Hilton Head is one of South Carolina’s most popular vacation destinations. This breezy resort town sits on Hilton Head Island, offering beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean, notable eateries, vacation rentals situated right on the water, and an abundance of enjoyable activities. Local residents are friendly and welcoming, and visitors arrive each year from around the world, so there are plenty of opportunities to make new friends and mingle with fellow travelers. If you’re planning a trip to Hilton Head, all of the communities throughout the island have something unforgettable to offer. To get started on finding the perfect holiday home, here’s a list of the top 10 spots to book an incredible Hilton Head vacation rental.

1. Shelter Cove, Hilton Head

hilton head
Source: Flickr/G. DAWSON

Vacation rentals in the Shelter Cove community offer amazing views of the surrounding marshes on one side and the shoreline of Hilton Head Island Beach on the other. The area is also just a few minutes away from the Shelter Cove Towne Center, where you’ll find a variety of restaurants and shops, and the Shelter Cove Marina is right around the corner. Rent a fishing boat or sailboat from the marina for an adventurous day on the water, then cool off by taking the family into town for a sweet treat at Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt.

2. Wood Lake, Hilton Head

white ibis
Source: Flickr/Adventures of KM&G-Morris

The Wood Lake community sits in the center of Hilton Head Island in a residential area just minutes from Jarvis Creek Park, where you’ll find beautiful marshes and plenty of recreational activities. Pack a picnic and enjoy a family lunch at the park’s pavilion area, or load up your fishing gear and sit along the creek bank reeling in some local spot tail bass. Be sure to bring your camera, as you may catch a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of some beautiful white ibis feeding in the marsh.

3. Harbour Town, Hilton Head

harbour town
Source: Flickr/Jeffrey Pott

Harbour Town is a great vacation rental location option if you’re hoping to take in the sights and sounds of the island. This cozy community is surrounded by the Harbour Town Yacht Basin and sits just minutes from the Harbour Town Lighthouse, a popular landmark built in 1969 that now serves as one of Hilton Head Island’s most recognizable symbols. Visit the lighthouse and spend some time in the attached museum, then pop over to the Yacht Basin and view the luxury boats while dining at the Quarterdeck restaurant that sits along the docks.

Find the perfect Hilton Head vacation rental on Tripping.com. Tripping.com is the world's #1 vacation rental search engine with over 10 million properties!

4. South Beach, Hilton Head

south beach
Source: Flickr/Lee Coursey

Vacation rentals in the South Beach community put you just steps away from the sandy southern shoreline of Hilton Head Island, where you can view picturesque sunsets and splash around in the water all day long. Located on the southern-most tip of the island, South Beach is also home to South Beach Marina Village, where you’ll find delicious water-front restaurants and quaint shops. After a busy day playing on the beach, head over to the famous Salty Dog Cafe for some live music and fresh peel and eat shrimp.

5. Spanish Wells, Hilton Head

sailing
Source: Flickr/Michele Finotto

The Spanish Wells neighborhood is a semi-secluded, peaceful community that sits surrounded by the Calibouge Sound. Vacation rentals in this area sit just steps from the water, making it easy to spend the day sailing, fishing, or simply splashing around on the shoreline. The area has a rich history, as the Spanish Wells Plantation Heritage Library and the Fort Mitchel Historical Site are in close proximity to the area. Enjoy a morning sailing trip with your family, then take a tour of Fort Mitchel to learn about life during wartime in 1862.

6. Wexford Plantation, Hilton Head

sand dollar
Source: Flickr/Courtney McGough

Wexford Plantation, an upscale community, offers your family the convenience of a central location from which to maximize the Hilton Head experience. Hilton Head Beach is less than a mile away from the community, and the Wexford Inland Harbour is within walking distance. The Village at Wexford is the community’s local hot spot, where you’ll find restaurants and shopping options just minutes from your vacation rental. Spend the morning on the shoreline of Hilton Head Beach collecting seashells and sand dollars, then visit the Village for a seafood meal or a nightcap.

7. Windmill Harbour, Hilton Head

marina
Source: Flickr/Nick Amoscato

Windmill Harbour surrounds a 15-acre inland marina, which makes it a great vacation rental location if you’re hoping to spend some quality fishing time on the water. Rent a fishing boat from the marina and brave the waters on your own, or sign up for a deep sea fishing charter with Outcast Sports Fishing. Fishing charters allow kids as young as 9-years-old to join in on the adventure, making it the perfect activity for families.

8. Palmetto Dunes, Hilton Head

kayaks
Source: Flickr/G. DAWSON

Palmetto Dunes sits along the shore of Hilton Head Beach, just minutes from the Shelter Cove Marina and Dunes House, a popular oceanfront restaurant where you can dine on fresh seafood with your family while listening to the crashing ocean waves and taking in the salty sea air. Take a short walk from your vacation rental down to the shoreline for some fun in the sun, or rent a few kayaks or canoes from Kayak Hilton Head and spend the day navigating the waters.

9. Hilton Head Plantation, Hilton Head

parasailing
Source: Flickr/Lee Coursey

The Hilton Head Plantation community sits between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Port Royal Sound, surrounded by gorgeous scenery, golf courses, and miles of sandy beach just a few minutes away from many vacation rentals in the area. Spend some time lounging on the beach with your toes in the sand, or watching the sun rise from the deck of your vacation rental. If you’re feeling a little daring, sign the family up for a parasailing adventure with Sky Pirate Parasail.

10. Long Cove, Hilton Head

houses
Source: Flickr/Lee Coursey

Long Cove sits nestled between Yacht Cove and Lexington Plantation on the south end of the island. Visitors and residents enjoy easy access to the beach and waterfront restaurants that offer spectacular views and a balmy atmosphere. The Hilton Head Marina is also just a short trip away from the area, making it easy to rent a fishing boat for the day, and the neighborhood sits in close proximity to several restaurants along William Hilton Parkway. For some local cuisine and friendly service, stop by Nick’s Steak and Seafood for a signature burger or some all-you-can-eat crab legs.

 
Ready to go?  Check out these amazing Hilton Head vacation rentals on Tripping.com.