Hilton Head Outdoor Activities | Hilton Head Outfitters Blog

marta.szajePhoto by @marta.szaje

Hilton Head Island is full of immense natural beauty. Photo inspiration and Instagram-worthy spots can be found around every corner. Hilton Head’s scenic beaches, fascinating wildlife, sparkling waterways and iconic landmarks are picture-perfect and sure to garner you some extra likes on Instagram.

Whether you’re travelling by bike, boat or on foot, you’ll discover there’s no shortage of snap-worthy places and blogger-approved backdrops on Hilton Head Island. Here is a list of some of our favorite Instagram-friendly locations on the Island:

Palmetto Dunes Lagoon

The Palmetto Dunes lagoon system is the perfect location to snap an eye-catching photo for your Instagram. Rent a canoe or kayak and paddle down the lagoon for incredible views and to spot the Island’s abundance of wildlife. The lagoon system is home to otters, turtles, and alligators, as well as over 40 species of birds. A guided fishing tour or charter is another way to discover the lagoon. Our experienced and entertaining captains can help point out the best Instagram-worthy spots along the 11-mile lagoon.

ericafuhrmanPhoto by @ericafuhrman

Neptune Statue

The Neptune Statue is an iconic symbol of Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina. This towering 12-foot bronze statue, which doubles as a larger-than-life sundial, was designed and installed by sculptor Wayne Edwards and serves as a tribute to Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. It welcomes visitors to this popular waterfront dining and shopping location and is a perfect place to take a photo that captures Hilton Head Island’s connection to the sea.

jerseyj79Photo by @jerseyj79

Harbour Town Lighthouse

The Harbour Town Lighthouse is one of Hilton Head’s best-known landmarks and has been one of the Island’s most popular attractions for more than four decades. This postcard-perfect photo destination is a bike ride from Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort that makes for a stunning Instagram photo sure to earn you a lot of likes.

You can also climb the 114 steps to the top of the lighthouse to capture the beauty of Hilton Head from above. You’ll be amazed by the panoramic views of the Island and its surrounding waterways and marshlands. Talk about a picture worth a thousand “likes”!

caroline.thaotdubhokiePhotos by @caroline.thao and @tdubhokie

Palmetto Dunes Beach

The best thing about taking photos of Palmetto Dunes beach is the variety of images you can capture. The beach features three miles of wide, white-sand beachfront that lines the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the ideal location to take incredible photos of vacationers enjoying surfing, boogie boarding, swimming, walking and beach biking. It’s also a great place to snap photos of beach lounging with friends and family. It’s also one of the best places on Hilton Head Island to capture stunning photos of the sun rising up over the ocean.

thezigisrogu the2654projectPhotos by @thezigisrogu and @the2654project

Shelter Cove Marina

Shelter Cove Marina is the largest marina on Hilton Head Island. The marina has almost 180 boat slips, overlooks beautiful Broad Creek and is also the ideal location to snap the perfect Hilton Head sunset photo, as the sun starts to disappear behind the docked boats of the marina.

kelly_neaton
Photo by @kelly_neaton

Out on the Ocean

There are some stunning Instagram-worthy photos to be captured on the Atlantic Ocean surrounding Hilton Head Island. Hop on a sightseeing or nature excursion tour to capture the Island’s fascinating marine wildlife on camera. The waterways that surround Hilton Head have a large and active population of wild Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins. Need an Instagram model? The dolphins often stop by boats to say hello and pose for pictures!

Another great photo opportunity and fun ocean activity is to join a fishing charter with friends or family. Cast a line for trout, redfish, ladyfish, sharks and much more. Make sure your camera is always on hand to capture the excitement of someone reeling in the catch of the day.

smschildt capthookfishingPhotos by @smschildt and @capthookfishing

Along the Bike Trails

Hilton Head Island has over 80 miles of trails to be explored by bike. Photograph the towering oak trees draped in Spanish moss or the Island’s wild critters. There are plenty of opportunities along the trails to stop and take photos of Hilton Head’s furry friends, including deer, rabbits, minks and more. The trails also have tons of interesting and colorful slithery species such as snakes, frogs, toads, lizards and salamanders that will be sure to intrigue your Instagram followers.

taffetatulips megannighPhotos by @taffetatulips and @megannigh

Now that you know where the most Instagrammable locations are on Hilton Head Island, head to Hilton Head Outfitters where our experts will help you pick the perfect vehicle for getting out to explore the Island’s natural beauty. Read up on your photography tricks and start snapping and sharing with us on Instagram. We love seeing Hilton Head Island through your lens.

Kayaking Group

Hilton Head Island was named the #1 island in the Continental U.S. by Travel + Leisure magazine, and when you experience its beauty first hand, we think you’ll see why. At Hilton Head Outfitters we offer many ways to help you explore Hilton Head Island’s scenery. Cycle trails and beaches with our rental bikes. Learn to surf the ocean waves. Rent a beach chair to sit back and relax. Spend some time exploring in one of our kayaks.

Kayaks are one of the most popular rental items at our shop. Our experts will help you chose the kayak right for you – classic, sit-on-top, single or double. We’ll fit you with a lifejacket and show you everything you need to know to glide through the Palmetto Dunes lagoon with confidence.

Once you’ve got your kayak, and your Hilton Head Outfitters map of our saltwater lagoon system, you’re ready for this pleasant excursion for paddlers of all levels.

As you wind your way through the water, keep your eyes peeled for birds and animals. This lagoon system is host to a vast array of wildlife! It’s not uncommon for an otter or two to swim by your kayak, or an egret or crane to be seen posing elegantly by the shore. You might even see an alligator – although they generally don’t like the salt water. The lagoon is also home to an extraordinary variety of fish, such as redfish, tarpon, trout and flounder. Fishing is welcome on the lagoon, so you may want to rent some fishing gear along with your kayak to see what you can catch!

KayakView
A paddle through the lagoon system also gives you the opportunity to see Palmetto Dunes from a brand new perspective. The lagoon passes by all three of our golf courses, the Robert Trent Jones, Arthur Hills and George Fazio.

Our customers often comment on the peace and quiet they experience while out on the lagoon. Only battery-operated boats are permitted, and while you’ll likely pass by fellow adventurers in kayaks and canoes, the lagoon is never congested. Once you’ve paddled past the golf courses and idyllic residential areas, you’ll come to a truly “ahhhhh-inspiring” section of the lagoon where there is no sign of civilization in sight.

After an hour or two of paddling around, we bet you’ll be hungry. Once you’ve safely returned to Hilton Head Outfitters, we’ll take care of getting your kayak gear put away while you head to one of Palmetto Dunes’ many restaurants for a well-earned meal.

Do you have a favorite kayaking route at Palmetto Dunes or a memorable story from your time on the lagoon? Tell us in the comments!

BikeIsland

There’s no better way to get around Hilton Head Island than by bike. From scenic coastal roads to winding tree-lined streets, cycling is the easiest – and dare we say most enjoyable – way to get around and see everything Hilton Head Island has to offer.

So where exactly can you go? We’ve put together some trail options for both the beginner biker and the more experienced cyclist. So get ready to put your Palmetto Dunes vacation into gear – bike gear that is!

Bike the beach
Map link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zF2Uc5Nz45wU.ksRGl7jIYboE&usp=sharing

Start at the Hilton Head Outfitters. This is where you’ll rent a  bike. We offer bikes for every member of your family and can get you set up with everything you’ll need from helmets to maps.

Get a feel for your bike on the path along Ocean Lane Drive. Stick to the dedicated bike path, it’s safer and makes for better views. If you want to stop to take a photo, just pull over to the side so other cyclists can pass on the left.

There are access points to the beach all along Ocean Lane Drive. Bikes can be ridden easily on the packed sands, especially at low tide, so take a leisurely ride along the beach and see Hilton Head Island’s best side .

The trick to beach riding is not to try and go too fast–probably best if you’re just starting out, anyway. Take in the atmosphere as you wind up the beach to find a good spot for that take-out lunch from Big Jim’s you packed in the bike’s basket.

Over 200 miles of pathway
Map link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zF2Uc5Nz45wU.kbVK_e6yLjdM&usp=sharing

Hilton Head Island is completely connected by bike paths. Many follow main roads providing cyclists a safe, quick way to get around the island. From the Outfitters by the beach, head on the paths along Queens Folly Road and under the highway to Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina.

This is a great spot for lunch or evening entertainment and it’s only a short bike away. Lock your bike in one of the many bike racks and head off for some shopping, or to ride a jet pack, at the marina.

At Shelter Cove, you’ll find your first pathway kiosk. These are dotted all over Hilton Head Island and are your link to the rest of the trails with maps and other local info. You’ve only just connected to the main Hilton Head bike network.

Now it’s time to experience the lowcountry. Take a proper bike trip north along the William Hilton Parkway, onto Marshlands Drive, then turn right onto Leg O Mutton Road, which takes you up a winding path on a lovely, quiet, wooded ride through the heart of Hilton Head Island’s amazing ecosystem.

From there, bear left and go under the highway and you’ll find the Honey Horn park and the Coastal Discovery Museum, both great ways to get close to the island’s nature. Or bear right and turn at Beach City Road to pass under the live oak canopy and into old Mitchelville, the first community in America founded by freed slaves.

The serious cyclist
Map link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zF2Uc5Nz45wU.k1EcNie2pIuo&usp=sharing

There’s lots to do for every level of cyclist at Palmetto Dunes, so if you’re looking for more than a slow ride along the beach, take a trip through some of Bluffton’s most historic and scenic wetlands.

Bike out highway 278 (the Parkway) to the town of Bluffton. This is about a two and a half hour ride along flat, public roads.

In Bluffton, turn left onto Lake Point Drive and then right onto highway 46, the May River Road. You’ll pass through Pritchardville, then come to a parking lot for the New River Linear Trail.

That’s a short hiking/biking trail along an old railbed, and runs south to the river through remote lowcountry. There are interpretive signs documenting the area’s history, and the trail is part of the East Coast Greenway project, so experienced trail riders can connect to other nearby trails.

If you’re up for a few miles more, continue along May River Road and right onto highway 170 then left when you reach highway 17. That’ll take you to the Savannah Wildlife Refuge where you can explore all manner of flora and fauna.

If you do head off Hilton Head Island, make sure you’re prepared with water and snacks to keep you fueled for your adventure. Allow at least a couple of hours riding to get back before dark, too.

Shifting gears
A few handy tips and tricks:

  • In peak season, it’s a very good idea to book a bike at least 72 hours ahead of time. If you plan to do a lot of cycling, call Hilton Head Outfitters (866) 380-1783 in advance of arrival to snag a good bike.
  • You can get a variety of attachments for carrying young children, all from the Outfitters.
  • Wash down the bike after you use it. This helps clean off corrosive salt picked up from sand.
  • Lock the bike at all times.
  • Remember to bring water for longer bike trips to stay hydrated.

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Tweet Pin It Photo by @marta.szaje Hilton Head Island is full of immense natural beauty. Photo inspiration and Instagram-worthy spots can be found around every corner. Hilton Head’s scenic beaches, fascinating wildlife, sparkling waterways and iconic landmarks are picture-perfect and sure to garner you some extra likes on Instagram. Whether you’re travelling by bike, boat […]

Tweet Pin It Hilton Head Island was named the #1 island in the Continental U.S. by Travel + Leisure magazine, and when you experience its beauty first hand, we think you’ll see why. At Hilton Head Outfitters we offer many ways to help you explore Hilton Head Island’s scenery. Cycle trails and beaches with our […]