Despite the fact that I am currently away on another coastal adventure to Key West, Florida (speaking of which, see what we’re up to via Instagram and Snapchat!), I’m back with just one more recap of sorts from my first beach trip earlier this month. As you know if you’ve been following along, we rebooked an excursion to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and enjoyed many of the same activities, sights, and sounds that we’ve been loving since my sister and I were kids.
In case you’re heading to Hilton Head Island, too, I wanted to share five of the family-friendly activities that we love to do while visiting the beach. These are, of course, specific to Hilton Head and the Sea Pines Resort that we have been coming back to for years, but the advice can really suit any vacation destination, so feel free to take my suggestions with a grain of salt (oceanic pun intended!). Linked information—plus lots of photos from our trip to the petting zoo at Lawton stables—are below.
5 Family-Friendly Things To Do On Hilton Head Island
- Ride bikes: There are practically more places to rent bikes on Hilton Head Island then there are people, so your options are pretty wide open here. Our family has rented from Bike Doctor for the past few years, and have been nothing but pleased. You can get all kinds of bikes, from adult bikes and youth bikes, to adult bikes with child seats and a Trail-A-Bike. Bicycles are a great way to see more of the island without having to deal with car traffic.
- Visit Lawton Stables: Ever since I can remember, my family has been stopping in to see the goats, horses, chickens, livestock, and ponies at Lawton Stables. The pictures in this post give you a pretty good tour of the space, which features a fun (and free!) petting zoo, plus paid pony rides and trail rides. It’s an easy place to bike to as well if you’re staying in Sea Pines!
- Play Putt-Putt: Another of our family traditions in years past has been mini golf. It’s a fun way to pass the time when the sun is too hot for the beach since the courses are mostly hidden beneath thick trees (particularly at Pirate’s Island Golf), and it’s a good way to stay active and work off inevitable beachy junk food.
- Kill time at the outlets: Not a year has gone by that we didn’t pop in to do a little bit of shopping at the Tanger Outlets. It’s the perfect solution if the weather isn’t quite good enough for tanning or swimming, plus you are almost guaranteed to find a store for each member in your family, so everyone will be entertained for at least a few hours.
- Go to the top of the lighthouse: You can’t leave Hilton Head without visiting the Harbour Town Lighthouse and Museum. This is yet another one of those traditions that we’ve been doing ever since we were kids, and I still get a thrill from climbing all of those stairs. The view just can’t be beat—we’re talking an aerial view of the harbor, the ocean, and the famous Harbour Town Golf Links PGA Tour golf course. When you’re finished with the sights, don’t forget to grab a cup of ice cream from the shop just outside the entrance to the lighthouse.
Even though my family has been going to Hilton Head for 30 years now, the island has never gotten old to us. We love to indulge in the traditions we established from the get-go when my sister and I were kids, but have also managed to make new ones in years past now that she and I are adults. Between the local restaurants and coastal attractions—not to mention the general splendor of this gorgeous island—there’s so much to do and see. I couldn’t possibly recommend it more, whether you have small children or a brood of grown adults.
What types of beach activities do you like to do when you’re on vacation? Are you all about the beach, to the point that nothing else really matters? Or maybe you’re more of a stay-in-and-vedge-all-week vacationer! Whatever the case, I hope that you have an epic summertime adventure planned for this season ahead, and that you’re ready to make some epic memories to go along with it.