Hilton Head Island is blessed by 12 miles of white sandy beaches, many of which have been renourished to make them wider and better than ever. While it may be our world-famous golf and tennis or our fantastic resort communities that have made us famous, it is the beaches of Hilton Head Island that have earned us accolades as a vacation destination.
To help locals and visitors take advantage of our lush sandy shores, The Town of Hilton Head has established seven beach parks each with their own charm and attraction. Which one is right for you? Check out our handy guide below to the ins and outs and amenities to figure out where you’re going the next time you slather on the sunscreen and hit the shore.
We are going park-by-park to let you know where to go to grab some sun and sand.
Alder Lane Beach Park
Amenities: Handicapped access, metered parking, outdoor showers, restrooms, seasonal life guards.
Alder Lane beach is one of the most peaceful spots on the island, which is surprising given how close it is to Coligny Beach Park and all the energy and excitement of the island’s South End. Access is off of South Forest Beach, making it easy to get to this tranquil oasis of sand and sea.
Burkes Beach Park
Amenities: Metered parking, outdoor showers.
Not much more than a bare-bones winding trail of sand leading between the dunes out to the sea, Burkes Beach is generally less popular among beach goers due to the strong currents making it difficult to swim. It makes up for it by being a great place to let the dogs run around in the sand (off-season, of course) and is also well-known for its folly. This unique geographical feature is great to explore, just keep an eye on the tides.
Coligny Beach Park
Amenities: Handicapped access, outdoor showers, restrooms, seasonal beach guards, chair and umbrella rentals, Wi-Fi.
This is the beach park for Hilton Head Island. From the splash pad out front to the wide array of swing benches and tables lining the long path to the sand, the fun and relaxation begin before you even see the water. Once you’re there, you’re enjoying the island’s most popular beach, with its plentiful hard-packed sand, winding tidal pools and laid-back vibe.
Driessen Beach Park
Amenities: Handicapped access, boardwalk, grill, metered parking, outdoor showers, permit parking, picnic pavilion, playground, restrooms, chair and umbrella rentals, seasonal life guards.
If Coligny Beach Park is the party beach, Driessen is the beach where you can show the whole family a good time. Let the kids run around on the playground or get a game of catch going in the nearby fields while the charcoals warm up, then realize your family is having a blast and you haven’t even reached the beach yet!
Folly Field Beach Park
Amenities: Handicapped access, boardwalk, metered parking, outdoor showers, restrooms, seasonal life guards.
This is the beach park you want when you just want the beach, and don’t necessarily want to share it with a crowd. The amenities are fairly bare-boned – just a boardwalk heading up to some sand. But the beach is generally pretty open, making for plenty of space for setting up some games. Plus, the gentle currents make for great swimming and the steady winds make this the place to send your kite flying.
Islanders Beach Park
Amenities: Handicapped access, boardwalk, grill, outdoor showers, picnic pavilion, playground, restrooms, seasonal life guards.
Close to Folly Field Beach Park is Islanders Beach Park, rife with amenities but reserved exclusively for locals. The extras are plentiful, but if you don’t have a pass to get in, you’re just going to have to hoof it.
Mitchelville Beach Park
Amenities: Handicapped access, outdoor showers, restrooms
Mitchelville Beach Park revels in tranquil oceanside serenity. By far one of the island’s most quiet and tranquil beaches, Mitchelville also benefits from its unique history. Founded during the Union Army’s occupation of Hilton Head Island during the Civil War, Mitchelville was the first town ever founded specifically for freed slaves. Today, you can remember their history while staring down some marvelously peaceful waves.