Hilton Head Island is infamously known for its pristine sandy beaches and world class golf courses. However there are many more things to do on Hilton Head Island than golf or sit in the sand all day. In fact, it is actually an extremely family friendly destination. There are so many fun things to do in Hilton Head with kids and we are here to give you some awesome ideas for your family trip to Hilton Head Island.
This island off the coast of South Carolina has 12 miles of sandy beaches and 60 miles of bikes trails or walking paths. It’s extremely easy to get around and explore the entire island. Packed with history, natural architecture and outdoor activities, you’ll have plenty to do on your trip.
This island hosts over 2.5 million visitors each year and there is a reason it is so popular. To help you plan your trip to Hilton Head Island, here is the ultimate Hilton Head travel guide including where Hilton Head Island is located, how to get there and the things to do in Hilton Head with kids.
Where is Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island is a small island off the coast of South Carolina. It measures only 12 miles long and 5 miles wide, hosting over 11 miles of sandy coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. Small, but mighty, this island is full of beauty, charm and often voted as one of the best vacation destinations in the United States.
How to get to Hilton Head Island
Believe it or not, this little island has its own airport (HHH) that major airlines like United, American, Delta and Southwest fly in and out of. However, prices to fly into this island are typically more expensive with long travel times.
If you find that to be the case, there are two other airports that are an easy drive away that are worth looking into. Hilton Head Island is located 30 miles northeast of Savannah, Georgia and 100 miles southwest of Charleston, South Carolina. It takes about 1 hour to drive from Savannah and 2 hours to drive from Charleston.
The Savannah and Charleston airports are much more accessible and prices are usually a lot more affordable. From there you can rent a car or even Uber to Hilton Head Island.
Flying to one of these 3 airports is definitely the best way to get to Hilton Head Island. If you are flying with kids we have plenty of tips to make your flight a breeze! Unfortunately there are no trains or buses you can take there.
Other major U.S. cities that are within driving distance that host a major airport are Jacksonville, Florida (2.5 hours), Charlotte, North Carolina (3 hours), Atlanta, Georgia (4.5 hours), and Orlando, Florida (5 hours).
Things to do in Hilton Head with Kids
Enjoy the Beach
You can’t take a trip to Hilton Head without spending some time on their beautiful beaches. It is an island after all! With 12 miles of coastline, chances are you won’t have to venture far to find an area of sand to spend your day. Or even better, think about splurging to stay at a hotel or rental property right on the beach.
Of course the beach is always a fun thing for kids to enjoy. Bring some shovels and buckets down to the sand and let them get dirty. A beach day with a baby or young kids is so much fun! Watch them run in and out of the water or bury themselves in sand.
Coligny Beach Park is one of the best and most popular places on Hilton Head Island. With a convenient boardwalk right to the beach and comfortable amenities, it’s a great place to spend some time relaxing in that southern sunshine. There are even swings and comfortable chairs to sit in and enjoy a coffee, good book or conversation with someone special.
Once they’ve had enough sun and sand, check out these other kid friendly things to do on Hilton Head Island.
Lowcountry Celebration Park
Lowcountry Celebration Park is honestly the coolest park I have ever seen. Located near Coligny Beach Park and across the street from Coligny Plaza, you really can’t miss it.
This park opened in 2020 after some incredible design inspiration. The Adventure playground is designed as a ship after the ship Captain William Hilton was on when he discovered the island. There is playground equipment integrated throughout the ship, a wading pool and more!
Furthermore, this park has an open pavilion with well maintained grass for games of your choice.
If you are looking for a place for your kids to burn some energy, this is your place! Your kids will absolutely love playing at this creative park. Lowcountry Celebration Park is a must do when you are looking for things to do in Hilton Head with kids.
Hilton Head Island also hosts an incredible children’s museum. Called the Sandbox, this children’s museum will keep your kids entertained for hours. It’s located right in Lowcountry Celebration Park!
The Sandbox has different exhibits for your children to explore and often has events as well. Check the schedule to help plan your visit. Also this is a great rainy day activity if you happen to have some unfortunate weather during your trip.
If you are traveling with kids, it might be smart to stay some place near the park so you have easy access during your stay.
Another thing to do in Hilton Head with kids is the Hilton Head Branch Library. The Library has an awesome children’s section that is full of children’s books and toys to enjoy.
Unfortunately, you can’t control weather when you travel. Luckily, this is also another awesome rainy day activity to explore with kids if you happen to have rain during your stay.
Rent bikes and explore the island
Hilton Head Island has over 60 miles of paved paths to enjoy in its tiny radius, making biking the perfect way to see the island. Further more, the sand on Hilton Head’s beaches is unique in the fact that the sand is very packed and hard near the water. This makes the beach an incredible bike path as well!
Enjoy biking on the coastline and the beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean that go along with it. Then turn inland and bike on the paved paths through the lush Hilton Head forest on your return to your hotel or rental home.
Bike rentals on the island are extremely affordable and easy to find. The price per day decreases exponentially the longer you rent the bike for, so we recommend renting it for the entire length of your stay. Chances are you will use it at least once per day anyway. Expect to pay about $25 for 1 day or $50 for an entire week.
Additionally, you can rent bike accessories such as kid seats, cargo carts, and even dog carts so no one will miss out on the fun. It’s a convenient thing to do in Hilton Head with kids! They will love riding with you or cruising on their own bike and racing you around the island.
Explore Harbor Town
If there is one part of the island that is an absolute must see, its Harbor Town! Located at the southern tip of the island is this picturesque village where you can find delicious restaurants, trendy shops and golf of course. Furthermore, you can explore the marina with luxurious yachts, and the visual centerpiece of Hilton Head, the red and white striped lighthouse.
Because Harbor Town is located in the boundaries of Sea Pines there is a $9 per vehicle entrance fee. However, once you are in, there is plenty to do to spend your entire day there.
While you are in Harbor Town make sure to check out the Harbour Town Lighthouse Museum. You can’t miss the giant red and white striped light house at the edge of the village.
Your kids will love climbing the stairs to the top of the light house (or you might end up carrying them) for an awesome view of the island and Atlantic Ocean. You might even see some dolphins swimming if you look closely.
Wander around town and pop into any shops that catch your eye. You can enjoy breakfast and coffee at one of its delicious cafes and lunch or dinner on the docks while taking in the gorgeous views.
Pickleball is such a fun way to stay active while on vacation. It gets you moving, but doesn’t wear you out completely so you have plenty of energy to enjoy the rest of your day.
Hilton Head Island hosts a few different pickleball courts for you to play on. If you’ve never played, now is your time to learn and pick up the game! Pickleball is such a fun thing to do in Hilton Head with kids. No matter the age, they will have a blast hitting the balls around the courts.
If you are looking for a little retail therapy, Hilton Head Island is the perfect place to do it. Whatever you’re looking for, it won’t be hard to find most likely. Men’s clothing, women’s clothing, kids clothing, antiques, jewelry, art, fresh foods, homemade candy (your kids will love) and more can all be found on the tiny island.
Between the retail outlets, upscale boutiques, antique shops, thrift stores, and delightful markets there is a place even your dad would enjoy popping in to do some shopping. Hilton Head shopping is so much fun!
Some amazing places to go shopping on Hilton Head include Shelter Cove Towne Centre, Village at Wexford, Harbour Town, Coligny Plaza Shopping Center and Main Street Village. You could easily spend an entire day hopping store to store.
Golfing on Hilton Head Island
Golf the world class courses
I can’t mention Hilton Head Island without mentioning its world class golf courses. Many golf lovers travel from all over the world to golf at them and there is a good reason why. Some people go as far as to call this island “golf island.” Whether you golf with your kids or leave them behind it would be a sin to not mention them.
If you golf, it is definitely worth snagging a tee-time or two during your vacation. With more than 23 championship courses on the island, there are plenty to choose from. With how small the island is, I’m not sure how they fit that many golf courses on it.
However, if you are looking for the best golf course on Hilton Head Island I’ve heard it’s Harbour Town Golf Links. I can’t speak from experience, but I did get a view of a few of the fairways (you can too if you explore Harbor Town), and it was by far the most beautiful golf course I’ve ever seen.
What makes Hilton Head’s golf courses so amazing? The scenery and maintenance quality is top notch. The greens and grass are absolutely perfect and you can’t top the gorgeous views you get to enjoy while driving or putting your ball down the course.
Enjoy Your Trip to Hilton Head with Kids
Hilton Head Island offers a relaxing, laid back and welcoming vibe. It’s a great family vacation destination because there is something for everyone to enjoy. Spend some time in the sun on one of its amazing beaches, exploring one of its charming villages or trying your luck at golf.
There’s a very good reason it is such a popular vacation destination. Plan your trip to Hilton Head Island and find out why!
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