Hilton Head with Kids: A Perfect Family Day

Hilton Head with Kids: A Family Vacation


Everyone knows that beaches are some of the best family vacation spots, and Hilton Head is indeed a premier beach destination in the South, making it perfect for kids' vacations. Below you'll find some suggestions for an ideal visit to Hilton Head with kids.


Hilton Head is located on the southeastern coast of the U.S. and it can start warming up early in the day, so head outside first thing in the morning. Start your day in the great outdoors at the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. Bring your camera and a set of binoculars, as the national landmark offers great photo opportunities in terms of both wildlife and family adventure. Consisting primarily of salt marshes and tidal creeks, visitors will see animals here they won't find elsewhere, including white-tailed deer, alligators and herons. With more than 4,000 acres of land to explore, Pinckney Island is a great Hilton Head family travel destination.

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
Lands End Dr
Hilton Head, SC 29926

After a morning outdoors, experiencing the sights and sounds of Hilton Head with kids, it's time for a nice meal. A premier destination for seafood, Hilton Head is popular among foodies. One hidden gem that's a local favorite is Signe's. It's a great location for late morning visits, and if you're not in the mood for a hot brunch or lunch, you can enjoy something from the bakery. Daily hot specials include the quiche lorraine and crab cake tart. However, Hilton Head is in the middle of the Low Country region and is famous for shrimp and grits, which Signe's offers in generous portions with homemade tomato salsa. If your kids have a sweet tooth, treat them to a slice of one of the great homemade desserts, like Nutella pie or cheesecake.

Signe's Bakery
93 Arrow Rd
Hilton Head, SC 29928
Mon-Fri 8AM-4PM, Sat 9AM-2PM


Now that you and your kids are full, you'll be ready to tackle an afternoon of family travel activities in Hilton Head. Although it's a small island on the South Carolina coast, Hilton Head offers a plethora of things to do, including guided tours involving both land- and water-based activities. While many people may expect that you have to go to the tropics to get an up close and personal experience with dolphins, you can actually do it right off the shores here. Island Explorer is just one of the many outdoor guided tour companies in the area. They offer several different nature and outdoor guided tours, but their specialty is dolphins. The two-hour nature and dolphin tour explores the saltwater marshes and comes right up alongside dolphins, as well as many other types of wildlife.

Island Explorer
101 Marshland Rd
Hilton Head, SC 29926
Adults $45, children $35

After some fun in the sun out on the waters of Hilton Head, it's time to take the kids inside for an entertaining afternoon at the Sandbox Children's Museum. Ideal for young kids, it offers many hands-on, interactive exhibits that are fun for both parents and children. Some of the attractions at the Sandbox include the Loggerhead Sandcastle, Charlie's Perfect Playplace and the International Bazaar, where children can shop and cook exotic international meals.

Sandbox Children's Museum
18 Pope Ave
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928
Adults & children 2 & up $6


After a busy and entertaining day jaunting around Hilton Head with kids on your best family vacation, it's time to start winding down for the day. The perfect end to the day is dinner at one of the most classic restaurants in the southeast, The Salty Dog Café. The restaurant is something of an icon in Hilton Head and their famous T-shirts can be seen being worn by people across the South.

Located right on the water, the Salty Dog Café is a quintessential seafood restaurant, with its waterfront dock and outdoor patio. While waiting on food, parents can enjoy the freedom of taking their kids for a walk up and down the dock to enjoy the ocean breeze coming off the water. Prices at the Salty Dog are very reasonable, with many dishes being less than $20. Low Country favorites like seafood pot pie and shrimp and grits are not to be missed, while they also offer many sandwiches and meat options for children.

The Salty Dog Café
232 S. South Sea Pines Dr
Hilton Head, SC 29928
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