By: Leslie Smith
We just got back from our first vacation with our 5 month old and it could not have been better! My husband has been going to Hilton Head, SC since he was young and we have been there together a few times over the years but this was the first time traveling there with children. Now I know why it is such a popular choice for family vacations! We had the best week and here are just a few of the many reasons why we loved it and will definitely be back 😊
Hilton Head: A family vacation with something for everyone!
We live in NJ so getting there was super easy! You can fly right into Hilton Head, but depending where you’re coming from that usually requires a connecting flight so we opted to fly direct into Savannah, GA. Savannah airport is small, easy to navigate and less than an hour drive to Hilton Head.
We were travelling with my husband’s whole family and with a such big group it’s always more cost efficient to rent a house than book multiple hotel rooms. Hilton Head has so many amazing beachfront homes of various sizes that can accommodate groups large or small. Our house was in the North Forest Beach area which was perfect for our big crew! The house had a pool and walkway right out to the beach. The convenience of going to the beach with an infant without packing everything but the kitchen sink was a dream. Plus we didn’t have to go out to dinner every night and could enjoy a few low key nights BBQ’ing and playing games at home.
Here’s a link to the house we stayed in which is one of the many rental properties available in the area: https://www.vrbo.com/121037
The beaches in Hilton Head are unlike any I have ever been on. They are really wide and the sand close to the surf is so hard you can ride bikes and easily push a stroller. Plus with kids a bit older there’s so much space for more than just your typical beach activities – we saw families surf fishing, playing soccer, bocce, wiffle ball, etc.
Biking / Walking Paths:
One major reason I highly recommend North Forest Beach is there are walking / biking paths connecting the entire area. The paths are shaded with beautiful oak trees covered in Spanish moss so we didn’t have to worry about sun on the baby during our peaceful morning walks for coffee. The paths lead to Coligny Plaza which has a coffee shop, grocery store, restaurants and lots of cute shopping. In theory, once you arrive you would not have get back in your car if you didn’t want to. To me, that’s truly a vacation!
When traveling for the first time with a baby, one of my worries was whether going out to dinner would be even remotely enjoyable. We had plenty of extra hands but were the only ones with a child and 7pm is usually the beginning of our bedtime routine, not a grown up dinner. It turns out even the nicest restaurants on Hilton Head are family friendly and most have outdoor seating so we could easily get up and sneak away in case of a meltdown. The staff and other guests at every restaurant were so friendly and instead of the eye rolls I anticipated, people got smiles on their faces when they saw a stroller.
These were a few of our favorites:
Vine – a cozy Italian spot in Coligny Plaza.
Coast – located in the brand new Sea Pines Beach Club. Stunning decor and views to go along with the great food and live music.
Salty Dog – a popular Hilton Head spot so you’ve probably seen these t-shirts and it’s one of those places you just have to go to. It’s on a marina in Sea Pines and a good casual option for lunch or to grab a quick drink and gift before dinner at Coast or one of the many other restaurants in Sea Pines.
Skull Creek Boathouse – the beautiful views and kid-friendly atmosphere makes it a great spot for an early dinner while watching the sunset.
Old Oyster Factory
Another kid-friendly restaurant with great low-country views. https://www.oldoysterfactory.com
Our group had a wide age range so afternoon nap time for the baby was also Happy Hour time for the 20-somethings. These were the go-tos.
Tiki Hut at Coligny Beach – It’s roomy enough to maneuver a stroller through and completely covered so we took the baby here one afternoon and it was a nice way to be at the beach but not out in the sun. And if you have older kids there are beach volleyball courts so they can play while you relax with a frozen drink!
Frosty Frog – a popular spot in Coligny Plaza with casual food and an entire wall of delicious frozen drink options. It’s great for lunch or a casual dinner and you can even get the drinks to-go if you would rather enjoy one back at your house.
One last highlight is Harbour Town in Sea Pines. It’s a great place to spend a day with kids! There are outdoor restaurants with plenty of shaded areas and views of the harbor. After lunch you could climb the lighthouse, take boat trips, do watersports or just pop in and out of all the cute shops.
I hope you enjoyed this and it helps with planning your next family trip to Hilton Head 🙂