Life on Hilton Head Island revolves around the water and few places offer so many opportunities to enjoy this liquid asset. From Broad Creek to the Calibogue Sound, the Intracoastal Waterway to the Atlantic Ocean, freshwater lagoons to brackish backwaters, there are so many ways to get out on the water. Launch & Land: A… Read More…
Family Fun in Hilton Head, SC
From Shelter Cove Harbour, directly across from Palmetto Dunes Resort, Captain Mark presents Dolphin Watch Nature Cruises on board the excursion vessel E/V Holiday. Convenient mid-island location just 10 minutes from anywhere. No gate fee, stay all day. Call for schedule and reservations. 843-785-4558.
The Coastal Discovery Museum offers programs, activities, and exhibits year-round to make learning about Hilton Head and other sea islands an enjoyable experience for island visitors and residents alike. 843-689-6767.
Dolphins guaranteed! Come aboard the Gypsy for a relaxing, narrated tour on Calibogue Sound. We guarantee that dolphins will be seen on this trip. Learn more about these friendly creatures and the behavior patterns that are unique to the dolphins of this area. You’ll be able to sit in comfort and enjoy a cold drink or snack in the sun or shade as we show you the sights. 843-363-2900.
Board the Vagabond and join the crew as they travel south through Calibogue Sound to the head waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, help spot the Atlantic Bottlenosed Dophin as they swim, play and chase fish with the tide. All trips are narrated by a naturalist captain and dolphin sightings are guaranteed!
From the helicopter you get a unique perspective and a whole new feel for the Lowcountry. You’ll see miles of beaches and meandering creeks teeming with wildlife. Fly over the beautiful Harbour Town Marina and even the Lighthouse! Take in a multitude of islands and even see a Civil War Fort. This is great fun for all ages from infants to seniors. Celebrate an anniversary, engagement, or even a birthday. This attraction will ensure memories for a lifetime and allow you to check one off the bucket list! Helicopter flights are very smooth and pilots encourage you to bring a camera to capture such a memorable experience. 843-505-7182.
We specialize in family portraits with Hilton Head Island’s beautiful beaches as our backdrop. Whether a family of four or a group of 44, our 15 years of experience provide a seamless and fun beach photography session and portraits to cherish for years to come. We offer Hi-Res Images from your session that are fully retouched for all your printing needs. 843-683-6883.
Come aboard Hilton Head Island’s express cruise to historic Savannah! Travel through the IntraCoastal Waterway as we journey to the heart of Savannah on River Street. The best way to experience Savannah is with our discounted Old Savannah Trolley Tour Tickets! The Spirit features both inside and outside seating along with a full bar. Cruise… Read More…
Guided trail rides through the scenic Sea Pines Forest Preserve for adults and kids 8 & older. Pony rides for children 7 & under. Visit goats, pigs, miniature donkeys, bunnies, and Callie the deer at our FREE small animal farm! 7 days a week. International Riding Academy and Wish Upon a Horse Therapeutic Riding Center. 843-671-2586.
Sea Monkeys is the place to be when you want to have some Wave-runner fun! We offer 3 different riding areas to best accommodate you for weather, tides, and personal needs with each trip an hour and 15 minutes long. We are nicely tucked away in Skull Creek and merely a few minutes away from Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. This makes our little niche of paradise hard to beat anywhere else on the Island. Dolphin sightings are almost daily and the richness of our Low Country nature and wildlife is unbelievable! Get ready for a great time and even a little workout, but you won’t regret it when you’re done! 843-842-4754.
Our tour is a definite family pleaser and trip highlight. We are located in Broad Creek Marina, and offer an exciting guided boat tour of the area. Drive a two-person catamaran and enjoy over two hours of skiffing calm creeks, spotting a variety of wildlife along the way, like dolphins, eagles, and more. You won’t regret it! Book online or call for reservations.
We offer Mermaid Boat Tours, Mermaid Experience & Photo Shoots, Mermaid U Swim School, children’s books, and other retail in our mermaid store. Join us for an adventure of a lifetime. The Mermaid of Hilton Head – Conservation, Education and making dreams come true!
The Sandbox is a non-profit, hands-on interactive museum filled with unique entertaining, and educational play areas including a ship, international airport with a plane, Loggerhead Sandcastle, construction zone, bank, kitchen, arts and crafts and more. 843-842-7645.
The Training Facility at the local chapter of The First Tee is affordable and accessible to everyone every day. The site includes a 320-yard driving range, two USGA practice greens, a 6-hole par three course and a 9-hole disc golf course. Visit us at 151 Gumtree Road or call 843-686-2680 for more information.
Captain Sonny has provided dolphin & nature tours since 1985. Our USCG captains are knowledgeable about the area and the wildlife you will see along the trip. We create a family friendly atmosphere for everyone from 0-101! See our website for scheduling. Prices, 12 & up-$20, 2-11-$11, under 2 are free. 843-681-2522.
Get behind a boat with Outside Hilton Head! 3, 4 and 5 hour custom private trips that are guaranteed to be a total blast! Your USCG licensed Captain will lead your group to our favorite calm water ski grounds. Once there you can choose to Water Ski, Wakeboard, Kneeboard or Tube. All equipment is on board! No experience is necessary, our certified Captains provide instruction for all skill levels. Reserve today, these popular trips fill up fast! 843-686-6996.
Sea Turtle Season
Meet a few of the fascinating turtles that frequent Lowcountry waters.
By Anneliza Itkor, Outside Hilton Head
Here in our Hilton Head Island waters, we are fortunate to host four of the seven majestic sea turtle species. Loggerheads are the most common in this area, but Leatherbacks, Kemp’s Ridleys and Green sea turtles also call our Lowcountry waters home.
Loggerhead turtles were named the official reptile of South Carolina in 1988. They earned their name for their massive head and powerful jaws, which enables them to feed on hard-shelled critters like whelks and conch. Loggerheads can weigh as much as 300 pounds and measure up to four feet in shell length.
Green sea turtles are named for the green fat in their body, due to their vegetarian diet, which consists largely of sea grass. The largest hard-shelled turtle species, Green turtles can grow to an average shell length of five feet and weigh approximately 350 pounds. Green turtles don’t typically nest on our shores, but the juveniles regularly forage our waters from April through November.
Leatherbacks are unique because they don’t have a hard shell. Instead, they sport a leathery shell with longitudinal ridges. Leatherbacks claim the title of “largest sea turtle,” typically weighing in between 800 and 1,300 pounds. In fact, the largest sea turtle on record was a Leatherback found stranded on the coast of Wales, weighing roughly 2,020 pounds. Leatherbacks migrate through our near-shore waters in the spring and fall, feasting on jellyfish as they commute back and forth between their feeding grounds in Nova Scotia and their tropical nesting beaches.
The Kemp’s Ridley turtles are the smallest and rarest, weighing about 100 pounds and measuring only two feet in length. Like the Leatherback and Green sea turtles, these reptiles don’t typically nest in South Carolina, but they come into our inshore and near-shore waters in warmer months to snack on our delicious blue crab population.
Sadly, all of the sea turtle species in our area are listed as an endangered species. They are protected by both federal and state law, but their numbers are still being dramatically impacted by both natural and human-caused threats. Sharks are the turtles’ primary natural predator, but humans contribute to sea turtle mortality through destruction of natural habitat, boat propeller damage, pollution, commercial fishing and climate change.
As individuals, we can help protect sea turtles in any number of ways. If you must use a plastic bag or spot one in the environment, knot it up before throwing it away. This prevents them from blowing out of landfills or trash cans.
Most importantly, if you rent or own a property that is visible from the beach, turn your exterior lights off after 10 p.m. from the beginning of May through the end of October. If you are walking on the beach after dark during this time, use a red-bulb flashlight and avoid using your cell phone. Lights from anything other than the moon can be disorienting for newly hatched turtles trying to make their way to the ocean waters.
When you’re out on the water this month, keep your eyes peeled and you might be lucky enough to spot a sea turtle. To increase your odds, book a kayak or boat tour with one of Outside Hilton Head’s experienced guides.
To book an outing with Outside Hilton Head, call (843) 686-6996 or visit www.outsidehiltonhead.com.
52 Gateway Circle | Hilton Head Island | 843-505-7182
232 South Sea Pines Drive | Hilton Head Island | 843-363-2900
The Old Casino Building (red brick) | St. Simons Island, GA | 800-933-2627
190 Greenwood Drive | Hilton Head Island | 843-671-2586
Dock C, Shelter Cove Harbour | Hilton Head Island | 843-785-4558
Hilton Head Island | 843-683-6883
Hilton Head Island Family Fun
Hilton Head Island is the perfect place for things to do and have family fun! Spend the day at the beach or explore the island on a nature tour. Visit a museum or an animal farm with a petting zoo and pony rides. Enjoy the laughter at kid’s activities. Dolphin watch or go fishing, kayaking, biking, sailing, or simply lounge around a pool for relaxing quality time. Discover the ultimate family vacation on Hilton Head Island!
Available on all devices
Available on all devices
By Mark Anders, Head Pickleball Pro at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort For those who have not been to Hilton Head Island since last summer, you will notice some big changes at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center. We have expanded our facility to include eight additional fully dedicated pickleball courts, bringing our total number… Read More…
Spend time on the golf course this month to refine your swing and perfect your putt. By Doug Weaver, Director of Instruction, Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy. May is the perfect month to improve your golf skills on Hilton Head Island. The temperatures are ideal and there are endless opportunities to tee off at one of the… Read More…
By Anneliza Itkor, Outside Hilton Head A Lowcountry spring is an olfactory celebration. Stroll along one of Hilton Head’s many waterfront boardwalks, and your nose might be entertained by a whiff of Carolina Jessamine, the tang of smoke from a BBQ smoker or a hint of salt air. However, there is one scent that trumps… Read More…
Shannon Tanner has been entertaining summer crowds on Hilton Head Island for over 30 years, delighting audiences with his unique blend of ’60s standards, sing-a-longs, original ballads and children’s favorites. His Summer Family Show at the Gazebo at Shelter Cove Harbour has become an annual highlight for families visiting the island each year. Wearing his trademark… Read More…