorite team:

Wild Wing Café (Bluffton and Hilton Head Locations)
Bluffton: 1188 Fording Island Road

Hilton Head: 72 Pope Avenue

College Football season is FINALLY upon us! We have the ACC Network so you won’t miss any of your games! Enjoy some wings and a drink while cheering on your favorite ACC team!


Fat Patties (Bluffton location)
207 Bluffton Road

They will display South Carolina and Clemson games on the big screen on there patio! You can watch other live sporting events as well!

Enjoy a great burger and wonderful atmosphere!

Mellow Mushroom (Hilton Head Location)
33 Office Park Road near Harris Teeter in Park Plaza

If you are a Michigan fan, this is the place to be! Enjoy a pizza and watch the game with fellow Michigan fans! I know I will be there for the next game I can watch!


R Bar and Grill (Bluffton)
70 Pennington Drive

“We love our sports, so we hope you do too!! We carry Most NBA games, the NHL package, the MLB package, and most defintely the NFL package!! This is the best place to watch football, hands down!! Especially if you’re a BUFFALO BILLS fan!! With 19 TV’s and 2 projectors, we have every game on all the time!!”


Club Seats Grille (Hilton Head Location)
2600 Main St Unit 102

A sports bar to watch Penn State football games every Saturday so if you are Nittany Lion fan you will love this place! Offers a variety of food items as well!


Seafood and Arts Festival

If you are looking for a festival with some fun activities, arts and great local seafood food, The Bluffton Arts and Seafood festival is coming October 12-20, 2019. Below are some highlighted events throughout the week.

Saturday October 12, 2019

Unveiling – Amiri Farris Art Wall Mural & Chalk the Walk Art Competition
Presented by Bluffton Rotary Club
Field of Dreams Pavilion, Oscar Frazer Park
Chalk Art Competition for children- Registration 9:30
Art Mural by Amiri- Unveiling 10:00
Chalk Art Competition for children- 10:15
Judging & Prizes- 11:15

Sunday October 13, 2019

Stroll Calhoun Street and see our state designated cultural district come alive!
POP UP ART on the street, on gallery porches and on a corner lot – temporary art displays join the many galleries to highlight the artistic and cultural side of Bluffton.

Bring your lawn chair, view the Boat Parade and enjoy Gospel music by Lavon Stevens on the bluff or join the parade in your own boat. Make plans now to gather at the sandbar before 3:00 PM and process to the Church of the Cross following our Admiral of the Fleet, Amber Hester Kuehn, leading our former Admirals in a true celebratory parade.

OYSTER FEST, 5:00 – 8:00PM, Bluffton Oyster Factory Park
First Oyster Roast of the Season, Shrimp Boil & BBQ, Live Music by MUDDY CREEK.

Monday October 14, 2019

Join Capt. Chris and his crew for a one hour guided “Skiff” cruise on the May searching for local wildlife, discussing history and soaking up the tidal estuary air.
$20/ per person…subject to availability. All trips leave on the hour every hour from the county dock at the end of Calhoun Street. Please call Capt. Chris for reservations and more information. 843-304-2878

HISTORY ALIVE! GUIDED TOURS of Bluffton’s Heyward House Museum and More.
Discounted Guided Museum Tours of the Heyward House 70 Boundary Street in Historic Bluffton will be offered for only $7/person, kids under 10 are free. Call 843-757-6293 for information and reservations or visit HeywardHouse.org.

Tuesday October 15, 2019

Please join us for a walking GHOST TOUR of historic Old Town Bluffton. Hear spooky Bluffton tales told by certified tour guide, Bluffton Jack. Comfortable walking shoes suggested; bring your own flashlight; rain or shine; children welcome (suggested ages 9 and up). Tours begin at The Complete Home, 41 B Calhoun Street. Refreshments served. $18.00 ADULTS; $10.00 CHILDREN. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. CALL 843-717-2175.
Join The Storybook Shoppe at 41 A Calhoun Street prior to the 6:00 PM Haunted Tour for a Frightfully Fun evening of Spooky Stories at 5:00 PM.

Friday October 18, 2019

Presented by Bluffton Self Help
Join us for a grand culinary celebration under the stars on the grounds of the historic Heyward House. The evening will include sensational Lowcountry dining by Ryan McCarthy of Downtown Catering, savory cocktails, along with contagious excitement with a wine pull, live and silent auctions as we raise money to support our Bluffton neighbors in need. Limited tickets and sponsorships are available and can be purchased online at https://www.sipsandseafood.com. All proceeds benefit Bluffton Self Help.

Saturday October 19, 2019

Presented by Beaufort Memorial Hospital
Bluffton Oyster Factory Park. Join us for a run through Old Town Bluffton with scenic river and marsh views. Compete in a fast-paced 10K or complete the 5K with the entire family! Both events will be professionally timed. Awards presentation and After-Party sponsored by River Dog Brewing Company immediately follows. Music, Coffee, Cold River Dog Craft Beer, Oyster Shooters, Gumbo, May River Mimosas, Brewed Marys and much, much more!

ART & SEAFOOD STREET FEST 10:00AM – 5:00PM (Saturday and Sunday)

Enjoy our juried art show featuring over 100 local and regional artists from 10 different states, displaying an array of fine art: oils, pastels, acrylics, photography, pottery, ceramics, water color and much, much more. Local seafood and low country cuisine served by area restaurants. History of Bluffton at The Heyward House Museum and Welcome Center.

Presented by Montage Palmetto Bluff

Sunday October 20, 2019

ART IN THE PARK 11:00AM – 4:00PM DuBois Park on Boundary Street (Saturday and Sunday)
Children’s art activities conducted under the pavilion. Prizes, games, fun and much, much more for the budding artists of all ages.

For a list of detailed events and more information:


Festival Season!!

The weather is finally starting to cool down and it’s starting to feel like fall!! And do you know what that means?


Here is a list of some Fall festivals happening in the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton Area!!

Arts, Culture and History Festival

Where: Shelter Cove Community Park

When: October 10th through November 15

Fifteenth annual Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival!

Where: Downtown Bluffton

When: October 12-20

The fourth annual Vegfest will include entertainment, vendors, and educational speakers.

Where: Shelter Cove Park

When: October 19th

The fourth Annual Gullah Food Festival! Come as vendors serve up their best pot and recipes of Shrimp and Grits, Seafood Gumbo, Devil Crabs and Stew Chicken, and more.

Where: The Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island

When: October 19th from 11am to 5pm

Come and enjoy the 10th Annual Italian Heritage Festival!

Where: Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn

When: October 26th 11am to 4pm