Look no further for the best Hilton Head restaurants on the water! This is your complete guide to waterfront dining on HHI South Carolina including the absolute best restaurants with water views on the island.
Planning a Trip? Also read my, Hilton Head Travel Guide, Best Hilton Head Restaurants & Best Hilton Head Takeout Restaurants.
Hilton Head Restaurants on the Water Guide
Curious about Hilton Head restaurants on the water? Nothing beats enjoying a plate of seafood or oysters with a view of the ocean or marsh in the Lowcountry. Bonus points if you can watch the sunset. When visiting an island like Hilton Head Island, there's no doubt you want to enjoy at least some of your meals with a view of either the bay, marsh, or ocean.
Hilton Head has over 250 dining options and restaurants on the island, but you'd be surprised that there are only a few on the water with a view or are considered a waterfront restaurants. This guide will help you find the best match for the dining experience you are looking for whether it's fine dining, seafood dives, casual fare, or even sunset view.
Let's dive into the best waterfront places to eat on Hilton Head.
Looking for ALL of the restaurants in Hilton Head? My complete Hilton Head Restaurant Guide is here.
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Best Hilton Head Restaurants on the Water
Hudson's Seafood on the Docks
Topping my list of the best Hilton Head Restaurants on the water is Hudson's Seafood on the Docks. This iconic Hilton Head restaurant is a favorite for locals and tourists for good reason. It's is features absolutely fresh and delicious seafood with some of the prettiest views on the island.
They do have indoor seating, but most people visit to eat on this waterfront deck overlooking the water.
The food and interviews can't be beaten and you can even watch a really pretty sunset from this very spot.
Everything on their menu is delicious, but they are especially known for their shrimp because they have their own shrimp boat which catches them. You also can't go wrong with the fresh catch seafood.
Order steamed shrimp, a fish sandwich, and chargrilled oysters for an unforgettable meal on the water in Hilton Head.
If you happen to visit in local oyster season or have a big bucket of their local oyster clusters.
They are located at 1 Hudson Road, Hilton Head, SC 29926. Check out their menus here!
Another top Hilton Head restaurant on the water is the newly renovated Quarterdeck restaurant in Harbortown at the lighthouse. This restaurant got an amazing overhaul and reopened in 2022 with rave reviews.
The 270-degree sunset views from their first and second story are EPIC! You can see the Harbour Town Yacht Basin, Calibogue Sound, and the 18th hole of the Harbour Town Golf links.
Their menu features lots of seafood, but also many other non-seafood and family dining options making it a great place to take the group.
Try their oysters.
The Lobster Thermador with a Waterview is also a delightful choice.
Stop by for a fun shot of the Harbour Town lighthouse, enjoy dinner, and hopefully, you'll get a pretty sunset.
Another great thing about this spot is they do take reservations! Many of the best Hilton Head restaurants on the water do not.
They are located in the Sea Pines Resort, which requires an entry fee if you are not staying there.
The address is 160 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928. Check out the menu here.
Skull Creek Boathouse
Skull Creek Boathouse is another one on the top of the list for Hilton Head restaurants on the water. It's another iconic Hilton Head restaurant that has been around for years and years. It's a favorite for locals and tourists too.
The huge outdoor dining dock has a gorgeous Waterview overlooking Skull Creek. It's shaded with gorgeous Live Oaks. The setting is nothing short of idyllic.
Another fun feature of the restaurant is located next to a boat storage place and you can watch big forklifts carry boats to the water. It also has a sunset view, although you have to walk in front of the trees to see it many nights.
Skull Creek is known for having fun drinks, beer, and an extensive menu including lots of classic seafood and some non-seafood options.
Don't miss the raw bar menu and try the tuna three ways and the ceviche. They even have sushi.
Skull Creek Boathouse is located at 397 Squire Pope Road Hilton Head Island, SC 29926. Check out their menu here.
The Salty Dog Cafe
Looking for Hilton Head restaurants on the water? Then you have to try The Salty Dog Cafe. The Salty Dog is another institution on the island and a must-stop for many tourists on their annual trip to the island.
The restaurant is on a dock right over the marshes of Calibogue Sound. This busy spot is fun and vibrant, often hosting events and live music. It's a cute area with a shopping village and in the summer you'll find other restaurants and ice cream.
They have yummy food and especially drinks. Don't miss the Crab Dip.
They are located at the southern tip of the island in an area called South Beach, which is also in the gated community of Sea Pines. There is an entry fee to get in if you aren't staying there.
The address is 232 South Sea Pines Drive, Hilton Head 29928. Check out their menu here.
Skull Creek Dockside is another great option and on the list of best Hilton Head restaurants on the water. They have a really nice SHADED patio and a yummy menu featuring everything from seafood, pizza, salad, bbq, chicken, and even steaks.
Their inside seating also has water views, which is wonderful.
You can't go wrong with their menu, but the seafood nachos are one of my favorites.
This restaurant is actually owned by the same people at Skull Creek and is in between Skull Creek Boathouse and Hudson's. If you happen to visit either of those places and the wait is really long (non of these restaurants take reservations) you can try Dockside.
Their address is 2 Hudson Road, Hilton Head 29926. Check out the menu here.
Fishcamp at Broad Creek
Another top Hilton Head restaurant on the water? Fishcamp at Broad Creek! They have another cool view that combines marshes through Broad Creek, live oaks, and a pretty sunset.
This gorgeous spot is a wonderful place to enjoy everything from brunch, to seafood and steaks.
You can't go wrong with their lobster, which is incredible.
Also, try the Chargrilled Oysters.
They do take reservations but the reservations are just for indoor dining. Outdoor dining is first come, first serve.
Fishcamp on Broad Creek is located at 11 Simmons Road, Hilton Head, SC 28826. Find their menu here.
Looking for an oceanview restaurant on Hilton Head? Coast is the perfect spot. Here's the gorgeous sweeping view of the Atlantic Ocean. This is a little more of a high-end swanky spot, especially in the evenings than some of the other choices AND they take reservations.
They have a great atmosphere and one of my favorite things is their fresh seafood platters including crab cakes.
Also check out the Ocean Lounge for drinks and live music.
Located in the Sea Pines Beach Club this spot is also in Sea Pines and requires an entrance fee if not staying in Sea Pines. The address is 87 N Sea Pines Drive Hilton Head Island, SC 29928. Find the menu here.
More Hilton Head Restaurants on the Water
Looking for even more Hilton Head Restaurants on the water? Harbourside is in Harbourtown and is a faster, casual, less fussy option that still has a pretty water view. They feature steamer favorites like crab legs and shrimp but also have a very accommodating burger and hot dog baskets. I like taking my kids there because they have live music and good kid options.
Once again, this is in Sea Pines so you'll have to pay the entry fee if not staying there. You'll find them at 147 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head Island SC 29928. The menu is here.
Scott's Fish Market
Scott's Fish Market is a fun spot that's waterfront in Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina. It's a great spot to see boats in the marina and enjoy the water views.
They have lots of shaded tables too, which is nice! They feature lots of yummy seafood but also have chicken and steak on the menu.
My personal favorite is the char-grilled oysters.
Their address is 17 Harbourside Lane, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928. Find the menu here.
Black Marlyn Bayside Grill
Still, looking for more Hilton Head restaurants on the water? Black Marlin Bayside Grill is another great pick. This lively spot is attached to the Hurricane Bar which serves fun drinks and cocktails. The bayside patio has pretty views and lots of shaded tables and live entertainment.
Try their fish sandwich or burgers.
They are located at 86 Helmsman Way, Hilton Head SC 29928. Find the menu here.
Poseidon Coastal Cuisine
Poseidon Coastal Cuisine is another Hilton Head restaurant on the water. It doesn't have the sweeping views as some of the other restaurants, but you can see a pretty sunset over the marsh from the second story.
They also have great food including their fish dishes.
They are part of the Shelter Cove Towne Center. The address is 38 Shelter Cove Lane, Suite 121, Shelter Cove Towne Center Hilton Head Island, SC 29928. Find their menu here.
The Rest of Hilton Head Restuarant on the Water
- Crazy Crab: The Crazy Crab has two locations one in Harbour Town which has very slight water views, but the one on Jarvis Creek is known for its beautiful outdoor deck and sweeping views of the marsh. Expect steamed seafood and delicious drinks. If you are looking for a Hilton Head Restaurant on the water, pick the Jarvis Creek location.
- Ela's on the Water: Located in Shelter Cover Harbor & Marina, Ela's on the Water is a second-floor restaurant that has pretty sunset views from its patio. The food is super tasty and more high-end with beautiful plating. They offer everything from seafood to prime cut steaks.
- Old Oyster Factory: The Old Oyster Factory is located right on Broad Creek with gorgeous sweeping views. It's got a great menu, live music, and a classy, yet kid-friendly vibe. They do take reservations!
- Sunset Grille: Sunset Grille is a casual fine-dining restaurant with gorgeous views where you can spot dolphins. Call for reservations.
- Up the Creek Pub and Grill: Up the Creek Pub and Grill is a more casual spot on the marsh. Known for their beer and burgers.
- San Miguel's: San Miguel's is the spot to go if you are looking for Mexican food on Hilton Head with a waterfront view. This fun spot in Shelter Cove Marina often has live entertainment.
- Tiki Hut: If you are looking for a beach dive overlooking the ocean, Tiki Hut is about as close as you'll get in Hilton Head! This fun spot features tropical drinks and casual food right off the ocean near Coligny.
- Dunes House: An oceanfront casual restaurant right on the beach (not too many of these on the island!) but it's only for residents and guests of Palmetto Dunes.
Happy dining! I hope you get to enjoy at least one of these Hilton Head restaurants on the water on your next trip.
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More Hilton Head Travel Information:
- Hilton Head Travel Guide
- Best Hilton Head Restaurants
- Best Hilton Head Takeout Eats
- Top Things to Do on Hilton Head
- Top Things to Do on Hilton Head in the Off-Season
- Hilton Head Babymoon
- The Twins First Hilton Head Trip
- Hilton Head July Beach Weekend
- Hilton Head Spring Long Weekend
- Thanksgiving on Hilton Head
- Hilton Head Birthday Weekend
- Hilton Head Beach Week 2020
- Hilton Head Spring 2020
- Hilton Head Top Moments 2021
- Hilton Head Top Moments 2022
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Everything Enchanting says
I haven't been to any of these restaurants, so I'll definitely check them out! Great compilation 👍🏻
Can't beat a beautiful view with a delicious meal!
Jen @ JENRON DESIGNS says
Sadly I have not been to Hilton Head in a while and we live so close being in Atlanta, but that Lobster Thermador at the Quaterdecks might be worth a visit!
Wow, the views and food at all these places look amazing! If I'm ever in Hilton Head, definitely going to refer to this post to know where to eat!
Haven't been to Hilton Head yet, but sounds like a great selection of restaurants!