Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- Where can I go to the beach?
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. View a map of public beach locations (beaches marked with umbrella symbol).
- Where can I park my car while I am at the beach?
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.
- Are there parks on the Island?
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.
- Where can I visit a nature preserve?
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
- Where can I launch my boat?
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
- What can we do if it rains?
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.
- Go bowling at Station 300.
- Take on the family in virtual reality at Atomic VR Arcade.
- Tour the Island in a Polaris roadster with Adventure Drive of Hilton Head.
- What can we do with the kids besides go to the beach and the pool?
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 the family to new heights on a helicopter tour with Hilton Head Helicopter Tours.
- What can we do with our teenagers?
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.
- Cruise the Island in style in a Polaris Slingshot roadster rental from Adventure Drive of Hilton Head.
- We want to go fishing. Where can we find fishing charters?
Fishing charters operate out of several marinas in the area. View a listing of fishing charters.
- What sights should we not miss while we are in the area?
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 all at one location), Shelter Cove Harbour (with fireworks every Tuesday night, June through August) and Old Town Bluffton (historic structures, art galleries and eclectic shopping).
- A member of our party has limited mobility and/or is handicapped. Where can we stay? Can we go to the beach?
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 and Vacation Mobility Solutions also rents beach wheelchairs. Beach Wheelchairs can be rented from:
- A member of our party has special needs. Who can we contact to assist him while we participate in some activities that he is unable to enjoy?
If the person with special needs is a child, you can contact Companions, Nurses & Nannies/Health Services – (843) 681-5011. They have trained personnel who will be able to meet your child’s needs. If the person is an adult, you can contact Right at Home (843) 815-7890, Comforcare Home Care (843) 837-3100, or Programs for Exceptional People (PEP) (843) 681-8413.
- Where can we rent bicycles?
- Where can we rent beach chairs, umbrellas and other beach equipment?
- Shore Beach Service – 116 Arrow Road, Hilton Head Island, at (843) 785-3494 – www.shorebeach.com, or just ask the lifeguard at the beach.
- LowSea Bike, Beach & Baby Rental – 106 C. Arrow Rd., Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head Island – (843) 384-9322 – www.HiltonHeadBikeRental.com
- Vacation Comfort Rentals – 3C Enterprise Lane, Hilton Head Island – (843) 342-6673 or www.comfyrentals.com
- Can we bring our pet with us?
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: www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov.
- We want to get married on the beach. What do we need to do?
You must get a permit to be married on the beach from the Town of Hilton Head Island. You can go to their website, www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov, to check their requirements. 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.
- Why does Sea Pines charge a $6 gate fee?
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.
Request a free copy of the Hilton Head Island Vacation Planner and learn about all the attractions, activities, unique history and places to stay on Hilton Head Island.
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