7 Reasons to Love Hilton Head Island

///7 Reasons to Love Hilton Head Island

7 Reasons to Love Hilton Head Island

I love Hilton Head Island.  It’s one of my favorite regional vacation destinations, so I thought I’d share some top things to do at Hilton Head.

7 Things to Do Hilton Head

Hi everyone!

It was nice to spend a weekend at home after last week’s beach trip.  I hope you guys also had a nice weekend too.

Hilton Head is one of my favorite vacation destinations.  My extended family rented beach condos near the beach as a kid and I have such fond memories of it.  The mix of wild sprawling live oaks, spanish moss and palm trees gets me every time.  I instantly feel relaxed when we land there.

The Hubs and I have been going at least once a summer for years.  It’s about a six hour haul from Asheville driving, but takes less than an hour and half in the plane.  We went to celebrate my Birthday this year.

The Hubs photobombed my airplane Instagram selfie!

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Most of our time in Hilton Head this go-around was spent sitting on the beach and relaxing, so a day by day account wouldn’t be very interesting… so I decided to put together a photo diary of the reasons I love Hilton Head.  Hopefully I’ve convinced you to make the trip by the end. 🙂

Reasons to LOVE Hilton Head Island

Wide, Stunning Beaches

Hilton Head has these wide stunning beaches that take your breath away.  At high tide you can walk out SO far and only be up to your knees.

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Even on a sweltering hot Carolina day, the beach breeze is refreshing and calming.  I don’t get hot easily, so I even love the summer heat.

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One of the coolest parts of the beach is the dramatic difference between high and low tide.  It’s so interesting to sit and watch the progress of it for a day.  While we were there I think the beach went up and down a tenth of a mile.

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At low tide the beach is great for walking and biking.

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There are pockets of beach where it can get crowded, but the Hubs and I have never had trouble finding our own little piece of paradise.  I suggest bringing your own chair and umbrella and walking away from the crowd!  That’s us in the red umbrella.

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Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island

I’ve been lucky enough to stay at this resort several times and each time it impresses me more and more.

The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is located on the beach and is a wonderful place to stay for any kind of trip.

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Doesn’t this just scream relaxing?

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The lobby is light, airy and welcoming.  The staff is extremely helpful and kind.

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The rooms are modern, comfortable and have everything you could need!

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I love the in-room features like a keurig, iphone charger alarm clock and mango bath products.

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I also adore the balcony off the room because when I’m at the beach I want to spend as much time outside as possible.

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The Hubs and I even spent an afternoon enjoying this tray of treats delivered to our door!  The perfect way to unwind.

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The pool is also very nice with waitresses to bring your drinks from the bar if you’d like!  They also serve some pretty legit shrimp tacos.

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The grounds are flowery and immaculate!

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The resort even hosts all kinds of fun stuff like movie nights, kids activities and turtle watching.  Or you can just sit and take in the views like we did!

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They have four on-sight restaurants and the Hubs and I went to the breakfast buffet every morning.  I’m a sucker for things like this…

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And this…. 🙂

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I did splurge a little on my actual birthday and got ALL THE THINGS  for breakfast.  It was glorious.

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The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is a hotel I absolutely adore for their attention to detail, lovely grounds and wonderful location.

Yoga on the Beach

One of the included activities at The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island was daily yoga on the beach!

Free yoga? Yes please!

If you are not a guest of the hotel, it is a donation class.

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If you haven’t done yoga on the beach yet, this is a great place to try it out because when the tide is out the sand is harder and more even, making the entire process a little less clumsy.  Just don’t expect your balance to be perfect!


Y’all know I have a sunset problem.  I want to see them all!

Hilton Head has some pretty magical ones.  This is the harbor side view off ELA’s Blu Water Grille.

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My favorite sunset by far was from Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks.

Look a real shrimp boat!

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This might be the prettiest sunset photo I’ve caught since Key West last fall.

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The sun came down just perfectly for this view!

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Watching sunsets makes a perfect beach vacation.

Bike Riding

One of my absolute favorite things about Hilton Head is the bike trail system.  It’s so inviting, easy and FLAT (this coming from a mountain girl!)  The Hubs and I rented bikes and explored.  It such an easy way to get a little exercise on vacation and not have to use your car.

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Anyone spot the GATOR!?

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When I’m riding around here I imagine living here and never using a car again!

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Nothing FEELS Touristy

Hilton Head Island has strict building rules and basically everything has to be painted in a few neutral tones and can only be few stories tall.  It keeps the crazy, tacky tourist stuff at bay and it feels like you aren’t in a tourist trap all the time, even though it’s one of the most visited islands in the country.

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Yes there are souvenir shops and timeshare stands, but they don’t seem to take over the experience.  You see a lot more of views like this.

Again with the trees…. SWOON!

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Ohhhhh the food.

Hilton Head has really good food, not just for a small beach town but for any place.  The dining scene could definitely hang with some larger cities.

We have a few favorites we try to visit each trip like Red Fish to get the Cajun Shrimp and Lobster Burger (here’s my copycat version.)

This trip we tried and fell in love with Charlies.  It’s an adorable french inspired restaurant with fresh fish galore.  They hand write their menus daily so you know you are getting something fresh and good.

This plate doesn’t look super fancy (and it’s a bad dark photo) but the food was sinfully good.

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We also loved our scallops at Red Fish.

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AND I couldn’t go home without a little lobster.  This was the Lobster Risotto at ELA’s Blu Water Grille.  It was so creamy and delish!  I don’t even WANT to know what was in this.

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We also had some big plates of steamed seafood that were divine!

Until Next Time Hilton Head

What a great long weekend!  It was so nice to have a vacation where I didn’t feel the need to pack in a bunch of activities and just relax!

Until next time Hilton Head!

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It’s now back to healthy veggie packed meals and blogging!  Not a bad life to come home to at all.


Like this post?  Help me out by sharing this photo on Pinterest!

7 Things to Do at Hilton Head


I did receive a discounted rate and amenities from the Sonesta.  All thoughts and options in this are my own.  Thank you so much for allowing me to do posts like this and share my travels! xoxo


Thanks for stopping by today! Come back tomorrow for my favorite Vegetarian Baked Beans.  Perfect for Labor Day weekend or football parties.

I’m linking up with Marvelous Monday.

Your turn!

Ever been to Hilton Head?

What’s your favorite beach town?

By | 2017-08-15T14:03:57-04:00 August 29th, 2016|Southeast Travel, Travel|57 Comments


  1. […] 7 Reasons to Love Hilton Head […]

  2. […] 7 Reasons to Love Hilton Head […]

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  4. […] 7 Reasons to Love Hilton Head […]

  5. Farrah August 31, 2016 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    I’ve never been to Hilton Head but I’ve heard awesome things about it from people who have gone! :O Those beaches look absolutely amazing and that sunset is stunning! <3

    I also reallyyy want waffles and oatmeal now. :O

  6. Alisa @ Go Dairy Free August 31, 2016 at 12:29 am - Reply

    I’ve never been to Hilton Head but definitely want to go now! What an amazing trip.

  7. Lex @ Flecksoflex August 30, 2016 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Hilton Head is such a great spot for a getaway! I haven’t been in years, but I loved it the last time I was there. What a nice vacation you had!

    • JulieWunder August 31, 2016 at 1:34 pm - Reply

      It was so nice. Glad you enjoyed your trip too. Thanks, Lex!

  8. Sonali- The Foodie Physician August 30, 2016 at 11:37 am - Reply

    So many gorgeous pictures!! You’ve definitely inspired me to put it on our travel destination list (it would be such an easy trip from FL)! The Sonesta Resort looks fabulous and that brunch is so cute 🙂

    • JulieWunder August 31, 2016 at 1:33 pm - Reply

      yes! We used to drive up from Florida when I lived there.

  9. Angela August 30, 2016 at 9:36 am - Reply

    I have not been to HH, but do plan to go at some point! Sounds amazing!! Happy Birthday 🙂

  10. Jenn August 30, 2016 at 9:10 am - Reply

    You are making me want to run away on a vacation right now!! It looks beautiful there. And that hammock is totally calling my name!

  11. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables August 30, 2016 at 9:05 am - Reply

    I’ve actually never been to Hilton Head but it looks gorgeous! I hope I can visit sometime!

  12. RFC August 30, 2016 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Beautiful pictures! I live “just up the road” in Myrtle Beach. While some things are similar (we have the beautiful beach and those gorgeous trees!) , this place is PAINFULLY touristy. Probably fun when you are 18 years old and going on vacation with your friends for the first time, but not so great when you want somewhere to “relax”!

    • JulieWunder August 31, 2016 at 1:32 pm - Reply

      Oh yes! I’ve been there. BUT I still love a beach where ever it is!

  13. Leah Goldglantz August 30, 2016 at 5:46 am - Reply

    I have never been, but this makes me want to go! Your photos are beautiful!

  14. Taylor Kiser August 29, 2016 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    This looks like a great place to vacation! Great list of things to do!

  15. dixya @food, pleasure, and health August 29, 2016 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    thank you for sharing these photos, esp of beautiful water and sky. it was pretty relaxing just looking at them.

  16. Lindsay Cotter August 29, 2016 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful vacation destination! So many fun things to do too!

  17. Cassandra @ Powered By BLING August 29, 2016 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Hilton Head is a beautiful area. I will have to check out that resort next time we’re down there. Glad you guys had a great vacation!

  18. Ilka August 29, 2016 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Happy belated birthday Julie! this place looks amazing!

  19. I’ve been wanting to go to HHI but you’ve pretty much convinced me!

    • JulieWunder August 31, 2016 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      It’s pretty awesome. You’d love the running trials and yoga!

  20. Runaway Bridal Planner August 29, 2016 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    I’ve actually never been here, in fact didn’t even know it existed until now.
    So beautiful, your photo’s make me feel like I am on a beach. Which unless you count lake beaches I think this is the first year I haven’t made a trip to an ocean state..
    Happy Happy Birthday!!!!

  21. Kerri McGrail August 29, 2016 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Okay you have convinced me that I need to go here at some point in my life! Looks like you had a great trip!

  22. amanda -runtothefinish August 29, 2016 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    Some of our good family friends used to go here every single summer!! I haven’t made it there yet, but oh man is it on my list of must visit places and you certainly made me want to go sooner!!

  23. Patricia @Sweet and Strong August 29, 2016 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I went to Hilton Head in college and loved it! I would love to go back and truly enjoy the beach and food now that I’m not in college mode. And yoga on the beach, that’s definitely on my bucket list!

    • JulieWunder August 31, 2016 at 1:26 pm - Reply

      Aw yes! I vacation a bit different now than when I was in college too :-).

  24. glenneth August 29, 2016 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    i LOVE hilton head! so beautiful! i haven’t been in forever. all great reasons to love hilton head!

  25. abbey August 29, 2016 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    I love this. looks like a beautiful little vacation!!

  26. Tara @ A Daily Dose of Fit August 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    I haven’t been to HH in years! Thanks for reminding me of all the fun to be hand. Also, seriously considering making an oatmeal bar a permanent staple on my kitchen counter this fall/winter. YUM!

  27. Kim @GetGreenBeWell August 29, 2016 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    I haven’t been to Hilton Head in more than 2 decades! That hotel, though, the Sonesta looks amazing!

  28. Laura August 29, 2016 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Oh my this sounds like an amazingly wonderful vacation! So cool that you saw a gator! Wrestling a gator (at least 6 feet long) is on my husband’s bucket list! (LOL smh)! I totally want to visit Hilton Head someday! My dad used to take us to a new beach every year….so we don’t have one place we always went! I guess my favorite “beach” town would have to be New Buffalo, MI! I know the lake isn’t technically a beach…but we went there all the time and always had a blast!

  29. [email protected] August 29, 2016 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    My friend lives in Lexington South Carolina and she just loves Hilton Head. Looks like a beautiful resort. A great birthday celebration. And who wouldn’t love free Yoga?

  30. Blanee Sherer August 29, 2016 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Glad that you had a great week at Hilton Head.
    That was an especially nice shot of the sunset.

  31. Looks like a great weekend getaway! Have not been there in years maybe it’s time to go back. Love the oatmeal bar 🙂

  32. Nancy August 29, 2016 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Hilton Head is a favorite of ours too. But because of that 6 hour drive, we don’t go often. We usually end up in Charleston because of the shorter drive. If you haven’t tried it yet, on your next visit, try Skull Creek Boathouse. It’s off the beaten path but well worth it for the atmosphere, the views and the food.

  33. Annmarie August 29, 2016 at 8:11 am - Reply

    I have never been to HH before but I have been to Kiawah and it was similarly beautiful! I can no longer travel down there due to my sun allergy but it is one of my favorite places I have visited!

  34. Dan Steadman August 29, 2016 at 7:59 am - Reply

    looks awesome….never been, but we went to Kiawah a couple of years ago and loved it…the little two keep asking when we are going back

  35. Beth Ann Chiles August 29, 2016 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Okay—I am sold. We have made it a goal to check out as many beaches as we can in order to find the perfect beach that we want to purchase a condo or home and Hilton Head looks like a serious contender. I think this is where we are planning to go for post Christmas so I will remember to bookmark your post for future reference. it looks amazing!!!! Thanks!

  36. heather @Lunging Through Life August 29, 2016 at 7:20 am - Reply

    I”m glad you got to visit again this year and enjoy it for your birthday! Happy Birthday, by the way 😉 I can’t remember if I wished you one last week or not! Anyway, sunsets never get old. Watching them over the beach is even better! I’ll also take that hammock in my backyard. I’m a bit sad I didn’t get to the beach this year, but it is what it is. Next year hopefully!

  37. Susie @ Suzlyfe August 29, 2016 at 7:07 am - Reply

    I’m going to HHI for the first time this November–Alex’s family gets together every year for Thanksgiving there. I’m pretty excited! And you are right, pretty perfect for an easy and chill but amazing birthday weekend! (Happy belated again!)

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