Hilton Head is a beautiful resort and luxury home filled island in the low country of South Carolina. We have visited there twice and absolutely love it. The first time we went to Hilton Head was the summer of 2011, we loved it so much that at the end of our first week we decided we must stay another week and we rented a new house and moved over for seven more days of relaxation, beach fun and island adventures.
This is a family friendly island with lots of stuff for kids to do. Our favorite thing to do when we are there is visit the Shannon Tanner show at the Shelter Cove Harbour. He plays there every Monday through Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day…twice a night! It is a blast, he is so much fun with silly songs for adults and kids, but mainly he’s there for the kids and lots of laughter. We also enjoy Shannon Tanners Most Excellent Pirate Expedition where the kids becoming pirates for a day and go aboard his ship on a pirate adventure, this is a must do for kids of all ages!
The Beaches in Hilton Head are wide and flat. You can ride bikes and trikes easily on the smooth beach, especially at low tide. This is a great beach for exercising. I ran every day this past summer when we were there…it was hot and humid, but a great work out. Biking is also a great workout when you go against the wind it can almost be impossible to pedal. I love to fish on this beach, and have rented a pole and gear each time we have gone at a little shop called Hilton Head Outfitters near the houses we rent. The same place you can rent canoes, tubes, and bikes.
My kids love wading in the tide pools that form at low tide…they can get deep in some places and it’s always a great place to find little sea creatures. We even found a sting ray one time. The girls loved finding silver dollars and starfish and using their nets to catch little minnows.
There are lots of restaurants to choose from, below is a list of some we tried and liked:
Skull Creek Boathouse
This is a fun restaurant with great views and delicious food! Everything we had here was fantastic and we definitely over indulged. The first year we came to Hilton Head we stumbled on this place after sitting in traffic for over an hour trying to get onto the island. It’s near the bridge when you first come onto Hilton Head Island, and we were hungry. The ideal place to sit is on the large patio, but it gets crazy busy so you may not be able to find a seat…I think they do take reservations.
You must try the Seafood Gumbo, it is perfectly seasoned and filled with lots of seafood.
We love the Homemade Hushpuppies! The oyster fans in our family (which is definitely not me) really enjoyed the Oysters Rockefeller.
The Seafood is fresh and delicious. My husband had a really good pasta. Everyone in my family ordered something different and we all enjoyed it so much that we went twice on our first trip and we were back there again this past summer.
For something a little fancier and upscale we enjoyed Red Fish
It’s pricey, but for the atmosphere and the quality of food it really isn’t that bad. Maybe not the best place for kids (we brought all of ours and it was a long dinner!) The food was very good. We shared the Blue Crap Dip and the Hummus for appetizers, both very good! The Seafood is incredibly fresh and if you want to be healthy they will serve your fish “naked” which means just simply grilled with extra virgin olive oil, lemon and garlic.
So if you order the fish “naked” go ahead and have the lobster mac and cheese and truffle fries….yum!
One of the best meals I’ve had (maybe ever!) was at the Topside Waterfront Restaurant
The fish is so fresh and you can pick how you want it prepared (grilled, Pan Seared, or Blackened), you can also choose your sauce and your sides. It’s basically a build your own dish and so make it has delicious and healthy or not healthy as you want. I had the Corvina Blackened with blackeyed pea salad and dirty rice, I chose the salsa verde sauce. It was delicious!
There are many other restaurants to try in Hilton Head, we haven’t had a bad experience at any of them. Since we rent houses when we go, I do a lot of cooking and there are plenty of grocery stores to get everything you need.
When we go we’ve always rented a home from Destination Vacations. They make the process very smooth, check in is easy and if you need anything or have any problems with the home they will come out and fix any issues. However, the last time we rented they needed us out of the house early and were cleaning before we even left because the owners were coming in that day. Kind of a bummer. We always stay in Palmetto Dunes when we go, which is a gated community with a resort, shops, restaurants, and great tree covered streets for biking. You can bike all around palmetto dunes, even onto the beach from the street. It’s a really nice area and it’s close to Shelter Cove Harbour where we go to see Shannon Tanner.
We just booked another trip for this coming Spring Break, this time we are going to stay in Sea Pines, we’ve been there to eat and there is great shopping and a really fun little park, but we’ve never stayed there before. I think it will be fun to stay somewhere different. I am a little worried about the weather, we’ve only been there in the summer so I’m guessing it won’t be nearly as warm. We went to Kiawah Island last Spring Break which is near Hilton Head and it was quite chilly! But I’m still really excited to slow down and enjoy the Island, I’m looking forward to another relaxing vacation in Hilton Head.