Although there are still a few months to go before bathing suits and sunscreen bottles come out of storage, there is no shortage of other things to enjoy during the fall and winter months in the Lowcountry. Lucky for locals and visitors alike, the cooler months are filled with exciting indoor and outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy. From a crisp walk on one of the region’s historical trails to sampling fresh seafood across the coast, Hilton Head’s off-season is an excellent time to experience what makes the Lowcountry so special. Discover a few of our favorite seasonal activities below. We’d be surprised if you managed to fit them all into one itinerary!
Hilton Head Off-season Activities
Enjoy Winter Fishing on a Guided Tour: A guided fishing expedition is one of the best winter activities in Hilton Head for the whole family to enjoy! Clear, calm waters make it easy to spot and catch local Lowcountry fish during the winter months. Click here to discover insider tips from expert guide Captain Fuzzy Davis.
Talk a Walk Through the Sea Pines Forest Preserve: The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a protected gem in the heart of Hilton Head. With its walking paths, guided boat tours, horseback rides, and pristine 4,000-year-old Sea Pines Shell Ring, this unique historical site has plenty to offer no matter the season.
Take the Forest Preserve Wagon Journey: Kick back and relax on a Forest Preserve Wagon Journey as you soak in the natural beauty and wildlife of the area. This family-friendly experience runs through February 24, 2020.
Fly High with Hilton Head Zipline: Skip the lines this winter and view all of Hilton Head from above courtesy of the Hilton Head Zipline. This two-hour adventure will give you a unique perspective on local wildlife, greenery, and waterways as you soar across the island alongside a professional tour guide. Take the whole family and enjoy discounts this off-season!
Treat Fido to a Long Walk on the Beach: No need to leave your pup at home this winter! Enjoy a walk or jog on the beach with Fido in tow any time after September 30. Four-legged friends aren’t always granted this sort of freedom, so take advantage of relaxed low season regulations on the pet-friendly island of Hilton Head while you can.
Prep Your Palette for Seafood Season in February and March: Spring and summer may have said goodbye, but prime seafood season is just emerging! From oysters to redfish, enjoy a plethora of fresh seafood at Hilton Head’s Seafood Festival, Wine & Food Festival, and Taste of Gullah.
Hike or Bike the Pinckney Island Trails: Cooler temperatures are perfect for enjoying a full day of exploration at the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. Pack a lunch to bring with you on the trails, and don’t forget your camera!
Take a Guided Tour of Pinckney Island and the Forts of Port Royal: Looking to learn more about Hilton Head Island’s history? Check out the guided Pinckney Island tours offered by the Coastal Discovery Museum to get up close and personal with local flora and fauna, or learn more about the island’s Civil War experience during the Forts of Port Royal Tour.
Things to do in Palmetto Bluff During the Winter
Explore the River Road Preserve Trail: Soak in the peaceful serenity of Palmetto Bluff by taking a walk or run down the River Road Preserve Trail. On the way, you’ll view live oaks dripping in Spanish Moss and pass through the areas where two old plantations once stood. This secluded retreat is a stunning representation of the Lowcountry.
Take a Ride on GRACE: During the fall and winter, enjoy a scenic cruise aboard The Montage Resort’s GRACE. A relaxing wine cruise or Saturday mimosa gathering is the perfect way to enjoy the tranquil waters of the Lowcountry.
Make S’mores at the River House: Warm up on a cool evening while roasting s’mores by the fire at Montage Resort. This family-friendly activity beneath the stars is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face!
Fall and Winter Bluffton Activities
Shop Local Art: Venture around the quaint town of Bluffton and explore the artistic talent featured in local art boutiques. You’ll find one-of-a-kind pieces from a variety of artists that are sure to add a dash of Lowcountry flair to your home.
Sample Local Produce at the Bluffton Farmers Market: Every Thursday from 1 to 6 pm, visit the vibrant downtown Bluffton Farmers Market and discover local vendors, fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, and much more. You never know what treasures you’ll stumble upon each week!
Tour the Garvin-Garvey House: Located in the “Old Town” district of Bluffton, Garvin-Garvey Freedman Cottage was built in 1870. Schedule a visit to learn more about the Reconstruction Era home, which is believed to be one of the earliest known freedmen-owned homes still surviving on the May River.
Taste Local Cuisine at the Bluffton Oyster Company: Since 1899, the family-owned Bluffton Oyster Company has been delighting visitors with fresh seafood. As the only remaining hand-shucked oyster joint in South Carolina, this is a must-visit destination for foodies. Fresh oysters, clams, and mussels from the May River can be enjoyed from September through May.
Sample Brews at Southern Barrel Brewing Company: Take a break from the outdoors and relax at Southern Barrel Brewing Company. This 12,500 square-foot tavern serves seasonal beers that will warm you up in the cooler months. Stop by today for a taste!
Ideal Winter Activities in Beaufort
Take a Stroll Down the Spanish Moss Trail: Hit the 10-mile Spanish Moss Trail and soak up beautiful coastal and marsh views all along the way. Bring your pup, pack a picnic, do some fishing, or take a bike ride—there’s plenty to enjoy on these gorgeous grounds.
Visit Local Museums throughout Beaufort County: From the Coastal Discovery Museum in Hilton Head to Beaufort’s History Museum, there’s plenty to see (and learn!) at our local Lowcountry museums. Check out a few of our favorite stops here.
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