We Go Places:Hilton Head Island, SC

Hilton Head Beach Scene
Hilton Head Beach Scene Sara Kendall

Hilton Head is a glorious island paradise for a family getaway. It has broad beaches, sub-tropical weather, low-rise oceanfront development, world-class golf and tennis, and hundreds of restaurants and shops.

Miles of Beautiful Beaches

One of the biggest draws to this island is the 12 miles of pristine beaches – a beach lovers dream. All beaches are public, but access to the beach may be private on plantations and many residential areas. There are nine public beach accesses around the island.

Coligny Beach Access is the most popular access because of all of the amenities at this location. There is an unloading/loading zone with free parking just a block off the beach. Clean bathrooms and showers are conveniently located.

A fountain splash area is a great way for little ones to cool off in and wash away the sand. Need a break, take a seat in one of the shaded swings or colorful Adirondack rocking chairs. On the lifeguard protected beach, if you don’t want to schlep your own, umbrellas and chairs are available for rent.

Bike Trails

Biking on Hilton Head by Sara Kendall.jpg
Biking on Hilton Head Sara Kendall

Bikes are a favorite mode of transportation around the island largely because of the more than 100 miles of paved bike trails. There are 20,000 bikes for rent from kiosks located throughout the path system. Families can hit the trail for an easy, fun ride to explore the island.

Tee Off

Hilton Head is known worldwide for its top-notch golf courses and it’s annual PGA Tour outing on Harbour Town Golf Links . Golfers can choose among 24 courses with most having family-friendly tees. Sign up for an instructional class while on the island. Coaching is available for all skill levels from beginner to advanced.

Harbour Town Lighthouse

Harbour Town Lighthouse by Sara Kendall.jpg
Harbour Town Lighthouse Sara Kendall

Climb the iconic red and white striped lighthouse with the kids. It’s just 114 steps to the top. As you ascend, stop to view lighthouse artifacts and learn about the different eras of the island’s history. From the observation deck, take in the surrounding land and water views. Maybe you will spot a dolphin swimming in the water.

The Gregg Russell Harbour Town Playground

Gregg Russell Harbour Town Playground by Sara Kendall.jpg
Gregg Russell Harbour Town Playground Sara Kendall

Steps away from the lighthouse and adjacent to the marina shops, this playground will entertain your kids for hours. A tree house, footbridge, and a lookout tower are fun favorites among their kids. Mostly shaded by Live Oak trees and Spanish Moss, the web of mighty branches of these meandering trees gives kids a wonderful place to walk, crawl, and climb on. A sand floor provides a natural cushion for kids at play.

Catch a live performance by singer-songwriter Gregg Russell under the Liberty Oak tree. He has been entertaining families here for more than 30 years. His performances are complimentary.

Aqua Adventures

Aqua Adventure on Hilton Head Island by Sara Kendall.jpg
Aqua Adventure on Hilton Head Island Sara Kendall

Take advantage of all the water activities the island offers, from paddle boarding to kayaking to charter fishing excursions and sunset cruises. Jump on a waverunner to discover the coastline, or board a passenger boat to go on a dolphin tour.

Pirate Ship on Hilton Head by Sara Kendall.jpg
Pirate Ship on Hilton Head Sara Kendall

For kids 10 and under, cast away on a pirate ship in search of underwater treasure. Battle other pirates with water cannons to protect the booty. Join the crew singing and dancing to celebrate the victory.

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Sara Kendall has traveled halfway across the glove with her kids and lived to tell about it. Stay tuned to hear about family destinations around Charlotte and beyond. Check out more of Sara’s travel at her website or email her at