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Beaches and Parks

Safe Surf on Hilton Head

Hilton Head’s Beaches offer two body guards that are sandbars on each end of the Island. Joiner Banks on the north and Gaskin Banks on the south catch the really bad stuff before it hits the shores. These two sandbars come together about a mile offshore and help make our waters both swimmer and child friendly. No matter the age, from toddler to elderly, sitting in the Hilton Head surf brings smiles.

A1A on Hilton Head

Hilton Head’s beach offers 11 miles of walk and bike-ability. The sugar sand of Hilton Head is just hard enough to be excellent for walking, biking or jogging. In fact, Hilton Head beachgoers do not have to travel by car to get to a different beach, they can barefoot it from one beach to the next. Of course, plan carefully to walk through the Folly at low tide, otherwise you may have to swim!

Hilton Head’s Beach is Tops

Google “Top Beach,” and you are sure to see Hilton Head’s beaches pop up in these searches time and time again. A quick search and we found Hilton Head has been named the #1 Beach in 2010 by Fox News, #2 beach by 10Best.com and #6 by US News Travel. When it comes to swimming, walking, biking, sand, and room to spare, it is hard to find a more perfect beach in the world.

Public Beach Accesses

All of the beach is public, from the ocean to the high water mark. Access to the beach, however, is often private. The Town of Hilton Head Island provides beach accesses at the following locations:
  • Alder Lane Beach Access, off South Forest Beach Drive
  • Burkes Beach Access, at the end of Burkes Beach Road
  • Chaplin Community Park, off of William Hilton Parkway
  • Coligny Beach Park, off Coligny Circle
  • Driessen Beach Park, at the end of Bradley Beach Road
  • Fish Haul Park, at the end of Beach City Road
  • Folly Field Beach Park, off Folly Field Road
  • Islanders Beach Park, off Folly Field Road
  • Mitchelville Beach Park, off Beach City Road

Parking & Facilities

There are 23 metered spaces at Alder Lane; 54 metered spaces at Folly Field and 13 metered spaces at Burkes Beach Road. The parking fee for metered spaces is a quarter for each 15 minutes. Additionally, there are 207 spaces at Driessen Beach Park for long-term parking. The fee is a quarter for every 30 minutes during the week. Parking spaces at Islanders Beach Park are always reserved for annual beach passes. Parking at Driessen Beach Parks for annual beach passes is reserved from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parking is free at Fish Haul Park, Mitchelville Park and Coligny Beach Park. Handicap parking is available for no extra fee at all beach parks.

Designated Swimming Areas

Official swimming areas have been designated for the Alder, Coligny, Driessen, Folly Field, and Islanders beaches. The boundaries of these areas will be clearly marked on the beach and in the water. During the beach season, lifeguards are stationed in each of the designated swimming areas and other heavily populated beach areas for assistance and beach information. Please ask a lifeguard before entering the water if the yellow caution flag is flying.
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