Best Beaches in Hilton Head (11 Must-See Beaches)

Though there are specific and separate beaches, almost all Hilton Head beaches link to one another, which makes for great walking at low tide.

Along with Hilton Head beaches, you’ve got wonderful wildlife and everything that makes a place a good vacation destination.

Scroll down to see the ten best beaches in Hilton Head.

Hilton Head Location

Some 95 miles southwest of Charleston and 20 miles northeast of Savannah, Georgia lies the blissful Hilton Head Island.

Named after the English Explorer William Hilton Jr, the island has 12 miles of beaches to explore.

Though there has been an influx of resort developments and beachfront housing, the aesthetic and eco-friendly guidelines mean that all buildings have to be five stories or lower.

There are also restrictions on motorized water sports and light, to keep light and sound pollution to a minimum. As such, the island offers great opportunities for relaxing and star gazing.

1. Singleton Beach

Singleton beach in Hilton Head
Singleton beach

Singleton Beach is situated in the middle of Hilton Head and it’s popular with locals as well as vacationers.

Even when the tide is in, you’ll still have a large amount of sand to explore. This is also a haven for wildlife too.

Here, you can see:

  • bald eagles
  • dolphins
  • snowy egrets
  • pelicans
  • corals
  • and loggerhead turtles

When it’s nesting season (between May and October), you might get to see turtle nests or hatchlings as they make their way to the sea. Be careful not to disturb the nests, however.

2. Driessen Beach

Driessen beach in Hilton Head
Driessen beach

Driessen Beach is towards the sound of Hilton Head and is a popular beach with locals.

It’s more crowded during the summer, as you might expect. You can access the beach via a boardwalk that passes over a salt marsh.

You’ll find a good amount of sand and shells too. For the kids, it’s the perfect spot for beach games, and there is a playground too.

3. Islanders Beach

Islanders Beach in Hilton Head
Islanders Beach playground

There are fewer than 40,000 islanders who live permanently in Hilton Head, and they try to keep Islanders Beach a secret!

It’s a great place to spend time with the family – and dogs are allowed here too.

If you’re into fishing – You can cook your catch on the grill provided. There’s also a pavilion to enjoy picnics near the shore. This is a beach not to be missed, thanks to its unique vibe.

Like Driessen Beach, Islanders Beach has a playground, and there’s even a beach toy library where you can borrow buckets and spades, for instance.

There’s a birdhouse containing free books too with the idea being you can take a new book if you leave one you’ve finished behind.

There aren’t many parking spaces for tourists so it’s best to find another way to get here.

4. Burke’s Beach

Burke’s Beach in Hilton Head
Burke’s Beach

This is one of the easiest beaches to access in the northeast of Hilton Head.

There is plenty of parking and a short trail to the beach. Burke’s Beach is one of the more open-space beaches with no resorts or residential properties.

Despite there being no resorts or homes, there are places to get refreshments, including the Sea Salts Beverage Company that does a mean punch. The area is popular with surfers and kite flyers.

5. Palmetto Dunes 

The Palmetto Dunes are definitely in the running for being the best beach in Hilton Head.

The dunes connect many different resorts that you can buy day passes for.

These include:

There’s also a community center called Leamington Beach House.

6. Coligny Beach

Coligny Beach in Hilton Head
Coligny Beach

Coligny Beach is a family-friendly beach that has loads of facilities close by.

On the beach itself, you’ll find private changing rooms, clean restrooms, and porch swings.

A short distance away by foot and you’ll find some of Hilton Head’s most popular bars.

There’s also the very popular Lowcountry Celebration Park which contains a children’s playground and the Hilton Head Island Children’s Museum.

7. The Beach at The Westin

The Westin is in a quiet area at the back of the Port Royal Plantation.

It’s a resort that offers worry-free parking and a full-service beach experience.

It is exclusive to the Westin Hotel or beach club members, however.

What this does mean, though, is that you get lots of space, private cabanas, and activities like kayaking and paddleboarding.

8. Folly Field Beach Park

Folly Field Beach Park in Hilton Head
Folly Field Beach Park

Folly Field is a popular public beach that both locals and visitors enjoy.

There’s lots of space on the beautiful, clean sand and it’s a great spot to take in the sunrise.

At Folly Field – You’ll find parking, outdoor showers, lifeguards, restrooms, and drinking water stations. It’s also accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

9. Pine Island Beach and Dolphin Head 

Pine Island Beach and Dolphin Head in Hilton Head
Pine Island Beach sunset

Pine Island Beach is a rocky area in the northwest of Hilton Head. It’s an excellent place for taking a swim.

There’s a large camping area and a small area for picnics.

You’ll also be really close to Pinckney Island Wildlife Refuge, which is jam-packed with wildlife and wetlands that you can meander through on foot of by bike.

10. Fish Haul Beach Park 

As you might expect, Fish Haul Beach Park is popular for fishing, crabbing, and collecting shells.

It’s a real hidden gem and is great for relaxing, birdwatching, and walking. There is plenty of free parking here.

Unlike some of the other beaches we’ve mentioned, there’s also a swamp here that has alligators roaming around. So be very careful!

11. Mitchelville Beach

Mitchelville Beach in Hilton Head
Mitchelville Beach

For anyone seeking a quiet beach, Mitchelville Beach is ideal.

It’s a beautiful spot with trees going right to the beach and grass growing in the water.

There’s no matting to the shore but there are still other facilities like a restroom, picnic tables, and an outdoor shower.

There’s also a great walk over a long bridge that will take you to Barker Field.

Here, you’ll find an observation deck, a playground, baseball fields, and a large all-purpose field.

Final Thoughts

For Hilton Head Island and beaches, you’re spoilt for choice. If you were to ask people which are the best beaches in Hilton Head, you’ll get several different answers.

The good news is that they often all merge into one and so you can easily access them all!

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