Hilton Head Island is a wonderland of things to do and places to see. Between our majestic golf courses, beautifully serene beaches, world-class restaurants and endless shopping, visitors come back time and time again and always find something new to enjoy.
Just the same, there are times when its fun to hop in the car and explore the beauty of the Lowcountry surrounding Hilton Head Island. From quaint southern hospitality to breathtaking natural beauty, the Lowcountry offers a wealth of pleasant destinations for your next day trip from Hilton Head Island.
So join us as we explore some of the best places in the Lowcountry you can visit while staying on the island.
Bluffton, South Carolina
Long thought of as the “little brother” community to Hilton Head Island, this beautiful little river town has come into its own in recent years as a bona fide destination in its own right. A fixture on lists of great places to retire and top charming Southern small towns, Bluffton infuses a tight-knit sense of community with a blend of down-home charm and rustic sophistication.
It’s a unique balance that is perhaps best seen at the Calhoun Street Promenade, where you’re likely to find a beat-up golf cart parked side-by-side with an expensive sports car. Here among the shops and restaurants of the Promenade, and down Calhoun Street into which it empties, you’ll find the beating heart of a river town that has seen its profile soar in recent years. Walk the whole length of Calhoun Street to get the full experience, then park yourself on the high bluff next to Church of the Cross to take in the natural splendor of the May River.
Daufuskie Island, South Carolina
Accessible only by boat, Daufuskie Island retains a rustic sense of natural beauty that once defined the Lowcountry. Grab a ferry into Freeport Marina and start your trip out with a plateful of the famous Daufuskie Island deviled crab, then rent a golf cart and hit the dirt roads that criss-cross the island.
There are only a handful, making navigation a breeze, but among them you’ll find no shortage of things to see. Stop by the Bloody Point Lighthouse and hear chilling ghost stories or tour the nearby acreage where legacy crops from Carolina gold rice to muscadine grapes are making their way back to the soil of this once-thriving farming island. Then dip into the Silver Dew Winery on site and get a bottle of the scuppernong wine those muscadines produce.
Beaufort, South Carolina
Just across the Broad River from the Hilton Head Island, 278 corridor lies Beaufort, the biggest little town in the county. Across its grid of historic streets, Beaufort carries itself with an old-world elegance that has defined this bustling port town since the earliest days of American history.
A charming vibe infuses every shop, restaurant and street of the historic downtown, which arranges itself along the beautiful Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Walk the waterfront, then book a horse-drawn carriage tour of Beaufort and learn the fascinating history behind a town that has remained largely the same since the times of gaslight and gentility.
Just across the Savannah River lies a deep-south icon of grace and sophistication. The historic squares of Savannah speak to the centuries of tradition that inform the city’s culture, while a uniquely metropolitan vibe courtesy of nearby Savannah College of Art and Design adds a touch of modernity.
Along the cobblestones of River Street, you can enjoy a night out among the bars and restaurants that have made this city a nightlight hot spot. Among the moss-strewn live oaks that grace its many squares, you can hear the whispers of Savannah’s countless ghost stories. And at the chic sidewalk cafes that grace its many streets, you can sample the unmistakable vibe of one of the South’s most dynamic cities.
Charleston, South Carolina
The rules of grace and hospitality that have long defined the South were written here in Charleston, recognized the world over as one of the most charming cities on earth. Here among its antebellum streets, the allure of the South overwhelms, with a laid-back vibe that belies that city’s size and scale.
Along with the enchantment that awaits down every street, Charleston offers much to fill your day trip with memories. Walk along the stalls and vendors of the Historic Charleston City Market, where your next must-have souvenir is almost certainly to be found somewhere. Tour the elegant waterside splendor of Battery Park. Or enjoy some of the South’s most celebrated restaurants in a town the exulted in farm-to-table before it was trendy.
On your next Hilton Head Island vacation, why not spend a day getting to know the surrounding Lowcountry? Your reward will be an introduction to what makes this little slice of the south so unique.