From wading through the surf to relaxing in the sand, there’s no shortage of opportunities to soak up the sun on Hilton Head’s beautiful beaches. The island’s 12 miles of pristine coastline are considered some of the best beaches in the United States. In fact, Hilton Head Island has been named the “#1 Island in the Continental U.S.” and “#1 Island in the U.S.” by readers of Travel+Leisure Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler for the past several years in a row.
It’s hard to go wrong with any of our beaches, but some are geared more towards one activity or another. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot or the perfect place to launch your kayak, these five beaches have something for everyone.
Coligny is one of Hilton Head’s most popular beaches for a reason: from the sunny shores to the array of shops and restaurants, it’s easy to spend a whole day in this area. After hitting the waves or partaking in a game of beach volleyball, take advantage of the outdoor showers and rinsing stations just off the boardwalk to wash away the salt and sand. Explore the range of locally owned gift shops or listen to live music over dinner in Coligny Plaza. This beach is sure to be crowded, but if you’re looking for good people-watching and a good time, Coligny is the place for you.
Mitchelville Beach is well off the beaten path, but is well worth the effort of getting there. As one of the most natural beaches on the island, the woods and seagrass bordering the shoreline give the illusion of a private oasis. It’s the perfect place to get those post-worthy vacation pics. Looking for an outdoor adventure? Mitchelville is great for both hiking and coastal kayaking. The nearby forest, tidal pools and quiet shores are constantly changing, so there’s always something new to explore.
With its low tide, long boardwalk and gently-rolling dunes, Folly Field is a truly timeless beach. As one of the island’s middle beaches, it strikes a balance between populated and remote. Relax near the gentle waves, spend quality time with the kids, take a romantic bike ride at sunset – or do all three. Enjoy a classic beach-day at Folly Field – no matter what that means to you.
Burkes Beach is known as a great place to escape the summer crowds but features all the amenities you’d find at a more popular beach. After spending time by the shore, wander down the road to Chaplin Community Park where you’ll find basketball and tennis courts, a playground, a dog park and more. Burkes Beach also boasts some of the island’s biggest waves, making this an ideal stretch for surfers.
Get your group together and head to Driessen Beach. Outfitted with a picnic table pavilion, a grill, outdoor showers and a playground, Driessen promises fun for the whole family. The beach is located just two and a half miles away from the entrance of Palmetto Dunes along Hilton Head’s well-maintained bike path system. From hosting a cookout to touring the local scenery, there are plenty of activities to partake in before you’re even on the shore.