Top 20 Spots To Watch The Sunset On Hilton Head - Sunset Rentals Vacation Blog

Top 20 Spots To Watch The Sunset On Hilton Head

The distinctive Lowcountry scenery and tranquil waterways on Hilton Head Island provide the perfect canvas for some of the most breathtaking sunsets you’ll ever witness. As the sun dips slowly below the horizon, fiery palettes of reds, oranges, pinks, and purples paint the skies casting a warm glow over Hilton Head’s white sandy shoreline, untouched preserves, and waterfront marinas abuzz with tours, activities, and sunset dining experiences that top the charts! No filters required! 

Whatever beach sunset vibe you’re after, you’ll find it here on Hilton Head Island. From hip, happening happy hours on the sand and landmark waterfront restaurants on the creeks to secluded paddling adventures alongside pods of dolphins, here’s our guide to the best sunset spots on Hilton Head Island, and epic sunset experiences to make it extra special! 

Top Sunset Spots

1. Award-Winning Coligny Beach Park

Location: 1 Coligny Circle, Hilton Head Island, SC

The beaches on Hilton Head Island are consistently ranked among the most picturesque in the world, but are extra special with the candy-colored glow of sunset resting on the calm waters. Slip off your flip-flops for a sunset stroll or beach bike ride along the shoreline, or stop by Coligny Plaza for picnic goods from Piggly Wiggly or a Lowcountry cheese or charcuterie board to go from Rollers for a sunset picnic on the sand. 

Local Tip: Stay with Sunset Rentals and receive complimentary Vayk gear including beach chairs & umbrellas and top quality bike gear for the whole family!

2. The Tiki Hut

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

Phone: (843) 785-5126
Hours: Daily 11 AM to 10 PM
Seasonal Live Music: See the lineup HERE!
Reservations: First come, first serve

If beach volleyball and barefoot cocktails on the sand are more your vibe, the Hilton Head Island Tiki Hut on Coligny Beach is an island icon that offers up an insta-worthy sunset with beachside bites, hand-crafted frozen cocktails, a chilled atmosphere, and an epic line up of live music and jam sessions in all four seasons. 

Local Tip: For fewer crowds, take a short walk along the shoreline to sample “the best frozen drink you’re ever going to get” at Pool Bar Jim’s. Jim’s frozen creations include original recipes like the Daufuskie Freeze, Margaritas, and Mojitos served with old-fashioned southern hospitality with a tropical touch!

3. The Beach Club at Sea Pines

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

Phone: (843) 842-1888
Hours: Daily 11:30 AM to 9 PM (Beach Bar 10 PM)
Seasonal Live Music: 4 PM to 7 PM 
Reservations: Reservations recommended for dinner

Situated in the Sea Pines Resort area of Hilton Head, the Beach Club boasts an oceanfront patio for sunset dining, a rooftop lounge and bar for upscale cocktails, and a wrap-around beach bar with walk-up service for beachgoers. You can literally have your Hilton Head sunset on the rocks, shaken, or stirred, while being serenaded by live music in season. 

Local Tip: Parking is limited! You can hop on the Sea Pines Trolley or stay local! Our Turtle Lane Townhomes are steps from the Sea Pines Beach Club with two swimming pools (one seasonally heated!), private beach access, and stunning sunsets on your doorstep. You must be a guest in Sea Pines to enjoy the Beach Club.

4. Salty Dog Café

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

Phone: (843) 671-2233
Hours: Daily 8 AM to 10 PM 
Happy Hour: 4 PM to 6 PM
Reservations: First come, first serve

The legendary Salty Dog Café is one of the most visited restaurants on the island! Whether it’s the waterfront location in the New England-inspired village, the succulent seafood and award-winning crab legs, or Salty Dog’s stunning Lowcountry sunsets over Braddock Creek that spark your interest, it’s a must-do dining experience with a must-see Hilton Head Island sunset! 

Local Tip: Book a sunset sail on the “Salty Cat” with Island Water Sports situated on the boardwalk at South Beach Marina, next to Salty Dog Café.

5. Dunes House

Location: 14 Dune House Lane, Hilton Head Island, SC

Phone: (843) 593-9104
Hours: Daily 11 AM to 6 PM
Seasonal Live Music: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 
Reservations: First come, first serve

The Dunes House is the best sunset spot in the Palmetto Dunes resort area. Dunes House is a laid-back beach bar and oceanfront restaurant with an outdoor kitchen serving casual cuisine and cool cocktails, seasonal live music, and spectacular ocean views to watch the sunset on Hilton Head. 

Local Tip: Dunes House is open only to guests staying in the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort area! It’s no coincidence you’re here at Sunset Rentals! Click HERE to find your sunset rental in Palmetto Dunes and you can walk from home or hop on the Dunes Buggy

6. Harbour Town Yacht Basin

Location: 149 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head Island, SC

Phone: (843) 363-8335

The Harbour Town Yacht Basin in Sea Pines Resort is perhaps the most famous spot on Hilton Head to witness a classic Lowcountry sunset – often including a free dolphin show! Find a red rocking chair on the waterfront or walk out onto Harbour Town Pier to look back on the iconic candy cane lighthouse aglow with vibrant skies. 

Local Tip: Visitors staying outside the Sea Pines Resort area are required to pay a $9 cash gate fee to enter. Guests of Sea Pines can ride the free Sea Pines Trolley with 4 routes around the resort area. 

7. Harbour Town Lighthouse

Location: 149 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head Island, SC

Phone: (866) 305-9814
Hours: Daily 10 AM to sundown
Admission: Fee applies per adult, children 5 and under free

The red and white striped Harbour Town Lighthouse is an iconic Hilton Head landmark with breathtaking views over Calibogue Sound and Daufuskie Island. Climb 114 steps through the museum to the top of the lighthouse for panoramic 360-degree views of the sun casting silhouettes over the water, Lowcountry marshes, and Harbour Town Yacht Basin. 

Local Tip: Planning a special event on Hilton Head? The Harbour Town Lighthouse is available for private events and special celebrations for up to 40 guests and you’ll find a stylish place to stay in Sea Pines with Sunset Rentals!

8. Sunset Cruise on Calibogue Sound

Location: 149 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head Island, SC

Phone: (843) 671-4386

H20 Sports at Harbour Town Yacht Basin offers a wide variety of activities, water sports rentals, and sunset tours on Calibogue Sound and Broad Creek. Choose from a 1.5 hour sunset dolphin tour, a 2-hour sunset sail aboard the 38’ SUMO trimaran (the fastest boat on Hilton Head), or reserve a wave runner or boat rental to sail into the sunset at your own pace. 

Local Tip: Reserve a table at Quarterdeck next door to H20 Sports (open till 9 PM daily) to return for fresh-caught seafood and specialty sunset cocktails on the Harbour Town waterfront.

9. The Crazy Crab

Location: 149 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head Island, SC

Phone: (843) 363-2722
Hours: Daily 11 AM to 9 PM
Happy Hour: Daily 4 PM to 6 PM 
Reservations: Reservations recommended

Located at the famed Liberty Oak in Harbour Town, the Crazy Crab is a Hilton Head hotspot for sunset dining with amazing happy hour specials to settle in for golden hour. There are red rockers right outside the door to relax after dinner, watch the boats, and catch an iconic Greg Russell concert under the Liberty Oak in spring or summer. 

Local Tip: For easy access to Harbour Town and breathtaking sunset views from home, look no further than our Schooner Court Villa, a luxurious 4-bedroom townhome with unparalleled Harbour Town Marina views!

10. Sea Pines Forest Preserve

Location: Greenwood Dr, Hilton Head Island, SC

Phone: (843) 842-1979
Open: Daily 8 AM to 7 PM

For a more solitary sunset, escape to Sea Pines Forest Preserve, a 650-acre protected nature preserve with pet-friendly trails winding through four unique habitats including ancient maritime forests, freshwater wetlands, fishing ponds, and meadows of wildflowers teeming with wildlife and natural wonder. 

Local Tip: Make a day of it and book a horseback ride through Sea Pines Forest Preserve with Lawton Stables or a guided alligator & wildlife boat tour of the lakes with H20 Sports.

11. Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina

Location: 1 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island, SC

Phone: (843) 548-0532

Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina is situated on the banks of Broad Creek, right across from the Palmetto Dunes resort area. The setting is stunning for a photo-worthy sunset – boats bobbing in the foreground, fishing charters cruising back into the marina, and dazzling hues draping the Lowcountry landscapes. At Shelter Cove, you can book a cruise for an uninterrupted sunset, choose from a selection of laid-back cafés and award-winning restaurants for waterfront dining, or watch the sunset at HarbourFest, Shelter Cove’s signature summer event.  

Local Tip: Parking is free but limited in peak season. The Dunes Buggy and Breeze Trolley provide seasonal transportation to Shelter Cove from April through Labor Day.

12. Sunset Celebration Summer Concert Series

Location: 39 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island, SC

Phone: (843) 341-4600
Hours: 7 PM to 10 PM
Admission: Free
Date: Every Friday Night from June through August

Pack a picnic for Sunset Celebration on the waterfront at Shelter Cove Community Park with live music and laid-back family entertainment on the banks of Broad Creek. The summer concert series is free, pet-friendly, and perfect for a sunset picnic in the park. Stop by Kroger for picnic basket goodies or pick up to-go from one of Towne Centre’s local eateries.

Local Tip: You can watch the sunset from home at Anchorage Villas, only steps from Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina with private lagoons and a large heated private pool – perfect for poolside sunsets away from the crowds.

13. Sunset Dolphin Tour on Broad Creek

Location: 86 Helmsman Way, Hilton Head Island, SC

Phone: (843) 684-2004

Sunset Creek Cat Cruise 
Sunset & Fireworks Dolphin Tour 
Private Sunset & Fireworks Dolphin Tour 

Situated at the base of the Cross Island Expressway Bridge, Palmetto Bay Marina is one of Hilton Head’s original fishing marinas with beautiful west-facing views of Broad Creek and Spanish Wells. From sport fishing charters, pirate cruises, and Lowcountry watersports (including the latest craze of Creek Cats) to shopping and dining, you can spend the whole day playing at Palmetto Bay Marina before sailing into the sunset.

Local’s Tip: End your sunset experience at the Carolina Crab Company, Black Marlin Bayside Grill, or waterfront Hurricane Bar, all famous for their fantastic happy hours, Lowcountry seafood, laid-back vibes, and unbeatable sunset views!

14. Live Music in the Marina

Location: 86 Helmsman Way, Hilton Head Island, SC

Phone: (843) 363-8335
Admission: Free
Date: April & May

If live music is high on your list of things to do on Hilton Head, hop off your creek cat or dolphin cruise and enjoy sunset dining and live music in the marina hosted by the Black Marlin Bayside Grill & Hurricane Bar. The live music schedule changes frequently so click HERE to add more local live music dates to your Hilton Head itinerary! 

Local Tip:  If you’re an early riser and love a good sunrise, the Palmetto Bay Sunrise Café opens at 6 AM (Wed-Sun) and serves up the best shrimp and grits on the island.

15. HarbourFest Fireworks Paddle

Location: 18 Simmons Road, Hilton Head Island, SC

Phone: (843) 363-8335

Broad Creek Marina is across the bridge with east-facing views of the island. Broad Creek Marina offers activities, tours, and charters for every adventure level including ziplining, parasailing, and sunset dolphin cruises by boat, aboard the sailboat Cheers, or by kayak. The 2-hour Kayak Sunset Tour of Broad Creek includes the added bonus of the HarbourFest Fireworks in the summer season. 

Local’s Tip: For the ultimate family adventure, combine your sunset experience with an epic aerial tour at Adventure Hilton Head, also located at Broad Creek Marina.

16. Waterfront Dining on Broad Creek

Location: 18 Simmons Road, Hilton Head Island, SC

Fishcamp on Broad Creek | Phone: (843) 842-2267
Up the Creek Pub & Grill | Phone: (843) 681-3625
Reservations: First come, first serve

Kick back for a killer sunset, the real deal on Lowcountry cuisine, seasonal live music, and loads of family fun at Fishcamp on Broad Creek or next door at Up the Creek Pub & Grill. Both restaurants boast breathtaking views with a laid-back island ambiance, lawn games, live music, waterfront firepits, and daily happy hours to indulge a little. 

Local’s Tip: If your family includes a furbaby, both Fishcamp & Up the Creek welcome well-behaved, leashed pets on their waterfront patios. Click HERE to find a place to stay for your pup too!

17. Happy Hour Sunset at Skull Creek Boathouse

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

Phone: (843) 681-3663
Hours: Daily 11 AM to 10 PM 
Happy Hour: 4 PM to 6 PM
Reservations: First come, first serve

Situated on the northern end of the island, Skull Creek is one of the most scenic sunset destinations in South Carolina! Sunset views stretch over the island’s western marshes and the untouched landscapes of Pinckney Island, views interrupted only by pods of dolphins and fishing boats cruising the creek. Sunset diners have a choice of three award-winning waterfront restaurants serving up seafood straight from the docks, southern BBQ, frozen cocktails and craft beers, seasonal live music, and sweeping sunset views that’ll leave you captivated. 

Local’s Tip: The Skull Creek Dockside, Skull Creek Boathouse, and Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks are all walk-in only, but if there’s a wait in line it’s well worth it.

18. Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

Location: US-278, Hilton Head Island, SC

Phone: (843) 784-2468
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Admission: Free

Nestled between the mainland and Hilton Head Island, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 4,000 acres of wild Lowcountry landscapes with maritime forests, salt marshes, and tidal creeks teeming with alligators, bobcats, butterflies, and beautiful birdlife. It’s a top spot for Lowcountry nature photography with over 14 miles of hiking and biking trails to find a secluded setting to capture a sunset.

Local Tip: If you have your own kayak, launch on Skull Creek from the Rowing and Sailing Center on Squire Pope Road for a sunset paddle around Pinckney Island.

19. Sunset Helicopter Tour

Location: Hilton Head Island Airport, 38 Gateway Circle, Hilton Head, SC

Phone: (843) 505-7182

Soaring above Hilton Head in a helicopter adds to the magic of your sunset experience. The coastline stretches before you as a canvas of golden hues glows from the sand dunes to the skies. From quick flips along the Atlantic coastline to ultimate adventures sightseeing the top attractions on Hilton Head from the skies, Hilton Head Helicopter Tours offer it all – private charters too! 

Local Tip: If you’re planning a large group getaway or family reunion on Hilton Head, they have three beautiful helicopters to easily accommodate the whole crew.

 20. Sunsets from a Luxury Lowcountry Rental

Whether you’re watching the sun dip behind the creeks, setting the ocean waters aglow, or casting colors over Hilton Head’s famous fairways, you can pick your sunset views in our collection of 230+ Sunset Rentals on Hilton Head Island – many with complimentary credit for all the gear you need for a beach picnic, bike ride, or sunset paddle adventure on the Intracoastal waterways. 

At Sunset Rentals, we don’t just provide you with a luxury Lowcountry retreat to call home, our homes set the stage for a front-row seat to Mother Nature’s nightly masterpiece. 

Local’s Tip: Start chasing South Carolina sunsets today with our team at Sunset Rentals!

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