13 Unusual Things To Do On Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

13 Unusual Things To Do On Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

So you loved Hilton Head South Carolina so much the first time, you had to come back for more? You’ve already hit the beaches, climbed the lighthouse, went shopping, and played a few rounds of golf. You’ve done the tourist thing. Or maybe you’ve never visited, but are looking for some different travel experiences. Well, no worries, because we got you covered. Don’t miss these unusual things to do that you can only find on Hilton Head Island.

See Hilton Head Island Alligators

Take a guided tour of the freshwater lakes of the Sea Resort Forest preserve. Get close to Hilton Head’s indigenous plant and animal life including the Native American alligator.

Alligator tours are narrated by experienced Lowcountry tour guides, who will tell you all the alligator’s secrets.

H2O Sports

149 Lighthouse Road
Hilton Head, SC 29928
(843) 671-4386



Tour the Gullah-Geechee Neighborhoods

Soak up the history and heritage of Hilton Head Island on a Gullah Heritage Trail Tour through the original Gullah-Geechee Neighborhoods of Hilton Head.

The Gullah people of South Carolina were enslaved West Africans who lived in this part of South Carolina before the Civil War. The Gullah people are known for preserving more of their African linguistic and cultural heritage than any other African American community in the United States.

You can tour the Gullah neighborhood with a local resident, visit a freedom village and stop at a museum to learn more

Gullah Heritage Trail Tours

(843) 681-7066 for information

Tour pick-ups are at 70 Honey Horn Drive, Hilton Head (at the Coastal Discovery Museum).


Explore the Stoney-Baynard Plantation

The Stoney-Baynard Ruins are a national historic site located on Hilton Head Island. Captain Jack Stoney built them in the 1790s, and they served as an antebellum plantation house overlooking Calibogue Sound.

Legend says that Captain Jack Stoney lost a poker game to William Baynard in 1840, and he lost the property to Baynard. Baynard’s family occupied it until Union forces invaded Hilton Head in 1861. After the Baynard’s left, it became the Union headquarters before being burned down.

Ghostly activity has been reported at the ruins: apparitions of a man have been seen walking through the ruins. Some think this is William Baynard, who died after being shot during the Civil War.

Stoney-Baynard Ruins at Sea Pines Plantation Drive

Hilton Head, SC 29928

Located off on Plantation Drive in Sea Pines, Baynard Ruins Park is on the right just after passing Baynard Cove Road and Marsh Drive.


Visit Historic Fort Howell

 This intriguing fort was constructed during the Civil War to protect the freed slave community in Mitchellville. Named after a Union Army Brigadier, Fort Howell today is a peaceful place for a woodland walk.

Stroll along the trail and imagine what it was like for the troops stationed here. See if you can spot the mossy mounds where the fort walls once stood.

Fort Howell
160 Beach City Road
Hilton Head, SC 29926
(404) 507-5868

Picnic at Audubon Newhall Preserve

 Pack a picnic (and the binoculars) and head to Audubon Newhall Preserve near Sea Pines. The small, 50-acre protected nature preserve is pure paradise with a small network of trails and boardwalks winding through five unique ecosystems. The preserve offers birds, butterflies, and wildlife and a tranquil pond perfect for a picnic. Guided tours available.

Audubon Newhall Preserve

55 Palmetto Bay Road
Hilton Head, SC 29926

 For information and inquiries email Bob Clemens at rclemens318@gmail.com

Directions: Use the address into your GPS or traffic app, rather than the name of the Preserve


Hunt Sand Dollars on Vanishing Island

Vanishing Island is a must-do when visiting Hilton Head, but you only get there by boat at low tide. There are numerous tour operators that can take you to Vanishing Island, which is only walkable for about an hour a day

During this magic hour you can find sand dollars, starfish, and other fun sea creatures. Each day the island brings something different. It’s the perfect excursion to seek solitude and find oneness with the sea.


Soar in the Trees at Adventure Hilton Head

If you’re looking for a more thrilling activity, Adventure Hilton Head is ideal. The perfect place for both adults and kids. The park offers several activities including the Zipline Canopy Tour, Aerial Adventure Tour, and Go Karts.

The Zip LIne Tour has 7 ziplines that give you the highest vantage point in Hilton Head. It includes the Swinging sky bridge, a spiral staircase leading to the trees, and a 900-foot long racing zip finale.

The Aerial Adventure Tour is a series of rope courses. There are four different levels along with more than 50 different obstacles in the sky.

Activities usually require some sort of age, height, or weight range which can be found on their website where you can also schedule a time for your adventures.

Adventure Hilton Head

33 Broad Creek Marina Way
Hilton Head, SC 29926
(843) 682-6000

Chill Out at Mitchelville Beach

Mitchelville Beach is a lesser known beach on Hilton Head Island, but it’s a great spot for shelling and exploring

The beach is located near the Hilton Head Island Airport, so it’s a bit secluded and rugged compared to beaches like Coligney and Folly Field, There are fewer crowds here, so if you’re looking for a more peaceful experience with fewer people around, this is the place for you!

The best part of Mitchelville Beach is that it is better for shell collecting than swimming. The sand is coarser than what you’d find at other beaches on Hilton Head, which means fewer shells are being washed away by the tide. You’ll also find more salt marshes and wetlands here than other beaches on the island, and they’re beautiful in their own right.

Mitchelville Beach (Fish Haul Beach Park)

120 Mitchelville Road
Hilton Head, SC 29926
(843) 341-4600

Journey Through Time at the Mitchelville Freedom Park 

Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park was the first self-governed community of former slaves in America. It was founded in 1862 when escaped slaves, with aid of the Union army, built a town for themselves on Hilton Head Island.

The town had roads, homes, churches, stores, and schools. The formerly enslaved people elected officials who mandated that children between 6 and 15 receive an education, the first town in South Carolina to implement compulsory education.

Today, Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park preserves the history and traditions of those ancestors through exhibits like replicas of Praise Houses, homesteads, and tool sheds.

Amenities include restrooms, free parking, walking trails, a picnic pavilion, and beach access.

Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park

229 Beach City Road
Hilton Head, SC 29926
(843) 255-7301

Play in the Tidepools

Visit any beach of your choosing as the tide is going out and that’s when the magic happens! It’s fun for adults to see what’s in the pools and if you have kids, they will love playing in them and swimming in them


Indulge Your Taste Buds with a Food Tour

One of the most fun ways to get to know Hilton Head is through its food. Join a walking tour and discover the unique flavors that define the island cuisine. You’ll be stopping at some of the top local restaurants and bars to try tapas, succulent seafood, and divine drinks. Oysters, gumbo, and fried okra are all on the menu.

Food Tours Hilton Head

(843) 695-7463

Listen to World Class Music from the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra 

Discover Lowcountry Classical Music at the home of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra. Choose from a matinee or evening performance and allow your mind to be carried away by the sublime melodies.

There are opera recitals, piano festivals, and jazz gigs to enjoy as well as music from movies. Check the schedule to see what’s on stage during your visit.

Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra

7 Lagoon Road
Hilton Head, SC 29928
(843) 842-2055

Go Horseback Riding 

Hilton Head horseback riding is worth considering if you’re looking for a unique and memorable pastime that’s fun for the whole family.

Horseback riding on Hilton Head is one of the many things that makes the island a slice of paradise.

With guided tours offered on some of the island’s most tranquil trails, veterans and novices can enjoy beautiful and natural surroundings like you’ve never seen before…up close and personal.

From alligators sunning on the banks of ponds to birds perched high on the Palmetto trees, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience. 

Lawton Stables
190 Greenwood Drive
Hilton Head, SC 29928
(843) 671-2586

Hilton Head, SC, is vacation nirvana. But sometimes you can get into a rut doing the same old, same old. Try something different and take a deep dive into our 13 unusual things to do on Hilton Head Island. Enjoy!