Summer will be here before you know it so now is the time to start planning that vacation! Hilton Head Island is a popular choice for many because of its unique qualities including miles of flat beaches, quaint neighborhood feel without high rise hotels, amazing restaurants, and lots of outdoor activities. As a full time resident and family photographer, I thought I would give you my Top 5 Tips to make your Hilton Head Vacation a stress-free experience!
1. Book your vacation rental early: If you are planning a Hilton Head Island vacation in May, June or July, its important to book your rental home as early as possible. These 3 months are the most popular times for a beach vacation, especially for families with kids. If you have the luxury to travel in our shoulder months of April, August and September, you will enjoy fewer tourists, less crowded restaurants, and increased rental choices. Check out this awesome rental company whose properties are impeccably maintained, and all those extra touches make your trip that much more special. http://www.beverlyserral.com/
2. Plan your arrival day to avoid the queue: Saturdays on our island are known to locals as “turn over day”. Departing visitors leave the island by 10 am and new arrivals start queuing up between 1 pm and 4 pm. This can make your much-anticipated arrival a bit of a pain as you potentially will sit in traffic another hour or more (kids whining, husband swearing at fellow travelers, you know the drill) to get over the bridges and to your vacation rental! I recommend trying to arrive on our island before noon on Saturday and it will be a breeze! You can hit the grocery store (avoid the Saturday evening crowd) to gather a day or more of supplies. Yes, requires you to bring a cooler, but trust me, it will be worth it! Take the kids to the beach and let them stretch their legs from that long ride. Then, just before 4 pm, make your way to your rental check-in office to get your keys. A little planning can make your arrival so much more pleasant.
3. Book your activities in advance: There are so many activities available sure to meet the interest of everyone in your family! Golf, fishing, dolphin cruises, bike riding, kayaking and so much more is here on the island to enjoy. I recommend making reservations in advance, where possible, to be sure you don’t miss out on a special experience. Check out some of these companies that offer many choices for you.
- Golf: https://www.hiltonheadisland.org/golf/
- Outdoor and Water Sports: https://www.outsidehiltonhead.com/
- Bike Rentals: http://pelicancruiser.com/
4. Capture your memories by hiring a photographer: Well, I just happen to BE a photographer and can speak from personal experience that you really need to book your photo shoot as far in advance as possible. There are a lot of wonderful photographers on and around our island, so you have many photography styles to choose from. Please don’t wait until the week of your trip to decide, however, or you will find we are all booked up! (If you like Faithography's work, use the "Contact" link to reach out).
5. Explore more than just the beaches on Hilton Head: Sometimes its nice to take a break from the beach and see some other sites. Hilton Head is one of the largest barrier islands on the east coast which means we have beautiful inter coastal waterways as well.
- Spend a few hours closer to nature by taking a guided kayak tour (Outside Hilton Head offers many options). You will likely see dolphins, sting rays, and all sorts of native birds.
- Explore Pickney Island, a National Wildlife Refuge. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/pinckney_island/
- Visit the Coastal Discovery Museum and learn more about the rich history of our island, including getting up close with nature, learning about the Gullah Heritage, as well as WWII history. https://www.coastaldiscovery.org/
Whether this is your first visit to our island or an annual trip, we are so excited you choose spend your vacation with us! I hope to see you on the beach!!
Faith of Faithography