Hilton Head Island Beach Conditions
Historically rich and shaped like an old-fashioned shoe, the 12-mile “sole” of Hilton Head Island draws millions of visitors each year. The island was once home to Captain William Hilton who loved the beaches for their “clean air” and “sweet water.” Today Hilton Head Island, South Carolina is the vacation home of sun-seeking families and nature enthusiasts.
Five beach access points are safely protected by more than 50 life guards from spring to fall. Check out the map of lifeguard postings. The Shore Beach Service's focus is to help endangered swimmers, and to keep visitors abreast of changing conditions or dangerous wildlife. It’s a good idea to make note of the mile marker that is posted at each beach. This is useful as a meeting point and in the event of an emergency.
The shallow waters of Hilton Head Island extend further out than most beach destinations. While not great for surfers, this provides an ideal location for families with small children and stand-up paddle boarders. The sand gets relatively hard packed below the mid-tide line creating opportunities to bike ride on the beach. Hilton Head has several interesting biking routes.
A good place to start exploring Hilton Head Island is at Coligny Beach, the island’s busiest beach complete with beach bars and volleyball nets. From there, walk a few hundred yards north or south to enjoy a peaceful sunset over the Atlantic.