Stay: If you’re seeking exceptional golf on Hilton Head Island, The Inn & Club at Harbour Town is the place to be. The property is understated in its elegance, with 60 guest rooms outfitted with large soaking tubs, walk-in showers and beds swathed in Frette Italian linens. Larger groups—or couples seeking an even more resplendent stay—can book the Fairway Suite, which boasts a spacious lounge and a covered terrace that overlooks the first and ninth fairways of the resort’s most famous course.
Play: Sea Pines is home to a trio of championship-caliber golf courses, including Love Golf Design’s Atlantic Dunes. The 7,000-yard layout mitigates the constant presence of water with strategically placed contours and mounding that help deliver favorable bounces—and an enjoyable round for all. The property’s crown jewel, however, is Harbour Town Golf Links, a tranquil though demanding Pete Dye design that has hosted an annual PGA Tour event since 1969—and is just as challenging the other 51 weeks of the year. “This course forces you to play not just where the pros play, but like the pros play,” says John Farrell, the resort’s director of sports operations. “You’ll be challenged in ways that you’re not always challenged, and you’ll hit every club in your bag.”
Indulge: When you’re ready to celebrate that bucket list round, settle in at Links, an American Grill, inside the Harbour Town Clubhouse, for traditional steakhouse fare. Elsewhere on property, Coast at Sea Pines’ Beach Club blends fresh seafood with Lowcountry staples (think hushpuppies) and an impressive bourbon selection in a spectacular setting. But if you really want to bask in the glow after your round, venture upstairs to the rooftop oyster bar at the Quarterdeck, where you’ll find Southern seafood complemented by sweeping views of the Harbour Town course, the iconic lighthouse and Calibogue Sound. —Shaun Tolson
Stay: The recently renovated Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa is a winner for all ages, with a prime beachfront location, three swimming pools, a full-service spa, multiple dining options and a golf and racquet club. Renting a condo or house at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort—with its marina, three golf courses, miles of biking trails and more—is another great option for families.
Explore: Paved, flat biking trails are abundant in Hilton Head, offering an easy way to enjoy the island. But when it comes to family fun, the local vehicle of choice is a boat. Check out Outside Hilton Head for nature cruises, fishing charters and kayaking excursions, and Captain Kidd for catch-and-release crabbing adventures. Aspiring duffers will love Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf, while everyone will cherish an afternoon in Harbour Town, with its old wooden playground, lighthouse and nightly, family-friendly concerts by local legend Gregg Russell.
Eat: Enjoy a Lowcountry lunch, brunch or dinner at Fishcamp on Broad Creek, set in a historic fishing camp with roots in the local Gullah culture. Head to Skull Creek Boathouse—home to everything from a sushi bar to a general store—for a classically kitschy waterfront dining experience. For a more upscale affair, stroll down to Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana or one of the many other good restaurants on New Orleans Road. —Bruce Wallin
Throughout the month of February, residents and guests can partake in a series of events that will spotlight the cuisine, music and artwork of the Lowcountry’s Gullah people. The annual Gullah Celebration (Jan. 30–March 1) showcases the heritage of these native islanders, which is instrumental in shaping the cultural traditions of Hilton Head Island.
The ocean’s bounty—specifically a variety of fish, blue crab and oysters sourced from local waters—is the primary draw of Hilton Head Island’s Seafood Festival (Feb. 19–25), which not only celebrates those delectable foods but also embraces the region’s Southern heritage. Whether you choose to attend the Pig Pickin’ & Oyster Roast, the Seafood & Champagne Sunday Brunch or any of the other festival events, one thing is clear: you must bring your appetite!
Presented by the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, the BravoPiano! Festival (Feb. 29–March 4) will welcome some of the world’s best pianists to the island. The weeklong event will include piano duos, quintets and chamber music programs, plus a finale that includes a performance of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, conducted by maestro John Morris Russell.
Hilton Head Island’s annual Wine & Food Festival (March 24–30) stands out for being one of the East Coast’s largest outdoor tented wine festivals. Comprised of public tasting and grand tasting events—not to mention a private judging event—the festival brings cuvees to the Carolinas and is a sure sign that spring is here.
To plan your next island getaway to America’s Favorite Island® and learn more about upcoming events visit: