Hilton Head Island: It's Natural!
Ranked as a top Best Island in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine's Best in the World 2011 Readers' Choice Award, Hilton Head Island is a beautiful coastal retreat with breathtaking scenery and natural splendor.
Hilton Head Island is a family-friendly destination with 12 miles of sparkling sand beach, 24 spectacular golf courses, miles of bike paths, winding waterways, beautiful parks and nature preserves and infinite shopping and dining. Our island is a natural sanctuary for the soul. Hilton Head Island is a special place that was developed on environmental principles designed to keep the island ecologically healthy and beautiful. The island was built around mixed-use resort and residential neighborhoods that have regulations and policies.
Please review the following information on Hilton Head Island to help us preserve the natural beauty and ecology of the island, so that you can enjoy family vacations and beach getaways on Hilton Head without disturbing this pristine environment.
If you have a camper, trailer, boat, motorcycle or motorized recreational vehicle, they may not be allowed to be parked at your vacation rental. Please call ahead regarding restrictions and off-premise parking options. Bicycles are welcome, and Hilton Head Island has miles of beautiful paved paths to enjoy. However, Sea Pines Resort does not allow access by bicycle even if you are willing to pay the $5.00 gate fee. You can, however, drive in, pay the gate fee, park your vehicle at the Trolley stop and take the complimentary trolley into Harbour Town, Sea Pines Center and Sea Pines Beach Club. Bicycles can be rented at the Sea Pines Center near Harbour Town. Other resort and residential resorts may allow you to enter by bike or auto if you are visiting a a tennis club or restaurant.
We recommend that you rent a car if you are flying in. Although we have miles of biking and walking trails that are perfect for daytime exploring, these are not lit for travel after dark.
Hilton Head At Night
Hilton Head Island has been mindfully developed in harmony with nature and keeping the nighttime dark has kept light pollution from skies along beaches. On Hilton Head Island you can enjoy meteor showers from the beach during the summer, see the Milky Way with the naked eye on a clear night and enjoy natural phenomenon of the night skies.
Expect minimum lighting for safety around parking and shopping areas; no neon signs; not a lot of street lighting; no lit street signage except on the Cross Island Expressway; no bike path lights. From May through August, we draw our curtains and shades if we live along the ocean so as not to disorient the tiny Loggerhead hatchlings trying to find their way to the sea. Be mindful and be prepared to navigate our Hilton Head neighborhoods!
Native Flora and Fauna
Hilton Head Island is a semi-tropical destination with preserved natural habitats that make it so picturesque. Plants, trees, sand dunes and wildlife are protected and there are FINES for damage, harm, interference or removal of our natural flora and fauna. Help protect and preserve our beautiful island by practicing the following:
- Do not litter highways, beaches, parks or bicycle paths.
- Do not remove live sand dollars, starfish or live sea critters from the beach.
- Do not tramp sand dunes or pick sea oats or dune side shrubs.
- May through September, keep your window shades drawn if you are staying oceanfront to help the Loggerhead hatchlings return to the ocean. Lights disorient them. Do not disturb the nests!
- Never feed wild animals as this will make them see us as a food source and become more aggressive.
We gratefully share our island with seaside, marsh and forest creatures: mice, spiders, lizards, squirrels, deer, egrets, herons, sea birds, alligators, raccoons, and possums. Most of these animals stay where they belong, but sometimes mice, lizards, spiders or Palmetto bugs come indoors, or our raccoons enjoy the remains of a barbecue dinner in the trash. We do our best to keep them out with monthly extermination or trap them when they come in, but, remember, this is the result of being in or around natural habitats. No discount or refund will be given if you decide that their presence is unacceptable.