Southern Travel Diary Part 2: Hilton Head Island, SC

I’m so excited to write today’s blog post about a city that is incredibly special to me. Hilton Head and I fell in love about four years ago when I first visited on a college trip. My love for this island and the pristine beaches was so strong that I knew my husband and I had to get married there. Three years later, we said our vows on top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse. We returned there for 5 days to celebrate our anniversary recently and had a wonderful time as always. Like I mentioned about Charleston in my last travel diary, HHI also has something for everyone.

Where To Stay

Sonesta Resort. Hands down. From the dreamy exterior to the modern and immaculate interior, Sonesta is your best bet on the island. We took ALL of our wedding photos on the property! The resort is filled with two pools, cabanas, a fire pit, a jacuzzi, a pond filled with turtles, lush landscaping, a private beach, the BEST food and drinks and a staff that truly goes above and beyond to insure you feel the paradise vibes. 


HHI is easily navigable by car but biking is also a wonderful way to see the island! The area is extremely friendly to bicyclists and there are endless amounts of trails! You can rent bikes from just about anywhere (including Sonesta Resort) and we loved seeing the miles of shoreline this way! Just watch for gator crossings. 😉

What To Pack

HHI is super casual! Most people seem to be in flip flops and swimwear all the time. You can guarantee I always have my swimsuit on under whatever else I’m wearing which is usually a comfortable cover-up. At night, we liked to get a little more dressed up for dinner so I’d throw on a sun dress. Just don’t forget your sunscreen, beach tote and maybe a few hats!

What To See & Do

Of course most of our time is spent enjoying the resort and beaches but I’d say Harbour Town and the iconic lighthouse are musts as well. We also took a sunset cruise which I can’t recommend enough! The boat took us to Daufuskie Island to watch the sunset and spot dolphins. There are an almost endless amount of boat tours offered in the area so you can specialize them to what you want to see and do! There are also helicopter tours and zip lining excursions but I haven’t concurred my fear of those just yet. Of course for the golf lover, the world renowned golf courses will certainly be a hit. You also have to visit the shops and restaurants near Coligny Beach. We always stop into Piggly Wiggly for supplies and a few snacks. 

*pictures at Harbour Town 

*don’t forget your sunscreen on the boat 😳

Where To Shop

As a shopaholic, I can say that HHI doesn’t disappoint in this area either. Of course there are many souvenir and t-shirt shops, but I love going to both of the Tanger Outlets nearby! With stores like Jcrew, Saks Off Fifth and Adidas, you’re bound to find some steals. 

Where To Eat

This probably has to be my favorite section of this post because you don’t have to look far for great food around the island. As for dinner, Flatbread is a perfect option for everyone. There’s ample seafood but also plenty of options for a non-seafood lover. We also loved our dinners at The Crazy Crab and Quarterdeck– we had our wedding reception here! The Salty Dog Cafe, Market Street Cafe and Frosty Frog Cafe were yummy lunch options and a visit to Ice Cream Cone is the best dessert. 

Thank you for catching up and I hope this guide is helpful to anyone planning a trip to this beautiful island. Be on the look out for my Savannah guide next!

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