When you imagine Hilton Head Island, what comes to mind? Harbour Town fireworks, championship golf, and miles of beautiful beaches are what we think of! But, there is more to our beloved sea island than what meets the eye. Experience island living like the locals, and read on to discover five amazing Hilton Head hidden gems. Afterward, uncover more of the island’s best-kept secrets in our free 7-Day Vacation Guide. Our guide has helped so many people plan the ultimate beach getaway. Get your copy for recommendations on restaurants, events, outdoor adventures, and more.
Hilton Head Hidden Gems for an Off-the-Beaten-Path Vacation
1. Audubon Newhall Preserve
The Audubon Newhall Preserve is a beautiful, natural preservation. You may pass by unknowingly as you head southbound on Cross Island. But, slow down just after the Palmetto Bay Road light on your right. The preserve was established in 1965 to maintain the authentic sea island ecosystem. Here, you can explore walking trails with educational information about the island’s plants and animals. Admission is absolutely free and operating hours are from dawn until dusk.
2. Mitchelville Freedom Park
It may seem like just another park to some, but Mitchelville Freedom Park has a special story. It is one of the most significant historic landmarks on Hilton Head Island. Here, you can take a step back in time to the first self-governed, freedmen’s town in America. Taking a walk along these trails is a surreal experience. At the end of the park’s major trail, you’ll find beautiful views of the water and a deserted beach. One of the most unique factors of this beach is its driftwood benches, created by nature itself.
3. Burkes Beach Folly
Although Burkes Beach Folly may not be a Hilton Head Island secret, it is somewhere you will want to check out. With fewer crowds than most of the islands’ beaches, Burkes Beach feels like your own private location. It is all the inspiration you need to sit back, enjoy the ocean and sand, and relax. The whole family can enjoy what this beach offers. There are lifeguards and plenty of parking, as well!
4. Fall & Winter Oyster Roasts
Most visitors flock to Hilton Head Island in the spring and summer, but the fall and winter also offer something special for traveling snowbirds and locals alike. Beginning in November through February, oyster roasts and festivals are among the most anticipated celebrations! You can also look forward to fewer crowds at the beach and shorter lines at restaurants. There isn’t a better way to enjoy the quieter side of Hilton Head!
5. Hilton Head’s Secret Island
Horseback riding is a popular activity on the island, but there is one particular trail ride that many visitors are unaware of! Daufuskie Island Trail Rides is the only place in the area where you can enjoy horseback riding on the beach. To make your way to the island, you must take the Daufuskie Island Ferry. This one-of-a-kind barrier island offers so many ways to explore. Much of the scenery is untouched by man, offering a glimpse into a simpler time where ancient oak trees and wide, sandy beaches reigned supreme.
The Best Place to Stay on Hilton Head Island
After exploring the best of Hilton Head’s hidden gems, head home to your own upscale beach home or villa. Whether you choose a pet-friendly villa with golf fairway views or a luxurious oceanfront home with direct beach access, you can always look forward to the best amenities, special discounts, and spectacular service when you choose a vacation with Beach Properties of Hilton Head. Browse our collection of vacation rentals today!
If you need any help with your search, take advantage of our digital concierge. Our expert vacation planners will contact you within the next 24 to 48 hours with vacation homes that match your preferred amenities, travel dates, and budget. We can’t wait to welcome you to Hilton Head Island!