When the Sea Pines Resort founder Charles Fraser built the Harbour Town Lighthouse in 1970, the skeptical public nicknamed it “Fraser’s Folly.” Fraser’s folly soon became Fraser’s foresight. His red-and-white-striped lighthouse soon became the symbol of Hilton Head Island.
Every year over two million visitors flock here to enjoy the warm sunshine and more than 12 miles of beaches that encircle Hilton Head. Beachcombing is a natural activity for all ages. Have fun searching for crabs, shells, sand dollars, starfish, driftwood, and other treasures.
Hilton Head dolphins are as friendly as the people here. They show up in all the populated places – the Atlantic beaches, the sounds, and the creeks. Their graceful, silvery bodies never fail to catch attention as they arc through the waters or pop up to grin at you with their smiling faces.
Before there was Sea Pines, there was Palmetto Bay Marina, opened in 1959. The marina’s free-spirited Key West ambiance makes it a popular all-day destination. Water activities, restaurants, and shops will keep folks of all ages and interests busy from morning to night.
Parasailing is your ticket to a peaceful yet thrilling experience. Soar over Hilton Head Island and you’ll see the Lowcountry for miles in every direction. Go solo or fly tandem. Choose how high you soar, from 400 to 800 feet in the air. Get wet or stay dry.
What’s a vacation without some leisurely time to kick back and drop a fishing pole into the water? If you aren’t a heavy-duty angler, you have kids in tow, or you just don’t want to spend the time or money for a charter boat, then try fishing in one of the Island’s many lagoons and ponds.
Thanks to the ingenious masonry methods used by 18th century Lowcountry builders, you can walk the ruins of a grand antebellum tabby mansion. The Stoney-Baynard Ruins tells the colorful story of Hilton Head Island and of the Stoney and Baynard families.
A visit to the Lowcountry is not complete until you’ve experienced the “haints” of the South: Boo Hags and root doctors; Voodoo and grave robbers; pirates and Civil War soldiers. This is the stuff of Lowcountry legends, creepy tales, and goose bumps, both on land and at sea.
When the tourist season swings into high gear, the night skies of Hilton Head sizzle with fireworks. Running from mid-June through to mid-August, beginning around 9:00 p.m. (weather permitting, of course), Shelter Cove Marina hosts a pyrotechnic display visible all along Broad Creek.
Whether it’s Blackbeard or Jack Sparrow, pirates always seem to excite and fascinate us. Now your youngsters have a chance to experience what it must have been like to be a pirate along the South Carolina coast with Pirates of Hilton Head, which offers pirate sails daily during the summer.
If you are curious about Daufuskie Island but want more flexibility than a guided tour, design your own day trip. Visiting Daufuskie can be a completely impromptu adventure, requiring nothing more than a few dollars, lots of curiosity, and time to spend.
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