A Day on the Water

Posted on July 06, 2011

Life on Hilton Head Island revolves around the water and few places offer so many ways to enjoy the pleasures of coastal living. From Broad Creek to the Calibogue Sound, the Intracoastal Waterway to the Atlantic Ocean, you’re sure to find a water-related activity to suit all ages and interests. Whether you want to get wet or stay dry, following are a few suggestions for making the most of a day on the water:


Launch a perfect day on the water from any of the Island’s numerous marinas. Offering almost every imaginable watersport, boat rentals, charters and lessons, along with a variety of restaurants, shopping and entertainment, there truly is something for everyone.

Explore the world-famous Lighthouse in Harbour Town, experience the Mediterranean charm of Shelter Cove Harbour, visit the New England-style fishing village of South Beach Marina, unwind in the Key West atmosphere of Palmetto Bay Marina, discover Broad Creek Marina or head to the Island’s North end and depart from Hilton Head Harbour.


If you love the sound of water lapping against the hull, relax and let the wind fill your sails as you glide over the waters surrounding the Island on a morning, afternoon, sunset or evening trip. Local captains offer 2-hour to all-day excursions and sailboat lessons and rentals are also available. Whether you prefer a private charter or traveling with a large group, you’re sure to find an outing to meet your needs.


One of the best ways to experience Island wildlife up close is by paddling through the calm tidal creeks and marshlands on a kayak. Experienced naturalists will point out dolphins, otters, alligators, egrets, herons, terns, pelicans, osprey, eagles and more on sunrise, morning, afternoon, sunset or full moon excursions. Basic instruction is provided and special kayak camps are offered in the summer months for children and teenagers.


Soar hundreds of feet above the water for an experience you’ll always remember! Whether you fly solo or bring a co-pilot, don’t forget to bring your video camera to capture the view for miles in every direction. Fun for all ages, experienced USCG captains and instructors are sure to make the flight a safe and memorable one.

Jet Skiing

Those who feel a need for speed will find jet skis and waverunners designed for one to three people available for rent at area marinas. This fun way to get around on the water doesn’t require any experience and is sure to delight all ages. Just don’t forget to bring the sunscreen.

Water Skiing

For those who actually want to be in the water, try waterskiing and wakeboarding with the dolphins right here on Hilton Head Island. Calm local waters are perfect for these fun sports and experienced captains can have you up on your first try!

Sport Fishing

Novice to expert fishermen will find inshore, offshore, kayak, fly fishing and Gulf Stream fishing a challenge unlike any other. Whether you are looking for sea trout, spot tail bass, Spanish mackerel, tarpon, red drum or shark, experienced local captains will guide you to the best fishing grounds in the area.

The Beach

Enjoy hours of entertainment on Hilton Head Island’s 12 miles of white-sand beaches. Fly a kite, look for shells, build castles in the sand, splash in the surf, catch a wave on a boogie board or try body surfing into shore.

Nature Cruises

Watch dolphins play alongside the boat, alligators basking in the sun or pelicans swooping down to catch their dinner on a guided nature cruise through local waterways. You never know what you may see!

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

The fastest growing watersport in the world, stand-up paddleboarding is an ancient Hawaiian form of surfing. Today, this easy-to-learn sport is a favorite of hip Hollywood celebrities and families looking for a way to stay cool.