First time to Hilton Head?
Here's a suggested first timers to-do list in no particular order:
- Pay $5 (per car) to go into Sea Pines. Visit Harbourtown (marina, lighthouse and huge childrens playground and treehouse), South Beach Marina (Salty Dog Cafe) and The Sea Pines Forest Preserve. The guard will give you a map when you enter the property. Salty Dog, Truffles and Guiseppis are suggested kid friendly restaurants in Sea Pines.
- Tuesday night fireworks at Shelter Cove Harbour with live entertainment and children's activities. Or watch the fireworks from our beach. Read my blog post on this site for details.
- Spend a day in Savannah Ga on River Street. Eat lunch at "Mrs Wilkes Boarding House". If you are Paula Dean fans, go to Lady and Sons restaurant instead. Nearby Tybee Island is a neat old beach town with a huge pier out into the ocean. Visit Fort Pulaski just before the causeway to Tybee Island. Beautiful architecture and a great Civil War historic site. Savannah is hotter than HHI so pick the coolest day during your visit if possible. Savannah is a beautiful town, about an hour drive. There are some big shopping malls and hundreds of restaurants on Abercorn Street headed south out of town. Take a horse drawn carriage tour through the historic squares and parks. There is also a free downtown bus on the CATS public bus system. The whole downtown has become the campus for SCAD - Savannah College of Art and Design. LUCAS Theatre has lots of interesting productions.
- Coligny Plaza is the main tourist area and considered "downtown" Hilton Head. Market Street Cafe is well worth a visit. The world famous Tiki Bar at the Holiday Inn is on the oceanfront just to the right of the water fountains and splashing kids. Frosty Frog, Wild Wing Cafe and Kenny B's are tourist favorites. Kids love Black Market Minerals for cheap souveniers.
- Rent bikes from the deli and enjoy over 50 miles of paved bike paths. There are no hills so anyone can ride our island. Hilton Head Ice Cream on New Orleans Rd is a great destination ride. They churn the ice cream in the store. Free toppings bar. I highly recommend the cinnamon ice cream. Just turn left out of the resort onto the bike path and follow it until you see McDonald's. HH Ice Cream is behind McD's.
- Go on a dolphin cruise. You really don't experience Hilton Head until you get out on the water. Make reservations in advance. Vagabond out of Harbourtown seems to be a good cruise. Dolphin Plus, SS Pelican, Dolphin Seafari seem to be having a good time too. You'll often see dolphins along the HHR beach. There are also pirate cruises, sunset cruises and cruises to Savannah. Dolphin sightings are almost always guaranteed. Use coupons to save money.
- Other fun things: Miniature golf, kayaking, jetskiing, parasailing, bowling, movies, eating, shopping, ocean, pools, tennis, golf, or of course just do absolutely nothing!
- Don't miss restaurants include: Roastfish and Cornbread, Skull Creek Boathouse, Alexander's, Sea Shack, One Hot Mamas, Asian Bistro, Kenny B's, Wild Wing Cafe, Guiseppis, Market Street Cafe, Harold's Diner, Hugo's, Hinoki and Marleys.
I'm a frequent contributor (gotodaufuskie) on www.tripadvisor.com on the Hilton Head forum and on the forums and photo albums on www.hiltonheadlife.com. You'll find lots more suggestions for 1st timers on these sites.
No matter what you decide to do while you are here, you are going to have a GREAT TIME!