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Walking in a lowcountry wonderland: celebrate the holidays on hilton head island

By Hilton Head Insider

What if you could leave all the planning behind this holiday season? Say goodbye to checklists, preparations, and online shopping, and instead, gather your household — the people who are the closest to you — in an enchanting place with warm breezes and salty waves? 

It sounds like a dream — but it doesn’t have to be. Celebrating the holidays on Hilton Head Island is the perfect way to round out the year with warmth, joy, and relaxation. 

Some of the best gifts come unwrapped, and the Lowcountry charm only grows during the holiday season. Vacation homes, twinkling lights, and seasonal feasts with your favorite flavors await.


Steps from the ocean with all of the amenities you need for an oyster roast. Close to scenic leisure pathways for biking and surrounded by lush green golf courses. Pet-friendly, family-friendly, and just plain friendly. What’s on your perfect home-away-from-home wish list? 

Hilton Head Island has vacation homes and villa rentals in all shapes, sizes, and locations, so it’s easy to find a perfect match for you and your loved ones. Hilton Head Island has everything you need to plan your dream vacation, from luxurious resorts to laid-back accommodations.


Christmas Tree

Worried the holidays just won’t be the same in balmy breezes and the warmth of the sun? Don’t worry! The festive spirit will still be here on Hilton Head Island, even if this year looks a bit different. And yes, even the man himself, Santa, makes an appearance (we hear this is his favorite island too!). Holidays on island time brings you experiences you didn’t know you wished for. 

In 2020, you can meet Santa on November 27th from 12:00-2:30 at the Neptune Statue at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina, and on December 5th, 12th, and 19th in a socially safe setting from 5-7 PM at ArtWare, 28 Shelter Cove Lane.

Enjoy the holidays the Hilton Head Island way. Head to Shelter Cover Harbour and Marina, where you can stroll the boardwalk and see the marina and boats lit up with festive cheer, or enjoy a nightly drive thru Christmas light sightseeing display at the Firehouse Station #3 at 534 William Hilton Parkway.


Here on America’s Favorite Island®, there’s no need to bundle up and hibernate indoors when the temperature is comfortable all year long. And with perfect temperatures comes a full slate of outdoor activities. Pedal pathways on a family bike ride. Meander along winding trails with fresh air on your skin. Bask in lazy beach days and leisurely sunset strolls. Trade the swish of your skis for the ripple of a kayak. There are so many beautiful things that make Hilton Head Island so special. Be sure to have your cameras ready for those Insta-worthy moments!   


A holiday dinner out may mean no turkey to carve or ham to slice, but it also means no vegetables to peel or kitchen mess to deal with after a turkey-induced slumber. Lowcountry dining is full of mouth-watering dishes — and the holidays are no exception. Attend Brunch with Santa at Alexander’s Restaurant and enjoy a Lowcountry-inspired meal. Browse over 250 restaurants to start planning your new Hilton Head Island Holiday dinner tradition. And if you really feel like cooking in your beautiful vacation home kitchen, we recommend these must-try foods on Hilton Head Island. May we suggest an at-home oyster roast?


While the gift itself may be the trip to Hilton Head Island, it’s always nice to take a little something back home with you (or even have one small treasure to unwrap). Find one-of-a-kind souvenirs to remember your Lowcountry holiday by, like a festive ornament or Hilton Head Island-inspired artwork from one of our many shops and galleries.


Who says holiday traditions can’t follow you wherever you go? Savor homemade holiday drinks and decadent snacks to keep your holiday vacation merry and bright. Sure, you could go out and buy some festive holiday treats, but why not satisfy your sweet tooth with a little family time baking and cooking together? Making them yourself is a breeze with a little help from some fresh local fruits, vegetables, and herbs from the Farmers Market of Bluffton and baking supplies from Kroger. Need some local inspiration?



The Island Fudge Shoppe 

16 oz white chocolate 
4 oz crushed candy canes 
¼ tsp peppermint extract 

Melt chocolate in bowl on low power in microwave. Once melted, add crushed candy canes and extract. Pour onto cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for minimum of 15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and break apart into pieces. Store in airtight container. If there’s any left.


Carolina Tasting Room 

1 bottle Calibogie Cranberry 
1 bottle Marshside Raspberry 
1 ½ cups of cubed pineapple 
1 bottle of orange juice 
1 cup blackberries 

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Cover pitcher with plastic wrap. Let sangria sit in refrigerator overnight. Pour over ice and serve. 

When you celebrate the Holidays on Hilton Head Island, you can wrap up the celebrations in one breezy, relaxing, bring-a-smile-to-their-faces package. The best part is, memories you make don’t need to be wrapped, returned, or exchanged. Only cherished.

Recipes source:


When you celebrate the Holidays on Hilton Head Island, you can deliver the celebrations in one breezy, relaxing, bring-a-smile-to-their-faces package. The best part? The memories you make don’t need to be wrapped, returned, or exchanged — only cherished. It’s time to start planning your holidays on America’s Favorite Island®!

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