Situated only 30 miles from historic Savannah Georgia, Hilton Head Island boasts a stunning and serene seaside location, welcoming southern charm, a relaxed Lowcountry lifestyle, and a wide range of family-focused activities and vacation homes that appeal to guests of every generation.
Not only is Hilton Head the “#1 Island in the Continental US”, but it has also been named the “Best US Beach for Families” by Parent Magazine and is a destination geared for sun, fun, and fabulous beach family reunions – that may just turn to family tradition! Hilton Head Island is also a very dog-friendly destination! Yes, Fido can visit the island’s top tourist attractions, restaurants, and beaches too!
Planning a successful family vacation is tricky enough, trying to coordinate a destination family reunion that puts a smile on everyone’s dial, from the tiniest tots to the great-grandparents, can be downright intimidating!
Our local team at Sunset Rentals has been welcoming family groups of all sizes to the island since 1993, and we know a thing or two about hosting a family reunion on Hilton Head Island. We’ve put together our top 5 tips for hosting a family reunion on Hilton Head Island, and have a treasure trove of local tips and recommendations in our Hilton Head Island travel blog to help plan a successful reunion.
1. Select Your Season
The weather on Hilton Head Island is beautiful year-round and we have some of the warmest ocean water on the Atlantic Coast! The official beach season (and peak season on Hilton Head) is April 1st through September 30th and May through October is prime sea turtle season, an easy way to entice the family to a reunion on Hilton Head Island. The summer season tends to be hot and humid with temps between 86oF and 92oF and the winters are mild, rarely dipping below 60oF.
How you select the season for your reunion depends on your family style and preference – hot, summer beach days, cooler weather and fewer crowds out of season, or a winter snowbird family reunion at the beach! Be aware that many of the island’s outdoor outfitters close for a period during the winter season, so do your activity research in advance.
2. Decide Where to Stay on Hilton Head
Hilton Head Island is divided into unique gated communities, known as resort areas of plantations, with an Infinite choice of accommodation available in each resort area community. Palmetto Dunes and Sea Pines Resort are particularly popular with families, Shipyard and Port Royal are quieter neighborhoods, and Forest Beach lies in the heart of the action, within walking distance to Hilton Head’s downtown area activities, Coligny Plaza shops and restaurants, and the shoreline of the award-winning Coligny Beach Park. Wherever you decide to stay on Hilton Head, the island’s beautiful beaches are within easy reach on the network of trails connecting every resort area.
3. Arrange Your Island Activities In Advance
Planning activities for a big group can be challenging, but Hilton Head Island’s extensive activity offerings appeal to young and old alike! Balance your days between beach play, water activities, golf and racquet sports, cultural experiences, and eco-friendly nature tours unique to South Carolina’s Lowcountry barrier islands. Hilton Head is a popular destination, be sure to plan and book your tours and activities well in advance to avoid disappointment!
- Hilton Head Island has over 60 miles of leisure paths winding through the island for fun family bike rides, gentle strolls for the older folk, and some of the best wildlife viewing on the island!
- The island boasts 12 miles of Atlantic shoreline with easy access to long wide stretches of white sand beaches, beautiful boardwalks through tidal marshes and sand dunes, seasonal lifeguards, excellent amenities, beach gear rentals, and everything the family needs for a day at the beach! Check out our complimentary bike and gear credit program!
- Every watersport imaginable is available on Hilton Head Island – sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, wakeboarding, tubing, jet skiing, parasailing, relaxing boat rides, and even pirate or mermaid adventures for the kids. Our Vayk Gear credit program includes kayak and paddleboard rentals too!
- Guided fishing charters are a family reunion favorite on Hilton Head! Whether you’re a family of avid anglers, or new to the sport, you’ll find a family-friendly fishing charter to accommodate the whole crew, even Fido!
- Experience the best of Hilton Head on a guided group nature tour, on land, water, or horseback through Sea Pines Preserve. The Coastal Discovery Museum and Outside Hilton Head offer an incredible selection of family adventures including dolphin-watching tours, island cruises, nature hikes, and interactive Gullah Geechee cultural experiences.
- With 24 lush golf courses and more than 500 courts for tennis or a family round of pickleball, Hilton Head is a paradise for sports-loving families. Each HHI resort area has its own golf and racquet sports facilities, so plan your sports activities accordingly!
- Plan for rainy day activities or a break from the sun! For indoor entertainment, the kids love exploring the Children’s Sandbox Museum, Adventure Cove, and the Kids Zone at the Coastal Discovery Museum. And, Hilton Head Island has endless retail therapy and restaurants to lure you away from the beach.
- From foodie festivals, cultural celebrations, and fabulous summer events at Shelter Cove and under the famous Liberty Oak at Harbour Town, there is always something happening on Hilton Head Island! Once you select your season and pick your family reunion dates, check the local Hilton Head Island events calendar to plan your family reunion events and festivities.
4. Plan Crowd-Pleasing Meals
Putting together a meal plan and deciding when to eat out and when to dine in for a family reunion is no easy feat! Now you’ve chosen your favorite Hilton Head resort area and arranged your activities, meal planning is a whole lot easier knowing where you’ll be and when. With 250+ restaurants and unique Lowcountry dining experiences on Hilton Head Island, you’re spoilt for choice.
From Coligny Plaza, Harbour Town at Sea Pines, and Shelter Cove to Hilton Head’s golf clubs and luxury resort hotels, there are hundreds of cafes, restaurants, breweries, and bars scattered around the island catering to every group size, style, and budget!
Depending on the size and scope of your family reunion, cooking and sharing meals at your vacation rental may be the smart way to keep costs low, and drama limited! Appoint a family reunion meal planning committee, arrange backyard BBQs and Lowcountry Boils, shop the farmers’ markets for fresh local produce, and enjoy the perks of a full kitchen that caters to large group gatherings with the chance to share meals together, at home!
5. Create Memories with Sunset Rentals
Sunset Rentals represents over 220 of the finest vacation rentals on Hilton Head ranging from luxury 7-bedroom pool homes to keep the family together under one roof to resort complex communities with private condos and villas to carve out your own personal space and gather together in communal areas.
Our group friendly vacation rentals feature a host of high-end amenities to ensure your family time together is as memorable as it is meaningful, and our selection of pet-friendly rentals on Hilton Head Island means there’s a place for your pup too!
Start planning your Hilton Head family reunion today with our worry-free and flexible Sunset Package or give our vacation specialists a call at (800) 276-8991 to match your family with the perfect HHI reunion rental.