Marsh view in Hilton Head from Disney's Resort

While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends avoiding leisure travel to Hilton Head during COVID-19. In fact, some choose to visit during this time as long as they can remain safe. If you’re looking to skip to the nitty-gritty, we have already covered how to take a road trip extensively.

We do not do air travel and avoid stopping at any rest stops. In fact, our family went to the extent of taking out a seat in our van and putting in a children’s potty so the kids did not have to go inside to use the restroom.

Marsh view in Hilton Head from Disney's Resort

What are the best Hilton Head Island activities during COVID-19?

We recommend everything in this list because we swear by it for our trips. However, we may earn a small amount if you click on these links.

Dine al fresco. Grab a packed lunch and venture to one beautiful spot. It’s always lovely just eating out, but that might not work for a big family right now. Enjoying a picnic lunch in a private area is one of our favorite places.

Going out to eat is different from what it used to be. We are a family of six with kids that range from two to ten years old, and our oldest is on the autism spectrum. So when we go, we always choose the smaller, quiet spots in the off times with outdoor seating. As long as the areas are low in traffic flow, it gives us the chance to enjoy it a bit more. You can also get carryout but eat it on your balcony!

Two rocking chairs at Disney's Hilton head resort

Take a stroll along the long winding dock on the marina. There are benches along the way to stop and relax. You can also leisurely walk along the oceanside, an excellent place to grab a seat early in the morning around sunrise. The beach is like sugar sand.

Stay in a marsh room. Those staying in the Lowcountry have a chance of seeing dolphins gracefully swimming and jumping through the wake of a boat. You’ll see groups of kayakers traversing through grass across the island. And the beauty of this? It all can be done from a balcony or wearing a mask and keeping six feet away from others.

Hilton Head Island Guided Kayaking Eco Tour

Bike ride across the island. Once the whole family is up and ready to go. We always like to load up, and taking a bike ride is something that we enjoy doing. The island is bike-friendly, and sometimes it’s a better way to get around.

Hilton Head Guided Pedego Electric Bike Tour

Hit the beach. The beachgoers dot across the beach in their little groups, and everyone seems to opt to socially distance themselves. This attitude allowed everyone to share in the beauty and sunshine. All while we are sitting and watching the waves crash along what appears to be a never-ending shoreline. Playing on the beach might be done in a 6-foot arena away from other crowds. However, adult beachgoers appreciated the children staying in a bubble.

Go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. Its’ water is a bit cooler this far North and feels refreshing on your hot skin. It is genuinely like a peaceful Paradise.

Ride a pirate ship. Because you can. Pirate Ship Adventure Sail on the Black Dagger

Hilton Head Pirate Ship Adventure Sail aboard the Black Dagger

What is the best socially distanced Hilton Head Outing?

From where we stay in Harbour Pointe, we can cruise along a path from our resort to the beach. It’s a long journey, and it is you ride across rolling hills- what a beautiful ride. One of our absolute favorite parts about our travel to Hilton Head during COVID-19 was the bike rides.

Then you can ride up and park your bikes right up to the Dune House. If you don’t mind sitting outside, stop in for a drink or a delicious lunch off the grill. We love it because it’s a great place with local bands. The food is fresh, always hot, and always delicious. They also have a full bar for all your lovely beach drinks.

Make sure to go for a nice, long beach walk- if the beach is too busy, ride up the shore to other beaches. There are many entrances, and you WILL find a spot where you can safely distance yourself.

How do we help kids change travel expectations during COVID-19?

Before we left for Hilton Head Island, we had a long discussion about the trip’s expectations with the children. For us, the number one thing is safety- beyond just washing hands, mask-wearing, and keeping a safe distance. It’s never wrong to be as safe as possible. But we wanted to let them know that this vacation will be much different than the ones taken in the past. We would not go to crowded places like we used to be.

What should we pack to travel to Hilton Head during COVID-19?

  • Pack snacks and drinks. All of the snacks and drinks. Think about ordering Amazon to your suite to save a few extra dollars or order Walmart Grocery Pickup to stay on budget.
  • Order supplies to entertain your families. Our family loves board games like Disney Scrabble Junior and playing in a group.
  • My kiddos have significantly different tastes in books- but the bigger kids love reading to the littles. Checking out library books before you leave is a cheap way to entertain kids for long car rides or rainy days. And for all of our adventuring, we love this guide to the beaches and salt marshes of Hilton Head Island.
  • If you have kiddos, keep hand sanitizer (or twelve) on hand. This is extremely helpful if any of the kids or yourself touch rails or anything else. And they will… all the things no matter how prepared or how many times you’ve discussed it!
  • If you’re germ-obsessed like me- bring Lysol wipes to wipe down all high touch areas in resorts. I know they swear they do it- but I hit all doorknobs, remotes, light switches, lamps, and sink faucets.
  • If all else fails, relax and enjoy the sunshine! And bring some sunscreen if you have our skin tone. We may be in a pandemic, but we are very pale!

For those of you who are unsure about travel to Hilton Head during COVID-19, there are some safety precautions that you can perform to have a great trip! Take care of yourselves, and happy travels!

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  1. Thank you for your post. Traveling during the pandemic, especially with new strands showing up at an alarming rate, is still scary to me. Your post of ideas provides a little ease for me.

  2. We are thinking about going to Hilton Head this summer. It looks beautiful. Thanks for the tips. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to travel during COVID.

  3. Even though I live in NC, I have never been to Hilton Head. It is on my bucket list for when it is safe to travel.

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