Hilton Head Island vacation rentals put you right in the center of the historic and lovely island with its world-class golf courses, miles of nature trails for hiking and sparkling white beaches. Check out these tips to find the perfect place to stay in Hilton Head Island on your next family vacation. Divided into several beautiful neighborhoods, your first decision begins with which area of the island suits your vacation style.
- Sea Pines Plantation
Whether you’ve chosen an all-inclusive resort or Hilton Head Island vacation rental on the beach, Sea Pines Plantation is a lovely area. Located on the south end of the island, Sea Pines Plantation is one of the older neighborhoods with houses dating back to the 1930s and 1940s right alongside modern and exciting resorts. Four golf courses draw visitors from all over the world for challenging games and spectacular views of the coastline. Biking, hiking and tennis are all available for guests who enjoy a little outdoor adventure, and there’s a wide selection of Hilton Head Island house rentals that make it easy to enjoy the natural beauty of the island.
Although the Sea Pines Plantation isn’t quite beachfront, the rental rates tend to be slightly lower here than in other sections of the island. The Sea Pines Plantation neighborhood is approximately 15 minutes from the Hilton Head airport, making this neighborhood a great choice for families and singles who are visiting from out of state or flying in to enjoy the summer season. Attractions near the Sea Pines Plantation area include public beach access, two marinas with boat rentals and tours, and plenty of cute boutiques and restaurants.
- Palmetto Dunes
Located a little north of Sea Pines Plantation and offering plenty of beach access, Palmetto Dunes also feature world-class golf courses and hiking and biking trails. This area of Hilton Head Island is situated along a system of lagoons that cover about 13 miles of the island and offers excellent locations for fishing, kayaking and paddleboarding. The calmer water of the lagoons surrounded by Hilton Head Island house rentals and modern condos tends to draw guests who have an appreciation for natural beauty.
Palmetto Dunes has a large selection of vacation rentals that include villas with two or three bedrooms, waterfront homes with decks overlooking the water, and towering condos offering unobstructed views of Hilton Head Island’s beaches. Located just a few minutes from Hilton Head airport and featuring the Shelter Cove Harbor, this portion of the island also has boat tours and boat rentals available similar to those in the Sea Pines Plantation area.
- Forest Beach
Located on the southern and eastern coast of Hilton Head Island, Forest Beach is a beachfront community with vacation rentals right on the beach. This large neighborhood has a good mixture of condos and house rentals perfect for families and singles looking to enjoy the sun and sand. This area tends to be one of the busiest, with plenty of beach access and cute beach bars and restaurants.
Locals are found relaxing along the Forest Beach seashore, and there are lots of options for entertainment including biking and hiking trails, shopping, tennis courts and lessons at the Van der Meer Tennis University, and swimming in the warm waters of the Atlantic. Forest Beach is also close to the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina with its local theater groups and live shows, along with the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge where visitors enjoy the natural beauty of the South Carolina coast and its myriad of shorebirds.
- Harbour Town
Located on the western edge of Hilton Head Island, Harbour Town is a waterfront community near Sea Pines Plantation with a large selection of Hilton Head Island vacation rentals right on the beach. This residential area also features a good selection of shops, clothing boutiques and restaurants along with a gorgeous harbor filled with rental boats, yachts and fishing charters. Harbour Town has its share of golf courses, tennis and volleyball courts, and other outdoor sport amenities. Hiking, fishing and paddleboarding are popular activities for visitors, along with browsing the shops and enjoying the art galleries and craft stores.
Harbour Town features Hilton Head Island house rentals that come with easy access to condos overlooking the harbor and the beaches. This area of the island tends to draw families with children, and offers parks with playgrounds, dog parks and doggy day spas for travelers who bring their favorite furry friend. Harbour Town is about 20 minutes from the Hilton Head airport and visitors have access to plenty of public transportation to get from their vacation rental to the beaches.
- Folly Field
The oldest and most luxurious of the Hilton Head Island vacation rentals are found in and around Folly Field Plantation. This area of the island is situated toward the north and the east with some of the most beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. Several large resorts play host to visitors who love golf and tennis, and with easy access to the beaches, there are water sports like kayaking, boating and paddleboarding available as well. Folly Field offers a glimpse of the history of Hilton Head Island with gorgeous vacation homes that date to the 1950s adding their own unique architecture to the beauty of the island.
Visitors enjoy the Hilton Head Island Birding Trail where you can catch a glimpse of the native shorebirds along with sandpipers and osprey. Families with children have space to explore the beaches, and shops offer crafting for days when the weather might not be so cooperative. Hilton Head Island vacation rentals are most plentiful during the off-season and busiest from mid-June until the end of August while the children are out of school.