Sunset Rentals Archives - Sunset Rentals Vacation Blog

17 Best Fishing Charter Companies on Hilton Head

Did you know that Hilton Head Island is consistently ranked the #1 island in the Continental U.S.? The island is separated from the mainland of South Carolina by the thriving Calibogue Sound and Intracoastal Waterways with 12 miles of deep blue coastal waters along its eastern shoreline. 

The incredibly diverse ecosystems of South Carolina’s coastal wetlands are pristine fishing environments with miles of freshwater marshes, backwaters, tidal creeks, and ocean waters teeming with a vast array of birdlife, wildlife, and marine life. Whether you’re a first-timer fisherman learning to cast a line or an experienced angler seeking a trophy catch, we highly encourage you to get out on the water on a guided Hilton Head fishing charter.  

Most of the experienced charter captains on Hilton Head Island have been fishing the local waters for decades and stem from generations of local fishermen. The benefits of a guided full-service fishing charter are endless – local experienced guides, all the gear, and a fishing license included, and you get to focus on the tranquil Lowcountry views, the fishing experience, and quality time with family!

There are four main types of fishing charters to choose from:

  • Inshore: Inshore charters stay close to land in the shallow and calm waters around Hilton Head Island. Fish species found include tarpon, redfish, trout, flounder, black drum, and sharks. 
  • Nearshore: Nearshore charters venture around 5-25 miles from the island trolling the wrecks, rips, and reefs for red snapper, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, tarpon, grouper, sharks, and so much more! 
  • Deep Sea: Deep Sea fishing takes you 40+ miles from the coastline or out to the Gulf Stream and is an all-day affair for avid anglers. Hilton Head boasts some of the best offshore big game and sport fishing on the Atlantic coastline with an abundance of Mahi Mahi, blackfin tuna, marlin, wahoo, and more.  
  • Shark Fishing: Every HHI fishing experience is likely to include an encounter with one of Hilton Head’s 50+ shark species but nothing is quite as thrilling as a guided shark fishing charter. Shark fishing is a Hilton Head specialty and the kids absolutely love it!


Location: 18 Simmons Road, Hilton Head Island

Broad Creek Marina is Hilton Head’s newest marina with lots of fun both on and off the water. The marina is situated next door to Adventure Hilton Head for ziplining, Sky Pirate for parasailing, and Up the Creek Pub & Grill for fresh seafood overlooking Broad Creek. On the water, you’ll find dolphin and nature cruises, boat tours to the Vanishing Island and historic Daufuskie Island, and a wide variety of fishing charters with highly-rated local guides.


Phone: (843) 422-1860

Charters for up to 6 passengers: 
3-Hour Charter – From $475
Half-Day Charter – From $575
Full-Day Charter – From $1,200

Captain Terry Hall and his experienced captains at Tail Tamer offer a variety of inshore and nearshore charter options for all ages and abilities, including beginner fishing trips, family charters, thrilling shark fishing, and classic catch n’ eat fishing charters!


Phone: (843) 422-1221

Charters for up to 6 passengers: 
4-Hour Charter – From $695
6-Hour Charter – From $950
8-Hour Charter – From $1,395
12-Hour Charter – From $1,975
Gulfstream Charter – From $3,460 
Shark Fishing Trip – From $595

Captain Mike Russo will cater to all your deep sea fishing desires in comfort aboard his 38’ Hatteras Sportfisher, Integrity. Choose from near-shore and offshore deep-sea fishing charters or private customized charters for a sunset or island cruise. Learn the basics on a family fishing trip or head into the deeps for the catch of a lifetime with Integrity Charters. Captain Mike Russo will cater to all your deep sea fishing desires in comfort aboard his 38’ Hatteras Sportfisher, Integrity. Choose from near-shore and offshore deep-sea fishing charters or private customized charters for a sunset or island cruise. Learn the basics on a family fishing trip or head into the deeps for the catch of a lifetime with Integrity Charters.

Reel Easy Charters

Phone: (843) 290-2932

Charters for up to 6 passengers: 
3-Hour Inshore/Shark Trip – From $525
4-Hour Vanishing Island & Shark Fishing – From $650
4-Hour Inshore/Nearshore – From $650
5-Hour Nearshore – From $800
6-Hour Offshore – $950
8-Hour Offshore – $1,350

Captain Jack and Reel Easy Charters specialize in inshore, nearshore, and offshore fishing charters in and around the Lowcountry waters. For the ultimate family fishing experience, their Vanishing Island & Shark Fishing charter explores the sand dollars, starfish, shells, and shark life around the Vanishing Island of Hilton Head Island.


Phone: (843) 949-0407

Charters for up to 6 passengers: 
3-Hour Shark & Inshore – From $425
4-Hour Inshore & Nearshore – From $525
5-Hour Inshore & Nearshore – From 625
6-Hour Inshore & Nearshore – From $725

Land the fish of a lifetime with Captain Danny & his crew at Sea Bee Charters on Broad Creek. Sea Bee operates a 25’ Carolina Skiff geared for inshore fishing on Broad Creek and nearshore charters to the wrecks and reefs off the coastline.


Phone: (843) 384-9714

Charters for up to 6 passengers: 
Shark Fishing – From $450
Half-Day Charter – From $600
5-Hour Charter – From $750
6-Hour Charter – From $900
8-Hour Charter – From $1,200

Strike gold on a sport fishing charter with Captain Jay Prescott of Top Shot Sport Fishing. Fishing trips include trolling and bottom fishing the nearshore artificial reefs, all-day charters to the Savannah Snapper Banks, shark fishing trips around the island, or customized trips for up to 6 anglers.


Location: 1 Hudson Rd, Hilton Head Island

Combine a Lowcountry fishing charter with the best waterfront dining experience on Hilton Head Island at Skull Creek Marina. Situated across from Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge on the northern end of the island, Skull Creek Marina is home to the famous Skull Creek Boathouse, Skull Creek Dockside, and Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks with the ultimate in Lowcountry cuisine and views. They’ll even cook up your catch of the day for a boat-to-table restaurant experience!


Phone: (843) 422-0887

Charters for up to 6 passengers: 
3-Hour Fishing Charter – From $625
4-Hour Fishing Charter – From $750
5-Hour Fishing Charter – From $900
6-Hour Fishing Charter – From $1,200
7-Hour Fishing Charter – From $1,350
8-Hour Offshore Charter – From $1,600

Climb aboard the 32’ Bulldog docked at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks at Skull Creek Marina. Captain Christiaan, a third-generation Hilton Head Island fishing captain, offers a variety of charters ranging from fun 3-hour shark fishing trips for the kids to full-day reef trips and offshore bottom trips. Remember to reserve a table to cook your catch!  


Location: 1 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island

Situated across from Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina is a Hilton Head hotspot for shopping, waterfront dining, famous festivals, and every watersport and activity you can imagine under the sunny South Carolina skies. The world-class marina is the largest deepwater marina on the island and the starting point of some of the best fishing experiences on Hilton Head Island.


Phone: (843) 686-6996

Guided Fishing Charters: 
3-Hour Kayak Fishing – From $135
3-Hour Family Fishing – From $495
3-Hour Shark Fishing – From $495
4-Hour Charter Fishing – From $595

Ultimate Lowcountry Day – From $745

Click HERE for a list of all activities!

Outside Hilton Head is all about exploring the great outdoors! They offer a full fleet of boat rentals with inshore, nearshore, and shark fishing charters, kayak fishing excursions, nature tours, dolphin cruises, and a variety of water activities for every age group.


Phone: (843) 258-4677

Public Party Fishing Charters: 
3.5-Hour Inshore Shark Fishing – From $55 pp
4-Hour Inshore Shark Fishing – From $60 pp
4.5-Hour Inshore Shark Fishing & Fireworks – From $65 pp
5.5-Hour Offshore Fishing – From $65 pp

Captain Hook is the largest fishing boat on Hilton Head and a great option for an affordable group fishing charter! Choose from inshore shark fishing, and offshore charters, or book well in advance for their sunset shark fishing or fishing and fireworks charters in the summer. For a private experience, the fleet includes the Gullah Gal, True Grits, Gale Force, and Gale Warning for groups of up to 6 people.

Bay Runner Fishing Charters

Phone: (843) 290-6955

Charters for up to 12 passengers: 
3-Hour Charter – From $495
4-Hour Charter – From $595
5-Hour Charter – From $725
6-Hour Charter – From $850
8-Hour Charter – From $1,195

Shark Fishing Trips – From $495

Make Your Own Trip

Captain Mike Altman has been chartering the local waters since 1970. Head out on an inshore charter on the Calibogue Sound, a nearshore excursion on the reefs, or create a one-of-a-kind experience customized for your charter crew with Bay Runner Fishing Charters.

Native Son Fishing Charters 

Phone: (843) 816-3312

Charters for up to 6 passengers: 
2-Hour Charter – From $350
3-Hour Charter – From $495
4-Hour Charter – From $625
5-Hour Charter – From $745
6-Hour Charter – From $875
7-Hour Charter – From $940
8-Hour Charter – From $1,245

Local island native, Captain Byron Sewell, and his team of seasoned guides offer nearshore and offshore charters for all ages on their 26-ft power catamarans. Native Son charter options range from two-hour trips to all-day deep-sea adventures along the South Carolina coastline.

Hilton Head Outfitters

80 Queens Folly Rd, Hilton Head Island

Phone: (843) 593-9110

Palmetto Dunes Lagoon Charters: 
2-Hour Inshore Charters – From $365
3-Hour Inshore Charters – From $485
4-Hour Inshore Charters – From $585
5-Hour Inshore Charters – From $685
6-Hour Inshore Charters – From $785

Fishing Gear Rentals

Hilton Head Outfitters are best known for their water activities and guided inshore fishing charters on the Palmetto Dunes 11-mile lagoon system, teeming with a variety of saltwater fish. They also offer nearshore and offshore charters on their custom Maverick out of Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina.


Location: 149 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head Island

The Harbour Town Yacht Basin in Sea Pines Resort is one of the top yachting destinations on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and a haven for boaters, water sports enthusiasts, and anglers of all ages! The Sea Pines Resort area is home to many of Hilton Head’s top attractions as well as world-class private fishing charters with the island’s most experienced and qualified captains


Phone: (843) 298-0990

Charters for up to 4 passengers: 
4-8 Hour Fishing Trips – Call For Pricing

Join Captain Greg Clark aboard his 25’ Sea Cat to explore the coastal waters in and around Hilton Head. Capt. Greg’s private fishing charters are family-friendly and include offshore, inshore, deep sea, and shark fishing expeditions for up to 4 passengers.


Phone: (843) 363-8335

Charters for up to 6 passengers: 
3-Hour Shark Fishing – From $500
4-Hour Charters – From $700
5-Hour Charters – From $875
6-Hour Charters – From $1,000
8-Hour Charters – From $1,400

The 31’ Black Skimmer is chartered by father and son fishing team Captain Steve and Captain Ben. They offer nearshore, offshore, deep sea, and shark fishing charters from Harbour Town for up to 6 passengers, families welcome.


Phone: (843) 422-1935

Charters for up to 6 passengers: 
2-Hour Charters – From $400
3-Hour Shark Fishing – From $500
3-Hour Charters – From $500
4-Hour Charters – From $560
6-Hour Charters – From $815

Located at the pier at Harbour Town Yacht Basin, Valor Charters offer year-round fishing charters of the Atlantic Ocean and Calibogue Sound, including tranquil fly fishing trips on Hilton Head’s Lowcountry backwaters and estuaries. The 26’ Andros Boatworks carries up to four anglers, children are welcome.


Location: 86 Helmsman Way, Hilton Head Island

Situated on the south end of the island near the base of the Coligny Island Expressway Bridge, the Palmetto Bay Marina is one of Hilton Head’s oldest working marinas, fully renovated for your boating pleasure! There’s shopping at Bay Breeze, excellent waterside restaurants, bars, live music on Broad Creek, and a full-service marina with Lowcountry watersports, party boat fishing, and a variety of fishing charters.


Phone: (843) 384-8236

Charters for up to 6 passengers: 
3-Hour Shark Fishing – From $495
4-Hour Charter – From $595
5-Hour Charter – From $695
6-Hour Charter – From $795
8-Hour Charter – From $1,195

Captain Brad & Captain Bill are full-time Lowcountry captains with plenty of experience to deliver the ultimate fishing experience on Hilton Head Island. They offer multiple inshore, nearshore, and family fishing trips aboard the customized 25’ Pursuit, set up to fish! Reel Job Charter Fishing is voted the best fishing charter service on Hilton Head Island by Lowcountry Style & Living!


Phone: (843) 363-2900

Party Fishing & Private Charters:
2-Hour Private Charter – From $395
3-Hour Private Charter – From $495
4-Hour Private Charter – From $650

4.5-Hour Deep Sea Fishing aboard The Drifter – From $72 pp

Shark Fishing aboard The Drifter – From $65 pp

Drifter Excursions offer dolphin watching, shark fishing, and private fishing charters on a fleet of four boats including sport fishing aboard the Boomerang, inshore and shark fishing on the Ricochet, and party boat fishing aboard the 60’ Drifter. The Hobo, a 27’ Carolina Skiff departs out of Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina with private charters for groups of up to 16 anglers.


86 Point Comfort Rd, Hilton Head Island

Phone: (843) 298-4376

Charters for up to 4 passengers: 
2-Hour Charter – From $375
3-Hour Charter – From $475
4-Hour Charter – From $575
5-Hour Charter – From $725
6-Hour Charter – From $875
8-Hour Charter – From $1,150

Off the Hook Fishing Charters is owned and operated by Captain Brian Vaughn, an island native with two IGFA World Records to his name and 30+ years of experience guiding inshore, light tackle, and fly fishing charters on the Lowcountry waterways. Their fleet of 18’, 22”, and 25’ bay boats are geared with the finest fly and spinning tackle for the ultimate fishing experience for all ages and abilities. For large groups, you can book 2-3 boats for up to 12 passengers!


Location: Jenkins Rd, Hilton Head Island

The Hilton Head Harbor & Marina is also located on the north end of the island as you drive in on William Hilton Parkway. The harbor and full-service marina are home to Sea Monkeys Watersports rentals & tours, Mermaid Boat Tours, local HHI charter fishing companies, and one of the island’s best-kept secrets – The Sunset Grille, a casual fine dining restaurant with the best waterfront and sunset views on Hilton Head!


Phone: (843) 290-0371

Charters for up to 6 passengers: 
4-Hour Charter – From $750
5-Hour Charter – From $900
6-Hour Charter – From $1,050
8-Hour Charter – From $1,400

For the ultimate shark fishing experience, book a charter with Captain Chip on The Outcast. The Outcast is the current state record holder for blacktip and lemon sharks, and the largest fish ever landed… a 16.3ft Great White! Whether you’re a family of novice fishermen or an avid angler, Hilton Head shark fishing is best on The Outcast.

After a day adventuring the Lowcountry waterways or deep Atlantic waters, settle your sea legs with Sunset Rentals. Our collection of 230+ Hilton Head Island vacation rentals are situated in the top Hilton Head neighborhoods with high-end amenities and home comforts to cater to every angler at the end of the day! 

Book with confidence and ease online or call our team today at (843) 785-6767.

10 Best Bars On Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is known for luxurious Lowcountry island living off the coast of South Carolina. This popular vacation destination is full of fun for the whole family with renowned athletic facilities, beautiful nature preserves, historical sites, bike trails, miles of sandy beaches, and plenty of bustling bars.

The social scene on Hilton Head Island is one you won’t want to miss! Head over to one of the best bars on the island for a one-of-a-kind experience with friendly bartenders, southern hospitality, great food, and even better drinks. Not sure where to start? Check out our top 10 favorite bars below…

1. Pool Bar Jim’s

Forest Beach Resort Area
10 N Forest Beach Drive, Hilton Head Island

Phone: (843) 816-4648
Open Daily | 11 AM to 8 PM
First come, first serve

Pool Bar Jim’s is a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike due to its laidback island vibe, aesthetic atmosphere, and delicious frozen cocktails. Head over to the poolside of Marriott’s Grand Ocean Resort on Coligny Beach for a classic Lava Flow or choose your own signature concoction from Pool Bar Jim’s Tropical & Exotic Frozen Drinks menu book! Jim is one of Hilton Head’s most beloved bartenders!

2. Quarterdeck

Sea Pines Resort Area
160 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head Island

Phone: (843) 842-1999
Open Daily | 11:30 AM to 9 PM
Bar Service | 11:30 AM to 10 PM
Seasonal Live Music | 4 PM to 7 PM
Reservations recommended

Quarterdeck Menu

If you prefer a more sophisticated fine dining bar, head over to Quarterdeck at Sea Pines Resort! Quarterdeck boasts a bar a dining room on the first floor, and a rooftop oyster bar with delicious food, classic cocktails, and panoramic views of Harbour Town and Calibogue Sound. This is the spot to savor a Sunset on the Sound specialty cocktail or local craft beer with live music and the best sunset views on Hilton Head. Visitors not staying in Sea Pines Resort Area are required to pay a small, cash entry fee at the Sea Pines gate.

3. Tiki Hut

Forest Beach Resort Area
1 S Forest Beach Dr, Hilton Head Island

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

Tiki Hut Food & Drink Menus

The Tiki Hut is a go-to for good times on Hilton Head Island, with laid-back locals and fun-loving visitors for nearly 50 years. Ready to sink your toes in the sand, listen to live tunes, snack on beachside bites, and sip a cocktail or two or share a 32oz bucket of fruity rums and tropical juices with friends?  The Tiki Hut’s frozen drinks, margaritas, and hand-crafted cocktails pair perfectly with the laid-back beach vibes. 

4. Reilley’s Grill & Bar

7D Greenwood Dr, Hilton Head Island

Phone: (843) 842-4414
Open Daily | 11:30 AM to 10 PM
Bar Service Sunday – Wednesday | 11:30 AM to 12 AM
Bar Service Thursday – Saturday | 11:30 AM to 1.30 AM
Champagne Sunday Brunch | 11 AM to 2:30 PM
Daily Happy Hour | 4 PM to 7 PM
Seasonal Live Music | See the lineup HERE
First come, first serve

Reilley’s Grill & Bar Menus

Voted “Hilton Head Island’s Best Bar”, Reilley’s Grill and Bar has been an island institution since 1982 and is sure to become a favorite! Reilley’s is truly reminiscent of a classic Boston pub. Gather with friends for drinks in the sophisticated bar area or soak up the sun and live music on the outdoor patio with a sunset martini, Reilley’s mule, or mockarita for the DD!

5. Callahan’s Sports Bar

49 New Orleans Rd, Hilton Head Island

Phone: (843) 686-7665
Open Daily | 11:30 AM to 2 AM
First come, first serve

Callahan’s Menu

For a more casual setting, head to Callahan’s Sports Bar, voted the #1 sports bar on Hilton Head Island. This is the Hilton Head hotspot to watch a football game, shoot pool or play darts with friends, or grab a late-night beer and bar food – the menu is huge ranging from “Tip-Off” appetizers to burgers, sandwiches, and healthy house salads!

6. Main Street Island Pub

Main Street Village, 1411 Main Street, Hilton Head Island

Phone: (843) 689-3999
Monday – Friday | 11:30 AM to 8 PM
Happy Hour | 4 PM to 8 PM
First come, first serve

Pub Menu

Looking for a cafe and pub all in one that your whole family will love? Try out Main Street Island Pub for traditional New American cuisine. Main Street Island pub offers everything from homemade soups and sandwiches to delicious beer and cocktails – indoor in the a/c or on the comfortable outdoor patio!

7. Hurricane Bar

Palmetto Bay Marina, 86 Helmsman Way, Hilton Head Island, SC 

Phone: (843) 785-4950
Monday – Friday | 11 AM to 10 PM
Saturday & Sunday | 10 AM to 10 PM
Daily Happy Hour | 4 PM to 7 PM
Seasonal Live Music | See the lineup HERE
First Come, First Serve for Outdoor Dining

Black Marlin Grill & Hurricane Bar Menus

Enjoy the taste of the Keys at The Black Marlin’s Hurricane Bar situated on the waterfront at Palmetto Bay Marina. There’s a 100% chance of ice-cold beverages in the forecast! Come by for your favorite ice cold beer, wine, or a world-famous frozen cocktail. Their signature drink, The Black Marlin Hurricane, is a must have – a delicious combo or passion fruit rum, amaretto, and exotic juices in a take-home souvenir glass.

8. The Dunes House

Palmetto Dunes Resort Area
14 Dune House Lane, Hilton Head Island

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

Food Menu | Drinks Menu

The Dunes House is the place to be in Palmetto Dunes for a cool cocktail, delicious food, and an oceanfront view. Enjoy classic frozen favorites like the Arnie Palmer and the Dunes House Screwdriver, or discover a new favorite cocktail like the Pirate’s Punch! The Dunes House is open to guests staying in Palmetto Dunes Resort Area only.

9. Poseidon

Shelter Cove Towne Center
38 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island

Phone: (843) 341-3838
Monday to Saturday | 11 AM to 10 PM
Sunday | 10 AM to 9 PM
Sunday Brunch | 10 AM
Daily Happy Hour | 4 PM to 7 PM

Rooftop Bar Hours: 
Sunday – Tuesday | 4 PM to 10 PM
Wednesday – Thursday | 4 PM to 12 AM
Friday – Saturday | 4 PM to 2 AM
Seasonal Live Music | See the lineup HERE!

Poseidon Brunch, Lunch & Dinner Menus

Poseidon, named after “the god of the sea,” has become the mid-island destination for the best dining, shopping, and entertainment. From fresh catch items to “Coast-to-Coast” entrees, experience the best selection of seafood, steaks, and cocktails! Pick from the amazing Oyster Raw Bar or the NautiBar, a covered outdoor bar overlooking Broad Creek, or dance the night away in the rooftop bar, open daily from 4 PM.

10. The Sandbar

Forest Beach Resort Area
Coligny Plaza, 101 Pope Avenue, Hilton Head Island

Phone: (843) 342-7263
Open Daily | 11:30 AM to 10 PM
Daily Happy Hour | 4 PM to 6 PMLive Entertainment | Daily 6 PM to 9 PM | See the lineup HERE!

The Sandbar Menus

Last but not least, The Sandbar Beach Eats is a top spot for warm hospitality and memorable food and drinks! This laidback bar is the perfect place to relax on a sunny patio after a day on Coligny beach, with beach snacks, southern seafood, or island style tacos and an ice cold cocktail in hand.


Wherever you find yourself on Hilton Head Island, you’re sure to find warm Southern hospitality, delicious local seafood, and hand-crafted cocktails just around the corner. The only thing more important than your food and beverage adventures around the island is where you’ll stay!

For 28 years, Sunset Rentals has understood that there are few things more precious than your time on vacation with friends and family. We are driven by the desire to make certain that your vacation is spent enjoying that time.

What’s Up With The History Of Lowcountry Cuisine?

The South Carolina Lowcountry is a coastal region well-loved for its lush landscapes, world-class golf courses, luxury beach communities, and the soulful flavors of classic Lowcountry cuisine. 

Traditional Lowcountry cuisine is more than just a collection of colorful recipes – it is a rich and vibrant cultural tradition that reflects the history, experiences, and cooking traditions of the Gullah-Geechee people, the West African slaves working the coastal plantations on the South Carolina sea islands. Read on to learn more about this rich history that is unique to this region!

Carolina Rice Plantations

It all began with the cultivation of long-grain rice in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Georgia. In the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, inland and tidal rice plantations covered thousands of acres of previous swamplands and the industry relied heavily on the expertise in rice cultivation and the slave labor of the West African Gullah-Geechee people. 

The West Africans came to America as slaves, bringing okra, collard greens, yams, cornmeal, and traditional spices into the country. Rice was the primary export from South Carolina and as the masters grew rich, slaves were fed the damaged leftover grains and began creating new, flavorful dishes to maintain their native cooking traditions. 

The warm coastal climate of the region allowed for a wide variety of vegetables to be grown and the massively stocked ocean and thriving estuary system provided an abundance of readily available fresh seafood including shrimp, fish, crabs, and wild oysters.

Hearty, One-Pot Stews

Simply, yet flavorful, rice-based one-pot stews were created, adding fresh vegetables, seafood, and traditional West African spices such as cumin, paprika, thyme, and Benne seeds which give the Lowcountry dishes their unique and distinctive flavor. Over the generations, Lowcountry cuisine has been heavily influenced by a diversity of cultures including Caribbean, Native American, English, French, and Spanish, making it a culinary melting pot of deep and diverse flavors.

Slow-Roasted Lowcountry Barbeque

Barbeque is the heart and soul of southern cuisine, and South Carolina claims to be the birthplace of this beloved tradition. One of the country’s oldest barbeque traditions, South Carolina’s style of slow-cooking whole hogs over wood dates back to the 1500s when the Spanish introduced the pig to the New World. The African-American slaves tended the pits for their masters adding their own signature barbeque flavors and the technique of adding sauce came later from the population of early German settlers in South Carolina.  

Classic Lowcountry Dishes

These styles of cooking have been passed down through generations and, today, Lowcountry cooking is a beloved and integral part of South Carolina’s rich culinary traditions. Whether you’re enjoying a plate of slow-smoked ribs at a local BBQ joint or savoring a bowl of seafood gumbo at a waterfront restaurant, the rich and flavorful dishes of southern barbeque and Lowcountry cooking are sure to delight the senses.

Red Rice: South Carolina red rice is a classic southern staple made with long-grain rice, tomatoes, onions, and a variety of spices. It’s a delicious and hearty side that pairs well with a variety of meats, seafood, and vegetables, making it a perfect addition to any meal. 

Lowcountry Boil: Lowcountry Boil, also known as Frogmore or Beaufort Stew, is a delicious blend of fresh-from-the-water shrimp, sausage, fresh corn, potatoes, and onions boiled in water with tasty creole spices. 

Shrimp & Grits: Shrimp and grits is a classic southern dish that combines creamy, buttery grits with plump, juicy shrimp and a variety of aromatic spices. This hearty meal is a staple of Lowcountry cuisine and is sure to satisfy your cravings for comfort food. 

She-Crab Soup: She-Crab soup is a creamy, bisque-like seafood soup made with a base of rich, velvety roux and flavored with sherry, crab meat, crab roe, and a variety of spices. This indulgent soup is the perfect way to warm up on a cold day. 

Hoppin’ John: Hoppin’ John is a staple on the southern table and is traditionally served on New Year’s Day as a symbol of good luck and prosperity for the coming year. This flavorful dish is made with fluffy rice, black-eyed peas, collard greens, and tender, slow-cooked pork. 

Gumbo: Lowcountry Gumbo is a thick hearty stew made from a variety of ingredients including stock, meat or seafood, celery, okra, bell peppers, onions, and added traditional spices. It’s the perfect blend of flavors and textures that is sure to satisfy your cravings for comfort food. The word “gumbo” is derived from the African word for okra.

Savor the Flavors on Hilton Head Island

Today, visitors to Hilton Head Island can experience the rich history and tradition of Lowcountry cuisine firsthand. With year-round Lowcountry farmers markets and over 250 restaurants on the island, Hilton Head is a top foodie destination brimming with the flavors of the Lowcountry. 

From traditional southern BBQ and casual seafood boils to luxury fine dining with a modern twist, there’s no shortage of delicious options to choose from on Hilton Head Island. Begin your Lowcountry culinary experience with our guide to “The Best Restaurants on Hilton Head Island”.

So why wait? Mark your calendar and join us for a celebration of the rich and flavorful dishes of South Carolina’s Lowcountry cuisine on Hilton Head Island. Check out these 9 Food Festivals Not To Miss Near Hilton Head, SC

Experience Lowcountry Living!

Welcome to the ultimate Lowcountry culinary experience! On Hilton Head Island, you can indulge in the local flavors and traditions of the region while enjoying all the comforts of a luxurious vacation rental home. From gourmet kitchens stocked with top-of-the-line appliances to outdoor BBQs perfect for grilling up fresh seafood and Lowcountry veggies, you’ll have everything you need to cook like a true local in our selection of Hilton Head Island vacation homes. 

Start planning your next Hilton Head Island beach vacation with Sunset Rentals today! Browse our collection of 1-7 bedroom vacation homes and villas, book with confidence and ease online, or give our team a call at (843) 785-6767

We know the best places to stay, play, and feast on Hilton Head Island!

Top 5 Resort Areas On Hilton Head Island

Whether you’re a beach lover, a golf fanatic, or an outdoor and nature enthusiast, the beautiful island of Hilton Head has something for everyone. From sunny white sand beaches, sparkling Atlantic Ocean waves, and Lowcountry waterways, to the lush fairways of world-class golf courses and miles of nature trails, Hilton Head Island has it all. 

When you need a break from all the fun in the sun, there’s no shortage of delicious restaurants, lively bars, charming shops, and low-key attractions to explore. So come join us on this pet-friendly paradise island – we can’t wait to show you all the amazing things Hilton Head has to offer! 

Ready to experience the ultimate beach vacation in Hilton Head, SC? Sunset Rentals have a collection of 220+ rental properties on Hilton Head Island with a variety of options to choose from! Hilton Head Island is divided into gated communities, known as plantations or resort areas, each with its own unique Lowcountry charm, attractions, and selection of vacation villas, coastal condos, and luxury private homes. 

If you’re wondering where to stay on Hilton Head Island to suit your travel style, our team at Sunset Rentals has compiled a breakdown of the top resort areas in Hilton Head – highlighting the attractions and best places to stay in each Hilton Head neighborhood. View our Hilton Head Island maps while you read on!


Known as the “Hilton Head Hot Spot” downtown Forest Beach is a vibrant, oceanfront neighborhood centered around bustling Coligny Plaza and three miles of award-winning white sand beaches at Coligny Beach Park. A vacation in Forest Beach puts you in the heart of the action with rental properties within walking distance to the beach and some of the island’s best shopping, restaurants, tiki bars, and nightlife. Coligny Beach Park boasts top-notch amenities for a beach day including wheelchair access, beach gear rentals, shaded gazebos, and a beautiful boardwalk for walking or biking.    

Aside from countless activities on your doorstep, you’re centrally located to explore all the attractions on Hilton Head Island, and the seasonal Breeze Trolley makes it easy to get around the island.


Situated on the southern tip of Hilton Head Island, the Sea Pines Resort area is the original and largest plantation on the island encompassing 5,000 acres of spectacular beauty and historical Lowcountry charm. Sea Pines is ranked among the top resorts in America and with endless attractions, water activities, and family-focused events, Sea Pines is a top choice for families visiting Hilton Head. 

Sea Pines borders the Atlantic Ocean and Calibogue Sound with 5 miles of beaches to soak up the sun, paved trails for walking or biking, and endless things to do for the whole family. Sports enthusiasts have a choice of three championship courses, Heron Point, Atlantic Dunes, and the famous Harbour Town Golf Links, home of the annual RBC Heritage, South Carolina’s only PGA Tour. If tennis is your game, the Sea Pines Racquet Club is one of the top tennis facilities in the country! 

Nature lovers will find themselves drawn to the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, a wildlife habitat with trails winding through the wetlands, lagoons and fishing docks, and a wide choice of dolphin watching and eco-tours to experience the history and beauty of Hilton Head Island. 

Harbour Town is a top Hilton Head Island attraction and another great reason to stay in the Sea Pines Resort area. Climb the iconic candy cane Harbour Town Lighthouse, take a dolphin tour or cruise from the marina, and enjoy some of the best shopping and waterfront restaurants on Hilton Head Island only a short walk, bike ride, or Sea Pines trolley trip from your vacation home.


Situated on 2,000 acres in the heart of Hilton Head Island, Palmetto Dunes is an oceanfront haven with something for everyone! Guests have easy access to three miles of beautiful beaches, a lush 11-mile lagoon system for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing, and shaded biking trails through quiet streets lined with ancient oaks and towering palmetto palms.   

Stay active with a round of golf on the George Fazio Golf Course, Arthur Hills Golf Course, or oceanfront on the Robert Trent Jones Course with one of only two oceanfront holes on Hilton Head. For a round of racquet sports, the award-winning Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center is ranked among the top tennis centers in the world.   

In the local Palmetto Dunes neighborhood, you’ll find golf club dining, and oceanfront dining at Dunes House and Sonesta Resort, or hop on your bike or the Palmetto Dunes Buggy to Hilton Head Island’s premier waterfront destination, Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina. Palmetto Dunes proximity to Shelter Cove is one of the many reasons our guests choose to stay here. Shelter Cove has some of the best water activities and tours on the island, with an excellent selection of shops, bars, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.


Nestled between Sea Pines and Palmetto Dunes near Coligny Plaza, Shipyard is the second plantation developed on the island and, at only 800 acres, comes in as the smallest of the Hilton Head resort areas. The Shipyard resort area of Hilton Head is like a tiny slice of heaven, a naturistic plantation with quiet neighborhoods, tranquil oak-lined trails, award-winning golf courses, and lagoons abounding in wildlife and birdlife, along with the Lowcountry charm of a bygone era. 

Most of the resort area encompasses the championship courts of the Van Der Meer Tennis Center and the fairways of the Shipyard Golf Club featuring 27 holes of championship golf on the Clipper Course, Galleon Course, and Brigantine Course. Oceanfront, you’ll find the Shipyard Beach Club with an oceanfront bar, deck, and boardwalk leading to a wide stretch of beach, and The Sonesta Resort for shopping, dining, and live entertainment.


Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Port Royal Sound on the northern curve of Hilton Head lies the historic neighborhood of Port Royal. Port Royal was the first landmass sighted by Captain William Hilton and is a quieter and older neighborhood with a rich history, natural beauty, family-friendly beaches, and one of the most exotic golf courses in the world! 

Built atop former Civil War grounds and named one of the “Top Exotic Golf Courses in the World”, the Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club offers a unique (and challenging!) round of golf on the Barony and Robber’s Row Course, along with FootGolf for all ages, and world-class courts for pickleball and tennis. 

For fun in the sun, the Port Royal Plantation has 19 beach access paths leading to the secluded shoreline of Port Royal Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Port Royal’s beach access takes you to one of the best stretches of beach on Hilton Head – Islander Beach Park and neighboring Folly Field Beach, “the locals’ beach”.   Port Royal is away from the crowds, there’s a small selection of golf and resort dining, and the seasonal Breeze Trolley has regular mid-island stops from the Westin Hotel and Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club to connect to the other resort areas of Hilton Head Island.

Locally serving Hilton Head since 1993, Sunset Rentals take pride in ensuring first-class service for an exceptional vacation experience. Our Sunset Package allows you to book a home with confidence and ease, our local team is available to help you plan your trip, and our bike & beach gear program gives you credit on beach gear, bike rentals, water sports rentals, and so much more! Book online or call our team today at (843) 785-6767.

10 Remote Work Hotspots on Hilton Head Island 

The laid back Lowcountry lifestyle on the South Carolina coastline naturally blurs the lines between business, life, and leisure! Here on Hilton Head Island, you can trade your suits and ties for flip flops and tees, your daily commute for a bike ride, and your home office for an oceanfront retreat on the award-winning shoreline of “America’s Favorite Island”. 

On Hilton Head, it’s easy to embrace our luxurious laid-back lifestyle while staying connected, managing your workload, hitting the links, taking time out with family and friends, and soaking up the sun on miles of unspoiled Atlantic beaches – our beaches are dog-friendly too! If you’re dreaming of a coastal getaway where work meets wanderlust, come to Hilton Head Island! 

Here are 10 remote work hotspots on Hilton Head Island for snowbirds, digital nomads, freelancers, and professionals to find a desk in paradise! 

10 Best Co-Working SPaces on Hilton Head

1. Coligny Beach Park

Neighborhood: Forest Beach
Location: 1 Coligny Circle, Hilton Head Island

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Located at the south end of the island, Coligny Beach Park offers all the amenities you need to work from the beach on Hilton Head Island! Whether you prefer a shaded spot under the trees, a sun-drenched picnic table with ocean views, or a salty sea breeze near the shoreline, you’ll find it at Coligny Beach Park along with free public parking, bike racks, restrooms, and free WiFi to connect for work! With seasonal lifeguards, your family can play safely on the beach while you work on your to-do list. Craving a snack or a change of work vibe, Coligny Plaza has an amazing selection of restaurants, casual cafés, or tropical tiki bars for a sunset cocktail – you can always hop on the seasonal Breeze Trolley back to your Hilton Head home.  

2. Harbour Links Golf Course

Neighborhood: Sea Pines
Location: 11 Lighthouse Lane, Hilton Head Island
Phone: (843) 842-1904

Hours: Daily 7 AM to 6:30 PM

If mixing business with pleasure means long hours on the fairways, you can play in the footsteps of legends and work remote from the Harbour Links Golf Course in Hilton Head’s Sea Pines resort area. Overlooking the 9th Green, the Harbour Town Clubhouse has meeting rooms, event spaces, an on-site business center, and quiet areas to conduct business. For a casual alternative, reserve a table on the scenic patio at Links, An American Grill open daily for breakfast, lunch, or dinner paired with a tee time and remote work session. Click HERE to book tee times at the famed Harbour Town Golf Links. 

3. Harbour Town Bakery & Café

Resort Area: Sea Pines
Location: 140 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head Island
Phone: (843) 363-8190

Breakfast: 7am-2:30pm
Lunch: 11:30am-2:30pm

The Harbour Town Bakery & Café is a much-loved local coffee shop in the heart of Harbour Town Marina on the south end of the island. Choose from café style seating (and A/C!) indoors, a quaint Lowcountry porch, or outdoor patio seating under the live oaks for an all-day breakfast or light lunch while you clock in for some work hours! If the kids are in tow, Harbour Town is a haven for family fun – boating, watersports, fishing charters, sightseeing cruises, live music, events under the famed Liberty Oak, and the Greg Russell Playground for hours of entertainment! Harbour Town Marina is a free WiFi hotspot on Hilton Head, so you can always find a peaceful place to work with views on the bench seating around the Yacht Basin & Marina.

4. Barnes & Noble

Neighborhood: Port Royal
Location: Indigo Run, 20 Hattan Place, Hilton Head Island
Phone: (843) 342-6690

Monday – Saturday 9 AM to 9 PM
Sunday 10 AM to 7 PM

Nothing beats the ambiance and aroma of a bookshop for a calm and controlled work environment! Situated on the north end of the island at Indigo Park, Hilton Head’s Barnes & Noble has a small café area with a selection of sandwiches and sweet treats to snack on, hot and cold beverages, and free WiFi to work. 

5. Corner Perk

Neighborhood: North End near the Port Royal Resort Area
Location: 45 Pembroke Dr, Hilton Head Island
Phone: (843) 304-5363

Hours: Daily 7 AM to 3 PM

The Corner Perk, a beloved Old Town Bluffton brunch café, has another location nearby in Festival Center at Indigo Park on the north end of Hilton Head Island. The space has casual lounge areas with sofas, café tables, and booths indoors with covered seating for a dose of fresh air outdoors. The Corner Perk is “more than a coffee shop”, it’s a social hub for locals and visitors where first dates flourish, new friends are found, deals are sealed, and crazy good coffees serves a cause! Their breakfast skillets will have you back twice!

6. Hilton Head Public Library

Neighborhood: North End near the Port Royal Resort Area
Location: 11 Beach City Road, Hilton Head Island
Phone: (843) 255-6500

Monday – Thursday 9 AM to 7 PM
Friday – Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM
Closed Sunday

The Hilton Head Public Library, one of five branches of the Beaufort County Library, is located on Beach City Road on the north end of the island. The library features a bookstore, a children’s area for the little ones, a cozy South Carolina reading room with an extensive business collection, and a peaceful outdoor garden with benches. If you need public computers, printing and photocopying services, and free WiFi on Hilton Head – this is the remote workspace for you! You can even reserve a meeting room while traveling as a team.

7. Starbucks

Location: 18 Pope Avenue, Hilton Head Island
Hours: 6 AM to 8 PM

Location: Shelter Cove, 24 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island
Hours: Daily 6 AM to 8 PM

Location: Island Crossing, 11 Palmetto Bay Rd, Hilton Head Island
Hours: Daily 7 AM to 6 PM

Location: Harris Teeter Hilton Head, 301 Main Street, Hilton Head Island
Hours: 7 AM to 7 PM

Location: Sea Turtle Market Place, 416 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island
Hours: Daily 6 AM to 8 PM

If you can’t start your day without a Starbucks, you’re spoilt for choice on Hilton Head Island. There are several Starbucks locations on the island sustainably designed around the Lowcountry landscapes – an all-new Starbucks on Pope Avenue, and Starbucks coffee shops at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, Sea Turtle Marketplace, and Island Crossing with peaceful patios and free WiFi to work while savoring your Starbucks fix.

8. Hilton Head Social Bakery

Location: 17 Harbourside Lane, Hilton Head Island
Phone: (843) 715-3349
Wednesday – Saturday 8 AM to 9 PM 
Sunday 8 AM to 4 PM
Closed Monday & Tuesday

Location: 1018 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head
Phone: (843) 715-2598
Wednesday – Saturday 8 AM to 6 PM 
Sunday 8 AM to 4 PM
Closed Monday & Tuesday

Inspired by the blissful aroma of fresh French pastries? The Hilton Head Social Bakery is Hilton Head’s favorite local bakery with two warm and welcoming locations on the island – waterfront at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina and a second space in the former Dairy Queen building near Sea Pines Circle. Both locations are pet-friendly with indoor and outdoor seating, free WiFi, organic fair-trade coffees and teas, and tempting French breads and pastries by award-winning owner and chef Philippe Feret.

9. Skull Creek Dockside & Skull Creek Boathouse

Location: Hudson Road, Hilton Head Island 

Skull Creek Dockside:
Phone: (843) 785-3625
Monday – Saturday 11 AM to 10 PM
Sunday 10 AM to 10 PM 
Daily Happy Hour 4 PM to 7 PM 

Skull Creek Boathouse: 
Phone: (843) 681-3663
Monday – Thursday 11 Am to 9 PM
Friday – Saturday 11 AM to 10 PM
Sunday 10 AM to 9 PM 
Daily Happy Hour 4 PM to 7 PM

If your job involves more socializing than spreadsheets, why not network from two of Hilton Head’s landmark waterfront restaurants? Skull Creek Dockside & Skull Creek Boathouse both bring the same laid-back, relaxed atmosphere with waterfront patios, outdoor bars, happy hours, live music, lawn games, breathtaking views, and free WiFi hotspots to stay connected. Did we mention award-winning Lowcountry cuisine and seafood? Neither locations take reservations, so plan to wait – or wander between the two “coworking” spaces making new connections.

10. Serene Workspaces with Sunset Rentals

Browse our Sunset Rentals by Location: 
Hilton Head Island Maps
Sea Pines
Forest Beach
Palmetto Dunes
Port Royal

What if working from home comes with elegant interiors, a private pool and spa, uninterrupted ocean views, and the soothing sounds of the Atlantic Ocean as your daily companion? At Sunset Rentals we’ve curated a collection of homes on Hilton Head Island that redefine the way you work! Whether your work setup requires a formal office space, hammock chair, or a poolside perch while the kids play, finding your ideal remote workspace on Hilton Head has never been easier – pick a property with Vayk bike & beach gear credit and get all your bikes, beach gear, and water sports gear delivered for free!

Stay with Sunset Rentals

Whether you’re simply networking or negotiating a million-dollar deal, trust Sunset Rentals with your remote workcation on Hilton Head Island. Locally serving Hilton Head since 1993, our team takes pride in offering the most trusted vacation rentals on Hilton Head to work from home with warm southern hospitality and first-class service every step of the way. 

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

Why Spend Summer Vacation On Hilton Head Island?

It’s never too early to start planning a summer vacation and it gives the family something wonderful to look forward to all winter! Hilton Head Island is a dream-worthy vacation destination with warm South Carolina sunshine, endless stretches of sandy beaches, tranquil waterways and nature preserves abounding in wildlife, and beautiful beach rentals to call home for a quick weekend getaway or the whole summer season

Start planning your summer vacation on Hilton Head Island today with Sunset Rentals. Locally serving visitors to the island since 1993, we know the best places to stay and play on Hilton Head Island.

Hilton Head Island Activities

Wherever you choose to stay on Hilton Head Island you’re never far from the ocean and the endless activities and attractions on offer. During peak summer seasons the tours, activities, and attractions on Hilton Head are in high demand, so get the most out of your trip by planning ahead. 

Many of our Hilton Head Island vacation rentals include complimentary bike and beach gear credit from Vayk Gear up to the value of $350! This program gives you credit on top-quality gear delivered on arrival and picked up on departure. Planning your Hilton Head Island activities is hassle-free when you vacation with Sunset Rentals.

1. Beach Days

Hilton Head Island boasts 12 miles of picture-perfect Atlantic beaches with golden sands, gentle waters, and great amenities for a family beach day. From the hustle and bustle of Coligny Beach to the quieter shorelines of Port Royal, there is a stretch of sand and oceanfront rental for every beach lover (and your pooch!)

2. Bike Rides

With 60 miles of paved bike trails (and heavy summer traffic!) biking is the best way to get around Hilton Head Island – book your Vayk bike rentals in advance. Plan for lots of family bike rides to and on the beach, around the resort areas, and exploring the natural beauty of the island off the beaten path.

3. Golf & Tennis

Hilton Head Island is one of the premier tennis and golf destinations in the US so be sure to book your tee times and courts well in advance for the summer season. Boasting two dozen golf courses, including the internationally renowned Harbour Town Golf Links, more than 500 tennis courts, and luxury rentals just steps away, Hilton Head is a haven for sports enthusiasts. 

4. Horse Trail Rides

The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a 600+ acre wildlife habitat and our favorite place to get lost in nature on Hilton Head Island. Tranquil trails and boardwalks wind through the forest with lagoons for fishing, eco-adventures of all kinds, and Shetland pony and horse trail rides with Lawton Stables. It’s a wonderful way to experience nature, view wildlife, and reconnect with nature.

5. Ziplining

The Zipline Hilton Head and Aerial Adventure Hilton Head tours over Broad Creek are rated among the best things to do in Hilton Head. The two-hour canopy tours feature 8 interconnected ziplines through the forests and 6 different ability courses with 50 challenge activities – a fun day out for the whole family (ages 5 and up).

6. Coastal Discovery Museum

The Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn is a must-do on Hilton Head Island for every visitor. The breathtaking grounds feature historical buildings, butterfly gardens, trails through live oaks, and things to do for every age group. The museum depicts the rich Gullah heritage of Hilton Head and offers guided tours of every kind on water and land allowing visitors to experience the history, wildlife, and natural beauty of Hilton Head Island.

7. Water Activities

Whether you prefer to take a guided tour or reserve your Vayk gear and adventure the ocean and waterways alone, the ultimate summer vacation on HHI requires getting on the water. From paddle tours and dolphin discoveries to parasailing, party fishing boats, and pirate cruises, there are water activities of every kind on Hilton Head Island – but don’t leave your plans to the last minute!

8. Kids Camps

Summer on Hilton Head Island is a perfect paradise for kids! Endless playtime on safe lifeguarded beaches, family activities galore at Shelter Cove, Harbour Town, and Coligny Plaza, and epic adventure camps to learn new skills, make new friends, and give mom and dad quiet time. Outside Hilton Head is the top activity provider on the island with summer day camps for kids and teens, and guided activities for the whole family.

9. Rainy Day Activities

It’s always smart to plan for the possibility of a rainy summer day! Our private Hilton Head vacation homes feature all the home comforts for a rainy day and there’s plenty of things to do indoors on Hilton Head Island – the Sandbox Museum, The Art Café, Adventure Cove Arcade, Coastal Discovery Museum, shopping malls, movie theaters, and luxurious spas to relax and unwind.   

10. Lowcountry Day Trips

Hilton Head Island is situated in close proximity to some of the most exciting and beautiful destinations in South Carolina. Schedule time in your vacation itinerary for a Lowcountry day trip to explore the nearby towns and islands full of southern charm and culture, quaint historic districts, and miles of coastal beaches.

11. Dining, Drinking & Dancing

With a choice of over 250 bars and restaurants, classic Lowcountry farmers markets, and amazing culinary events, you’ll have loads of fun planning your dining, drinking, and dancing on Hilton Head. Savor the freshest local seafood on the docks, spoil your loved one with a sunset alfresco dinner cruise on the Spirit of Harbour Town, dance with the kids under the Liberty Oak, or dance the night away at an oceanfront tiki bar.

Where to Stay on Hilton Head Island?

One of the first steps to planning the ultimate summer vacation is deciding where to stay on Hilton Head. Hilton Head Island is divided into unique resort communities each with its own lifestyle, tourist attractions, outdoor activities, and fully-equipped summer vacation rentals for every style, size, and budget.

  • Forest Beach Attractions: Hilton Head’s downtown area, Coligny Plaza, Coligny Beach Park, Adventure Playground, more than 100 shops & restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and miles of award-winning beaches. 
  • Shipyard Attractions: Private beach access at Shipyard Beach Club, Sonesta Resort, Shipyard Golf Club, Van der Meer Tennis Complex, close to Coligny Plaza & Beach Park.   
  • Sea Pines Attractions: Harbour Town Lighthouse & Marina, South Beach Village & Marina, Sea Pines Forest Preserve, Harbour Town Golf Links, Heron Point Golf Course, Atlantic Dunes Golf Course, Sea Pines Racquet Club, Lawton Stables, 5 miles of beaches. 
  • Palmetto Dunes Attractions: Dunes House, George Fazio Golf Course, Arthur Hills Golf Course, Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course, Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center, near Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, 3 miles of beachfront, 11-mile lagoon system.   
  • Port Royal Attractions: Away from the crowds, beach access at Islander Beach Park, Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club, Port Royal Arboretum, and miles of scenic trails.

Summer Homes from Sunset Rentals

Summer rentals on Hilton Head Island sell out fast! Get ahead of the curve and find the ultimate summer vacation rental with Sunset Rentals. Our Sunset Package offers a 48-hour worry-free guarantee and flexible cancellation policy allowing you to book your Hilton Head summer vacation early with confidence and ease. Browse our Hilton Head Island rentals online or call our on-island team at 843-785-6767.

Top Dog-Friendly Restaurants Near Sea Pines Resort

Our team at Sunset Rentals has put together the ultimate guide to dog-friendly restaurants on Hilton Head Island. We’ve even taken it a step further so you can discover the best places to take your dog to dinner near your Hilton Head Island vacation rental. This month, we highlight the best dog-friendly restaurants near Sea Pines Resort.

Traveling from the Sea Pines Circle down to Hilton Head’s iconic Harbour Town, pet parents have a wide variety of dog-friendly patios and outdoor cafés to choose from, including some of Hilton Head’s best restaurants! From hearty breakfasts to fine dining with panoramic views of Calibogue Sound, here’s our list of dog-friendly restaurants near Sea Pines Resort

Top Dog-Friendly Restaurants: Sea Pines Resort

1. Bad Biscuit 

The Warehouse
19 Dunnagans Alley, Hilton Head, SC  
Phone: (843) 785-2323

Open Daily | 8 AM to 2 PM
First Come, First Serve

Bad Biscuits & Brunch Menu

Bad Biscuit is the Hilton Head breakfast hotspot for classic Lowcountry and Southern dishes with a rebellious twist! A sister restaurant of A Lowcountry Backyard, Bad Biscuits is fun and funky with all day breakfast options including “bad to the bone” biscuits with tasty toppings (keto options available!), Bombdiggity bowls, and take & bake biscuits to grab n’ go and heat n’ eat in the comfort of your Hilton Head Island vacation home!

2. British Open Pub 

Village at Wexford, 
1000 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head, SC  
Phone: (843) 686-6736

Monday | 4 PM to 9 PM 
Tuesday – Saturday | 11 AM to 9 PM
Sunday | 9 AM to 9 PM 
Saturday Brunch | 11 AM to 2 PM 
Sunday Brunch | 9 AM to 2 PM 
First Come, First Serve

Hilton Head Menu

Fido will love the authentic British pub fare and fine ales at the British Open Pub, Hilton Head’s first true golfers club “where the pros play”! Voted “Best Bar & Tavern”, “Best Restaurant”, “Best Fish & Chips”, and “Best Burger” on Hilton Head Island, the British Open Pub will happily welcome Fido on the outdoor patio. 

3. Captain Woody’s 

6 Target Road, Hilton Head, SC  
Phone: (843) 785-2400

Monday – Saturday | 11 AM to 9 PM 
Daily Happy Hour | 4 PM to 7 PM 
First Come, First Serve

Lunch & Dinner | Happy Hour | Kids Menu

The dog-friendly deck and patio at Captain Woody’s is always a favorite with pet parents! This casual seafood spot also serves up great burgers and steaks, awesome nachos, and specialty drinks Captain Woody’s way. Come for lunch – stay for happy hour and live music, daily!

4. Charbar Co. Burgers & Sushi 

Park Plaza Shopping Center
33 Office Park Road, Hilton Head, SC  
Phone: (843) 785-2427

Open Daily | 11:30 AM to 9 PM
Daily Happy Hour | 4 PM to 7 PM 
First Come, First Serve

Charbar Co. Menu

Described as “burger bliss and a sanctuary of sushi”, Charbar Co.’s signature “build and create” menu of award-winning gourmet burgers, sandwiches, salads, and sushi is sure to delight. The relaxing outdoor setting is perfect for happy hour, alfresco dining, or late night live music in the summer season with Fido,

5. CQ’s Restaurant 

Harbour Town  
140 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head, SC
Phone: (843) 671-2779

Open Daily | 5 PM to 9 PM
Reservations required

Dinner Menu | Kids Menu

Yes, you can enjoy dog-friendly fine dining on Hilton Head Island! Situated in Harbour Town’s first building, CQ’s Restaurant has been a Hilton Head Island tradition since 1973!  Reserve a table on the pet-friendly patio for signature Lowcountry specialties and delectable desserts paired with an exceptional wine list, hand-crafted cocktails, or mocktails for the driver!

6. The Crazy Crab 

Harbour Town  
149 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head, SC
Phone: (843) 363-2722

Open Daily | 11 AM to 9 PM

Harbour Town Menus

Spectacular waterfront dining at Harbour Town Marina. Famous Snow Crab Legs, what’s not to love?! The crazy crab patio happily welcomes your well-behaved dog.

7. Giuseppi’s Pizza 

The Shops at Sea Pines Center  
71 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head, SC
Phone: (843) 671-5133

Monday – Saturday | 11 AM to 9 PM
Sunday | 5 PM to 9 PM
First Come, First Serve

Giuseppi’s Menu

#1 pizza on Hilton Head for over 43 years, family-owned and operated, handcrafted pizzas, pies, calzones, sand wedges, and beach wraps. Cozy covered patio,

8. Harbour Town Bakery & Café 

Harbour Town  
140 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head, SC
Phone: (843) 363-8190

Daily Breakfast | 7 AM to 2:30 PM
Daily Lunch | 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
First Come, First Serve

Bakery & Cafe Menu

Breakfast and lunch, specialty coffees, baked pastries, old-world charm, locals and welcome, teas and coffees, kids menu, gluten-free, healthy options. Come try this local’s favorite today!

9. Harbourside 

Harbour Town 
147 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head, SC
Phone: (843) 842-1444

Open Daily | 11:30 AM to 9 PM 
Seasonal Live Music | 4 PM to 7 PM
First Come, First Serve

Harbourside Menu

Casual outdoor dining, lunch and dinner, great views, signature cocktails, kids menu, frozen tropical cocktails, wines from Sea Pines Resort Private Label.


If you’re still on the hunt for the pawfect dog-friendly vacation home on Hilton Head Island, you’re in the right place! Our collection of Hilton Head Island vacation rentals includes a wide selection of pet-friendly rentals in the top neighborhoods of Hilton Head Island.

Start browsing online or call our team at (843) 785-6767 to find a private paradise for you and your pet on Hilton Head.    

Hilton Head Winter Events Calendar ’23/’24

Hilton Head Island has long been celebrated as a destination where pristine beaches, world-class golf courses, and a welcoming family-friendly atmosphere blend seamlessly. But, Hilton Head is America’s favorite island year-round and doesn’t only shine in the summer season! 

If this is the white Christmas you’re dreaming of this year, trade in white snow for white sandy beaches on Hilton Head Island this holiday season. From sunny beaches, world-class golf, and outdoor adventures in nature to alfresco oceanfront dining, one-of-a-kind shopping, and coastal homes for the holidays, Hilton Head Island offers a smorgasbord of fun to celebrate the holiday season.

From winter markets, cultural celebrations, and unique culinary experiences to heartwarming holiday traditions, we invite you to embrace the winter season in true Lowcountry style on Hilton Head Island. 

Whether you’re seeking private access to miles of uncrowded beaches, heated pools, spacious gourmet kitchens to host family feasts – or a combination of it all – you’ll find your coastal home for the holidays and peace of mind with Sunset Rentals. 



Date: November 24, 2023 – January 1, 2024
Time: All Day
Location: 160 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head
Cost: Free!

The iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse shines even brighter during the holiday season! Get in the holiday spirit with a stroll along the waterfront at Sea Pines adorned with festive décor, thousands of twinkling lights, and eateries to sit down and soak up the views. The official tree lighting takes place on November 24th at the Gregg Russell Thanksgiving Concert, and the festivities end with the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop on December 31st.

The Harbour Town Lights at Sea Pines Resort is Hilton Head’s favorite holiday tradition. Take a stroll around the harbour illuminated with dazzling holiday light displays, glowing Santas and snowmen, a towering 30-ft Christmas tree, and stores decked out in holiday décor for Christmas shopping. Make a difference this holiday season by donating canned goods or new toys to the Deep Well Project – simply drop them in the well by the Liberty Oak Stage.


Date: December 1 – December 31, 2023
Time: 5 PM
Location: 1 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head
Cost: Free!

The holiday lights at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina are a must-see during your winter vacation on Hilton Head. As the sun sets, the harbour transforms into a colorful coastal winter wonderland with brightly lit boats, local holiday shopping, and waterfront restaurants along the marina.

Local’s Tip: Reservations are always recommended for dinner.

Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina is beautifully lit with over 100,000 holiday lights, brightly decorated boats in the marina, and waterfront shops and restaurants adorned in festive décor. Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade to soak up the sights and be sure to stop by Francesca’s at Shelter Cove Town Center for a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.


Date: Weekly on Saturday
Time: 9 AM – 12 PM
Location: 39 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head
Cost: Free!

Start your winter adventures with a stroll through the Hilton Head Community Market at Shelter Cove Community Park. Browse and shop an array of handcrafted goods, locally sourced produce, and unique artisanal creations.


Date: Weekly on Tuesday
Time: 9 AM to 1 PM
Location: 70 Honey Horn Dr, Hilton Head
Cost: Free!

The Hilton Head Farmers Market at the Coastal Discovery Museum is a quintessential Lowcountry experience. Here, you can wander through rows of colorful market stalls, stroll around the Museum’s majestic 68-acre property, discover the island’s rich Gullah culture, or book a tour to explore Hilton Head Island, on land or water!  


Date: Weekly on Tuesday
Time: 3 PM – 5 PM
Location: 9 Palmetto Bay Rd, Hilton Head
Cost: Between $25-$30 per person, food not included!

Tasty Tuesday at Roller Wine & Spirits invites wine enthusiasts and novices alike to sample a carefully curated selection of wines, led by expert sommeliers and often the winemakers themselves! Call (843) 842-1200 or book online.


Date: Weekly on Sunday until February 11, 2024
Time: 1 PM – 4 PM
Location: 100 N Sea Pines Dr, Hilton Head

Fraser’s Tavern in Sea Pines transforms into a sports lover’s paradise during NFL football season. With large screens broadcasting the games, a menu packed with game-day favorites, and a lively atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to cheer on your team for game day on Hilton Head Island.

* Please note guests staying outside of the Sea Pines Resort area are required to pay a $9 cash entry fee per vehicle at the Greenwood Gate or Ocean Gate into Sea Pines.


Date: Weekly on Saturday until February 24, 2024
Time: 1 PM – 4 PM
Location: 87 N Sea Pines Dr, Hilton Head 

– Bucket of oysters: $27
– Peel-and-eat shrimp: half pound $16 half pound, pound $29

The Oyster Roasts at Coast in Sea Pines deliver a genuine taste of Lowcountry cuisine! Indulge in freshly roasted local oysters and peel-and-eat shrimp by the bucket complemented by stunning oceanfront views and laid-back island vibes!  


December 4 Super Tuscan vs Bordeaux
December 15 Pahlmeyer Wine Dinner
December 18 NYE Bubbly
January 18 Larry O’Brien Wine Dinner
February 8 – Honig Vineyards Wine Dinner
February 12 Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Immersion

Location: 11 Lighthouse Lane, Hilton Head
Cost: View ticket pricing and availability HERE

Elevate your Hilton Head winter vacation with a unique dining experience on the iconic Harbour Town Golf Links. Links, an American Grill hosts casual wine tastings with expert Sommeliers and  intimate wine dinners featuring five course menus paired with fine wines. Limited seating is available so book well in advance.


Date: Weekly from Monday to Saturday
Time: Click HERE for real-time availability
Location: 14 Cardinal Rd, Hilton Head 

– Distillery Tours: $35 per person
– Cocktail Classes: $95 per person
– Holiday Cocktails & Cookies Class (12/6 & 12/13): $125 per person
** Pricing is subject to change

At Hilton Head Distillery, you’ll embark on an immersive journey through the art of distillation. Tour the production facilities, sample the distillery’s signature spirits, book a cocktail class with a master mixologist, or simply drop in for a drink. Non-alcoholic options are also available.


Date: December 8, 2023
Time: 4 PM – 7 PM
Location: 39 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head
Cost: Free!

Bring the whole family for a day of festive fun at Winter Wonderland at Shelter Cove Park. This one day event features carnival games, candy cane huts, inflatables, live DJs, and a festive children’s parade to celebrate the season. Admission is free with food, drinks, and some paid family activities available too!


Date: December 9, 2023
Time: 6 PM – 8 PM
Location: Click HERE for the parade route
Cost: Free!

Deck the Hulls is a beloved Hilton Head tradition where beautifully decorated boats glide along the shoreline of Skull Creek. The parade starts at Safe Harbor Skull Creek Marina and ends at Hilton Head Harbor RV. There are many waterfront restaurants to reserve a front row seat to the Deck the Hulls Christmas Boat Parade.


Date: December 10, 2023
Time: Two seatings at 10:15 AM and 12 PM
Location: 76 Queens Folly Road, Hilton Head
Cost: $43 for adults and $25 for kids

Bring your wish list to the annual Brunch with Santa at Alexander’s Restaurant in Palmetto Dunes. Tuck into a tasty breakfast brunch and delicious holiday desserts, take a family photo with Santa fireside, and bring along an unwrapped gift to support the local Deep Well Project on Hilton Head.

Local’s Tip: Book online or call (866) 921-6639 for reservations.


Date: December 14, 2023
Time: 6 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: 76 Queens Folly Road, Hilton Head
Cost: $135 per person

Alexander’s Wine Dinners pair a specialty crafted multi-course dinner with award-winning wines in an elegant ambiance. Enjoy the chef’s finest creations while exploring the timeless craftsmanship of Freemark Abbey wines sourced from the Napa Valley.

Local’s Tip: Book online or call (866) 921-6639 for reservations.


Date: December 16, 2023
Time: 1 PM – 2:15 PM
Location: Heritage Farms, Hilton Head

Delight the kids with a Sea Pines Forest Preserve wagon ride! Climb aboard the Polar Pines Express Holiday Wagon Ride for a narrated journey to the North Pole. This festive ride through Sea Pines Forest features storytelling, holiday songs, crafts, activities, hot chocolate, and heartwarming memories of your holiday happenings on Hilton Head Island.


Date: December 17, 2023
Time: 2 PM – 3 PM
Location: 76 Queens Folly Road, Hilton Head
Cost: $25 per person

Learn the rich culinary traditions and deep history of Lowcountry cooking with Alexander’s Executive Chef Charles Pejeau and his culinary team. This event covers the art of preparing a traditional Southern New Year’s Day “good luck brunch” of skillet cornbread and potlikker, a quintessential Southern dish.


Date: December 23, 2023
Time: 7:30 PM – 9 PM
Location: 147 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head
Cost: Free!

Gather friends and family under the iconic Liberty Oak for a spirit holiday performance by acclaimed Hilton Head entertainer Gregg Russell. This heartwarming Hilton Head tradition is filled with festive tunes, sing-alongs, and hilarious humor with a special visit from Santa Claus for the kids.


Date: December 27-28, 2024
Time: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Location: 147 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head
Cost: Free! Train rides $6

The festive fun in Harbour Town extends beyond the holiday lights! Enjoy a day of rest after Christmas then head to Holiday Fun in Harbour Town for two days of holiday movies, marshmallow roasting, family activities, and train rides around Hilton Head’s most famous marina. Entry is free with the donation of a canned food item.


Date: December 29, 2024
Time: 2 PM – 3:30 PM
Location: 87 N Sea Pines Dr, Hilton Head
Cost: $40/team up to 6 people

Trade snowy slopes and frozen toes for sandy sledding on Hilton Head Island. You’ve still got time to reserve your space, build your team, and design your dream holiday themed sand sled! The event takes place in front of the Sea Pines Beach Club with an oceanfront restaurant, rooftop bar, and beach bar to make a day of it.  


Date: December 30, 2024
Time: 10 AM
Location: 1 Lighthouse Lane, Hilton Head
Cost: Free!

While it’s not the Rocky Mountains, the winter water temperatures on Hilton Head still offer a refreshing, polar bear worthy chill for those seeking a New Year’s plunge! Come and embrace our island’s winter spirit with a polar bear plunge in the Harbour Town Pool in Sea Pines.


Date: January 27, 2024
Time: 11 AM – 4 PM
Location: 39 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head
Admission: $10 for ages 2-17

Experience the magic of “snowfall” without leaving the island! Snow Day at Shelter Cove is a rare delight in the South. The park transforms into a winter playground with falling snow, inflatables, and fun-filled entertainment for the whole family. Building a snowman near the beach should be a bucket-list adventure!


January 21-22 | Grieg and Brahms
February 4-5 | Bach, Mozart, and Brandon Leonard
February 18-19 | John Williams Birthday Celebration
March 17-18 | Symphonic Dances of Rachmaninoff and Coleridge-Taylor
April 7-8 | Tessa Lark and Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires 

Location: 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head

Cost: View ticket pricing and availability HERE

The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra Series showcases the island’s vibrant arts scene. Enjoy world-class performances featuring award-winning artists and conductors in the elegant setting of Hilton Head’s First Presbyterian Church.


Date: February 10, 2024 

Register Here

For fitness enthusiasts, the annual Hilton Head Marathon is an opportunity to run a scenic course that winds through the island’s natural beauty. With multiple race options, it caters to runners of all levels with a post-race party and complimentary local beer that’ll bring you back to Hilton Head year after year!


Date: February 19 – 25, 2024
Location: Various Locations 

2024 Schedule of Events & Tickets

Wrap up your winter vacation in Hilton Head on a cultural and culinary high note at the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival. This unique annual event celebrates the South’s rich heritage with award-winning chefs and the best seafood on the island. From pop-up dinners, pig pickin’, and oyster roasts to prestigious home tours of Hilton Head, this annual event is not to be missed.


Our on-island team has been welcoming families to celebrate the holidays in our luxury homes on Hilton Head Island for more than 25 years. The holiday season kick-off festivals have begun and no matter how you like to celebrate the holidays, there are fun festivities for the whole family on Hilton Head Island.

The most important factor in planning events for your Hilton Head vacation is finding a home away from home, hosted by a local team that cares! Sunset Rentals has been proudly serving guests on the island for more than 25 years – come and experience the Sunset Advantage on Hilton Head!

How To Enjoy The Visual Arts On Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is known for its beautiful sunny beaches, world-class golf courses, quintessential island activities, and stunning Lowcountry landscapes that inspire artists from across the globe. Hilton Head is a vibrant cultural destination with a long history and tradition of supporting the arts and home to some of the finest art galleries, Lowcountry markets, art and craft festivals, and public art collections in South Carolina. 

Whether you’re an art aficionado and collector, a budding artist, or instilling a lifelong love of art in your kids, Hilton Head Island is a destination that won’t disappoint. Explore the local art galleries, studios and impressive displays of local art placed creatively around the island, take an art class, or simply pursue your artistic talents capturing Hilton Head’s Lowcountry landscapes from your front porch! 

You’ll be sure to find a scenic and secluded Lowcountry artist retreat in our collection of luxury Hilton Head Island rentals – and we’ve done the homework for you on how to celebrate the visual arts on Hilton Head Island.


Art League of Hilton Head

Rotating art exhibits of all mediums, visual arts classes, Arts Center events and cultural performances.

Bo Art Gallery

Artist studio space, collective art gallery, and full spectrum studio (studio/art center for Lowcountry artists with disabilities).

CamelLia Art & Gallery

Impressionistic oil paintings, abstract art, bronze sculptures.

Coastal Discovery Museum Gallery

Current Exhibition – Heart and Soul of the South by the Art Quilters of the Lowcountry.

Endangered ArtS Fine Art Gallery

Original paintings, limited editions, bronze sculptures, glass work.

John McManus Fine Art Photography

Lowcountry fine art photographer, by appointment only.

Nash Gallery

Creative American crafts, glass work, metal work, wood work, ceramics, jewelry. Hosts of the Memorial Day Hilton Head Art Festival at Shelter Cove.

Smith Galleries

Clay work, woodwork, metal, fiber, glassware, handcrafted toys for children.

Society of Bluffton Artists

Rotating exhibits of 100+ local Lowcountry artists.

The Art of Sonja Griffin Evans

Vibrant African American Gullah art originals on canvas.

The Red Piano Art Gallery

South Carolina’s oldest professional gallery of Fine Art. 

Vivid Art Gallery

Volunteer run gallery that showcases fine art photography printed on canvas and acrylics.



Hilton Head Airport Terminal, 120 Beach City Rd.

Hilton Head’s latest public sculpture installed in 2020 “celebrates the bonds of family, strength, our natural community and the oneness of humanity.”

Artist: Kevin Eichner of Moncure, NC


Shelter Cove Community Park, 39 Shelter Cove Lane

An abstract coil shaped sculpture offering a “perspective on the landscape not seen before.”

Artist: John Clement of Brooklyn, NY

Theb: Tally

118 William Hilton Parkway

THEB: Transparent, Hollow, Empty, Boxes!

Artist: Jeff Boshart of Charleston, IL

Charles Fraser

Compass Rose Park, 4 Saint Augustine Place

A classic sculpture of Charles Fraser, founder of Sea Pines, walking an alligator.

Artists: Susie Chisholm of Savannah, GA and Darrell Davis of Arlington, TX

Setting Sun

Coastal Discovery Museum, 70 Honey Horn Drive

A unique and creative sculpture with bright orange radials reflecting the setting sun.

Artist: Tom Holmes of Greely, PA

Sandy Roads

Coligny Beach Park, 1 Coligny Circle

A kinetic sculpture inspired by the scenic trails leading to Hilton Head Island’s award-winning beaches.

Artist: Mark Larkin of Bluffton, SC


Veterans Memorial Park, 59 Shelter Cove Lane

An inspiring sculpture of an American veteran clutching poppies, resting on a bench bearing the caption “To all veterans who served that all may be free.”

Artist: Sandy Proctor of Tallahassee, FL

Sail Around

1030 William Hilton Parkway

A colorful sculpture with a bright yellow 16-ft steel sail reflecting the nautical history of Hilton Head Island

Artist: Wayne Trapp of Vilas, NC


Chaplin Linear Park, 662 William Hilton Parkway

Unique kinetic sculptures of a trio of horses made from brass, steel, and wood.

Artist: Jonathan Bowling of Greenville, NC


First Thursdays Art Market at Sea Pines


The Shops at Sea Pines Center host a First Thursdays Art Market from 4pm to 8pm timed perfectly with Hazel Dean’s Thirsty Thursday Wine Tastings.

Hilton Head Crescendo

Hilton Head Crescendo is a month-long celebration of the arts, culture and history of Hilton Head Island, attracting over 10,000 visitors to Hilton Head. Join the artists at Bo Art Gallery for their fantastic Fall Art Festival with music, art, studio tours, food vendors, and a chance to meet the artists.

Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival

The award-winning Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood is a fall highlight with Lowcountry oyster roasts, boat tours on the May River, soirees, orchestras and live music, and ending with a fabulous Street Fest and juried art show featuring over 100 artists from across the US.

Coastal Discovery Museum

The Coastal Discovery Museum Art Market, an outdoor fine art and craft sale under the historic live oaks at Honey Horn. 

Hilton Head Art Festival at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina

Kick off summer the right way – a Memorial Day weekend in Hilton Head! The Hilton Head Art Festival presented by Nash Gallery is a two day festival with live bands, dance performances and artwork of every medium, all made in the USA.

Start planning your next Hilton Head Island beach vacation with Sunset Rentals! Book with confidence and ease with our new Sunset Package and take 15% OFF all fall and winter stays RISK FREE with our 15off Promo Code at checkout! 

Hilton Head Tips For First-Timers

Visiting Hilton Head Island for the first time? We’ve put together this extensive guide of the best tips and tricks to make the most out of your vacation! Whether you’re looking for an action-packed family adventure or a laid back island-style retreat, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to find out more about our renowned beaches and golf courses, recommended activities, entertaining adventures, local shops and dining, the best souvenirs to take home, and even our favorite vacation rentals with unique accommodations. 

1. Experience 12 Miles of Uninterrupted Beaches

Hilton Head Island is home to 7 public beaches encompassing 12 miles of interrupted paradise with white sand, sunny skies, and sparkling waves of the Atlantic Ocean. These unspoiled, natural beaches include 5 main resort areas: Forest Beach, Palmetto Dunes, Port Royal, Sea Pines, and Shipyard

The Forest Beach Area is the “Hilton Head Hot Spot” located on the south end of the island between Shipyard and Sea Pines, and anchored by Coligny Beach Park and Alder Lane Beach. If you’re looking for award-winning beach access with family-friendly amenities, entertainment, beach rentals, and the legendary Tiki Hut, head to Coligny. However, if you’re looking for a slower pace away from the crowds, head just a mile south of Coligny to Alder Lane. This less-crowded beach access has lifeguards, restrooms, outdoor showers, and handicap matting for easy access.

Palmetto Dunes boasts 3 miles of pristine sandy beaches with easy beach access along Mooring Buoy, Ocean Lane and Dunes House. Just ride your bike or park at Dunes House for easy beach access!

The Port Royal Area offers access to 19 beach paths full of family-friendly beaches, shady parks, pavilions for picnics, and a playground. Fish Haul Beach Park is a popular favorite in this area with stunning natural driftwood, plenty of shells to collect, and some of the best sunsets. This hidden gem also boasts a boardwalk and observation deck for birdwatching, enchanting nature trails, and a secluded shoreline but it is not recommended for swimming.

Sea Pines presides over the south end of the island with 5 total miles of beachfront that is only open to Sea Pines residents and guests. If you’re staying in Sea Pines, you can ride the complimentary Sea Pines Trolley over to Sea Pines Beach Club for less crowded beaches, bars and restaurants, world-class amenities, and more.

The Shipyard area is nestled between Sea Pines and Palmetto Dunes, offering beautiful beaches, convenient access, and family-friendly fun. If you’re staying in Shipyard,  guests get exclusive access to five-star amenities, an oceanfront deck, and a wide stretch of sandy beach at the oceanfront Shipyard Beach Club. 

Additionally, mid-island beaches such as Burkes Beach, Driessen Beach, and Folly Field Beach, are quieter with less crowds. These are perfect for swimming, surfing, bodyboarding, and beach picnics! Burkes Beach even offers a dog park, perfect for a beach day with the whole family, including Fido.

2. Book a Tee Time on a Championship Course

Looking to hit the links on your first trip to Hilton Head? You’re in luck! The island features more than 24 championship golf courses both public and private. We know it can be overwhelming to research so many locations trying to find which one is right for you, so we’ve put together a simple guide to the must-play courses for your first trip!

Let’s start with the most popular courses. Atlantic Dunes is the oldest golf course but remains one of the best with oceanfront holes, a challenge for all skill levels, and beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean while you play. Harbour Town Golf Links is famous for hosting the RBC Heritage on the PGA Tour with world-renowned par threes and the iconic red and white striped lighthouse in the background. The George Fazio Golf Course is the island’s only par-70 public golf course and often considered one of the most challenging. The Robert Trent Jones Course is an oceanfront beauty with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean at the 10th hole and challenging winds for even the most seasoned pros.

3. Cycle Through Miles of Leisure Pathways

One of the best ways to explore the island is on a bike! Hilton Head Island is home to 60 plus miles of leisurely bike paths through the island’s most popular resort areas. Not sure where to start? We’ll cover a few.

Check out Fish Haul Creek Park to traverse through 31 acres of diverse environments, like maritime forest, wetlands, and beach away from the hustle and bustle. On the other hand, if you don’t mind crowds, bike through Shelter Cove Community Park with a playground, live music, entertainment, and festivals. For a full list of the 60 plus miles of pathways that meander through the island, visit the bike trail map.

4. Go on an Exhilarating Family Adventure

Hilton Head Island welcomes adventurers of all kinds with helicopter tours, ziplines, guided kayaking, boat tours, wildlife expeditions, and more! Take a one-of-a-kind adventure tour on your first trip to the island to see America’s favorite island from a new vantage point! 

Experience a guided helicopter tour of Hilton Head Island with FlyHHI for a chance to see breathtaking views of the ocean and explore the island’s top resort areas from above without all the crowds. Want a new perspective but not quite that far up in the sky? Head to Adventure Hilton Head for a scenic zipline tour or adventurous aerial course.

Explore the many waterways to see our wild inhabitants for yourself! Kayak through Broad Creek, take a dolphin safari, paddle through serene estuaries, enjoy a luxurious yacht cruise, reel in a big one on fishing tours, and more! Visit our Things to Do section for an extensive guide to Hilton Head’s best water activities.

For the little ones, try out Mini Golf Courses, playgrounds, camps, parks, pirate adventures, and more on our full Kids’ Activities guide

Bringing a furry friend? Good news, Hilton Head Island offers many pet-friendly adventures! Explore the beach, markets, restaurants, shopping centers, cruises, trails, and more with your furry friends. Check out our Pet Friendly Activities section for a full guide to pet beach rules and pet-friendly establishments. 

Local’s Tip: Want to venture out on your own? Rent paddle boards, skim boards, kayaks, bikes, and more with a complimentary VayK Life beach gear credit of up to $350 when you stay with Sunset Rentals!

5. Enjoy Island-Style Shopping & Dining

Slow down your pace after an adventure and switch to island time with family-friendly shopping and decadent dining on Hilton Head Island. Coligny Plaza, Shelter Cove, The Harbour Town Shops, and Main Street Village are one-stop shops for all the boutique stores, gift shops, specialty stores, and delicious dining you could dream of.

Coligny Plaza is the perfect spot for beach-goers with a laid-back vibe, over 60 stores and kiosks, year-round entertainment, and oceanfront dining. 

Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina offers open-air outdoor shopping, live entertainment, festivals, boutiques, and gift stores, while Shelter Cove Town Center is an open-air waterfront village with over 30 stores, eateries, and a community park.

The Harbour Town Shops at Sea Pines provide a leisurely shopping experience with more than 20 boutique stores, galleries, gift shops, and unique dining experiences.
Main Street Village allows you to step back in time for an old fashioned shopping experience with family-owned stores, tree-lined streets, unique shops, and some of the best restaurants of all the island.

6. Take Home a One-of-a-Kind Souvenir

If you’re looking for a unique souvenir to take home to remember your first Hilton Head Island vacation, we’ve found the perfect spots! The best gifts and take-home souvenirs are handmade, artisanal, and one of a kind.

The Hilton Head Farmers Market takes place every Tuesday from 9 am – 1 pm at Coastal Discovery Museum with local small businesses who make unique art, soaps, candles, travel accessories, and more.

The Farmers & Makers Market occurs in The Shops at Sea Pines Center with book signings, handmade art, local goods, fresh produce, and more. Visit their Facebook page or Events page for upcoming hours and dates!

7. Sit Back and Relax in a Luxury Vacation Rental

We know there are few things more precious than your time on vacation with friends and family and where you spend that time can make or break the entire trip. Sunset Rentals is a locally operated Hilton Head Island company that takes pride in offering first-class service to our guests before, during, and after your stay.

We’re here to recommend properties to you based on your unique needs, share our favorite activities with you, help you plan your stay, and make the most out of your first vacation to our slice of paradise!

Our vacation rentals range from comfortable oceanfront villas to private luxury homes. Whether you’re a couple looking for a 1 bedroom villa, a large family searching for 5+ bedrooms, private pools, or pet-friendly rentals, there’s something for everyone.

With a selection of 220+ professionally managed vacation rentals, exceptional guest services from a local on-island team, and a flexible cancellation policy – you can book your Hilton Head Island wellness retreat with confidence and ease with Sunset Rentals.