Hilton Head Island.

Hilton Head Island, SC Boating Guide

Written by Boatsetter Team
April 23, 2022

Last Updated on June 8, 2022 by Boatsetter Team

Hilton Head Island is a barrier island on the coast of South Carolina, popular among many boaters. The island is named after Captain William Hilton, who first discovered it in 1663.

Where is Hilton Head Island?

Hilton Head Island is situated off the southern coast of South Carolina, just north of Savannah, Georgia. The island is about 12 miles long and 5 miles wide and is home to just over 40,000 people.

The island is renowned for its beautiful beaches, some of the best in the United States. Hilton Head Island also has several golf courses and tennis facilities, making it a popular destination for tourists who enjoy these activities.

Hilton Head Island is a popular destination for boaters due to its many waterways and marinas. The island has over 50 miles of coastline, perfect for exploring by boat. Several boat ramps and docks on the island make it easy to launch your vessel.

Beaches on Hilton Head are public and available for visitors to enjoy. However, access to the beach is not always public. The public beach is from the ocean to the high water mark, and there are several access points on the island.

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Fishing pier at Hilton Head.

How Far is Hilton Head from Charleston by Boat?

It is approximately 80 miles from Charleston to Hilton Head by boat. The trip would take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Best Places to Fish in Hilton Head

1. Jarvis Creek Park

This park is ideal for family-friendly fishing—fish from the dock or around the shores of the large pond.

2. Hilton Head Lagoons

There are three lagoons located on Hilton Head Island, perfect for fishing. The lagoons are located at Shelter Cove Marina, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, and Skull Creek Boathouse.

3. Broad Creek

This is the largest creek on Hilton Head Island and provides great opportunities for saltwater and freshwater fishing.

4. Chaplin Community Park

This park has a beautiful pier perfect for fishing, overlooking a lagoon filled with fish.

5. Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

This refuge is perfect for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Hilton Head Island and enjoy some quiet time fishing in nature.

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7 Best Beaches on Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island beach.

1. Fish Haul Park

Fish Haul Beach Park is one of the best beaches on Hilton Head. It’s in Bay Gall, a historic Gullah neighborhood. It is located on the waters of Bay Shore Sound. Bay Shore Sound is a perfect place for boating and fishing. Its quiet setting also makes it ideal for bird watching, and you may see other animals like hermit crabs or deer.

The beach sees relatively few visitors, and it is one of the most untouched beaches in the area.

2. Islanders Beach Park

Islanders Beach Park is a family-friendly destination with fun options for everyone. It has a playground, picnic pavilions, and grills. The beach also has a volleyball court and a basketball hoop.

The beach is located on the island’s sound side and has calm water, perfect for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

It has amenities including restrooms and outdoor showers.

3. Driessen Beach Park

Driessen Beach Park is one of the most popular beaches on Hilton Head. It is located in the Sea Pines resort area and has a large parking lot. The beach has a wide variety of amenities, including restrooms, showers, and changing rooms. Also, it has more parking than the other beaches, with about 200 spaces.

Driessen has a playground for children. Also, there is a boardwalk that goes down to the ocean, where lifeguards are on duty.

4. Burkes Beach

Burkes Beach is another public access beach. It is located near Chaplain Community Park. It has great amenities like a basketball court, volleyball court, and even a dog park.

The nearby park has paved bike trails to explore beautiful natural scenery and native plants. It’s located mid-island near the William Hilton Parkway.

5. Mitchelville Beach Park

Mitchelville Beach Park is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. It features some amazing natural scenery. Experience the native marshy ecosystem in this hidden gem.

Beachgoers have a few amenities, like picnic tables underneath the trees and an outdoor sand shower. Nearby, a long bridge leads to Barker Field. This recreational park has three baseball fields, one large multipurpose field, and a playground. Also, you can get a bird’s eye view with the observation deck over the marshes.

6. Coligny Beach

Coligny Beach Park, Hilton Head Island.

Coligny Beach is the most popular beach on Hilton Head Island. It features a drop-off circle for easy access and a large parking lot. Also, there are bathrooms, showers, and changing rooms so swimmers can be comfortable.

One of the best features of Coligny Beach, other than the white sands, is the tiki hut that features live music. Kids can also play in the inground water fountain or swing sets nearby. Gazebos and benches provide shaded spots to eat nearby. Free trolleys transport visitors from the beach area to the nearby shopping and dining. On the walk to the beach, you can appreciate beautiful art installations.

7. Alder Lane

The walkway to the beach is located near Loggerhead Landing, a fun spot for refreshments and snacks. A boardwalk and mat lead to the beach, and it is usually not crowded. Plus, it’s a popular dog-friendly beach.

Ready to hit the water in Hilton Head, SC? With Boatsetter, you can rent local pontoons, sailboats, fishing boats, catamarans, jet skis, deck boats, and many other boat types.

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