Things to do in Hilton Head Island

Our most recommended things to do in Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Nature Cruise

1. Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Nature Cruise

Take a sightseeing cruise to explore the incredible nature around Hilton Head Island and the surrounding waterways. Hear about the island’s history from your expert crew as you search for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Admire the coastal landscape as you learn about the lifecycle of these mammals. Discover why this region is the perfect place for dolphins to settle. With sightings guaranteed, this tour is sure to be a highlight of your vacation.

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Watching Guided Tour by Boat

2. Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Watching Guided Tour by Boat

Take in the beauty of Hilton Head from the perspective of the water on a fully narrated boat tour. Delight in up-close encounters with dolphins, and find out about their habits, eating patterns, and more with a local guide. As you explore the island's waterways, learn about the history of the area and the surrounding islands from your guide's narration. Hear about oysters, spartina grass, tides, pluff mud, and more. As well as dolphins, keep on the lookout for other wildlife including pelicans, osprey, stingrays, herons, turtles, and more which may be seen along the way.

Hilton Head Island: Sunset Dolphin Cruise

3. Hilton Head Island: Sunset Dolphin Cruise

Discover the incredible wildlife of Hilton Head Island with a dolphin spotting cruise at sunset. Search for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in open water before watching the sunset on Daufuskie Island. Sail towards the open ocean in search of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins on an amazing sightseeing cruise. Dolphin sightings are guaranteed on this cruise. After seeing these animals in open water, travel to Daufuskie Island and up Bull Creek to Dolphin Hole to watch the setting sun. Admire the incredible landscape of salt estuaries at sunset. Listen to live commentary from your expert captain, and ask the crew any questions you might have. Beer, wine, snacks, and drinks are available for purchase throughout the trip.

Hilton Head Island: Sunset Dinner Cruise

4. Hilton Head Island: Sunset Dinner Cruise

Board the luxury Spirit of Harbor Town ship for an evening of mouthwatering cuisine and the island’s best sunsets. Admire unbeatable views as you enjoy a delicious dinner and watch as the sun slips behind the horizon. Choose to dine on the shaded topside deck, or select a table in the collimate-controlled cabin with panoramic windows. Relax with a drink from the full-service bar (at your own expense) as you look out for dolphins. Sunset Dinner Cruise Sail early enough to catch the sunset and return after dark to the lights of Harbour Town. Whether a warm summer evening or a cozy November night, the Sunset Dinner Cruise is a perfect way to end any day of the year on Hilton Head Island. Keep your eye out for dolphins as they typically make an appearance during the sunset dinner cruise. Menu Starter: • Heirloom tomato panzanella salad Your choice of 1 entree:• Fish: blackened mahi-mahi • Chicken: roasted chicken breast • Pork: berbere spiced pork loin • Vegetarian/vegan: fresh pasta primavera Dessert: • Key lime pie or layered chocolate mousse

Hilton Head Island: Pirate Cruise on the Black Dagger

5. Hilton Head Island: Pirate Cruise on the Black Dagger

Treat your little ones to the adventure of a lifetime aboard an activity-packed pirate cruise on Hilton Head Island. Allow your child to live out their craziest fantasies by turning into a pirate with the help of face paint and temporary tattoos. Help find a sunken treasure and defeat Stinky Pete. Head to the docks to get a new pirate name and learn how to speak like a real pirate. Board the legendary Black Dagger and set sail in search of a treasure. Join in on a race to find Stinky Pete, the island’s smelliest pirate who knows about the treasure map and has stolen the key Locate Stinky Pete before he gets to the treasure first. Watch the crew man the water cannons and blast Stinky Pete until he gives back the key. Enjoy singing and dancing throughout your journey, as you navigate across the ocean before heading back to the starting point.

Hilton Head Island: Round-Trip Daufuskie Island Ferry

6. Hilton Head Island: Round-Trip Daufuskie Island Ferry

Step back in time with a trip to Daufuskie Island and get a feel for the Low Country. This express ferry service departs from the Sea Pines Resort and arrives in Daufuskie just 30 minutes later, giving you more time to explore. Learn the island’s history from your captain and hear about interesting landmarks and sights to see. Bring your bike on board the ferry at no extra cost, or rent a golf cart on arrival. After exploring the island, hop back on the ferry to return to Hilton Head.

Hilton Head Island: Scenic Helicopter Tour

7. Hilton Head Island: Scenic Helicopter Tour

Marvel at breathtaking views only seen by helicopter. Spot a range of wildlife from dolphins and sharks to sea turtles and manta rays. See Hilton Head, Daufuskie, Tybee Island, and downtown Savannah by air. Choose between 3 options: Ocean View – 3 minutes Get views of Folly Field Beach and the Port Royal Sound on an 8-mile loop around the northeast corner of the island. This flight is designed as a discovery flight to experience what it is like to fly in a helicopter. Beach Cruiser – 6 minutes Fly right over the sandy shores of Hilton Head. Depart out of the Hilton Head Airport and head east, right down the busiest beaches on the island. This tour offers great views of Folly Field Beach, Broad Creek, Port Royal Sound, and Shelter Cove. Beach Bum – 10 minutes A combination of the Ocean View and Beach Cruiser tours, this tour takes you along the most active stretch of beaches to Coligny Beach, Hilton Head's most popular beach park. Keep an eye out for marine life as you fly low along the beach. As you turn around you will begin to climb high in the sky giving you the best view of the island along with Parris Island and Downtown Savannah.

Hilton Head Island: America’s Cup Sailing Yacht Cruise

8. Hilton Head Island: America’s Cup Sailing Yacht Cruise

Step aboard a former America’s Cup sailing yacht for an afternoon cruise. Discover what it takes to sail a racing yacht as you help the crew, or simply sit back and enjoy the ride. See the sights of the Calibogue Sound and learn about the history of these waters. Have your camera ready as you keep an eye out for dolphins. Drinks and merchandise are available for purchase on board.

Hilton Head: Guided Kayak Tour

9. Hilton Head: Guided Kayak Tour

Get out onto the water with this 90-minute guided kayaking tour - perfect for all ages and experience levels, from first-time paddlers to veteran kayakers.  First, arrive at the meeting point at Hilton Head and get kitted out with a kayak, paddle, and life jacket. Both double and single kayaks are available. Then, launch your kayak into the water and glide through the waters of Skull Creek. Listen as your tour guide enriches your mind with historical and wildlife knowledge of Hilton Head Island. Then, begin to paddle through the rich ecosystem of the saltwater marshlands, observing many indigenous species of bird wildlife. Try to spot brown pelicans, egrets, herons, osprey, bald eagles, and many more. Also, get up close and personal with beloved Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Hilton Head is home to over 100 local dolphins, living here year-round, and is also located on the migratory path for these spectacular mammals. Don't be surprised to see these curious creatures swimming right alongside your kayak.

Hilton Head Island: Round-Trip Ferry Ticket to Savannah

10. Hilton Head Island: Round-Trip Ferry Ticket to Savannah

Cruise through stunning intracoastal waterways from Hilton Head Island to Savannah with this round-trip express ferry ticket. Board from inside the Sea Pines Resort, then travel to the city in a comfortable air-conditioned boat. Sit back and admire the view as you sail through old shipping channels. Enjoy over 4 hour in Savannah to explore the city, before heading back to the ferry. On the return trip, benefit from happy hour pricing on selected drinks.

Other Sightseeing Options in Hilton Head Island

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What people are saying about Hilton Head Island

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 808 reviews

From beginning to end, this was an excellent choice!! The crew were wonderful! We learned so many new facts about dolphins. The only somewhat negative comment I could say was that the captain had a clear view of the sunset at one point but didn’t stop the boat until it was behind some trees. I love seeing the sun setting straight to the water. Other than that, we would highly recommend!! Especially for families!

Captain Mark was an amazing guide. He made my 9 year old daughter feel like every time she saw a dolphin it was an exciting thing. He stopped multiple times to let us see the dolphins and never made us feel rushed to move along. Would highly recommend!

Awesome experience. We have been 3 times now, each time better than the last. Our boat ride there and back were great. We have seen many dolphins on this tour. The beach at Daufuskie is very pretty. Ill be back in coup years! Cheers y’all!

The tour was a lot of fun, we saw many dolphins, and the tour guides were excellent

Staff were so nice and fun and we saw so many dolphins!!