A Family Guide to Summer on Hilton Head Island
Summertime is always a magical time of year, but on Hilton Head Island, it's extra special. From long-stretching beaches and beautiful cotton candy sunsets to endless amounts of activities for every type of family adventurer, the Lowcountry is the ideal summer escape. Follow along with our guide to learn more about what an unforgettable vacation on Hilton Head Island looks like.
Pack the car and head to the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, a Smithsonian Affiliate, for an ecological and historical family outing. The museum has teamed with the Santa Elena Foundation to tell the story of America's first century through a fabulous 1,000-square-foot traveling exhibit. There's also the awesome Kid Zone, where the little ones can dress in costumes from colonial days, put puzzles together, create puppet shows, and more. In addition, you'll find Native American pottery, replicas of artifacts, and shells from Hilton Head Island beaches waiting for you to discover. This is also where you can say hello to Myrtle, The Coastal Discovery Museum's Diamondback Terrapin!
Beyond the museum, there are many ways to enjoy the 68-acre Honey Horn property. Take a leisurely stroll along the salt marsh, marvel at the beauty of the Spanish Moss dangling from live oaks, or take part in one of their many outdoor excursion options.
Indoor or Outdoor, we Have Your Family Covered
Looking for an adventure like no other? Visit Adventure Hilton Head LLC for go-karting, aerial courses, and canopy zipline tours. The family adventure park has something for everyone. Prefer an indoor activity over an outdoor one? Check out the hands-on exhibits and interactive games at The Sandbox Children's Museum. Their goal is to educate children and encourage them to play freely while exploring their creativity and discovering the world around them.
Put the Pedal to the Metal
Spin your wheels and explore Hilton Head Island by bike on the 60+ miles of leisure pathways. Kids and parents alike will love pedaling along shady trails while gazing at picture-perfect sea views. You'll find plenty of bike rental shops here, and opportunities to rent for the day, week, or extended periods of time. Explore all of our partner bike shops to find the ideal option for you and your family.
Life on the Water
Speed through the waters around Hilton Head Island by boat, take in the beautiful coastlines, and say hello to local sea creatures. Island Skiff Adventure Tours offers excursions where guests can ride their own skiff while following a local guide boat to explore marshes, and surrounding islands, including Daufuskie Island.
Some would say the beauty of the white sand beaches paired with the beautiful water on Hilton Head Island is the most magical part of the Lowcountry. There are many beaches in the area that make for the ultimate beach family day. In fact, Hilton Head Island has been recognized by US Travel as the #6 top family beach in the country and by Southern Living for being The South’s Best Little Beach Town! Whether you're splashing through the waves, building sand castles, or lounging together, the beaches in Hilton Head Island are calling your name!
Coligny Beach is the most popular beach on Hilton Head, boasting a fun splash fountain for kids, outdoor showers and swings. Across the way from the beach, Coligny Plaza offers shopping, a movie theater, and a variety of restaurants, including Island Fudge Shoppe — a must for a warm evening treat.
Other family-friendly beaches in the area include South Beach, Folly Field Beach, Forest Beach, and Driessen Beach. You can learn more with our complete beach guide.
Family-Friendly Places to Stay
Hilton Head Island is full of places to stay for every family. With 2,000 acres of activities, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is a great option. This pristine paradise features a breathtaking beach, world-class golf, exhilarating water sports, and a sweeping 11-mile lagoon for kayaking, fishing, or simply getting back to nature. Palmetto Dunes also has a full range of programs, classes, and activities for first graders through active teens. The accommodations in the resort include luxury hotels, vacation homes and villas, making a secluded vacation surrounded by close amenities possible.
Another family-friendly option is The Westin Hilton Head Resort & Spa. From private cabanas by the pool to family portraits on the beach, the Westin offers a personalized experience for every family that stays here. And the entire family can come, including your pets — dogs are welcome, and there even is a dedicated dog park on the property! As a wellness-focused brand, the hotel also offers a variety of ways to stay active and healthy while visiting.
Finally, the Marriott Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa is another family option. Here, kids have their own hotel check-in area, complete with a step stool to reach the counter. The Marriott boasts an impressive 513 guest rooms, an 18,000-square-foot ballroom, an Olympic-size pool, and a 10,000-square-foot spa with 16 treatment rooms. Arts and craft activities center around the expansive pool deck near the beach. There’s lots of activities for children, kiids can tackle sand castle building, shark tooth necklace making, life-size chess, basketball, and pickleball.
Explore all the accommodations on Hilton Head Island and find the perfect home away from home for your family.
This Summer, Bring Your Family to the Lowcountry
There's no better place to spend a summer as a family than on America's Favorite Island®! Check out our special offers for family fun, or request your copy of the Hilton Head Island Vacation Planner and start planning your summer getaway today.
More Trending Stories
Start stringing lights around the palm trees and digging your toes into the snow-white sand.
July is here and Independence Day is just around the corner.
Tennis legend Stan Smith has been a fixture on Hilton Head Island for half a century.
Find Your Island Time