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The Hilton Head Lifestyle

Life in the Lowcountry centers on the water, the weather and the genteel ways of those who call it home. Just enough off the beaten path to retain the classic flavor of the South, this island gem of the South Carolina Lowcountry features a pristine natural environment that showcases fertile salt marshes, forests of moss-draped oaks, magnolias, palmettos and a 12-mile stretch of deep, sandy shoreline.

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Communities

Hilton Head Island is more than just resort communities. Whether you’re looking for a family home in a natural setting or easy living in a villa offering concierge services, residents can find a place to call home that suits their own version of paradise. Hilton Head Island and Bluffton feature 24 gated communities, many boasting water, golf or nature views. Contact one of our Hilton Head Real Estate Professionals to begin looking for your next home.

Seafood Festival

Festivals

Throughout the year, a number of exciting outdoor festivals and events are held on the Island. Here is a sampling of few of the great festivals: Gullah Celebration (February); Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival (March); The RBC Heritage PGA TOUR golf tournament (April); Hilton Head Seafood Festival (April); Bluffton Village Festival (May); Hilton Head Island Art Festival (May); Harbourfest (June-August); Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival (October); and Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance (November).

View upcoming events

Arts and culture

Arts & Cultural Offerings

Though Hilton Head Island is typically considered a golf and tennis haven, the Island’s splendid beauty and rich history have inspired a vibrant arts and cultural community that rivals many metropolitan areas. Author John Villani named Hilton Head Island number 22 in his book, “The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America,” and it’s no wonder. From museum exhibits to big-name Broadway shows, the Island offers a variety of artistic and cultural venues to explore.

Explore our arts scene

crabs in a bucket

Dining

Hilton Head Island boasts more than 250 restaurants representing a wide variety of cultures and tastes. In addition to fine continental, family style and home-style Southern cooking, the Island offers all types of ethnic cuisine including French, German, Italian, Caribbean, Japanese, Greek, Chinese, Thai and Mexican. The star of the show is the Island’s fresh and locally harvested seafood. Most restaurants offer fresh fish, local shrimp and oysters, and fresh produce from local and regional farmers. Those wishing to sample the local fare should visit an Island restaurant specializing in Lowcountry cuisine, where dishes such as Shrimp and Grits and Lowcountry Boil – a savory South Carolina blend of shrimp, hot sausage, potatoes and corn on the cob – capture the flavor of the region.

Discover Island dining

Biking on the beach

Biking and Parks

With its focus on nature and the natural beauty of the Island, it’s no surprise that Hilton Head Island has 7 community and 7 recreational parks with walking trails, tennis courts, and plenty of open space to enjoy your surroundings. The Island also has more than 100 miles of multi-use trails connecting riders everywhere they want to go. Our 12 miles of hard-packed sandy beach is also ideal for bike riding, walking and jogging.

Get biking info

hands making basket

History

Native Americans, English, Spanish, and French colonists, pirates, African-Americans, and Civil War soldiers – all part of South Carolina history – have all left their footprints on the sands of South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island. The African-American Gullah culture, prevalent since the 1800s, is a revered part of Island history. Gullah is a rich and colorful culture celebrated through foods, crafts and religious practices. The Gullah people developed a unique culture based on folktalkes, superstitions and distinct cuisine, which shaped generations of families living on Hilton Head Island and in the Lowcountry.

Learn Island history

Family riding train

Family Activities

New residents to the Island will find a world of activities for their children and grandchildren. Along with watersports, Hilton Head Island is the home to championship football, baseball, tennis, lacrosse, soccer, and dance teams. For the young golf pro, there’s the International Junior Golf Academy. Many of the Island’s resorts offer challenging youth tennis programs. The Sandbox, an interactive Children’s Museum, and the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn are open daily.

See family activities

Destination Guide Covers

Start Planning

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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Plan and Navigate your getaway on Hilton Head Island with our Island Compass app. Search for activities, restaurants, and attractions, get travel deals, view trip ideas, and create your own personalized itinerary.