Ultimate Guide: Where To Go Kayaking in Hilton Head Islands?

If you’re thinking about going kayaking in Hilton Head Islands, you can’t go wrong with this Island! Do you know that this place is recorded as one of the best vacation destinations in the world?

Hilton Head Islands, located in South Carolina, is one of the best kayaking destinations for those interested in outdoor water activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, kayak fishing, and canoeing.

Hilton Head Island is a popular beach community with 12 miles of pristine beaches, and you should not miss out on visiting the areas where you can explore and have a great time on the water.

If you’re wondering where the best places to go kayaking in Hilton Head Islands are, we’ve compiled a list of options for you to consider.

6 Worth Exploring via Kayaking in Hilton Head Islands

Ultimate Guide: Where To Go Kayaking in Hilton Head Islands? 1

A water adventure is more enjoyable when you are soaking yourself with your kayak as you head into the waters and experience its natural beauty. Nothing beats exploring the outdoors with your family and friends by kayaking in Hilton Head Islands! These are the best kayaking spots in Hilton Head that you will enjoy!

Palmetto Dunes

Want to go Hilton Head Islands but are a newbie? Palmetto Dunes is the ideal location for you! This is appropriate for all novice paddlers because the Palmetto Dunes Lagoon Channels have very calm water and no traffic. After all, it is away from the boat waterways! This is an 11-mile-long connecting lagoon system that is ideal for kayaking.

If you want to learn more about the area, there are also guided tours available. The lagoon is ideal not only for kayaking but also for a little fishing and crabbing.

Calibogue Sound

Calibogue Sound is a popular destination for kayakers and fishermen. What’s exciting about paddling in the Calibogue Sound is that if you’re lucky, you might have a close encounter with dolphins or they might swim next to you!

Calibogue Sound is a large area, so if you’re a beginner kayaker and want to cross it, don’t even think about it, especially if you’re alone! Make sure to wear your PFD in case of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to stay close to the shore.

If you’re an experienced one, however, this will make you feel more fun and enjoyable! Tidal conditions are unpredictable, so you must be prepared to navigate your kayak in these conditions. Fishing is another enjoyable activity in Calibouge Sound.

Broad Creek

If you’re looking for the largest creek to go kayaking in Hilton Head Islands, Broad Creek is the place to be! This is an extended with approximately 7 miles of calibogue sound. You would be able to appreciate its excellent marshland habitats from here!

If you want to kayak in this creek, the best time to go would be during high tide because you’ll be able to explore places that aren’t accessible during low tide. You’ll be lucky, just like in calibogue sound, if you see and encounter a dolphin while swimming! Make sure not to touch them because they are friendly and will not harm you if you do not harm them. Always bring your PFD or a brightly colored kayak flag.

Ultimate Guide: Where To Go Kayaking in Hilton Head Islands? 2

Jarvis Creek

If you want to go kayaking in Hilton Head Islands which is suitable for families and beginners, Jarvis Creek is the place to go! Kayaking in this location is smooth and easy, making it ideal for beginners. There is no boat traffic, and kids would enjoy exploring while kayaking because there is more wildlife to see.

It is best to kayak here at low tide so you can explore more and get out on your kayaks and just walk around. However, if you are an experienced kayaker, you should go out during high tide because there are so many waterways to explore in Jarvis Creek!

You should consult with some local guides in the area to determine the best time to explore to make it safer and more enjoyable to go kayaking! There are several channels that you may be interested in exploring with your kayaks!

May River

This area is already a little out in Hilton Head, but it’s a great spot for a kayaking trip! Begin your exploration of the May River by going to Bluffton. You will see a variety of wildlife here, and you can paddle near the shore and have lunch on a secluded sandbar. There are businesses outside the Hilton Head that offer kayaking trips on the May River.

Daufuskie Island

If you’re going on a kayaking trip in Calibogue Sound, you might as well go to Daufuskie Island, which is a popular destination for experienced kayakers who want to visit and paddle in Hilton Head Island.

This is not a trip for beginners, so make sure you’re an experienced paddler who knows how to navigate a kayak in case the current changes. When crossing the Sound calibogue, you may encounter motorized traffic and ski boats; please be aware of this! If you want to make your travel much easier, you can take a ferry from Broad Creek Marina to Freeport Marina and then to Daufuskie Island.

3 Best Kayak Launching Locations in Hilton Head Islands

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Never go kayaking in Hilton Head Islands without first planning where you want to go. At the same time, you must first determine where to launch your kayaks to proceed with your plans. Here are the best places in HHI to launch your kayak: 

Sailing and Rowing Center 

one of the best spots for kayak launches! Kayak rentals are also available in the area, as is a local tour! Other outdoor activities include a fishing pier, a picnic pavilion, a playground, and a grilling section.

The Shearwater Dock 

This is a private neighborhood located on Old House Creek’s northwest side. You can explore the May River and Skull here!

Landing at Marshland

This is in the upper reaches of the Broad Creek estuary. In comparison to other launching areas, this location is not yet fully developed, but it will allow you to explore the nearby restaurant, the Oyster Factory Restaurant! If you get hungry after paddling, you can end your day here and relax while eating those delectable oysters!

Kayaking in Hilton Head Islands

Read More: Inflatable Canoe and Inflatable Kayak – The Ultimate Guide

What to Bring: Checklist for Kayaking in Hilton Head Islands

These are some of the most important items to bring when kayaking in Hilton Head Islands. Always keep yourself safe!

  • PFD (Personal Floatation Device)
  • Spray Skirt
  • Dry Bag
  • Flashlight
  • Signaling Whistle
  • Compass
  • Map
  • Two-way radios
  • Dry Suit / Wet Suit 
  • Sunglass
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellant
  • First Aid Kit
  • Snacks
  • Water ( Keep yourself Hydrated this is important! )

Visit the Attractions After Kayaking in Hilton Head Islands

  1. The beach park at Coligny 
  2. Biking on the Beach 
  3. Dolphin Adventure 
  4. Go to Harbour Town. 
  5. Visit the Coastal Discovery Museum. 
  6. Sea Pines Forest Preserve Trail 
  7. Explore the Stoney-Baynard Plantation Ruins 
  8. Travel to Bluffton. 
  9. Pay a visit to the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. 
  10. Visit The Sandbox Children’s Museum with the kids. 
  11. Audubon Newhall Preserve Bird-Watching

FAQ – Kayaking in Hilton Head Islands

When is the best time to go kayaking in Hilton Head Islands?

Kayaking in the morning is preferred over kayaking in the afternoon. Because of the wind, kayaking in HHI in the afternoon may be difficult for some. 

Is there a kayak for rent on Hilton Head Island?

Yes! There are numerous establishments in the area that rent kayaks, including: 

Hilton head Outfitters
Outside Hilton’s head
Low Country Drifters
Kayak Hilton Head

In which areas can beginners go kayaking in Hilton Head Islands?

The Palmetto Dunes and Jarvis Creek are the best places for beginners to go kayaking in HHI. These areas are safe for beginners, but they will be able to explore wildlife while having fun! Remember to put on your PFD!

Is it low tide or high tide? Which is the better option for kayaking in Hilton Head Islands? 

If you’re going kayaking with children and want to explore Hilton Head, bring them around and paddle during low tide. They will be able to walk around and explore wildlife at the same time this way. Visit the areas during high tide if you want to explore more as an experienced paddler! You will be able to explore numerous waterways, which will undoubtedly add to the enjoyment of your kayaking adventure!

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Kayaking in Hilton Head Islands would be ideal for both beginners and experienced kayakers! When in South Carolina, don’t forget to stop by here! This location will not be known unless it is listed as one of the best tourist destinations!

This spot is not only ideal for kayaking and other outdoor water activities, but it also has a lot to offer in terms of natural attractions, food, and adventure! This Island will not bore children! If you haven’t been to the area yet, now is the time!

Tell us about your kayaking experience in Hilton Head Islands in the comments section below. We’d love to hear about your exciting adventure.

In the meantime, I’d love to connect with you on my Facebook, and Instagram accounts for more cool tips and recommendations on paddle boards and kayaks.

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Review written by: Tom

Hi! My name is Tom. During the year I try to be on a paddle board as much as possible. By reading this blog you'll stay updated on everything I test on the water :)