Hilton Head Condo Rentals Archives - Sunset Rentals Vacation Blog

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.


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.

7 Tips for Responsible Wildlife Watching on Hilton Head

Hilton Head Island is a destination known for its stunning beaches, diverse ecosystems, and unique habitats abounding in wildlife. Whether it’s witnessing the marvel of baby sea turtle hatchlings, getting up close and personal with our beloved marine mammals, encountering alligators, or discovering Hilton Head’s best birding spots with your binocs, you’ll soon discover a deep appreciation for our island’s natural wonders. 

Witnessing wildlife in its natural habitat is a magical and memorable experience but it’s vital to engage in responsible wildlife watching to maintain a healthy balance between humans and the island’s delicate wildlife habitats. For the safety of our local wildlife (and yours!), here are 7 tips for responsible wildlife watching on Hilton Head Island

1. Drive Slow

When exploring Hilton Head Island by car, it’s important to drive at a slow and cautious pace, follow the speed limits, and keep a careful watch for wildlife on the roads. During dawn and dusk, wildlife are far more active on the roads and tend to travel in groups, if you see one crossing the street, the chances are more will follow.

2. Leash Up Your Furry Friends

The locals on Hilton Head Island love our pets as much as we love our wildlife, but please respect the rules in place to protect and preserve our wildlife habitats. To ensure the safety of our local wildlife and your furry friends, please keep pets on a leash at all times, do not allow them to swim or roam near alligator habitats, keep a mindful eye around sea turtle nesting grounds, and never leave them unattended. At night, keep your pet indoors for safety and bring pet food and water dishes inside to deter nighttime visitors.

3. Observe Wildlife from a Safe Distance

Be sure to add binoculars and a camera to your Hilton Head packing list! As exciting and tempting as it may seem to get up close and personal with wildlife, our local wildlife should never be approached. Respect their space, avoid close interactions, do not provoke, and always observe wildlife quietly from a safe and respectful distance – this is critical for their wellbeing, and yours! 

  • Marine Life Encounters: On the waterways surrounding Hilton Head, marine life encounters are a given. Be mindful and maintain a safe distance when boating and paddling the waterways to avoid collisions or injuries, allow them to swim freely and undisturbed, and stay at least 140 feet away from dolphins at all times. The Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin is protected under federal law by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, it is illegal to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal. 
  • Alligator Encounters: Hilton Head is home to a healthy population of American Alligators, one of the Lowcountry’s most iconic native species. Always assume every body of water may contain an alligator, swimming or wading in ponds and lagoons is prohibited, fish only from the docks and piers, and keep a close eye on kids and pets near any water on Hilton Head. If you’re planning to book at tee time on Hilton Head’s iconic golf courses, you may even encounter alligators strolling between lagoons. Local rules and regulations require you to stay at least 60 feet (4 cars in length) away from alligators.
  • Sea Turtle Encounters: Hilton Head Island is a nesting ground for several species of sea turtles, including greens, leatherbacks, and the endangered loggerhead sea turtle. During the sea turtle season (May to October), our ancient residents and their hatchlings are strictly protected by local and federal regulations with severe penalties for handling or interfering with sea turtles, nesting sites, and baby hatchlings.

4. Don’t Feed Wildlife

While it may seem harmless, please resist the urge to feed our local wildlife. Feeding wildlife makes them associate humans with food, can disrupt their natural behaviors and diets, and can turn the animal aggressive leading to potentially dangerous situations. Visitors to Hilton Head are often tempted to feed our friendly local dolphin pods without realizing that under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, feeding or harassing dolphins is illegal, resulting in fines that can reach up to $100,000. 

5. Always Follow the Signs

Always be on the lookout for posted signs and guidelines to avoid disturbing the natural habitats on Hilton Head Island. Whether it’s a marked-off sea turtle nesting area on the beach, an alligator alert on the fairways, or interpretive signage along the 60+ miles of Hilton Head Island pathways, these rules are in place to protect our fragile ecosystems, free-roaming wildlife, and curious visitors tempted to get too close and personal with our local wildlife.  

6. Lights out!

Artificial lighting disorientates sea turtles and their hatchlings from the natural light of the moon. If you’re staying in an oceanfront rental, from 1 May to 31 October all light fixtures visible from the beach are required to be switched off between 10 PM and 6 AM. This includes interior blinds and drapes, all outdoor lighting, and any flashlight photography. Always report any sea turtle sightings or stranded sea turtles to the SC Department of Natural Resources Hotline at (800) 922-5431.

7. Leave Only Footprints

Our presence in nature should never leave a lasting impression! To minimize the impact on our diverse barrier island ecosystems and maintain the island’s pristine environment, please leave no trace, only footprints! Dispose of all trash properly to prevent harm to wildlife, always leave the beach clean, remove sandcastles and fill in holes for traveling sea turtles, and do not leave any umbrellas, chairs, or accessories on the beach overnight. Book a stay with a participating Sunset Rentals property to quality for complimentary bike & beach gear from Vayk Gear. Learn how it works HERE!

Wildlife on Hilton Head Island Beaches

The wildlife on Hilton Head is found without effort on our miles of wild beaches. Our suggestion – walk or bike ride the shoreline from where the Calibogue Sound meets the Atlantic at South Beach to the remote shoreline of Fish Haul Creek and Mitchelville Beach near Port Royal Sound.

You’ll find wildlife encounters all along the shoreline – South Beach on Hilton Head Island is a prime spot for shore birds, and dolphins making their way to the Calibogue Sound, Fish Haul Creek and Mitchelville Beach overlooking Port Royal Sound are Hilton Head’s most natural beaches with maritime forests, boardwalks for wildlife viewing, historical sites and tidal flats teeming with shorebirds and crabs (best found at low tide!).

There’s no need to head off the beaten path for wildlife encounters on Hilton Head! From luxury oceanfront villas to fairway retreats and lush lagoon hideaways, you’ll find the perfect vantage point to observe the island’s diverse wildlife from the comfort of home in our collection of 240+ Hilton Head vacation rentals – the most trusted vacation rentals on Hilton Head Island. 

Questions? Call our team at (843) 785-6767 today!  

Stay with Sunset Rentals

Stay near Hilton Head’s top wildlife attractions with Sunset Rentals – the chances are you won’t have to leave home to experience some of the best wildlife viewing on Hilton Head.

Our selection of luxury Hilton Head Island vacation homes and villas are situated in the top resort areas of Hilton Head Island with luxury amenities, peaceful Lowcountry views, and opportunities for wildlife watching from your porch.

Top 7 Reasons To Stay In Palmetto Dunes Resort Area

Hilton Head Island was named the #1 Island in the U.S. and Canada in Travel+Leisure World’s Best Awards for 5 consecutive years! The award-winning Palmetto Dunes is one of the most well-known and popular resort areas of Hilton Head, nestled mid-island on 2,000 acres of lush oceanfront landscapes with world-class amenities, 3-miles of pristine Atlantic coastline, luxury oceanfront accommodation, and bike paths leading to the top attractions and iconic landmarks on Hilton Head Island.

Palmetto Dunes central location in the heart of the island makes it the ultimate Hilton Head vacation destination for families looking to stay close to the action (and the beach!). Whether you’re a nature lover, beach-goer, adventure seeker or sportsman, this highly-desirable Hilton Head plantation offers solace, excitement and island experiences for all types of travelers.


Palmetto Dunes is a beach lovers paradise with 3 miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches all within a short walk or bike ride from your Palmetto Dunes vacation rental. Spend your vacation in an oceanfront home or villa in Palmetto Dunes with private beach boardwalks or ride your bike or the seasonal Dune Buggy to the Disney Beach House or Dunes House with bike racks, restroom facilities, and an oceanfront bar and restaurant for a quintessential island-style beach day. 

Take a bike ride or stroll along the shoreline, rent a surfboard to play in the waves, build sandcastles or simply soak up the warm sun and Lowcountry charm of Palmetto Dunes.


Rent a kayak or canoe and escape into nature on the Palmetto Dunes Lagoon System. The inland waterways weave for 11-miles through the plantation with an abundance of wildlife, over 40 species of birds, rewarding fishing spots and boat launches to get on the water. Hilton Head Outfitters are located near the General Store and are your one-stop shop for outdoor activities and rentals, and Sunset Rentals selection of lagoon-front villas offer the ultimate retreat for a nature escape in Palmetto Dunes. 


Palmetto Dunes is a dream destination for golfers and is home to three of the best courses you can play in South Carolina, and one of only two oceanfront golf holes on Hilton Head Island. 

Play a challenging and scenic round on three world-class golf championship golf courses: the top-ranked Robert Trent Jones course with ocean views, the challenging George Fazio Golf Course with new state-of-the-art greens, and the Arthur Hills Course, one of South Carolina’s most unique and scenic golf layouts in lush, Lowcountry landscapes on the south shores of Palmetto Dunes Resort Area.

The Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy has outstanding private golf instruction and group clinics with programs for all levels and the three Palmetto Dunes championship courses all feature welcoming clubhouses with on-site golf shops, Srixon golf club rentals (and shipping services!), and relaxed dining experience for a memorable golf vacation on Hilton Head, the Golf Island!


Hilton Head is one of the top tennis destinations in the US! The Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center ranks among the best tennis resorts and was recently named the “Pickleball Resort of the Year” by Racquet Sports Magazine.

The award-winning sports center features 19 clay tennis courts (four lighted for night play), 24 dedicated pickleball courts (all lighted for night play), professional instruction for tennis and pickleball, and seasonal clinics for all ages. Palmetto Dunes promises the best pickleball and tennis vacation you’ve ever had!


Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina lies on Broad Creek at the entrance to Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort – a premier waterfront destination for shopping, dining and endless activities on the Lowcountry waterways. The colorful marina is lined with rentals of every kind from high-speed power boats, jet skis and catamarans to fishing pontoons and luxury sailboats.

Whatever level of adventure sparks your wanderlust, you’ll find it at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina. Captain your own boat or choose from a selection of saltmarsh paddle tours, dolphin discoveries, fishing charters, eco-tours, party boats, pirate adventures or picture perfect sunset cruises in the awe-inspiring Lowcountry waterways, marshlands and creeks.


The waterfront promenade along the Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina has a selection of shops, galleries, outdoor patios with live music and marina views, and award-winning restaurants with the best seafood on Hilton Head Island! The nearby Shelter Cove Town Center is an open-air Mediterranean style village that lures shoppers, foodies and families with a selection of over 30 shops and restaurants, a rooftop bar for nightlife on Hilton Head, and a community park overlooking Broad Creek, host to year-round events and Hilton Head’s famous HarbourFest

From delicious breakfasts at the General Store and signature southern BBQ on the golf course to laid-back oceanfront snacks and cocktails at the Dunes House and fine dining and wine pairing at Alexander’s, the Palmetto Dunes resort area will meet all dining requirements for your Hilton Head vacation.

Palmetto Dunes is centrally located mid-island on Hilton Head Island so you’re only a short bike ride from outstanding beachfront shops and restaurants at Coligny Plaza and waterfront delights at Harbour Town in Sea Pines Resort.


Palmetto Dunes has a 5-mile network of well-maintained paved bike trails throughout the plantation and connecting to the other resort areas of Hilton Head Island. Load up the bike ride or speak with a Sunset Rentals vacation specialist about our state-of-the-art bike rentals and complimentary Vayk Gear rentals at select Palmetto Dunes vacation homes and villas. There is no fee to bike the trails in Palmetto Dunes.

The Palmetto Dunes Buggy is a seasonal free shuttle service that serves the beaches, golf clubs and tennis facilities in the Palmetto Dunes resort area, as well as Shelter Cove Marina & Town Center. The buggy runs from 8am to 9pm daily from April through September with an on-call service to take you where you need to go within the plantation!

Palmetto Dunes Private Beach & Golf Vacation Home Rentals

There are many perks to staying in a private home on vacation – Gather the whole crew under one roof, enjoy space and privacy away from the crowds, large gourmet kitchens, spacious master suites, full laundry rooms for convenience (it doesn’t end on vacation!), intimate waterfront docks on the lagoon, private beach boardwalks, heated pools and spas just for you, and the list goes on!

Our selection of luxury vacation homes in the Palmetto Dunes resort area are located throughout the plantation – beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean, on the world-class Robert Trent Jones Golf Course and waterfront on Palmetto Dunes 11-mile lagoon system – with luxury amenities to suit even the most distinguished guests.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Hilton Head Island?

Hilton Head Island is a destination for all seasons! Our beautiful barrier island is nestled on the southern tip of the South Carolina coastline with a balmy sub-tropical climate, an average of 215 sunny days a year, and mild temps to enjoy our pristine beaches, serene waterways, untouched nature preserves and award-winning golf and tennis facilities year round. Every season brings new experiences, unique adventures, seasonal events and laid-back Lowcountry living on Hilton Head.

Winter: December, January & February

Average Temperatures: 40-70o F

The winter season is the quietest time of year for tourists on Hilton Head Island and makes for an idyllic low season beach vacation, romantic winter getaway or warm weather snowbird escape. January is the coldest month of the year with highs in the mid-60s and lows down to 40oF, but rarely dipping below. 

The water is too icy for swimming but it’s the perfect season for sightseeing Hilton Head, easy golf tee times, sunrise beach strolls, sunset cruises, fishing charters for exceptional sports fishing, horse riding and wildlife spotting in Sea Pines Forest Preserve, and hanging out at Hilton Head’s winter festivals.

Be sure to book your stay with Sunset Rentals to enjoy the top winter events on Hilton Head Island. Experience a warm coastal Christmas with family festivities, New Year’s Eve in Harbour Town, a sub-tropical Snow Day in January, or end the winter seafood season indulging in all you can eat oysters at the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival in February.

Spring: March, April & May

Average Temperatures: March 60-70o F | April 60-70o F | May 70-80o F

A glimpse of spring weather has arrived, the flowers are blooming, and the weather is fine! Spring is a wonderful time of year to get a taste of summer of Hilton Head Island without the crowds, and with temperatures warming up for the beach, shoulder season rental rates, and vacation discounts.

You’ll need a coat for morning beach walks or patio dining on the waterfront, but the temps are warm during the day and shorts and tees are all you need to hike or bike the trails, tee off on a championship golf course or visit the top sights on Hilton Head Island. Be sure to pack your swimwear (and sunscreen) for beach picnics or a chilly dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

Kick off the spring season at the weeklong Hilton Head Wine & Food Festival , join golf pros and champions from around the world at the RBC Heritage PGA Golf Tournament in Sea Pines Resort or if you’re keen to get on the water, plan a trip later in May when Hilton Head’s seasonal attractions and water sports outfitters start to open up for the summer season.

Summer: June, July & August

Average Temperatures: 80-90o F

Hilton Head Island is a pristine, warm and sunny coastal town so expect summer crowds! This is the most popular season to visit Hilton Head so be sure to book your vacation rental, beach gear, attraction tickets, and outdoor activities in advance to avoid disappointment and start planning your summer vacation activities with Sunset Rentals Ultimate Guide to Summer on Hilton Head Island.

In the summer months the temperatures reach the high-80s and often the 90s (with water temps in the mid-80s) so be prepared for hot, sunny days and wonderful tropical thunderstorms that bring refreshing and quick summer showers, a welcome reprieve from the heat and humidity!

For the ultimate summer vacation and island style living on Hilton Head, stay with Sunset Rentals. Our vacation homes and villas are located in the top resort areas of Hilton Head near world-class golf and tennis, shopping & dining, live entertainment and Hilton Head’s HarbourFest, a family-friendly celebration and weekly fireworks all summer long at Shelter Cove.

Fall: September, October & November

Average Temperatures: September 70-80o F | October 60-70o F | November 50-60o F

After schools go back, the crowds start to thin and cooler temperatures cruise in – but the warm, sunny beach days continue well into October with highs occasionally in the 80s. We’re back to shoulder season on Hilton Head – seasonal water activities have closed, summer traffic has disappeared, the beaches are quieter, and it’s the best season to get a great deal on your dream vacation home!

October and November have the lowest rainfall and are the best months for getting outdoors on Hilton Head Island. Book a tee time or hit the tennis courts at our world-class facilities, hike or bike the trails with prime birdwatching, beachcomb and build sandcastles along the shoreline, or brave the cooler waters for a tranquil SUP sunset.

If you’re planning a Hilton Head vacation with your pooch, the pet-friendly beaches are open all day during low season from October to February (unlike the summer months) and there are plenty of pet-friendly rentals, restaurants and activities on Hilton Head.

October marks the start of seafood season and our favorite Lowcountry tradition, Oyster Roasts! Harvest and host your own oyster roast to shuck & slurp with friends and family at home or plan your vacation around the family-friendly Hilton Head Oyster Festival at Shelter Cove in November, a celebration of Lowcountry tradition, local music and the freshest, flavorful oysters you’ll ever feast on! End the fall season at the Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance in November, a 3-day classic car experience with over 500 classic cars, motorcycles, boats and aircraft on display.

How to Plan a Vacation at Sea Pines Resort

Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Calibogue Sound, Sea Pines Resort is a top Hilton Head resort destination for families and one of Hilton Head’s most desirable communities. Sea Pines boasts historic charm, natural splendor, prime access to 5 miles of pristine sandy beaches, lush Lowcountry waterways, tranquil wetlands, and nature preserves teeming with wildlife. Sea Pines Resort is Hilton Head’s original and largest plantation, a coastal paradise on the southern tip of Hilton Head Island, an award-winning vacation destination and America’s Favorite Island.

Sea Pines Resort is home to Hilton Head’s top attractions, the best shopping and dining on the island, world-class golf courses and tennis facilities, two marinas for watersports, nature trails for hiking and horseriding, and 20-miles of connected paved trails for biking around the resort. 

Whether you’re in search of lazy days and life’s simple pleasures, a romantic escape, a world-class golf getaway, or a family vacation of exhilarating activities, adventures and new experiences, Sea Pines Resort Area offers visitors the best of both worlds with true oceanfront vacation homes and villas for laid-back island style Lowcountry living.   


Sea Pines Resort has the largest stretch of oceanfront on Hilton Head Island with 5 miles of beaches, easy and convenient beach access throughout the resort, boardwalks from oceanfront rentals and prime beach access with parking at the Sea Pines Beach Club. If you’re staying in Sea Pines, you can bike or walk to the beach, hop on the Sea Pines Trolley, or head out early for a parking spot at the Beach Club. 

The world-class Sea Pines Beach Club is an oceanfront retreat exclusively for guests and residents of Sea Pine Resort with a pristine stretch of beach with lifeguards and luxury amenities for the whole family. The Sea Pines Beach Club features a surf shop for all your beach gear, the Surfside Market for beach snacks, and Craft Cove for seasonal activities for the kids. While the kids play and explore their creative side, indulge in signature seafood dishes and frozen cocktails at Coast or the Ocean Lounge for the best oceanfront dining on Hilton Head. 


Harbour Town is a Hilton Head landmark and one of the most popular attractions on the island with over 20 unique stores, waterfront dining, eco-adventures, and activities for all ages. Harbour Town is the best place on Hilton Head to shop, eat, play and stay

Harbour Town Lighthouse & Museum: The candy cane striped Harbour Town Lighthouse is an iconic landmark and one of the top things to do on Hilton Head. Climb the stairs to the top of the lighthouse with historical artifacts and exhibits highlighting the history of Sea Pines and Hilton Head Island, pick up souvenirs at the lighthouse shop, and soak up the scenery with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, Calibogue Sound, Harbour Town and beyond (children under 5 climb free!). 

Greg Russell Harbour Town Playground & Concert Series:  Greg Russell has been entertaining locals and visitors to Hilton Head for over 40 years, with free, family-friendly entertainment under the Liberty Oak overlooking the Harbour Town Yacht Basin. The Harbour Town Playground was named in tribute to this Lowcountry Legend and, along with his famous shows, is a true delight for young children with a nature-inspired playground and seasonal visits from Albert the Alligator, Sea Pines resort mascot.   

Recreational Activities: Harbour Town Marina offers dockage specials at the Yacht Basin to bring your own boat to Hilton Head Island, one of the top yachting destinations on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. In addition, there’s an abundance of fun-fueled recreational activities on the surrounding waterways and Atlantic Ocean. Parasail over the Lowcountry coastline, kayak or SUP the tidal marshes of the Calibogue Sound, rent a pontoon, powerboat, or wave runner for high-speed adventures, or embark on a boat tour or scenic cruise of Hilton Head Island.   

Sea Pines Boat Tours & Cruises: Sea Pines Resort boat tours and cruises cater for all ages. There’s banana boat rides, pirate adventures and bubble gum cruises for the kids, year-round fishing charters, sailing excursions, dolphin encounters and unique sunset shrimp trawls for the whole family, and intimate adventures or party boat rentals for a special occasion. Harbour Town is also the starting point for day trips to Daufuskie Island and luxury cruises to explore historic Savannah

Shopping in Harbour Town: Harbour Town is a top shopping destination on Hilton Head with a Mediterranean style outdoor shopping plaza for a unique shopping experience along the waterfront. There are more than 20 stores surrounding the colorful yacht basin with everything from adventure outfitters and surf shops to upscale boutiques, galleries, and gift shops for coastal treasures. The Harbour Town General Store stocks all your vacation essentials for local shopping in Sea Pines. 

Harbour Town Restaurants & Dining Some of Hilton Head’s best restaurants and waterfront dining are in Sea Pines Resort! Harbour Town offers a wide array of eateries from ice-cream and sprinkles, casual outdoor cafes and family-friendly restaurants to gourmet fine dining, wine pairing and specialty sunset cocktails with live music on the Calibogue Sound. Savor Hilton Head Island’s best sunset dinner on the upper deck of the Spirit of Harbour Town as you set sail through the Intracoastal Waterways. 


South Beach Marina Village is a quaint New England inspired village on Braddock Cove, at the southernmost tip of Hilton Head. South Beach Marina Village is quieter than Harbour Town with wet and dry boat slip rentals, bike rentals to cruise the marina, dockside restaurants and a variety of water activities, rentals, and nature tours of the Calibogue Sound. 

Shopping in South Beach: South Beach Marina Village has a small selection of shops with fashion boutiques, gifts and souvenirs unique to Hilton Head, a tackle shop for all your fishing gear, crabbing supplies and charter tours, and a general store with Hilton Head swag and all your vacation necessities. 

South Beach Marina Village Restaurants: South Beach Marina Village is home to the famous Salty Dog Café with waterfront dining overlooking the marina and marshlands, an outdoor bar, live music on the docks and world-class coastal seafood. Stop by the Wreck of the Salty Dog on the docks for legendary hush puppies, pick up pizza to go at Jakes, or start your day with a sunrise breakfast at Land’s End Tavern, a cool, converted boat storage building. 


The Sea Pines Resort Area has a rich golfing history and is synonymous with world-class golf! Sea Pines Resorts award-winning golf courses are consistently ranked among the best golf courses in the US (and the world!) with a long list of golf awards and accolades, challenging play for beginners and PGA champions, and tranquil golf villas on the fairways for the ultimate Hilton Head golf vacation in Sea Pines. 

Harbour Town Golf Links: The internationally renowned Harbour Town Golf Links is Hilton Head’s most famous course and a favorite with past and present PGA champions. Harbour Town Golf Links is home to South Carolina’s only PGA tour event, the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament, a Hilton Head legacy and tradition bringing over 135,000 visitors to Sea Pines each April. 

Plantation Golf Club: The Sea Pines Plantation Golf Club is home to two lush Lowcountry courses, Heron Point by Pete Dye and Atlantic Dunes Golf Course, world-class instruction at The Golf Learning Center, and an expansive pro shop. Atlantic Dunes is a complete remodel of Hilton Head’s first golf course, the historic Ocean Course, featuring one of only two oceanfront holes on Hilton Head, an open layout for family-friendly golf and a true seaside ambiance. 


Hilton Head is one of the top tennis destinations in the US with a tropical climate for year-round play, over 300 courts, award-winning tennis facilities, coaching clinics with certified professional instructors and fun summer camps for kids. There are two world-class tennis facilities in Sea Pines.    

Sea Pines Racquet Club: The award-winning Sea Pines Racquet Club in Harbour Town is one of the top tennis facilities in Hilton Head and one the best in the US. The Sea Pines Racquet Club is under the direction of former US Open and Wimbledon Champion, Stan Smith and is home to the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy, earning Tennis Magazine’s #1 Ranking for Tennis Programs. 

South Beach Racquet Club: The South Beach Racquet Club is next to the South Beach Marina at the southern tip of Sea Pines Resort. The club is low-key and intimate featuring a full-service pro shop, well-maintained clay courts, Har-Tru pickleball courts, summer camps for kids and top-notch instruction for every level. 


The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a natural treasure on HHI with more than 600 acres of protected wildlife habitat, tranquil nature trails through the forest, pristine lakes and lagoons, elevated wetland boardwalks, observation decks for wildlife viewing, and the historic ruins of the mysterious 4,000 year old Native American Indian Shell Ring. The Sea Pines Forest Preserve has a boat launch and fishing docks, guided eco-adventures, alligator tours and fishing expeditions, wagon rides for the kids and western style horseback rides through the preserve. 


Lawton Stables is a family-owned farm and equestrian center in Sea Pines Resort, a must for your vacation on Hilton Head. Beginners and experienced riders can explore the trails through the Sea Pines Forest Preserve (ages 8 and up) or delight the kids with a Shetland pony ride and a visit to the hands-on petting zoo with goats, pigs, miniature donkeys, chickens, and alpacas. 


The Stoney-Baynard Plantation Ruins are an important part of Hilton Head history located in the Sea Pines Resort Area. The former antebellum plantation was built in the 18th century and the remains of the mansion and slave quarters burned in the Civil War are today listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The ruins are easily reached on a short hike with interpretive signs to learn the history of the ruins, tranquil views of the Calibogue Sound and a flurry of ghost stories from fellow hikers. 


Getting around Sea Pines Resort Area is easy! The complimentary Sea Pines Trolley offers three different routes within Sea Pines Resort with seasonal service from April to September and trolley stops at Sea Pines top attractions. The Blue Route runs between Harbour Town and The Sea Pines Beach Club, the Red Route runs to and from Harbour Town and the Green Route transports you down to South Beach. 

The Sea Pines Resort Area has over 20 miles of recreational pathways throughout the plantation making it easy to avoid traffic and high-season parking problems and explore the attractions at your own pace. Sunset Rentals offers its own fleet of state-of-the-art bike rentals and complimentary Vayk Gear rentals at select homes and villas in the Sea Pines Resort Area


The Sea Pines Resort Area of Hilton Head Island is divided into four unique neighborhoods: Harbor Town, South Beach, Plantation and Oceanside. Wherever you choose to recharge, our selection of Sea Pines Plantation vacation villas and homes offer luxury amenities, comfort, privacy and exceptional guest services, all within easy reach of the top tours, attractions, activities and things to do in Sea Pines Resort

South Beach Villa Rentals, Hilton Head Island

Beachside Tennis

0.2 miles to South Beach Marina Village
Wake up to a spectacular sunrise over the Atlantic at Beachside Tennis, an oceanfront complex on the southern tip of Sea Pines. These stylish and spacious Sea Pines villas offer Atlantic Ocean and Calibogue Sound views, a community pool, and easy access to South Beach Marina Village and South Beach Racquet Club. A prime location in Sea Pines just steps from the ocean, sand, and sun.

Bluff Villas

0.3 miles to South Beach Marina Village
Bluff Villas are located on the marina side of the peninsula between the Calibogue Sound and Braddock Cove, a short walk to beach access at South Beach. Guests have access to the South Beach Marina Pool and the South Beach Racquet Club. 

Lands End

0.6 miles to South Beach Marina Village
Lands End Villas are located close to South Beach Marina Village, where Braddock Cove meets the Calibogue Sound and Intracoastal Waterway. These secluded villas offer classic Lowcountry living with some of the best views on Hilton Head, a community pool, and dolphin viewing from home! 

South Beach Villas

0.3 miles to South Beach Marina Village
South Beach Villas are located near Beachside Tennis Villas, just steps from the Atlantic Ocean and a short walk to South Beach Marina Village, Guests enjoy unparalleled views of the Atlantic, Calibogue Sound and Daufuskie Island with access to the South Beach Marina community pool. 

Harbour Town Villa Rentals, Hilton Head Island

Calibogue Cay Villas

1.5 miles to Harbour Town Marina
Our pet-friendly Calibogue Cay villa rentals are located close to Harbour Town with tranquil marsh views, beach access along the bike paths or a quick ride on the Sea Pines Trolley, a seasonal community pool, tennis courts and some of the best sunset views on Hilton Head. 

Heritage Villas

0.8 Miles to Harbour Town Marina
Heritage Villas are located on the award-winning Harbour Town Golf Links, just a short bike ride away from shopping, dining, and endless activities at Sea Pines Harbour Town. This Sea Pines villa complex has a sparkling community pool and tennis courts set in landscaped gardens for guest use. 

Ketch Court Villas

0.3 Miles to Harbour Town Marina
Stay in the heart of Harbour Town at Ketch Court on Lighthouse Lane, a short walk to the Harbour Town Lighthouse, shopping, dining, and the best family activities on Hilton Head Island. The Ketch Court Villa Complex does not have a community pool, however guests have access to the South Beach Marina pool and are a short bike or trolley ride to the beach. 

Lighthouse Tennis Villas

0.9 Miles to Harbour Town Marina
Lighthouse Tennis Villas are located next to the Shops at Sea Pines Center, between Harbour Town and the Sea Pines Beach Club. The complex features tropical surroundings, a resort-size swimming pool, private tennis courts and is a short bike ride to Harbour Town and the beach at Sea Pines. 

Mariners Way

Steps to Harbour Town Marina
The Mariners Way complex is in a prime location in Harbour Town, steps from the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse, Harbour Town Playground and the bustling marina with shopping, dining, and the best water activities on Hilton Head. Guests have access to the Harbour Town Pool.   

Racquet Club Villas

0.6 Miles to Harbour Town Marina
Sea Pines Racquet Club villas are located on the Heron Point Golf Close in the Harbour Town area of Sea Pines. The Racquet Club complex features a seasonal swimming pool, Har-Tru tennis courts and a Sea Pines Trolley stop for easy access to the beach. 

Plantation Villa Rentals, Hilton Head

Plantation Club Villas

Plantation Club Villas are located near the Sea Pines Plantation Golf Club, on the fairways of the award-winning Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III and Heron Point by Pete Dye. The Plantation Club Villa complex offer a prime location for golfing in Sea Pines resort area with two on-site seasonal swimming pools, a children’s pool and a short walk or bike ride to the beach. 

Private Sea Pines Vacation Homes

Sunset Rentals have been welcoming visitors to Hilton Head Island for over 25 years and offer a diverse selection of private vacation rental homes in the Sea Pines Resort Area of Hilton Head. From pet-friendly rentals on the fairways of the award-winning Harbour Town Golf Links to luxury beach homes with oceanfront pools and private beach access, your dream home and vacation in Sea Pines Resort awaits with Sunset Rentals.

Summer Guide For Hilton Head Island 2024

Hilton Head is a bucket-list destination for summer adventures, ranked #1 in Travel+Leisure World’s Best Awards, and one of the top-booked summer vacation destinations. 

America’s Favorite Island is a Lowcountry barrier island at the southern tip of South Carolina between the two grand dames of the south, Charleston and Savannah, GA. Hilton Head Island is a charming and unique destination with a rich culture, serene landscapes, immersive adventures and experiences, succulent seafood, and a slow paced lifestyle to disconnect, recharge and switch to summer time on the sea islands. 

Spend lazy days soaking up the sun on 12 miles of unspoiled sandy beaches or discover the best of Hilton Head with pristine championship golf courses, world-famous tennis & racquet clubs, miles nature trails for hiking and biking, preserves for wildlife viewing and birdwatching, and serene waterways for kayaking. Whether you’re in search of a quiet island escape or action packed summer vacation, we invite you to explore the island like a local with our inspiration for your summer vacation on Hilton Head Island. 


Hilton Head Island boasts 12-miles of pristine beaches consistently rated among the top beaches in the US and the world! Hilton Head boasts warm, calm waters and flat sandbanks for summer dips in the ocean, natural tide pools for little hands to explore, an expansive and well-maintained shoreline lined with coastal treasures, and endless opportunities to get on the water.   

Hilton Head Plantation Beach Access 

Sea Pines Beach Club: Guests of Sea Pines Plantations have access to 5 miles of unspoiled sandy beaches at the Sea Pines Beach Club. To avoid high season parking, hop on the free Sea Pines Trolley and enjoy a day on the lifeguarded beach with kids’ entertainment, picnic tables, oceanfront dining and a casual beach bar. 

Palmetto Dunes Beach: The Palmetto Dunes Plantation has 3 miles of pristine sandy beaches with public beach access at the Dunes House. Parking is limited so take advantage of the Dunes Beach Buggy to soak up the sun’s rays, play in the ocean and sip frozen cocktails at the oceanfront bar. 

Private Beach Access: Hilton Head’s favorite vacation rentals are located oceanfront on the island with private boardwalks to miles of beautiful Atlantic beaches. 

Public Beach Access Points on Hilton Head Island 

Alder Lane: Alder Lane is on the south end of the island in the Forest Beach area of Hilton Head. This beach access is away from the crowds and caters to all abilities with handicap matting, restrooms, outdoor showers, summer lifeguards and low-key beach walks along the shoreline. 

Coligny Beach Park: Traveling up the coastline, the next public beach access is Coligny Beach Park, the island’s most popular beach and the heartbeat of Hilton Head. It’s an easy bike ride from the resort areas of Hilton Head with free parking, excellent amenities, loads of food options and summer rentals for water activities. There’s great entertainment for the kids and a hot line-up of live music at the legendary Tiki Hut on the sand. 

Burkes Beach: For quieter beach days, pet-friendly Burkes Beach lies north of Palmetto Dunes Plantation with basketball and tennis courts, a playground, dog park, tranquil seaside trails to some of the best waves on Hilton Head Island for surfing and bodyboarding, and seasonal lifeguards.   

Driessen Beach: Driessen Beach is next to Burkes Beach and is one of Hilton Head’s larger beach parks. A peaceful boardwalk leads to a sandy beach with picnic tables, a playground, sand showers, vending machines, seasonal beach rentals and lifeguards. 

Folly Field Beach: Folly Field Beach is Hilton Head’s “local beach”, a favorite with families visiting Hilton Head and a top spot to learn to surf. Beach amenities include restrooms and outdoor showers, water fountains, metered parking, umbrella and chair rentals, and seasonal lifeguards. 

Islanders Beach Park: Pack a picnic and spend the day away from the crowds at Islanders Beach Park, just north of Folly Field Beach. There’s a playground for the kids, picnic tables, drinks machines and restrooms, but you’ll need to bike to the beach as parking is for annual pass holders only. 

Fish Haul Beach Park: Fish Haul Beach Park is one of the most natural and remote beaches on Hilton Head Island overlooking the Port Royal Sound. If you’re seeking an off the beaten path beach on Hilton Head, teeming with wildlife, beautiful shells on the tide line and some of the most beautiful birdlife on Hilton Head, spend a day in nature at Fish Haul. 

The beaches of Hilton Head Island officially open for the beach season from April 1 through September 30 with seasonal lifeguards for a safe summer vacation. Sunset Rentals partners with Vayk Gear to offer our guests complimentary beach gear in select homes and villas. 


Whether you’re exploring the serene waterways of the Calibogue Sound or the vast Atlantic Ocean, this is your chance to experience a personal encounter with an abundance of captivating and majestic marine life including loggerhead sea turtles, manatees, sea otters and Hilton Head’s most famous residents, the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. There are six marinas and harbors on Hilton Head Island making it easy to enjoy a memorable day of aquatic adventures with on the water activities for all ages and energy levels. 

Kayaking: There are over 25 miles of undeveloped marshes and remote areas surrounding Hilton Head to escape the crowds, kayak or SUP the serene waterways and back creeks of the Lowcountry, and reconnect with nature. 

Boat Rentals: For a little more speed, local outfitters across the island offer Hilton Head boat rentals by the hour, or by the day. Sail the sea islands on a catamaran or yacht, waterski or tube the calm waters of Broad Creek, or ride a waverunner or jet-ski through the Calibogue Sound. 

Boat Tours & Cruises: Hilton Head Island boasts an extensive selection of cruises and guided boat tours ranging from sightseeing cruises, dolphin tours, parasailing, banana boat and skiff tours around Hilton Head, to expeditions to the sea islands and guided tours of historic Savannah. 

Fishing Charters: Keep your feet on dry land and cast your line from the shore, the fishing piers or the tranquil, stocked lagoons on Hilton Head Island, or embark on a fishing charter in the backwaters of the estuaries or the deep seas of the Atlantic Ocean.   

If you’re fishing solo, a South Carolina saltwater fishing license is required for all anglers 16 and over and there’s plenty of bait and tackle shops to stock up on your fishing gear. But, the best way to reel in a trophy catch is on a Hilton Head Island fishing charter with an experienced and local fishing guide, and insider tips to Hilton Head’s top fishing spots (and the secret unknowns!)   


The best way to explore Hilton Head (and avoid the traffic and high season parking) is on foot or by bike! Hilton Head Island is one of the most bike-friendly destinations in the US, rated a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the American League of Bicyclists. 

Hilton Head Island is only twelve miles long and five miles wide and boasts an island wide network of flat, shady, and interlaced trails with over 60-miles of trails, 30 bike rental shops and over 15,000 bikes available to rent on the island. Printed maps are available across the island, at the Town Hall or online

Venture off the beaten path and explore maritime forests and hidden parts of the island, cruise the 22-mile loop around the island, or take a coastal bike ride or beach stroll along the shoreline. Here’s our favorite trails to hike and bike on Hilton Head. 

Sea Pines Forest Preserve: Hike and bike the trails of Sea Pines Forest Preserve, an expansive 605 acre protected wildlife habitat with wetland boardwalks through the forest, lakes, fishing docks, historic ruins and beautiful natural landscapes with native flowers and an abundance of wildlife. If you’re not vacationing in Sea Pines, there’s a small fee to access the Sea Pines Plantation.   

Palmetto Dunes Plantation: Palmetto Dunes Plantation has 5 miles of tranquil shaded trails and 3 miles of sandy beaches for easy cruising. There’s a bike path leading to the beach and a bike path to Shelter Cover under the 278 to ride and shop. There is no fee to bike in Palmetto Dunes. 

Audubon Newhall Preserve: The Audubon Newhall Preserve is a paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers with a small network of trails and boardwalks through the 50-acre nature preserve, a tranquil pond, and the opportunity to encounter South Carolina’s best birdlife, including a Great Blue Heron. Guided walks are available. 

Mitchelville Freedom Park: Take a stroll through Mitchelville Freedom Park, a historic park with remnants of the town where freedom began for Hilton Head in 1862. Peaceful trails lead through the park to the rocky shoreline of Fish Haul Creek Park, a prime birdwatching destination on HHI. 

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge: Pinckney Island is a 4,000 acres wildlife refuge at the entrance to Hilton Head Island with 14 miles of hiking and biking trails through forest lands, serene salt marshes, tidal creeks, freshwater ponds and natural Lowcountry beauty. Pack your binoculars for some of the best birdwatching and wildlife viewing on Hilton Head.   

Sunset Rentals has a fleet of affordable, state-of-the-art rentals, including classic, tandem, child, and three-wheeler bikes available to guests. Reservations required well in advance for summer. 


Some of the best golf courses in the Southeast and eight of the world’s top tennis resorts and camps are right here on Hilton Head Island. There are two dozen world-class golf courses and over 300 tennis courts on Hilton Head with challenging play for both novice players and the pros. 

Hilton Head Island is a top golf and tennis destination so be sure to book your tee times and courts well in advance. Here’s our guide to the top tennis facilities and golf courses in the resort areas of Hilton Head. 

Sea Pines Plantation: Tee off among the palmettos and ancient oaks on the family-friendly Atlantic Dunes course, the challenging fairways of Pete Dye’s Heron Point or on the island’s most famous golf course, Harbour Town Golf Links. The Harbour Town Golf Links is consistently ranked one of the best golf courses in the US and welcomes over 130,000 each year to the RBC Heritage PGA Tour

The Sea Pines Racquet Club is one of the best in the US with 20 clay courts, night courts, a full-service pro shop, and an award-winning tennis academy.   

Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort: Palmetto Dunes has three top-rated golf courses for an unrivaled golf experience on Hilton Head. Tee off at the Robert Trent Jones Course featuring one of only two oceanfront holes on Hilton Head Island, experience one of the best golf courses you can play in South Carolina at the Arthur Hills Course, or enjoy a challenging round on the George Fazio Course, the only par-70 public golf course on Hilton Head. 

The award-winning Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center ranks among the top tennis facilities in the world with tennis and pickleball courts, night play and fun clinics through the summer. 

Port Royal Plantation: The Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club has two courses, the Barony Course, and Robber’s Row Course, footgolf for the kids, and an 8-court racquet club. These scenic facilities are set on Civil War grounds on the marsh side of the island with beautiful live oaks and magnolias, water features and historical markers to discover the rich history of Hilton Head. 

Shipyard Plantation: The Shipyard Golf Club was rated one of the finest layouts on the Champions Tour and offers 27-holes of family-friendly golf on three scenic courses, the Clipper, Galleon and Brigantine. The award-winning holes are surrounded by towering oaks and pines and tranquil lagoons. 

The Van der Meer Tennis Center at Shipyard is another of Hilton Head’s award-winning tennis facilities with indoor and outdoor courts, daily clinics, and summer tennis camps.


Lawton Stables is the top destination for horseback rides on Hilton Head Island and a unique way to discover the Lowcountry. The farm and equestrian center in the Sea Pines Plantation offers western-style trail rides through the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, Shetland pony rides and a petting zoo for the little ones. For a once in a lifetime experience, take the ferry to Daufuskie Island for an exclusive beach ride along the Atlantic shoreline. 


The ultimate family summer vacation awaits on Hilton Head Island, one of the world’s most family-friendly vacation destinations. Hilton Head is a magical destination for kids of all ages with family-focused adventures, interactive children museums, live entertainment, miniature golf, indoor playgrounds, rainy-day activities, and awesome day camps fully-loaded with outdoor adventures and new experiences. Here’s our inside scoop on the best things to do with kids and teens on Hilton Head. 

Harbour Town: Harbour Town is one of the top places to visit on Hilton Head Island with kids. Climb the iconic candy cane striped Harbour Town Lighthouse (children under 5 are free), watch the boats sail by while you refuel at The Crazy Crab, and engage in swashbuckling fun with the Pirates of Hilton Head on the Black Dagger, the island’s only custom pirate ship. During the summer months, there’s live entertainment under the Liberty Oak, a top island activity for families visiting Hilton Head. 

Shelter Cove: The annual HarbourFest at Shelter Cove is a delight for all ages and a must-do Hilton Head summer celebration. Enjoy the best local food, arts and crafts, live entertainment from clowns, pirates and local musicians, bouncy castles, and a spectacular display of fireworks over Broad Creek every Tuesday, a Hilton Head tradition. 

Coligny Plaza: The Coligny Center Stage at Coligny Plaza hosts a fun line-up of summer entertainment with magic extravaganzas, family-friendly dance parties, trivia nights and activities every day of the week. Kids love to explore Adventure Playground and the interactive Sandbox Children’s Museum at Lowcountry Celebration, and you’re steps away from one of the best beaches in America. 

Coastal Discovery Museum: The Coastal Discovery Museum is a fun and educational way for the kids to spend the day on Hilton Head. Visit the butterfly gardens, take a nature tour, learn the art of basket weaving, discover the history of the sea islands, or engage in interactive play at the indoor Kids Zone. 

Zipline Hilton Head: Experience Hilton Head’s top adventure destination with a choice of 7 ziplines soaring above the marshes and tree canopies of Broad Creek, a high ropes challenge course, and a brand new outdoor GoKart track with double karts to take little ones for a cruise. 

Miniature Golf: Hilton Head has three mini-golf courses for family fun on Hilton Head. Play Caribbean-style at Adventure Cove, follow in the footsteps of pirates at Pirate’s Island, or play country club style miniature golf at Legendary Golf

Hilton Head Skatepark: The Hilton Head Skatepark at the Bristol Sports Arena is a great way for bigger kids to let off some steam with ramps, rails and a kid’s street course and playground for younger kids. 

The Art Café: Paint your own pottery at The Art Café, a colorful pottery studio and café near the Coligny Plaza. There’s a big selection of pottery pieces to choose from, indoor seating for a rainy day, and outdoor patio seating for painting, dining, and special events through the summer. 

Outside Hilton Head: Outside Hilton Head is the top activity provider on the island with day camps and outdoor activities for kids, teens, and families. Activities range from family fishing charters, beachcombing cruises and dolphin tours, to learn to surf camps and bike tours of Hilton Head Island. 


Art Center of Coastal Carolina: The Art Center of Coastal Carolina is the heart of Hilton Head’s performing arts scene with award-winning theatrical shows, ballet performances, musical dramas, cultural festivals, and a fun lineup of summer events on HHI for the whole family. 

Coastal Discovery Museum: Step back in time at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, home to the Santa Elena Center, nine historic buildings dating back to 1859, a 500-year old Southern Red Cedar, fascinating history and cultural exhibits, and authentic Gullah Heritage Trail Tours.   

Stoney-Baynard Ruins: The Baynard Plantation was built by Revolutionary War hero Captain Jack Stoney in the early 18th century, used as headquarters for Union troops during the Civil War, and later burned to the ground. Take a short hike through Sea Pines to view the remains of the grand antebellum home and slave quarters, rumored to be one of the most haunted spots on Hilton Head Island. 

Sea Pines Indian Shell Ring: The Sea Pines Indian Shell Ring lies in the heart of Sea Pines Forest Preserve and dates back over 4,000 years. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the historic shell ring measures 150 feet in diameter and is known to be the oldest known archeological site on Hilton Head Island. 


The travel journey alone boosts your mental health, but the bliss and natural beauty of Hilton Head takes your health and wellness journey a step further. Treat yourself to a little me time at a luxury Hilton Head spa, or skip the traffic and indulge in a massage treatment in the comfort of your dream Hilton Head vacation home


Retail therapy is another great way to boost mental health and shopping on Hilton Head Island is an adventure of its own! Summer is the perfect season to stroll the open-air plazas and shop the local farmers markets for the finest seafood, fresh fruit and veg, homemade specialties and picnic baskets to enjoy in nature.    


Restaurants: Whether you’re in search of the best shrimp and grits on Hilton Head Island, a casual eatery for the kids or an evening of fine dining on the waterfront, Hilton Head has a diverse selection of delicious dining options to explore. For Hilton Head’s finest sunset views, feast on Lowcountry cuisine at Skull Creek Boathouse, raw oysters at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks, or dine waterfront at Harbour Town as the sun sets over Calibogue Sound. 

Dinner Cruises: For a unique Hilton Head dinner experience, take a sunset cruise on the Salty Dog Happy Hour Boat from South Beach Marina, or climb aboard the Spirit of Harbour Town for a romantic candlelit cruise along the South Carolina coastline. 

Late-Night Venues: Carry it on late into the night at Hilton Head’s late-night venues. Snack on southern BBQ with an ice cold brew at Hilton Head Brewing Company, stay for last call at the legendary Tiki Hut beach bar on Coligny Beach, or join the island’s biggest and best DJ dance party at The Rooftop Bar in Shelter Cove. For an evening of smooth, sophisticated jazz, head to Jazz Corner, an award-winning jazz club, acclaimed as one of the top “100 Great Jazz Rooms in the World”. 


Sunset Rentals are the most trusted rental business and vacation specialists on Hilton Head Island with one of the area’s largest collections of Hilton Head vacation homes and villas in the top resort areas of Hilton Head Island.   Experience an unforgettable summer vacation on Hilton Head with rentals to suit every family’s size, style and budget, resort-style amenities, homey comforts, luxurious outdoor living in the Lowcountry and first-class service every step of your vacation journey.

Summer Festivals On Hilton Head 2024

Hilton Head Island, SC hosts a range of popular festivals that draw many thousands of visitors to the island every summer. The Island’s event calendar includes local arts, nightlife, family activities, festivals, and much more. The team at Sunset Rentals has compiled a list of our favorite upcoming events on Hilton Head Island. Be sure to check some out during your getaway to the stunning shoreline of South Carolina!

1. Coligny Plaza Summer Music Series

LOCATION: Center Stage at Coligny Plaza

DATE: May – September, 2024

TIME: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM 


Learn more HERE!

The Coligny Plaza Summer Music series takes place on the Center Stage every night throughout the summer season. The series is family-friendly and the perfect way to end a day on Hilton Head’s award-winning beaches! Coligny Plaza has a wide selection of restaurants to grab a bite to eat and iced summer cocktail or cold brew, before or after the show!

2. Greg Russell Concert

LOCATION: Liberty Oak, Sea Pines Harbour Town 

TIME: 8 PM to 9:30 PM

ADMISSION: FREE! Visitors not staying within the Sea Pines Resort Area are required to pay a small, cash entry fee at the Sea Pines gate. 

Greg Russell is a nationally renowned singer-songwriter and a Hilton Head Island icon! His summer shows under the famed Liberty Oak in Sea Pines Harbour Town have been delighting visitors to Hilton Head for over 40 years. Join us this summer for family-friendly entertainment, sing-alongs, storytelling, and true Southern hospitality with Greg Russell.

Harbour Town 2024 Schedule

SpringMarch 25, 27, & 29
April 1, 3 & 5
April 8, 10 & 12
April 15-17
shows at 7:30pm
SummerMay 23-25
May 29-31
June 3-August 8 (Monday-Thursday)
August 12, 14, 16, 19, 21 & 23
August 29-31
shows at 8:00pm
HolidaysThanksgiving – November 29
Christmas – December 23
shows at 7:30pm

Don’t forget Gregg’s Bubble Gum Club Boat Ride!

Take the Bubble Gum Cruise on Harbour Town’s very own Vagabond.

2024: 10:00am

Spring – March 29, April 5 & April 12
Summer – June 7 – August 23 – Every Friday (weather permitting)

  • Boat leaves from the Harbour Town pier behind the lighthouse at 10:00am
  • Boat returns at 11:30am
  • Cost is $33 per adult and $28 per child and tickets may be available 30 minutes before the cruise on the Harbor Town dock behind the lighthouse OR IN ADVANCE online using this link. We have only canceled a handful of cruises over the years due to inclement weather, so please join us if if the weather looks a little iffy! Snacks and beverages are available on board.

3. Shelter Cove HarbourFest

LOCATION: Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina

DATE: Memorial Day – Labor Day



2024 Fireworks Schedule

Tuesdays: June 4, 11, 18 & 25
Thursday, July 4th
Tuesdays: July 9, 16, 23 & 30
Tuesdays: August 6, 13 & 20

*All fireworks shows start when the sky is dark. No drones allowed during fireworks shows.


Two shows: 6:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Memorial Day Weekend: Saturday, May 25 & Sunday, May 26
Mon – Thurs from May 27 – June 7
Thursday, July 4
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday from June 10 – August 21

No shows August 23 – August 30

6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Memorial Day Weekend: Saturday, May 25 & Sunday, May 26
Monday – Friday from May 27 – Sept 1
Labor Day Weekend: Saturday, August 31 & Sunday, Sept 1 

with Shannon Tanner & The Oyster Reefers
Thursdays: June 13 – August 22 (family show week of July 4)
Labor Day Weekend: Saturday, August 31 & Sunday, Sept 1 

The HarbourFest at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina on Hilton Head Island is a weekly celebration during the summer with live music and entertainment, arts and crafts, kids’ activities, and weekly fireworks every Tuesday just before dark. Celebrating 34 years, HarbourFest is a magical summer experience on Hilton Head Island.

4. Shelter Cove Summer Jams

LOCATION: Shelter Cove Community Park

Tuesday, June 11, 20246:00 PM 
Tuesday, August 6, 20249:00 PM

TIME: 5:30 PM TO 9 PM


If you’re traveling to Hilton Head this summer with children, Summer Jams is a can’t-miss weekly event at the Shelter Cove Community Park. The kids can play in bouncy houses and dress up with face painting, while you relax listening to local live music in your lawn chair! After a few hours of fun, the evening will end with the fabulous fireworks display that takes place every Tuesday at Shelter Cove HarbourFest.

5. Party in the Park & Maker’s Fair

LOCATION: Lowcountry Celebration Park

DATE: Thursdays, June 13 to July 25, 2024

TIME: 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM 


Enjoy family happy hour for a month of Thursdays at Lowcountry Celebration Park near Coligny Beach Park and Plaza. This fun summer event combines local live music with amazing Lowcountry food and beverage vendors, arts and crafts, and the park playground with bouncy houses for the kids. Pop by Party in the Park & Maker’s Fair for a fun family night out and local shopping for one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs!

6. Hilton Head Island Shrimp Festival

Harbour Town
149 Lighthouse Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

DATE: September 21, 2024

TIME: 1:00PM – 4:00PM

Shrimp Festival Ticket Pricing

General Admission 21 and Older: $75
General Admission No Alcohol: $50
Children 8 and younger are free!


The Hilton Head Island Shrimp Festival will be held from 1 to 4pm on Saturday, September 23 on the lawn adjacent to the Liberty Oak in Harbour Town at The Sea Pines Resort.

The family-friendly event will feature savory shrimp dishes prepared by 14 Hilton Head-area chefs (while supplies last), craft beers from more than 20 breweries (while supplies last), an array of goods offered by specialty vendors, and live music performances by local rock band Groove Town Assault. An activity-filled “Kid Zone” with a bounce house, face painting, arts and crafts and more, will be provided by event sponsors The Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head, Coca-Cola, Southern Crown Partners and US Foods.

7. Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival

LOCATION: Port Royal Golf Club, Hilton Head Island

DATE: October 31 – November 3, 2024

ADMISSION: Purchase tickets HERE!

PARKING: Complimentary parking at the Hilton Head Island Public School Complex

Local’s Tip: Check out more information HERE!

The Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival on Hilton Head Island is a world-class event with traditional southern flair.  This popular event showcases a rare collection of automobiles, airplanes, and motorcycles with the best of the best in automotive exhibitions, racing, dining experiences, and a luxury lifestyle on Hilton Head.

8. Hilton Head Oyster Festival

LOCATION: Shelter Cove Community Park & Lowcountry Celebration Park

DATE: Friday, November 10 – Saturday, November 11, 2023



ADMISSION: $65, 12 and under $45

All you can eat steamed local oysters, lowcountry boil, pulled pork, seafood chowder & chili. Drinks sold separately. Live music and limited availability.


ADMISSION: Available on Saturday
$10 – Adults
Free – Children under 11 and

Includes admission to the event to enjoy live music and browse local artisan pop-up shops. Food, beverages, and kid’s activities are sold separately.

Bucket of Oysters: TBD
1lb Basket of steamed Shrimp: TBD
1/5lb Basket of steamed Shrimp: TBD

The Hilton Head Oyster Festival is a magnificent celebration of oysters and local Lowcountry culture. Try boiled oysters, fried oysters, stewed oysters, and more. This November, sit back and enjoy live music, a football viewing area, wine, and buckets of freshly shucked oysters at this can’t-miss fall event on Hilton Head Island.

9. Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival

LOCATION: Multiple locations on Hilton Head Island

DATE: March 28 – 30, 2024

Hilton Head’s wine and food enthusiasts created a week-long celebration to embrace the fruits of global wine partnerships, signature Lowcountry cuisine, and grassroots cultural happenings. At Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival, you’ll find exceptional wine dinners and educational seminars, plus the traditional grand tasting and well-loved public tasting.


Now that you’ve chosen which events you want to attend, it’s time to find your Hilton Head rental. Sunset Rentals provides various types of rentals to suit every family, like pet-friendly rentals, oceanfront rentals, or rentals with private pools. We are driven by the desire to make certain that your vacation is spent enjoying that time. We are a locally operated Hilton Head Island company that takes pride in offering first-class service to our guests.

Explore all of our Hilton Head Vacation Rentals or give us a call today at 1-800-276-8991 to book your stay.

Rent a Boat on Beautiful Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is blessed with 12 miles of coastline along South Carolina’s Atlantic coastline, making it perfect for fishing, boating, and tons of water sport activities. There are various opportunities to boat on several types of vehicles, like kayaks, sailboats, party boats, and even yachts. With six marinas and harbors, you will be kept busy!

Let’s explore some of the best Hilton Head boat rentals:

Island Head
Run by tourists turned locals, Michael and Taylor, Island Head boasts some of the finest Hilton Head boat rentals. Both of them have immense experience in the water sports industry, which reflects in the way they run their company. They are friendly, knowledgeable, and provide the perfect balance of fun and safety.

Anchors Away Sailing Charters
Anchors Away Sailing Charters offers private expeditions for up to six people. You can hop aboard the stunning morning sail, the breezy dolphin watch afternoon sail, or relax while viewing the sunset evening sail. All three sails have different agendas and turn out to be completely different experiences.

Vagabond Cruise
Vagabond Cruise, since 1968, is Hilton Head Island’s original sightseeing and cruise operator. Needless to say, they have tons of experience in this arena and offer some unforgettable cruises on the islands. You can take your pick from holiday cruises, crabbing expeditions, and Savannah Day cruises—amongst the many cruises they offer.

Yacht Club of Hilton Head
Founded in 1971 by a group of sailors, the Yacht Club of Hilton Head is the oldest yacht club on the island. They are a boating and social club, which means that boating enthusiasts on Hilton Island are a part of this club. They provide a variety of boating activities plus a dynamic social calendar.

HHI Vacation Rentals

If you are planning to book a Hilton Head boat rental and stay on the island, then look no further than Sunset Rentals. We provide various types of rentals to suit every family, like pet-friendly rentals, oceanfront rentals, or rentals with private pools.

How To Go Parasailing on Hilton Head Island?

South Carolina’s picturesque Hilton Head Island remains an aquatic wonderland, especially for those with a penchant for oceanic thrills. Within minutes of arrival, travelers can swiftly hop aboard a speedy wave runner, join a dolphin tour, and hook a jumbo Spanish mackerel deep at sea. However, nothing tops the sheer exhilaration of parasailing in Hilton Head Island, especially when you choose a Sunset Rental-approved outfitter, such as Sky Pirate Parasail.

The Thrill of a Lifetime: Parasailing in Hilton Head

Contrary to popular belief, parasailing in Hilton Head caters to nearly every age group, including kids six and up. While you’re floating 500 feet above the turquoise Atlantic, you’ll obtain unobstructed, jaw-dropping views of the island, spanning approximately 25 miles inland or seaward. Sunset Rentals of Hilton Head recommends three local parasailing gurus, all of which lie a short distance from our finest vacation homes.

Sky Pirate Parasail
The folks at Sky Pirate operate out of Broad Creek Marina, located inside a still, meandering Intracoastal waterway. The marina itself plays host to kayaking outfitters, fishing charters, and a popular pub. Sky Pirate’s state-of-the-art, 12-passenger vessel boasts an 800-foot line, so get ready for some serious airtime. When you’re not suspended 500 feet in the air above Calibogue Sound, you’ll likely spot curious dolphins, pearly egrets, and oceanfront plantations.

Island Head
Island Head’s 90-minute parasail costs a mere $79 per person. The Island Head team emphasizes the surrounding beauty, including Harbour Town Lighthouse, Daufuskie Island, and the sprawling Lowcountry. Flights typically last anywhere between eight and 10 minutes, which is the industry average—just be ready to make a splash at the tail-end of your voyage!

H2O Sports
H20 Sports is based out of the Harbour Town Yacht Basin, an idyllic slice of the island where travelers flock for golf, sea-based adventures, sailing, and coastal cuisines. And H2O knows a thing or two about aquatic thrills, as they offer everything from wakeboarding to alligator tours and old-fashioned parasailing in Hilton Head Island. They offer “the best view of the island”—a true bird’s eye view at scorching (yet safe) speeds. It’s worth noting that H2O offers the cheapest “observer rides” for those afraid of heights but still want to motor through Calibogue Sound.

The Finest Hilton Head Rentals

After each full day of championship golf, offshore fishing, and parasailing in Hilton Head Island, retreat to your luxurious, comfortable vacation home for an evening to remember. We proudly boast one of the island’s largest selections of coastal South Carolina vacation rentals, including the heavenly, pet-friendly Deer Run and expansive, ocean-view Guscio Way. With nearly 250 rental homes in Hilton Head Island, you’re bound to find one that perfectly suits your group’s size, style, and budget. Luxuries include private pools, beach access, chef’s kitchens, lavish outdoor patios, and floor-to-ceiling fireplaces.

Hilton Head Bike Rentals and Pathways

Despite the isle’s many sugary beaches, historical museums, and guided tours, the number one thing to do in Hilton Head is bicycling (according to TripAdvisor). With 60-plus miles of pathways that meander from Hilton Head Plantation all the way to Coligny Beach Park, it’s no wonder families spend hours upon hours cycling past the island’s prettiest landmarks. Sunset Rentals’ growing selection of luxurious, tropical condo and home rentals, more times than not, are located right along the Hilton Head bike path. Because the island is only 42 square miles, most folks prefer to bike to and from the beach, restaurants, and shops. Thus, there’s a high demand for Hilton Head bike rentals. In fact, there are over two dozen local businesses that offer rental services.

The 10 Best Hilton Head Bike Rentals

Sunset Rentals has a fleet of affordable, state-of-the-art rentals, including classic, tandem, child, and three-wheeler bikes. During peak seasons, these popular Hilton Head bike rentals can sell out well in advance, primarily because you simply cannot beat the $35 per week price tag. So, if our inventory is bare, please consider a stop at one of these local establishments.

  1. Sunset Rentals
  2. Hilton Head Outfitters
  3. The Bike Doctor
  4. Cross Island Bike Rental
  5. Island Life Bike Rentals
  6. Mike’s Bikes
  7. Forest Beach Surf & Cycle
  8. Pelican Cruiser
  9. Breeze Bike Ride
  10. Atlantic Bike Rentals

Recreational Pathways: 60 Miles of Natural Beauty

A few years back, the Chamber of Commerce curated an updated Hilton Head Island bike trail map, which plainly outlines the various pathways that wind through our peaceful island. Visual highlights along the path include Coligny Beach Park, Audubon Newhall Preserve, Village at Wexford, Jarvis Creek Park, Burkes Beach, and Shelter Cove Harbour. It’s estimated that nearly 2 million visitors cycle along this pathway in a given year. Thus, the community spends countless hours maintaining and enhancing the experience. Remember to pack plenty of water, apply sunscreen often, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, and bring an appetite because many of the island’s most beloved seafood eateries lie along the pathway.

For more information about our Hilton Head bike rentals (including FAQs, terms, and conditions), please visit our website.

Stay with Sunset Rentals

Sunset Rentals boasts one of the largest collections of vacation homes and condos on the island, including over 65 rentals with a private pool. A large portion of our Hilton Head condo rentals are pet friendly, so you don’t have to leave your furry, four-legged friends at home! Common amenities include convenient beach access, private pools, chef’s kitchens, high-speed Wi-Fi, fireplaces, and luxury furnishings.

In August, week-long stays come with free bikes! Take advantage of this limited-time offer by booking direct at 843-785-6767.