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Maybe it's your first visit to Hilton Head Island, or perhaps the Lowcountry is your second home. Either way, you've got questions - and we have the answers. Here are some of the most common questions we receive about planning a Hilton Head Island vacation.

  1. All of the beach is public, from the ocean to the high water mark. Access to the beach, however, is often private. The Town of Hilton Head Island provides beach accesses at the following locations: Alder Lane Beach Access, off South Forest Beach Drive; Coligny Beach Park, off Coligny Circle; Fish Haul Creek Park, at the end of Beach City Road; Driessen Beach Park, at the end of Bradley Beach Road; Burkes Beach Access, at the end of Burkes Beach Road; Folly Field Beach Park, off Folly Field Road; and Islanders Beach Park, off Folly Field Road. Restrooms, changing areas, sand showers and vending are available at the beach parks. 

    New Wheelchair Program Will Help Provide Access to Hilton Head Island Beaches

    Learn More
  2. There are 23 metered spaces at Alder Lane; 54 metered spaces at Folly Field, and 13 metered spaces at Burkes Beach Road. Coligny Beach parking is located across the street in a free public lot. Parking fee for metered spaces is $.25 for each 15minutes.

    Additionally, there are 345 spaces at Coligny Beach Park and 207 spaces at Driessen Beach Park for long term parking. The fee is $.25 for each 30 minutes during the week at Driessen Beach Park. Parking is free at Coligny Beach Park.

    Parking spaces at Islanders Beach Park are always reserved for annual beach passes. Parking is free at Fish Haul Creek Park. Handicap parking is available at no fee at all beach parks.

  3. The Town of Hilton Head Island has 12 parks: Click here for a map of park locations

    • Crossings Park, located near the Cross Island Expressway off Helmsman Way, has baseball fields, a soccer field, open space, a playground, interpretative trails, picnic areas and restrooms.
    • Bristol Skate Park, located next to Crossings Park, has a roller hockey court (which doubles as a basketball court), a skate park and restrooms.
    • Barker Field, located in the Fish Haul and Baygall area, has baseball fields, a multi-purpose field, a boardwalk, observation deck and restrooms.
    • Chaplin Community Park, just off U.S. Hwy. 278 between Singleton Beach Road and Burkes Beach Road, has tennis courts, basketball courts, multi-purpose fields, a playground, a dog park, walking trails, beach access and restrooms.
    • Cordillo Tennis Courts, located on Cordillo Parkway off Pope Avenue, has three tennis courts.
    • Fish Haul Creek Park, at the east end of Beach City Road, has a nature trail, boardwalk, picnic areas and restrooms.
    • Green Shell Park, on Squire Pope Road, has a playground, picnic area, historic site, basketball court and restrooms.
    • Honey Horn, located at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 278, the Cross Island Expressway and Gum Tree Road, has historic structures and hosts community events.
    • Jarvis Creek Park, off U.S. Hwy. 278 across from Wilborn Road, has a freshwater pond for fishing (catch and release only!), a floating dock, a playground, a grass meadow, picnic facilities, grills, swings, paved pathways, mulched trails and restrooms.
    • Shelter Cove Community Park, off Shelter Cove Lane, has a picnic pavilion, playground, walking trails, views of Broad Creek, a Veterans’ Memorial, restrooms, wi-fi and hosts community events.
    • The Island Recreation Center, at 20 Wilborn Road, has tennis courts, a pool, gymnasium, playground, multi-purpose field, restrooms, and is ADA compliant.


    The Town of Bluffton has four parks:

    • Shults Park, at 77 Shults Road, has a community center, baseball and soccer fields, picnic area and restrooms.
    • The Bluffton Recreation Center, at 61B Ulmer Road offers varied programming for all ages. The Bluffton Pool is located at 55 Pritchard Farms Road.
    • New River Linear Trail, off SC Hwy 46 near the New River, offers 3.2 miles of unpaved trail for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
    • Bluffton Oyster Company Park, located along the May River at Wharf Street, offers views of the May River, picnic areas, boat launching facilities and hosts community events.
  4. There are several nature preserves on and near Hilton Head Island and Bluffton. Click here for more:

    • Audubon Newhall Preserve, Palmetto Bay Road, Hilton Head Island, SC
    • Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, US Hwy 278, Hilton Head Island, SC
    • Sea Pines Forest Preserve, The Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head Island, SC
    • Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve, Sawmill Creek Road, Bluffton, SC
  5. The Hilton Head Island – Bluffton area has several public access landings:

    • Alljoy Landing, County Rd. 13, Bluffton, SC
    • Bluffton Oyster Factory, 63 Wharf St., Bluffton, SC
    • Bluffton Public Dock, 113 Calhoun St., Bluffton, SC
    • Buckingham Landing, 55 Fording Island Rd., Bluffton, SC
    • CC Haigh Jr Landing, 1640 Fording Island Rd., Bluffton, SC
    • HE Trask Landing, 325 Sawmill Creek Rd., Bluffton, SC
    • Pinckney Island Landing, off U.S. Hwy. 278, Pinckney Island, SC
    • Broad Creek Landing, 98 Marshland Rd., Hilton Head, SC
    • Old House Creek Landing, 55 Sam Frasier Retreat, Hilton Head, SC
    • Outdoor Resort Marina, Jenkins Rd., Hilton Head Island, SC
    • Daufuskie Island Dock, 13 Haig Point Rd., Daufuskie Island, SC
  6. There many activities to keep you busy if the weather is too wet for outdoor pursuits:

    • Movie theaters are located on the north and south end of the Island, and a theater complex is open in Bluffton. Coligny Theater : Coligny Plaza, Hilton Head Island, 843-686-3500; Northridge Cinema 10: 435 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island, 843-342-3800; Park Plaza Cinema: 201 Park Plaza, Hilton Head Island, 843-785-5001; Cinemark Bluffton: 106 Buckwalter Parkway, Bluffton, 1-800-326-3264 + Express Code 2166.
    • The Beaufort County Public Library has branches on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton which offer children’s programs and internet access.
    • There are many shopping areas in Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, several of which are outlet malls.
    • Several retailers and grocery stores offer DVD rental kiosks.
    • The Coastal Discovery Museum & has exhibits and special programs for all ages.
    • Take in a live production at one the local theaters, or visit one of the many art galleries in the area.
    • Visit The Sandbox: An Interactive Children’s Museum. Most suitable for children age 8 and under.
    • Take on the family in virtual reality at Atomic VR Arcade.
  7. There are many activities available for younger children:

    • Take a dolphin or nature cruise with one of the many boat tour companies.
    • Visit the Coastal Discovery Museum and participate in their programs.
    • Visit The Sandbox, an Interactive Children’s Museum, especially good for younger children.
    • Visit the Island Playground. Remember to bring your socks; they don’t allow shoes or bare feet on the play floor.
    • Play miniature golf at one of three locations on the Island.
    • Take your inline skates to the Bristol Skate Park.
    • Visit one of the local nature preserves.
    • Go to one of the many parks and play on the playgrounds or play Frisbee or catch.
    • Ride a bicycle. The Island has over 60 miles of paved bike and walking paths.
    • Take lessons at a golf course or a racquet club. Or take art lessons at the Art League’s Academy. (Age minimums may apply to these programs.)
    • Check with the local resorts and hotels for special programs for children: Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort; Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island; The Sea Pines Resort; The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa
    • Watch the fireworks on Tuesday night at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina during June, July & August.
    • Take on the family in virtual reality at Atomic VR Arcade.
    • Take the family to new heights on a helicopter tour with Hilton Head Helicopter Tours.
  8. They may enjoy many of the same activities that are available to younger children. In addition, they may consider the following:

    • Take a guided kayak tour with one of the local kayak companies.
    • Participate in programs for teens offered by Outside Hilton Head or The Sea Pines Resort recreation department.
    • Play miniature golf at one of three locations on the Island.
    • Participate in special programs at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, the Hilton Head Art League’s Art Academy, or Main Street Youth Theatre.
    • Go horseback riding at Lawton Stables.
    • Go bowling at Station 300.
    • Go shopping.
    • Go to the movies.
    • Travel to new heights with ZipLine Hilton Head & Aerial Adventure Hilton Head.
    • Book an aerial island tour with Hilton Head Helicopter Tours.
    • Fight zombies in virtual reality at Atomic VR Arcade.
  9. Fishing charters operate out of several marinas in the area. View a listing of fishing charters.

  10. Visitors’ favorite sights include Harbour Town and the Lighthouse (the heart of The Sea Pines Resort), the Coligny Circle area (the beach, shopping and dining at one location), Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina (shopping, restaurants, water activities, tours, and the larger-than-life King Neptune Statue sundial) and Old Town Bluffton (historic structures, art galleries and eclectic shopping).

  11. Having a professional caregiver available for all your care needs will remove any stress you may have about “how can we have some adult time without the kids” or “who will care for mother” while enjoying Hilton Head Island. Certified babysitters can be found at:

    Hilton Head Nannies
    Ph. (843) 227-3196

    SYNERGY HomeCare of the Lowcountry
    Ph. (843) 310-1078


  12. Most properties, hotels and home & villa companies, have a limited number of handicapped accessible accommodations available, so call early to make your reservation. The Town has installed beach matting at all of the beach park access points. Wheelchairs and scooters can cross the loose sand on the matting and roll on the packed sand. Burke’s Main Street Pharmacy also rents beach wheelchairs. Beach Wheelchairs can be rented from:

    Burke’s Main Street Pharmacy
    (843) 681-2622

    Hilton Head Outfitters
    Ph. 866-380-1783

    Mobility City 
    Ph. 843-949-3115

    Also check with your accommodations property, as some hotels may have beach wheelchairs available to their guests.

  13. LowSea Bike, Beach & Baby Rental – 106 C. Arrow Rd., Hilton Head Island – (843) 384-9322 –

  14. For more information about accessible beaches and beach access for people with disabilities, visit here

  15. Many accommodations will allow small pets (some only allow dogs), but be sure to ask. If you bring a pet to a property that does not allow them, you could be asked to leave and forfeit the remainder of your rental fee. They may charge an additional fee, which may or may not be refundable. Many properties charge a separate cleaning fee. You can also board your pet in one of our kennels.

    You may not have your pet on the beach between the hours of 10am to 5pm from the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day. For a complete list of beach rules, see the Town of Hilton Head Island’s website:

  16. You must get a permit to be married on the beach from the Town of Hilton Head Island. View other important details about obtaining a marriage license and legal requirements here.

    For assistance with the details of your wedding, contact one of the many Wedding Coordinators in our Business Directory.

  17. The reason for the fee is that the roads in Sea Pines are all privately owned and operated. This fee is used by Community Service Associates (CSA) in Sea Pines, which is the operational arm of the residential and resort community, to pay for road maintenance and security. When you enter Sea Pines, you are inside a PUD (Planned Unit Development) that is owned by the residents and are no longer on roads that are owned or maintained by the town, county or state. Sea Pines does grant limited access to the public through the gate fee they charge to general visitors. Registered vacation guests of the resort and guests of owners can receive a complimentary pass for access during their stay.

    • Tesla charging stations [9] - at the Parker's – Sea Turtle Marketplace, located at 436 William Hilton Pkwy. (mid-island at the corner of Mathews Dr. and Hwy. 278)
    • Sonesta Resort HHI - 130 Shipyard Dr.  (south end in Shipyard)
    • Near Bombora's / Rock Fish Seafood - at 4 Lagoon Rd. (south end)
    • 22 Harbourside Lane - at Shelter Cove (Tesla)   (mid-island)
    • 1 Harbourside Lane - at Shelter Cove  (Tesla)    (mid-island)