Take advantage of South Carolina’s sprawling coast with its meandering marshes, sandy shorelines and ocean swells while on Hilton Head Island. With over 12 miles of coast to explore on this boot-shaped beach paradise, it can be quite difficult to know just which beach to visit. Amenities, ease of access and the availability of shops and restaurants help to narrow down the list to the top two beaches, and, with the expertise of locals and the knowledge of the tourist hot-spots, Hilton Head Island just got a bit easier to navigate. These sandy shores are two you won’t want to miss on your next beach day on Hilton Head!
1) Coligny Beach
Coligny is by far the most popular beach on Hilton Head, boasting the most parking—much of which is free—and the best, as well as the easiest, beach access. When visiting Coligny, view the magnificent Lowcountry setting showcased throughout the area via the sidewalks and bike trails surrounding the well-maintained access. On your way to the beach, you won’t only encounter a fun splash fountain for kids, but also bathrooms, changing stalls, outdoor showers, swings and gazebos with lounging chairs.
Across the way from the beach, Coligny Plaza captures the attention of all with shopping for everyone, a small independent movie theater and a variety of restaurants. With dessert shops, such as Island Fudge Shoppe and Frozen Moo Ice Cream, cooling off after a day in the sun is a breeze. If you’re looking for more fun, rent a bike from one of the bike shops and ride around Coligny and local neighborhoods as you take in the relaxing atmosphere of the Island.
Local tip: Head over to Coligny True Value Hardware for beach chairs, sand toys, coolers and more!
2) Driessen Beach
For those looking for a local favorite, stick near mid-Island. Driessen Beach—most commonly referred to as Bradley Beach—is a local staple because of its ample parking and crowdless shores. Driessen, which is found down a residential road, captivates both visitors and locals with its hidden charm and availability. There is an array of amenities found at Driessen: playgrounds entertain the children, a long boardwalk to the beach with views promising Lowcountry discovery and grills to create the best beach picnic around!
If you don’t want to grill but like the idea of freshly cooked food and ice-cold beverages, keep in mind that a handful of resorts share the beach, so look for oceanfront walk-up restaurants where an abundance of burgers and drinks can be found! With all the amenities of a tourist beach and a local Island vibe, it’s not hard to see why Driessen Beach is a top beach on Hilton Head Island.
Local tip: If you are carrying a lot of beach necessities with you, look into bringing a wagon, as the walk to the beach is lengthy.