Your Ultimate Guide to the Harbour Town Lighthouse

Harbour Town Lighthouse If you are familiar with Hilton Head, you will most likely recognize the island’s famous 90-foot tall structure. This red and white striped tower nestled by the marina is known as Harbour Town Lighthouse! It is Hilton Head’s best-known landmark and has been a favorite for tourists since its construction in the 1960’s. Island visitors are welcome to tour the lighthouse, learn its story, and experience the fabulous views from the top. If visiting this iconic beacon is on your list of vacation to-do’s (where it absolutely should be), then here is everything you need to know about the lighthouse’s history and visiting the museum!

History of the Harbour Town Lighthouse

Although the Harbour Town Lighthouse isn’t one of Hilton Head’s oldest landmarks, nor the first lighthouse, it has grown to become of the most recognizable structures in the state! It all started back in 1949, when a timber syndicate purchased two-thirds of the island. This man’s son was none other than Charles Fraser, the man who created Sea Pines Plantation. He wanted to create a community that flowed with nature instead of competing with it. He also wanted a common spot for residents of the community and its visitors to come together.

Thus, the construction of the Harbour Town Lighthouse began in 1969. It was completed a year later in 1970 with the candy-like stripes that Charles’ brother had picked. In order to pay homage to Hilton Head’s original lighthouses, Charles had the lighthouse keeper’s cottages moved to Harbour Town to accompany his new structure. Rumor has it that these cottages are haunted, but none know for sure.
Today, visitors can pay a small admittance fee to the top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse, where they will be greeted with beautiful water views and a new appreciation for the island’s history and beauty.

The Museum


The lighthouse was originally built to private aid to navigators at sea, but was transformed into a museum in 2001. Now it is one of the most educational, informative, and fun experiences on the island. Not only will you learn interesting Harbour Town Lighthouse facts, but you’ll also explore the rich history of Hilton Head. The museum is divided into 10 levels that take you on a fascinating journey along the island’s timeline, starting at nearly 10,000 years ago! The museum is also home to one of Hilton Head’s most unique gift shops! This is the perfect opportunity for you to find a great souvenir or gifts for your friends and family back home.
The Harbour Town Lighthouse museum loves giving back to the community. Therefore, each year, they donate a portion of proceeds collected from admission fees to local organizations and charities. Over just a few years, the museum has donated over $62,000!
If you’d like a view a live feed from the top of the lighthouse, visit the Hilton Head Lighthouse Cam!

Explore the Harbour Town Area After You Visit the Lighthouse

The lighthouse is just the beginning! There is so much for you and your family to do in Harbour Town after the museum. From shopping, dining, watersports, or golf, you’ll hardly know where to begin! Plan ahead and choose your favorite activities to add to your Harbour Town day trip!

Visit the Harbour Town Lighthouse and More Hilton Head Attractions During Your Stay With Beachside Getaway


Say goodbye to the confinements and boring layouts of typical hotel rooms and check into your very own home away from home! Beachside Getaway offers some of the finest vacation rentals on the island that are perfect for families, couples, and even solo travelers! You will also be able to enjoy amenities you won’t find in generic hotels including private pools, spacious bedrooms, exclusive access to the beaches, and more! Contact us today and let us know exactly what you are looking for in a dream beach vacation. Don’t forget to take advantage of our limited time specials!

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