On Hilton Head dolphins are a part of the Island. Dolphins are friendly and funny mammals, they show up at the beaches, in the sounds, and even in the creeks. Their graceful, silvery bodies never fail to catch attention as they arc through the waters or pop up to grin at you with their smiling faces. Dolphins like to play in the wake of a boat and can often be seen following the shrimp boats– waiting for an easy meal when the shrimpers cull their catch .
The Carolina coastline has a warm-weather population of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins estimated between 1,200 and 2,000. As friendly as they are, it is important to remember they are wild animals with teeth. You also need to keep in mind that the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act strictly prohibits the feeding, touching and harassment of dolphins. Resist the urge to pat their heads or throw them a bite to eat. If reported, civil or criminal penalties could be imposed.
While dolphins can be seen a variety of places around the Island, the best way to visit with them is to take a dolphin tour. Many tour operators on Hilton Head can take you out for a guided, narrated dolphin watch in boats ranging from large double-deck boats to small craft like a kayak. Be sure to check out those that are part of our Preferred Guest Discount Program.