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Outdoor Adventures on Hilton Head Island Beyond the Beach

By Hilton Head Insider

Hilton Head Island is a destination renowned for its beaches. With 12 miles of pristine, white sand and tranquil waters, the island’s coastline has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike. But there is more adventure to be had on America’s Favorite Island® beyond the beach. 

Whether you want to explore Hilton Head Island’s sprawling bike trails, hit the water, or spend the day out on the green, we’re sharing some of the best outdoor adventures on the island for the days when you’re seeking excitement beyond the sandy shores. 


One of the best ways to see Hilton Head Island is by bicycle. With more than 60 miles of leisure pathways that weave throughout the island, taking in the sights on two wheels is easy, environmentally friendly, and enjoyable. 

Hilton Head Island is one of 34 communities in the United States to receive the Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community award from the American League of Bicyclists. The Gold Level distinction recognizes the Town's commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through its investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure, and pro-bicycling policies.

Navigating Hilton Head Island by bike is a breeze thanks to its well-planned layout and user-friendly pathways. Numerous rental options are available for those traveling without their own bicycles, ensuring that everyone can partake in this eco-friendly way of exploring the island. Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or just looking for a leisurely ride, hopping on a bike is the perfect way to discover the Lowcountry wonders at your own pace.


Getting out on the water is the perfect way to explore the vast natural beauty of Hilton Head Island. Set sail with Vagabond Cruise and experience the island from a different perspective. Whether you're seeking a romantic sunset cruise or a family-friendly dolphin-watching excursion, Vagabond offers a variety of scenic cruises to suit your preferences. Relax on deck as you glide along the shimmering waters, with the picturesque coastline unfolding before your eyes.

For a truly unique and immersive experience, look no further than Island Skiff Adventure Tours. Take the helm of your own two-person skiff and set out to explore Hilton Head Island's hidden gems at your own pace. Navigate through secluded waterways, discovering the island’s natural beauty and serenity along the way. 

H20 Sports offers a host of exciting excursions, each of which provides the perfect opportunity to explore Hilton Head Island’s pristine waterways up close. Those seeking a thrilling way to see America’s Favorite Island® from above can Soar hundreds of feet in the air and enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views on a parasailing adventure. Or embark on a guided kayak tour through tranquil marshes and winding creeks, where you'll encounter fascinating wildlife and lush coastal landscapes. 

boat aerial shot

Golfing & Racquet Sports

There’s no talking about outdoor adventure on Hilton Head Island without mentioning the world-class golf. The island is a golf enthusiast's playground featuring 23 Championship Hilton Head Island area golf courses. Don’t miss an opportunity to play a round on some of the island’s most iconic courses, like the picturesque Atlantic Dunes at The Sea Pines Resort, or enjoy a day on the expansive greens at the Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. 

For a family-friendly day on the green, book a tee time at Heron Point by Pete Dye, Dolphin Head, or the Country Club of Hilton Head. These courses cater to all skill levels, so anyone can enjoy an enjoyable day of golf on the island. 

Hilton Head Island is a perfect destination for racquet sports lovers, offering a haven with eight of the world’s top 100 tennis resorts and camps. Tennis aficionados can enjoy a wealth of options among the island's premier facilities, which are home to meticulously kept clay and hard courts set amidst the stunning landscapes of the island. Hilton Head Island has also embraced the burgeoning interest in pickleball, providing dedicated courts where players can engage in lively matches against scenic backdrops.

golfing in nature

Nature Preserves

If you’re after an old-fashioned method of outdoor adventure that will never go out of style, lace up and hop on the heel-toe express to walk around one of Hilton Head Island’s incredible nature preserves. 

The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a sanctuary for wildlife and a delight for outdoor enthusiasts. Here, you’ll find a sprawling network of trails, bridle paths, boardwalks, and fishing docks — each inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the island's natural splendor. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon stroll, grab a map, and wander the well-marked trails at your own pace while you take in the sights and sounds of the preserve's untouched beauty.

Nestled on the serene south end of Hilton Head Island lies the Audubon Newhall Preserve, a lush oasis spanning 50 acres of natural beauty. The preserve boasts wide paths and boardwalks, making it accessible for visitors with mobility challenges to enjoy short strolls through its verdant landscapes. 

An observation deck overlooking the tranquil pond provides the perfect vantage point for wildlife enthusiasts to observe the diverse array of species that call this natural space home, and free guided tours of the preserve are offered weekly on Tuesday mornings, led by a knowledgeable Master Birder. 

Start Planning Your Lowcountry Vacation

Whether you’re a beach lover or searching for something beyond the sand, there are so many ways to immerse yourself in outdoor adventure on Hilton Head Island. Start planning today. 

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