A vacation in Hilton Head, SC doesn’t have to break the bank! Our charming island is home to a number of activities that are either completely free or only cost a few dollars to enjoy. To help you make the most of your next getaway, we have put together a guide to the top seven free things to do in Hilton Head.
1. Coastal Discovery Museum
The Coastal Discovery Museum is a great destination for families! Dedicated to the history, culture, and art of the Low Country, this unique museum is located on a beautiful 68-acre property. Highlights of the museum include the Marsh Tacky horses (a rare breed native to South Carolina), butterfly house, carnivorous plants, scavenger hunt, and children’s room. Admission to the Coastal Discovery Museum is free, although donations are appreciated.
2. Coligny Beach
No trip to Hilton Head is complete without soaking up the sun! Coligny Beach is a popular spot to catch some rays because it has no admission fee and a free parking lot across the street. This beautiful beach offers restrooms, outdoor showers, seasonal lifeguards, porch swings, volleyball courts, and a splash pad for kids.
3. Fort Howell
Visiting Fort Howell is another one of the best free things to do in Hilton Head. This historic fort was built during the Civil War by the Union Army to defend the newly formed town of Mitchelville, which was home to former slaves. The fort was constructed in 1864 by the 32nd United States Colored Infantry Regiment, which was made up of African American troops from Pennsylvania. Today, visitors to the site can see the remains of Fort Howell and read about its fascinating history.
4. Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is a 4,053-acre nature preserve that encompasses the plantation of Major General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Composed mostly of salt marsh and tidal creeks, this gorgeous refuge is home to fiddler crabs, alligators, white ibis, egrets, heron, and many other beautiful animals. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
5. Lawton Stables Petting Zoo (Admission to Sea Pines Required)
Animal lovers can follow up their trip to the wildlife refuge with a visit to the Lawton Stables Petting Zoo in Sea Pines Plantation. Admission to the stables’ small animal farm is free, but Sea Pines charges a daily admission rate of $9 per car. Young children will enjoy seeing horses, pigs, goats, alpacas, donkeys, deer, chickens, and other friendly critters. Animal feed is available for 50 cents per handful.
6. Stoney Baynard Plantation Ruins (Admission to Sea Pines Required)
While you’re still in Sea Pines, we recommend checking out the Stoney Baynard Plantation Ruins. Constructed between 1790 and 1810, this mansion is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Aside from the Sea Pines admission fee, there is no charge for visiting the Baynard Plantation.
7. Free Entertainment at Shelter Cove Harbour
Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina frequently hosts free live music and entertainment, especially during the summer months. This scenic shopping area is also a great place to walk around and do some browsing or dining. Kids will love seeing the lovely boats and yachts docked in the harbor.
When you stay with Hilton Head Properties Realty & Rentals, you will be near all of the best free things to do in Hilton Head. With everything from 1 bedroom properties to 7 bedroom properties, we are sure to have the perfect accommodations for your escape. To start planning your getaway, browse our selection of Hilton Head vacation rentals!