When you think of Hilton Head, pristine beaches, golf courses, and serene coastal living may come to mind, and rightfully so. This charming island off the coast of South Carolina is indeed a haven for sun-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. However, Hilton Head has a treasure trove of hidden gems and unconventional activities waiting to be discovered by adventurous travelers.
Beyond the sun and surf, there’s a world of unique experiences that offer a different perspective on this coastal paradise. From uncovering ancient mysteries to engaging in playful adventures, Hilton Head’s unusual offerings promise to add a touch of excitement and curiosity to your visit.
Join me as I embark on a journey to uncover 20 unusual things to do in Hilton Head, each promising a delightful departure from the ordinary and a chance to make your visit to this Lowcountry gem truly extraordinary.
From treetop adventures to ancient mysteries, unusual culinary experiences to artistic endeavors, Hilton Head offers surprises around every corner for those willing to explore beyond the beach.
Unusual Things to Do in Hilton Head
- Visit the Coastal Discovery Museum: Explore the rich natural and cultural heritage of Hilton Head at the Coastal Discovery Museum. Wander through beautiful gardens, visit historic buildings, and learn about the island’s wildlife and history through engaging exhibits.
- Go Crabbing: Join the locals in a fun and unusual activity by going crabbing. Drop a line with some bait from one of the many piers, and try your hand at catching blue crabs. It’s a unique coastal experience that can be enjoyed by all ages.
- Visit the Sandbox Children’s Museum: If you’re traveling with kids, make a stop at the Sandbox Children’s Museum. This interactive museum offers hands-on exhibits and activities that promote learning and creativity in a fun and engaging way.
- Take a Dolphin Tour: Hilton Head is known for its dolphin population, and there are various unusual ways to encounter these graceful creatures. Consider a dolphin-watching tour or even try paddleboarding or kayaking with dolphins for a truly memorable experience.
- Explore the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge: This uninhabited island is a hidden gem for nature lovers. Accessible by bike, it offers serene trails, birdwatching opportunities, and a chance to spot native wildlife in a tranquil setting.
- Try Gullah Cuisine: Delve into the unique Gullah culture of Hilton Head by sampling traditional Gullah cuisine. Explore the flavors of Lowcountry cooking, which includes dishes like shrimp and grits, okra gumbo, and sweetgrass basket weaving.
- Discover the Shell Ring: Hilton Head is home to an ancient Native American shell ring, known as the Newell Site. Visit this archaeological site to learn about the island’s prehistoric history and the significance of the shell ring.
- Take a Treetop Adventure: Experience the island from a different perspective by embarking on a treetop adventure. Navigate obstacle courses and zip lines at an aerial adventure park for an exhilarating and unusual day out.
- Visit the Lawton Stables: Explore Hilton Head’s beauty on horseback with a visit to Lawton Stables. You can take guided trail rides through the stunning Sea Pines Forest Preserve, encountering local wildlife along the way.
- Go Night Crabbing: Experience the thrill of night crabbing with a headlamp and a net. This unique nighttime activity allows you to catch crabs that are more active after the sun goes down.
- Learn About Sea Turtles: Hilton Head is a nesting ground for sea turtles, and you can join a guided tour to learn about these fascinating creatures, their conservation, and their nesting habits.
- Visit the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion: Discover the art of sweetgrass basket weaving, a tradition passed down through generations of Gullah descendants. Visit the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion to see skilled artisans at work and learn about this unique craft.
- Take a Pirate Ship Adventure: Set sail on a pirate ship-themed cruise, complete with costumed actors, treasure hunts, and tales of pirate lore. It’s a playful and entertaining way to explore the waters around Hilton Head.
- Try Disc Golf: Play a round of disc golf at one of Hilton Head’s disc golf courses. It’s a unique twist on traditional golf and offers a fun outdoor activity for couples and families.
- Explore the Audubon Newhall Preserve: This serene nature preserve features beautiful trails that wind through salt marshes and maritime forests. It’s an ideal spot for birdwatching and enjoying the island’s natural beauty.
- Visit the World’s Largest Figurative Sundial: Hilton Head is home to the world’s largest figurative sundial. Located at the Coastal Discovery Museum, this unique sundial is not only functional but also a fascinating work of art.
- Go Geocaching: Join the global treasure hunt by going geocaching on Hilton Head Island. Using GPS coordinates, search for hidden caches and enjoy the thrill of discovery.
- Take a Helicopter Tour: Get a bird’s-eye view of Hilton Head’s coastline and natural beauty with a helicopter tour. It’s a unique way to appreciate the island’s stunning landscapes.
- Participate in a Sand Sculpting Workshop: Learn the art of sand sculpting from experts who create intricate sand sculptures on Hilton Head’s beaches. Join a workshop and create your own masterpiece in the sand.
- Visit the Kazoo Museum: Hilton Head is home to the Kazoobie Kazoo Factory, where you can learn about the history of kazoos and even make your own kazoo. It’s a quirky and entertaining stop for all ages.