The island is the perfect place for you and your four-legged friend to call home.
When you think of Hilton Head Island, what do you think of? White sand beaches? World-class golf and tennis? Fine dining?
Hilton Head Island has been defined by so many things, but one of the more surprising aspects of this island paradise is its exceptional pet-friendliness. We’re an island of dog and cat lovers, and everything from our public spaces to our businesses reflect that. Want to know more about the fun you can have with your furry friend on the island? Read on.
Famously Dog-Friendly Beaches and Parks
Nothing makes your dog happier than a wide open space where they can run around – and if there happens to be some waves they can splash around in, all the better! To accommodate your pet, all of Hilton Head Island’s fabulous beaches allow dogs, although there are some rules.
To begin with, they are not permitted on the beach between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day. This is due to the heavy traffic on the beach owing to tourist season. If you’ve been on the beach at the height of summer, you’ll know there isn’t that much room to run around anyway.
They are permitted on the beach the remainder of the year, but must be leashed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. between April 1 and the Thursday before Memorial Day, as well as between the Tuesday after Labor Day through Sept. 30. Every other time, if they’re off the leash they must be under positive voice control and you must clean up after them.
So depending on the time of year and time of day, our beaches are the ideal place to take your pet. As a recommendation, some are better for dogs than others. Mitchelville Beach offers the biggest patch of hard-pack sand, which is easier for your dog to run around on, and Burkes Beach is generally less populated, making for a more enjoyable game of fetch.
Of course, as long as you’re in the Burkes Beach area you can stop by the Hilton Head Dog Park located in Chaplin Community Park. Offering a double-gated fenced enclosure, a doggy drinking fountain and plenty of room to run, the island’s dog park is a great place to let your pet make new friends.
Room and Groom
Speaking of letting your pets make new friends, when your friends come to visit they can bring along their pets as well, as many of our hotels are dog friendly.
Pet fees vary by property, with some not charging at all, but the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce currently lists six different hotels that welcome pets, from budget hotels to luxury inns, in addition to an RV motorcoach resort. There are plenty of vacation rental options, as well, with nearly every vacation rental company on the island offering properties that welcome pets.
But what about when your own travels require you to leave your pampered pet at home? They’ll be in good hands on Hilton Head, with some truly luxurious accommodations available at Evergreen Pet Lodge on the island and Brooke’s Bed & Biscuit in Bluffton.
Fed and Pampered
One of the biggest aspects of Hilton Head Island’s storied pet-friendliness is the wide array of restaurants that cater to pet owners. You won’t have to leave your four-legged friend at home when you dine out on Hilton Head, no matter what the cuisine. Hilton Head Island is gorgeous year round, so there’s almost always outdoor seating no matter where you go. And since we love our pets so much, you’ll never want for a nearby doggie dish.
All told, an astonishing 56 restaurants around the island welcome dogs. Whether you’re looking for seafood, fine dining or a good steak, you can enjoy our famous culinary scene with your furry companion. Some places will even offer special selections just for your pet – don’t be surprised if you both walk away full and happy.
But what about a night out just for your pet? Give them a spa day with a pampering from Dog Dynasty, located off of Palmetto Bay Road, or indulge them with a selection of fresh-baked treats at Tail Wiggles in the Village at Wexford. It’s a nice way to reward them after a long day of running on the beach and enjoying all this wonderful island has to offer.