Hilton Head Island has over 12 miles of sandy beaches. There are seven public beaches on Hilton Head Island, most of which are along the Atlantic Coast. The following (listed in alphabetical order) do not include the numerous beaches located within the gated plantations (such as Hilton Head Plantation, Palmetto Dunes Resort, Port Royal Plantation, and the Sea Pines Resort). Note, however, that in South Carolina all beaches are public up to the high tide mark so you can walk from a public beach to one that is behind gates.
Alder Lane Beach: South End off South Forest Beach Road, next to the Marriott Grand Ocean Resort; seasonal lifeguards; metered parking across South Forest Beach Road; restrooms and vending machine; wheelchair accessible.
Burkes Beach: Mid-Island off William Hilton Parkway (US Hwy 278) at the end of Burkes Beach Road; unguarded swimming with no amenities; limited metered parking; although you can park at nearby Chaplin Park.
Coligny Beach: South End at Pope Avenue and Forest Beach Road at Coligny Circle; guarded swimming; showers, restrooms, water fountains, and beach equipment rentals; metered parking across the street; Wi-Fi; wheelchair accessible; has been rated as the #2 “Best Family Beach” in the United States by Parents Magazine.
Dreissen Beach Park: (aka Singleton Beach) Mid-Island off William Hilton Parkway (US Hwy 278) at the end of Bradley Beach Road; seasonal lifeguards and beach rentals; paid parking; rest rooms; outdoor showers; vending machines; playground; picnic tables and grills; boardwalk; wheelchair accessible.
Mitchelville Beach Park: North End off Beach City Road; unguarded swimming; parking available; restrooms, handicap accessible (see sidebar on Mitchelville on pg. 24).
Folly Field Beach: Mid-Island off William Hilton Parkway (US Hwy 278) and Folly Field Road on Starfish Road; seasonal lifeguards and beach rentals; limited metered parking; restrooms, showers, and water fountains; wheelchair accessible; boardwalk; a favorite for surfers.
Islanders Beach: Mid-Island off William Hilton Parkway (US Hwy 278) off Folly Field Road on Sparkleberry Lane; seasonal lifeguards; outdoor showers; picnic pavilion; grills; boardwalk; playground; restrooms; handicap accessible.
Rules and Regulations:
Fishing, surf casting, flying kites, throwing frisbees, and “articles to ride the surf” are prohibited in areas that are designated swimming areas. Motorized vehicles, except wheelchairs, are prohibited. Alcohol, glassware, shark fishing, horses, and overnight sleeping are not permitted on the beaches. All powerboats and wave runners must stay 100 yards offshore and are not permitted on the beaches. Walking through the sand dunes and picking or cutting of dune plants is not permitted. All living sealife must stay on the beach, although shelling is encouraged. Bicycles are permitted on the beach.
The rules pertaining to dogs are seasonal; so it is best to check the signs posted to see when they are permitted on the beach. However, two rules are clear: First, dogs must be on a leash or under “positive voice control” at all times; and second, please clean up any messes!
Please make every attempt not to litter and to keep the beach as beautiful as when you first arrived. Just leave your footprints.
For more information, contact the Beach Information and Services at (843) 342-4580.
Want to know more about the "ins and outs" of Hilton Head Island? Download or order a printed INZANOUTS travel guide today!