Pet Travel. Made Easy.

Pet Friendly Hilton Head Island

We recently visited pet friendly Hilton Head Island. If you haven’t been there, it’s what you probably imagine … beautiful homes, manicured lawns, golf, tennis, beaches, boating, shopping, and pets everywhere!

Sniffing Around

Hilton Head Island has a rich history that started with seasonal occupation by native Americans thousands of years ago, and continued with European exploration and the cotton trade. The 12 mile by 5 mile island is strategically located between Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. But don’t let it’s size deceive you! Hilton Head packs everything you need for a nice getaway. There are more than 250 restaurants, 24 signature golf courses, over 200 stores and outlets, 50 miles of public bike and nature trails, and pet friendly lodging to fit every budget. The public beaches are pet friendly, and at some times of the year dogs can be off leash during certain hours.

What We Did

We were in HHI for a little more than a day. The mall at Shelter Cove Harbour and the surrounding grounds were recommended to us because they are pet friendly. So we went – not understanding that the inside of the mall was pet friendly! Because of the heat, the mall would rather have you come inside with your pet. Woof!

From the mall, it was a short drive to Coligny Plaza. This  quaint shopping and eating square is within walking distance of a public beach. All of the restaurants with outdoor seating were pet friendly! So, we enjoyed appetizers and drinks at the Frosty Frog. And we stopped in Tail Waggers, a gourmet pet bakery and boutique, and the owner recommended our last stop.

At the end of the day, we checked out the Palmetto Bay Marina, home to Captain Woody’s and The Black Marlin – two very dog friendly restaurants. These spots are popular with some island residents and working folk who come to hang out and boat watch on Calibogue Sound.

Hilton Head Island, SC Hilton Head Island, SC Hilton Head Island, SC

Where We Stayed

The Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort and Marina on Jenkins Road just off Route 278 was our home base while in Hilton Head. Many of the sites are privately owned and improved upon to the point of resembling a back yard. Ours had a banked seating area complete with hardscaping, an outdoor fireplace, a swing, and a water feature – all surrounded by palmetto trees. The park featured a swimming pool, tennis courts, a marina, and a fine dining restaurant. And the little-traveled road that accesses the park was perfect for walking Ty and Buster.

Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina - Hilton Head, SC Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina - Hilton Head, SC Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina - Hilton Head, SC Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina - Hilton Head, SC Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina - Hilton Head, SC Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina - Hilton Head, SC

Next Time

The next time we visit pet friendly Hilton Head, we want to see Daufuskie Island. This rustic retreat is a true getaway from the typical tourist fare. You get there via ferry, which departs from Broad Creek Marina and welcomes well-behaved, leashed pets. You may see some dolphins during the 50 minute trip! Once ashore, much of Daufuskie’s 6,000 acres is free to explore with your dog off leash.



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  • That’s fantastic, Sherry! I’m so glad you all had a good time – and now you have a vacation destination where you know the boys will have fun. Thanks for the heads-up about the dog park as well – I’ll make sure it’s listed on the website. Waggin’ trails and have a great weekend!

  • Just got back from a day on Hilton Head with my dogs Stanley (yellow lab) and Otis (black lab) as we traveled back home to NYC. We absolutely loved it. I had no idea how pet friendly it was. I wish I knew….otherwise I would have stayed a few more days. We also took them to a fenced in dog park which is next to the dog beach on HH.

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