During a 1663 exploration down the length of the Carolina Coast, Captain William Hilton first spied a large, welcoming headland at the edge of a lush sub-tropical island. Despite the captain never setting foot here, the island was soon referred to as Hilton’s Headland, and eventually Hilton Head Island.
The name of the ship William captained on his trek across this new frontier was the Adventure. And adventure has been a part of the island’s DNA ever since. Ready to start your own Hilton Head Island adventure? Here are a few more frontiers in fun just waiting to be conquered.
Helicopter Tours: Until you’ve seen it from the air, you can’t really appreciate the care that went into preserving Hilton Head Island’s natural majesty. Hilton Head Helicopter Tours offers a few different itineraries, letting you choose whether you want to soar above the beaches, spy the Harbour Town lighthouse from above, or venture across the north end’s stunning coastal beauty. Visit flyhhi.com.
Cruising in a Moke: It’s one thing to take to the streets of Hilton Head Island. It’s another to do it while turning heads behind the wheel of a tricked-out all-electric vehicle built for adventure. Available for rental from Carolina Rides, these beautiful vehicles pack all the open-air excitement of the classic Jeep into a compact frame perfect for cruising to the beach. Visit carolinarides.com.
Hilton Head by Horseback: Set in the heart of The Sea Pines Resort, Lawton Stables has been entertaining visitors for decades with its enjoyable petting zoo and its picturesque pastures populated by majestic horses. Those who wish to experience the island like the first settlers did can mount up and take one of these steeds through the winding trails of the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, gaining an appreciation for the timeless beauty of this natural treasure. Visit seapines.com.
Reel in the Big One: It goes without saying that a place like Hilton Head Island is heaven for seasons sea salts and amateur anglers alike, with everything from sharks and stingrays to red drum and cobia sharing the water. In-shore or out where the big trophy fish reign, the island offers a slew of options for landing the next big catch (or earning your next “the one that got away” story).
Ziplining through the Treetops: Set along the sparkling banks of Broad Creek’s majestic waterways, yet soaring above the treetops, Adventure Hilton Head has added a pulse-pounding element to the island’s diverse portfolio of fun times. Up above, their Zipline Tours let you fly from tree to tree, sending your pulse racing as you zoom through 360-degree views of the island’s beauty. For those who want to feel the adrenaline without the speed, the challenging ropes courses take you into the air for an elevated experience as you make your way across the forest. Visit myadventurehiltonhead.com.
Shredding at Crossings Skate Park: Arrow Road’s Bristol Sports Park offers a little bit of outdoor excitement for everyone, but skateboards of all skill levels head there to grind a few rails and try out a few tricks on the dynamic skate park. Boasting a drop-in half pipe, a thrilling fun box and a host of verts and spines (don’t worry, these terms all make sense to boarders) Crossings Skate Park is the place to shred.
Explore the Waters by Kayak: The island’s ocean side boasts miles of white sandy beaches, but the interior still offers plenty of ways to chase down thrills on the water. Outside Hilton Head leads a series of kayak tours on Broad Creek that take you through the meandering, serpentine waterways and marshes around the island and out into the wide sound to paddle your way through your next adventure. Visit outsidehiltonhead.com.next adventure. Visit outsidehiltonhead.com.
Take to the Skies: There’s nothing like strapping in and telling gravity you have other plans today, sailing high above the water and marsh grasses of Hilton Head’s famous creeks and rivers. A relaxing ride through the clouds? Hardly. Parasailing or paragliding offers all the thrills of taking to the air while remaining safely tethered to a speeding boat. There are a bevy of groups offering parasailing on the island, including Parasail Hilton Head, Sky Pirate Parasail, Island Head, H20 Sports and Island Water
Sports: Hit the Waves on a PWC: It’s been said that money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a Jet Ski. It can also rent one, as countless island visitors can attest. The white-knuckle thrills of a personal water craft cannot be denied, and the sounds, creeks and waterways of Hilton Head Island offer some of the best places to get out there and cut a few waves. The number of companies offering these rentals is far too many to list here – start with your favorite body of water and see who’s there to start your aquatic adventure.
Ride the Big Cat: Enjoying massive popularity in recent years, Creek Cats are ideally suited for an adventure on the water that you can share. These two-person catamarans offer the thrills of a personal water craft with creature comforts like a shaded canopy and wide deck for dolphin watching. Bring a friend and pack a cooler to make a whole day of it, then see what adventure lies beyond the next wave.