So hubby and I took a road trip that led us to Hilton Head Island this summer for a beach wedding. I was looking for things to do, and couldn’t necessarily find a ton of stuff. But a few apps (Like Yelp, Trip, and Google) gave us a few spots; and we also found some of our own from the local guidebooks/pamphlets at the hotel lobby.
Places to Eat
There are a few good spots here on the island to eat. Not a ton of mom and pop places, but a few I didn’t know were chains are located around town too and just as delicious! Duck Donuts and Another Broken Egg Cafe, are both franchised chains, but a good spot for breakfast/brunch if you want out of the hotel. A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant is just that, a backyard! I believe there might be some indoor seating, but I’m honestly not sure. It was so nice outside that it was perfect to sit out in the “backyard” and enjoy the shade and the slight breeze, and the mulch under your feet. Such a cute, quaint, easy to miss spot. They have a small stage for live music in the evenings as well!
Places to Drink
There aren’t a whole lot of spots to hang out at, aside from the multitude of hotel and beach bars. But there are a few good spots that you can get to easily just off the beach. There’s 2 easy-to-get-to breweries in the area. Hilton Head Brewing Company is on the island (Mid to Northern part) and has a decent selection of craft beers. They have wings and the likes to eat there as well as a covered patio outside.
Salt Marsh Brewing is just over the bridge to the Mainland and also an excellent spot! They have a half covered huge patio with plenty of group seating tables, as well as a large bar to sit at inside. They have tons of rotating taps from all sorts of other craft brewers, as well as some ciders and meads for the not so beer-centric. The coolest thing about this place? They make alcoholic milkshakes!! There’s a little ice cream parlor inside, and you can get regular ice cream or add alcohol to it for a float or milkshake!
Island Winery is just down from Hilton Head Brewing and also has a great selection of wines, including a delicious margarita wine?!?! (I know right?!)
Places to Explore
There were a few things other than wander the beaches to do on the island. Hubby and I like to soak up local history when we go places, so we took a short trek out to Fort Howell. Now, this is not your typical wood boxy forts, this was what was known as a land fort. It was basically a bunch of hills and ground mounded up to form basic walls for protection in the 1800’s. Most of it has eroded away from people and water, but a general outline can still be seen. Fortunately there’s a few well placed markers with maps and info there. It’s a quick stop, no more than 15 minutes really, but its a nice walking area that you can explore in the woods.
Our next stop was the Coastal Discovery Museum. This was a nice little place, off the beaten path if you will. There is a small museum in the house with local artists and a small gift shop. The ladies at the desk were super helpful and nice and gave us tips about other things to do as well. This was a great place to walk around and stretch our legs. You basically walk the whole outdoors area, if you choose. There’s a nice children’s room with some activities they can participate in. Then there are a few boardwalks out back, that lead out into the marsh land, that will look totally different depending on the time of the tide. There are even free viewing binoculars set up on each pavilion at the end of the boardwalk. They have a butterfly house, a nice monument, and a bunch of teeny tiny venus flytraps growing around the house. Then you can venture along the marsh and cheek our their gardens and other historical buildings along the homestead. At the back of the property they have a piece of an Atlas V rocket that crashed in the ocean and washed up on shore. NASA didn’t care to get it back, so that’s kind of neat to see in the Pole Barn in the back corner if you’re into that sort of thing. The walk back can get a little hot as there aren’t many trees, unless you want to walk the way along the gardens again.
And of course most of the beaches on the island are public access and you are free to stroll along them as you wish and visit any resort bars attached to it. Most resorts even have condo rentals available if that is more to your liking as well.
All in all this is a very relaxing place to spend an extended weekend or a short week. If you’re the type to just want to relax and enjoy the ocean, this is great. If you’re the type of person that needs to do things and go see things all the time, there’s not a ton of stuff to see, not that Savannah or the likes is too far of a day trip drive for you though either. It’s a great place to relax on a long weekend and just chill out.