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Hilton Head Island Culture & Heritage

Enjoy an artful vacation on Hilton Head Island. One of America's "100 Best Small Art Towns," Hilton Head Island offers unique cultural attractions, museums and theaters that celebrate the art, history and heritage of Hilton Head. Enjoy dynamic performances and shows at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Hilton Head Dance Theater, and Main Street Youth Theater.
Explore wonderful Hilton Head museums and art galleries showcasing local, regional and international artists in a spectrum of mediums and changing exhibits. Explore the exploding interest in the preservation of the Gullah Culture on Hilton Head Island. From the classical music of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra to the natural wonders of the Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head is destination where art and nature are in harmony.

Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn -

An island treasure, the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn on Hilton Head features hands-on activities, animal programs, rotating exhibits, events and guided tours that teach you about the natural history and cultural heritage of Hilton Head and the Low Country. Visit the marshes of Jarvis Creek with a docent to learn about the life cycle of the Atlantic Blue Crab.

Enjoy interactive animal shows with alligators, birds, and reptiles, or join history and nature tours, and beach walks. Explore the Discovery House with permanent exhibits and the Kids Zone featuring artifacts, specimens and turtle tanks. StarWatch programs and Loggerhead Sea Turtle beach tours expose nature lovers to the natural wonders of our beaches at night. Visit

The Heritage Library, An History & Ancestry Research Center - 

The Library houses the records of The Hilton Head Island Historical Society containing a wealth of historical information, old photographs, and maps of Hilton Head Island and the Low Country. They also have complied over 3000 names into the databases of The People on Hilton Head During The Civil War. This impressive library boasts all things about History of Hilton Head Island. In addition, research your ancestry from across the globe while on vacation on Hilton Head Island with genealogy experts available to assist. 

It is one of the most comprehensive libraries of its kind in the region and on Hilton Head Island, with microfilm readers, computers, high-speed Web service and collections of books, microfilm, microfiche, CD-ROM, manuscripts, periodicals, video tapes, audio tapes, and maps. South Carolina materials account for about 10 percent of the holdings. The balance covers other states and many countries. The library offers history classes and ancestry programs and tours of their historic properties - Ft. Mitchel in Hilton Head Plantation and the Zion Chapel of Ease located on the corner of 278 and Mathews Drive. 

The Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island - 

Louise Cohen, local legend and keeper of the Gullah culture has made a committment to preserving her families post-civil-war home on Gum Tree Road. Visit to learn more.

Mitchelville Preservation Project - 

During the civil war, contraband slaves fled to Hilton Head Island to a freedman's town established by General Mitchel of the Union Army. That town, called Mitchelville, grew to over 1500 citizens and became the first self-governed freedman's town in the United States. Often refered to as The Port Royal Experiment, under General Mitchel's direction before the end of the war, contraband slaves worked, attended school, built a town, built churches, acted as soldiers against the confederacy and more.The Mitchelville Preservation Project has been established to preserve a portion of the historic site of what was once Mitchelville and to commemorate the former slaves’ "experiment in freedom."  Set against the natural backdrop of Hilton Head Island, The Mitchelville Preservation Project will become the Lowcountry's jewel Civil War attraction.

Arts Center of Coastal Carolina - 
The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina features performing and visual arts, cultural festivals and educational outreach in the heart of Hilton Head. The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina presents world-class theater performances, concerts, workshops and an art gallery with rotating exhibits. See exciting plays, musicals and productions including Broadways shows, such as Chicago, Spamalot and Anything Goes. Enjoy live performances of jazz, contemporary music and world dance. Explore the Walter Greer Gallery with rotating exhibits from local and international artists. Visit

Art League of Hilton Head - 

The dynamic Art League of Hilton Head boasts an international membership, a retail gallery, a prestigious annual juried art show, and Art Academy offering programs throughout the year. Visit the Walter Greer Gallery in the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, which showcases 100 new works by members in 2D and 3D mediums every month. Gallery shows feature opening receptions and an opportunity to meet the artists. The Art League of Hilton Head Academy offers classes in painting, drawing, sculpting, collage, jewelry making, art history, and photography. For shows and classes, visit

Gullah Celebration! - 

This annual event celebrating all things Gullah takes place the entire month of February. A culture has survived on the Sea Island's of the southeast coast for hundreds of years and preserved through language, food and more. Enjoy gullah food, gullah art, gullah history, gullah documentaries and much more. Visit 

Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra - 
The popular Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra is one of the best small orchestras in the nation. The artistic leader in the presentation of music in the Low Country, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra inspires and enriches the community through the performance of outstanding music and educational programs. HHSO presents an exciting season of masterworks and classics by legendary composers including Vivaldi, Beethoven and BACH. For upcoming performances, visit



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