Travel Guide: Hilton Head Island, SC

As many of you know, Brian and I traveled to HHI, South Carolina to ring in the New Year. This was our third time back to the island and we had a blast. The reason HHI holds such a special place in my heart is because it is where Brian and I took our honeymoon back in 2013. After our honeymoon, we fell in love with HHI. We visited again in 2015 and have vowed to try to make it back at least every other year if not every two years. Now that you know the backstory…my excitement for our trip might make a little more sense now.

In today’s post, I wanted to share all the places that we ate and what we did while we were in HHI. Just a quick little note about traveling to HHI during the holiday season. A lot of the restaurants and shopping centers were closed a couple of the days on our vacation. It wasn’t a big deal to us, but I just wanted to let you all know if you were thinking of traveling during this time too. One thing we really enjoyed was that everything was decorated for the holidays. All the homes looked so beautiful and even the lighthouse was decorated!

There is so much to do on the island and off. We mainly stayed on the island, but did venture off to do a couple of things outside the island. For New Year’s Eve, I was kindly invited by the Hilton Head Island Chamber of Commerce to the Beach House for their NYE party. We had a lot of fun and it was a great way to ring in 2019. There was music by Cranford Hollow, food and more!

WHAT WE DID:

Bike Riding

The best way to get around HHI is to bike it. You can really explore the town and plus you get some good exercise. You can even ride your bikes on the beach. We rent bikes every time we go and ride them almost everyday. Such a good way to get around the island.

Shopping 

There is so much shopping to do in HHI. They have a great Tanger Outlet Mall right outside the island, as well as tons of shops inside Sea Pines and near Coligny Beach. I found so many goodies this time it was hard to only walk away with one touristy t-shirt.

Old Town Bluffton, SC

This little historic town is right outside the island, but worth the 20 minute drive. There are ton of gift shops, places to eat and art galleries. There is also a historic church that has survived the Civil War and numerous Yankee invasions (per Brian). It is so beautiful!

Day Trip to Charleston, SC

We stayed in HHI the entire trip, but one of the days we wanted to visit Charleston. I have a full post on our day here.

Sea Pines

We purchased a week pass for Sea Pines, so that we could visit each day. The week pass is $30 and saves you about $5. Sea Pines is where Harbor Town, the Lighthouse, Golf Links, Salty Dog Cafe, and shopping is located. This is one of our favorite spots to bike too. You can also get to the beach from this area too. The Sea Pines Resort is one of my favorite areas to visit in Sea Pines. It is a beautiful resort and beach.

Coligny Beach

This beach was only a walk or bike ride from our condo. We spent most mornings or evenings on the beach people watching and just enjoying the water.

Pirates Island Mini Golf

We love mini golf and Pirates Island is the best on the island. We usually play 2 or 3 games each time we visit. It is a great activity for all ages.

Horseback Riding at Hertiage Farm

We have never done this before and didn’t get around to it on this trip, maybe next time. This farm is located right in the middle of Sea Pines and looks like a great activity for everyone.

WHAT WE ATE:

We stuck to our favorites for meals. But, did try a couple of new places this time around. Of course, we mainly ate seafood, but did try pizza a couple of nights.

BREAKFAST

Stacks

They have a wonderful variety of different types of pancakes to chose from…all of which looked really good. A great breakfast spot.

Skillets

Another great spot for breakfast. All the items on the menu that I have tried have been really good.

Hilton Head Diner

A great spot to grab a quick breakfast before mini golf…which happens to be right next door.

Southern Coney & Breakfast

They claim to have the best pancakes and I have to say that I agree. These were by far the best pancakes we had on our trip!

LUNCH & DINNER

Salty Dog Cafe

One of HHI’s most famous restaurants. It is inside Sea Pines. It does get really busy during the peak season, so make sure to arrive early to get a good seat. There is also several shops and things to do after you eat.

The Crazy Crab

We went to the Crazy Crab twice during our visit. It is one of our favorite spots. They have the best seafood steam pots!

Hudson’s

This is a great spot to have lunch on the ocean. The view is gorgeous and the food is just as good!

Black Marlin

Another one of our favorites from past trips. I went for the lobster tacos (of course!) and Brian had the oysters.

Charbar Co.

We stumbled in here after biking one day and loved it. The lobster sandwich is to die for and they have great burgers too!

Carolina Crab Company

We went here on New Years Eve before our party at the Beach House. It was so good and totally worth it!

The British Open Pub

They have the best fish and chips! I would recommend making a reservation as the restaurant is very small and they always have a wait around dinner time.

Fat Baby’s Pizza & Subs

We had seen the sign for this place last time, but didn’t get around to trying it until this trip. It was great pizza.

Giuseppe’s

On New Year’s day there weren’t a lot of restaurants open, so we opted to try another Italian restaurant. We got a pizza and key lime pie to-go and it was amazing. I have to say this was my favorite pizza of the two that we tried.

SWEET TREATS

Cinnamon Bear Ice Cream

You must try the ice cream at Cinnamon Bear. It is located in Harbour Town inside a gift shop! It is the best homemade ice cream I have ever tried. I am not ashamed to say that we went there almost every day during our trip.

Salty Dog Ice Cream

You have to try their peach ice cream! It was actually closed both times we went (insert sad face), but if you do happen to go when it’s open it is a must try!

Peanut Butter Pie

South Carolina is known for their peanut butter pie. You have to try a slice while you are there!

15 thoughts on “Travel Guide: Hilton Head Island, SC

  1. I absolutely love how you’ve made it tradition to visit this spot over and over since it has sentimental value from your honeymoon. So precious!

  2. Sounds like such an incredible trip!! Love that you have made it a tradition. Definitely going to reference this if/when I book my own trip here.

    xo, Laura

  3. Such great recommendations! I live in Charleston, but I used to work in Beaufort, Bluffton, and HIlton Head. I’ve been in so many of these places for work, but sadly never had the chance to eat at most of them 🙁

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