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Hilton Head Island Beaches


Guide to the beaches of Hilton Head and public access points, beach rules and regulations, dog and animal rules, personal watercraft rules, fishing licenses and regulations, and emergency contact information.



Hilton Head Island boasts 12 miles of expansive, hard-packed beaches which range up to 600 feet at low tide. The tide levels vary as much as 6-8 feet every 6 hours. Popular beach activities include bicycling, jogging, watersports and sun bathing. All Hilton Head beaches are public, but some access points are private and vary by location. Beach parking is plentiful and designated swimming areas are available at Coligny, Folly Field, Islander Beach and Driessen, with lifeguards on hand during the season.

Our beach guide includes Hilton Head beach information, access points and parking, beach photography, real-time tidal chart, beach rules and regulations, personal watercraft rules, fishing licenses and regulations, and local emergency contact information.

Popular beaches on Hilton Head Island include Burkes Beach, Coligny Beach, Driessen Beach, Fish Haul Creek Beach, Folly Field Beach, Hilton Head Island Beach, Islanders Beach and Mitchelville Beach. Looking for a scenic beach spot? Check out the beaches on Hilton Head Island, which was recently named a Top East Coast Beach destination!

View map of Hilton Head Island Beaches »



Hilton Head Beach Photography
Hilton Head Beach Portraits and Photography Preferred by ExploreHiltonHead.com

Beach Portraits by Hilton Head Island Photography

843.683.6883

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With gorgeous beaches for a backdrop, their professional staff will create incredible family portraits that you will cherish for years to come. They start in the dunes where poses are more traditional and then down by water's edge for a more candid approach. From a family of 4 to a group of 44, their 10+ years of experience provide a seamless and enjoyable beach portrait process. By appointment, so please call ahead to schedule.
Hilton Head Island Beaches
All Plantations with beaches have several beach access points for their guests. All major hotels on Hilton Head Island have beach access for their guests. Alder Lane Beach Access off South Forest Beach Drive has parking available with 22 metered spaces.

Burkes Beach Hilton Head Island, SC

Burkes Beach

60 Burkes Beach Rd
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 341-4757
Parking: 13 metered spaces

Large, serene stretch of public beach with a handful of metered parking spaces and outdoor showers. Located next to Chaplin Community Park, making it accessible by bike, with open fields, basketball and tennis courts, and a dog park.
Coligny Beach Park Hilton Head Island, SC

Coligny Beach Park

1N Forest Beach
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 342-4580
Parking: Free parking available beachfront at Coligny Circle. Some parking reserved for annual beach passes from 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Oceanside park with landscaped walking and biking paths, plus WiFi, swings and beach-equipment rentals. The most popular beach on the island, located at the end of Pope Avenue. Close to Coligny Plaza shops, restaurants and hotels. Ameneties include sand showers, gazebos, covered benches, swings, restrooms and public water fountains.
Driessen Beach Park Hilton Head Island, SC

Driessen Beach Park

64 Bradley Beach Rd
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 842-5698
Parking: 207 long term parking spaces - some parking reserved for annual beach passes from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Public spot with beach access, seasonal lifeguards, grills, picnic facilities and outdoor showers. 200 public parking spaces with pay meters located in the restroom building. Amenities include sand showers and a covered pavillion with picnic tables and a charcoal grill.
Fish Haul Creek Park Hilton Head Island, SC

Fish Haul Creek Park

226 Beach City Rd
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Parking: Free public parking

Wooded park with walking trails, a wetlands observation deck, picnic pavilion and beach access. A hidden treasure accessible through a short hike through the woods. Amenities include a covered pavillion and picnic tables.
Folly Field Beach Park Hilton Head Island, SC

Folly Field Beach Park

55 Starfish Dr
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 341-4600
Parking: 51 metered spaces available

Tranquil beach with restrooms and outdoor showers, plus seasonal umbrella and lounge chair rentals. Amenities include restrooms, sand showers, a water fountain and soda machine.
Hilton Head Island Beach, SC

Hilton Head Island Beach

560 William Hilton Pkwy
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928 (843) 342-4580
Islanders Beach, Hilton Head Island, SC

Islanders Beach

94 Folly Field Rd
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 341-4600
Parking: Annual beach pass parking only

Public beach with a boardwalk, playground, picnic facilities and seasonal lifeguards. Amenities include sand showers, bike racks, covered pavillion, and a large playground with swings, see-saw and slides.
Mitchellville Beach Park, Hilton Head Island, SC

Mitchellville Beach Park

120 Mitchellville Rd
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Parking: Free public parking

Secluded spot popular for beachcombing and wildlife observation, with restrooms, outdoor showers and picnic tables set in a natural landscape. Across a lengthy bridge to Barker Field you'll find a recreational park with three baseball fields, playground and observation deck overlooking the marshes.
Hilton Head Island Tides Chart
The latest hilton head tides


Hilton Head Island Beach Rules and Regulations

Dogs and Other Animals on the Beach


Seasonal Rules (April–September)


Hilton Head Island's official beach season is April 1st through September 30th of each year. For the added protection of sunbathers and swimmers, the following activities are prohibited in Designated Swimming Areas between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. April 1 through September 30:


Rules & Regulations (Year Round)


The Beaufort County Sheriff's Department patrols the beaches and enforces all beach regulations. Violators of beach regulations are subject to fines up to $500 per each offense. The following are PROHIBITED on all beaches:


Personal Watercraft Rules
The following rules and regulations are contained in the South Carolina Personal Watercraft and Boating Safety Act of 1996.


Fishing Licenses & Regulations
In 2009, the South Carolina legislature changed our state's saltwater fishing regulations by requiring that all shore-based fishermen, residents and tourists alike, must buy a South Carolina saltwater fishing license. Up until then only boat fishermen were required to have a license. In a nutshell the new law reads, "This act requires all individuals (16 and over) to have a saltwater recreational fishing license when harvesting marine resources, including finfish, oysters, clams, shrimp and crab."

If you are fishing on a licensed pier or with a licensed charter captain, you are covered under their permit. You don't need a license if you are crabbing with 3 or less drop nets, fold up traps or hand lines. Fishermen need a license to crab with a crab trap or pot.

The minimum fine for not having a SC Saltwater Fishing License is $160 and each fisherman could be required to post a cash bond or go to jail. The maximum fine is more than $1,000. Saltwater fishing areas includes the beaches, all saltwater lagoons including those found in Palmetto Dunes and Sea Pines, public boat landings, and public and private docks and piers.

Buying a Fishing License


Fishing licenses can be purchased 24/7 by phone at 1.866.714.3611 or online at dnr.sc.gov.

Getting a fishing license process is easy and inexpensive. An annual resident South Carolina saltwater fishing license is only $10 (14 day license for a SC resident license is $5). A non-resident can purchase a 14 day saltwater fishing license for $11 ($35 for the year).

Emergency Contact Information

Law Enforcement


Sheriff Beaufort County - Non-Emergency Dispatch - (843) 785-3618
Sheriff Beaufort County - Office (843) 255-3300
SC Highway Patrol - (843) 726-8076

Fire Department


Hilton Head Headquarters - (843) 682-5100
Hilton Head Burn Day Info - (843) 341-4714

Medical


Beaufort Memorial Hospital - (843) 522-5200
Coastal Carolina Hospital - (843) 784-8000
Hilton Head Island Hospital Medical Center & Clinics - (843) 681-6122
Hilton Head Island Hospital Emergency Room - (843) 689-8281
St. Joseph's Hospital - (912) 925-4100

Other Emergency Numbers


Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives - (800) 800-3855
Federal Bureau of Investigation (Columbia) - (803) 551-4200
South Carolina Poison Control Center - (800) 222-1222

U.S. Coast Guard Marine & Air Emergencies


Charleston, SC - (843) 740-7050
Tybee Island, Georgia - (912) 786-5440


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Hilton Head Island Golf Courses and Online Tee Times

Book Your Hilton Head Golf Tee Times Online

You can now save money and easily book your tee times at local Hilton Head Island golf courses right here on ExploreHiltonHead.com. Featuring golf courses on Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, and Coastal SC golf courses and country clubs.
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Hilton Head Island Fishing Charters

Hilton Head Fishing Charters

The coast of South Carolina offers a vast ecosystem of salt marshes, tidal creeks, winding rivers, sounds and the Atlantic Ocean is unspoiled, healthy, and brimming with fish of all types. For deep sea fishing charters and offshore angling, there are a number of fishing charters and skilled captains who can help you navigate Hilton Head's vast ecosystem of salt marshes, tidal creeks, winding rivers, Calibogue Sound, Harbor River and the expansive Atlantic ocean.
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Map of Hilton Head Island Beaches