Three young boys holding a young girl on a surfboard

A Family Guide to Summer on Hilton Head Island

For kids and parents alike, summer on Hilton Head Island is magical. With endless stretches of picture-perfect beaches, sunny skies and warm breezes, and a whole host of ways to enjoy the great outdoors, it’s a wonderful time to explore the Lowcountry, enjoy some R&R, and reconnect with the ones closest to you. 

No matter what your idea of summer family fun entails, a Hilton Head Island getaway guarantees unforgettable vacation memories. Make the most of your summer vacation on Hilton Head Island with our guide to the perfect family getaway:

Outdoor Fun on Hilton Head Island

A day at the beach is an absolute must. Kids (and kids at heart) will love building sandcastles, combing the sand for treasures, and splashing in the gentle waters that surround Hilton Head Island. There are plenty of locations on the Island to rent beach equipment such as chairs, umbrellas, and sand toys, or shop for any beach essentials you may have left at home, like extra sunscreen or towels.

A brother and sister walking to the beach on Hilton Head Island
A day at the beach is an absolute must. Photo: @hannahcilli on Instagram

One of the greatest ways to discover Hilton Head Island is on bicycle! Kids and parents alike will love pedaling along shady trails and next to the water on the beautiful beaches. And, with 12-miles of hard-packed beach, almost 30 bike rental shops and 15,000 bicycles available to rent, it’ll be a breeze to get the whole family on two wheels.

The connection between kids and horses is one-of-a-kind. Lawton Stables offers trail rides through the Sea Pines Forest Preserve and the tours are suitable for adults and kids from eight to eighty. For younger children, Shetland pony rides and a petting farm make for a perfect afternoon out!

Horse behind a fence in Hilton Head Island's Lawton Stables
Photo: @collcallahan on Instagram

Add a little eco-adventure to your vacation with ZipLine Hilton Head and Aerial Adventure Hilton Head. With eight ziplines that reach up to 75 feet in the air, plus 50 challenge activities on six different ability courses, there’s something exciting for everyone–no matter how big or small you are.

Don’t miss the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. With nature tours, cruises, kayak excursions, and historical and ecological programs for all ages, it’s a fun outing for parents and kids alike.

Children walking on the boardwalk around the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island
The Coastal Discovery Museum also makes for a great backdrop for a family photo! This photo is by @rosyrobertson on Instagram.

Of course, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the waters that surround Hilton Head Island. From boat rentals to dolphin cruises, a South Carolina family vacation isn't complete without trying out some of our world-famous water activities.

Hilton Head Island Day Camps

Have you ever been on a family vacation and felt like there was just a little too much togetherness? Sometimes kids need a little break from their parents; and, if we’re being honest, the feeling can be mutual! Luckily, Hilton Head Island is home to excellent day camp programs. Children and youth can make new friends, learn new skills, all while enjoying a new setting. Parents, on the other hand, can feel comfortable knowing that their kids are staying busy under expert supervision.

Family building a sandcastle at sunset on Hilton Head Island
Photo: @kristenjlryan on Instagram

Budding outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy The Coastal Carolina Camp, where kids ages 7-14 can enjoy hands-on activities in our coastal area — including calm-water kayaking, crabbing, and beach-combing. Other day camps include the Adventure Island Teen Camp, family ski day and a surf camp.  Many Hilton Head Island resorts – including the Westin, Sonesta Resort, the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort, and The Sea Pines Resort – feature daily kids’ camp programming, including arts and crafts, swimming, and games. And, if your kiddos are artistic, check out the half-day and full-day sessions offered at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina.

Things To Do on a Rainy Day

A visit to The Sandbox is a must. With 2,500 square feet of hands-on exhibits and interactive activities, this fun and colorful children’s museum is the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon.

Get crafty at The Art Café, where everyone in the family can paint a piece of pottery with their own custom design, or sign up for an art class at The Idea Studio. Choose from drawing, painting, pottery, stained glass, and other art projects.

Painting in Muse Gallery Hilton Head
Visit an art gallery and let the kids' imaginations run wild! Photo: @modernsouthstudio on Instagram

Live the adventure at HHI Escape — a family friendly entertainment option that features fun puzzle solving adventure rooms. Then, move on to the Atomic VR Arcade for some time spent exploring virtual worlds.

Sit back and watch the latest movie release at Cinemark Bluffton 12. Make it an experience the whole family will enjoy with an upgrade to the plush luxury recliner seats!

Plan your Hilton Head Island summer adventure today!

What are you waiting for? Check out our very best special offers for family fun, or request your copy of the Hilton Head Island vacation planner and start planning your summer getaway on America's Favorite Island.

Family biking on Hilton Head Island Beach

Find Your Island Time

Hilton Head is America’s favorite island, offering 12 miles of pristine beaches and everything you need for the ultimate retreat. Enjoy easy days relaxing in the sun, sand and surf on some of the best beaches in the country.
Inspiration Starts Here