The Sea Pines Resort is one of the most well-known places on Hilton Head Island for a reason: There’s so much to do! Not only does Sea Pines host a ton of exciting events, but there are year-round activities as well.
Whether you live there, are staying in a rental or just interested in a day trip, there’s plenty to do at this iconic location on Hilton Head. For those who aren’t living or staying at the resort, you do have to pay a gate fee of $9 cash per vehicle. But once you’re inside, there’s surprisingly a lot you can do for free — especially if you bring your own bicycles.
Here’s a roundup of our favorite kid-friendly activities and events at The Sea Pines Resort.
Free things to do in Sea Pines with kids
Explore the bike paths
Like most places on Hilton Head Island, the bike paths are one of the best ways to see all that Sea Pines has to offer. There are 15 miles of paths within the resort to explore. These paths connect most of Sea Pines attractions — you can bike from your rental to Harbour Town, ride to the Forest Preserve to start your hike, ride to the beach …
If you’re visiting for the day, you can bring your own bicycles and explore, or rent bicycles from the Sea Pines Bicycle Shop.
Want to explore outside of Sea Pines? Just get a pass code at the Sea Pines gate to make sure you can get back into the resort, and you can check out the 80 miles of trails on Hilton Head Island.
Look for wildlife and enjoy the natural beauty of the Sea Pines Forest Preserve
The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is truly a nature-lover’s paradise. It’s a great place to see all kinds of different flora and fauna — plus alligators, deer, birds and other wildlife.
Bicycles are not allowed on the walking paths, but you can park your bike at the preserve to start your adventure.
The Forest Preserve is so much more than just a “nature trail.” It’s a 600-acre tract of diverse landscapes — including boardwalks over an old rice field, marshlands, a wildflower field, lakes, a swamp, a secluded forest and Fish Island.
The wildflower field blooms from March through June, and the boardwalks are some of the best places to view alligators on the island. Fish Island is also a great place to enjoy a picnic or barbecue. While hiking the preserve is free, you can also book a guided tour either by horseback, boat or wagon.
Visit Lawton Stables’ free small animal farm
Kids will love seeing all of the animals at Lawton Stables. Their free animal farm includes goats, cows, miniature donkeys, pot-bellied pigs, chickens, alpacas and a miniature horse.
While you’re there, the little ones can even enjoy a pony ride for just $15. Trail rides can also be booked in advance.
Let the kids play at the Greg Russell Playground in Harbour Town
No visit to Sea Pines is complete without a visit to Harbour Town — and if you have little ones, they’re going to love the Greg Russell Playground.
This playground is “nature inspired” and includes a giant tree house and various play centers. It’s also right next to Harbour Town’s main parking lot, so it’s a great place to start your Harbour Town explorations.
Look for dolphins and other marine wildlife in the yacht basin & Harbour Town Pier
Beyond the shops, restaurants, lighthouse and playground, the yacht basin is definitely a kid-favorite in Harbour Town. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, fish, jellyfish, and even the occasional sea turtle and manatee! Just make sure you don’t feed or water these animals; we promise they don’t need it!
Little ones will also love seeing the various boats parked in the yacht basin; you might even spy a pirate ship! The Harbour Town Pier also offers great views.
Go to the beach!
Want to see one of the coolest beaches on the island? Head to the Sea Pines Beach Club! Though most of the parking is reserved for residents and registered guests of the resort, day pass holders can park their bike at the beach club or take the free trolley to the beach. There are public restrooms and showers available at the Beach Club.
Have a little money to spend?
- Let the kids pick out a sweet treat or toy at the Cinnamon Bear Country Store or Hilton Head Toys in Harbour Town.
- Have a meal at The Salty Dog Cafe and explore South Beach Marina Village. You can get there by bike, trolley or drive your own vehicle. The Salty Dog has daily, family-friendly events during the summer months — including evening live music.
- You can also enjoy live music with your meal at many of Harbour Town’s restaurants.
- Go on a horseback trail ride with Lawton Stables.
- Book a dolphin tour or alligator and wildlife boat tour.
- Check out the view from the Harbour Town Lighthouse.
Family-friendly Sea Pines events:
It seems like there’s always some kind of event happening at Sea Pines Resort, but these are our favorite family-friendly annual events:
Greg Russell concerts
A Hilton Head icon, Greg Russell has been performing kid-friendly concerts under the famed Live Oak tree for years. These concerts are seasonal; he has both a Spring Concert Series and a Summer Concert Series — plus, he’s usually around for most major holiday events.
4th of July events
Hilton Head Island has a ton of great 4th of July events and summer fireworks. But Sea Pines does a great job of making the holiday extra family-friendly. Kick off the holiday by joining the 4th of July parade around Harbour Town that morning. After the parade, the kids can have a blast with carnival games, inflatables and more. Then head to the beach in the afternoon to catch the Salute from the Shore military flyover. And, of course, don’t forget about the fireworks show in Harbour Town to end your night.
Harbour Town Fall & Springs Fests
Sea Pines loves any reason to celebrate — and that includes celebrating new seasons! Both the Harbour Town Fall Festival and Harbour Town Spring Festival are great events for the whole family. Both festivals include sidewalk sales, live music, kids’ activities, classic cars, watersports and boat rides, dining options and more!
Harbour Town Lights
Harbour Town Lights is definitely one of the best holiday light displays in the area! All of Harbour Town — including the lighthouse — are lit up and surrounded by lighted seasonal figures. There’s also a giant Christmas tree, live entertainment, and tons of holiday cheer.
New Year’s Eve Celebration
What’s more fitting for Harbour Town than dropping a “ball” from the lighthouse to kick off the New Year? Parents of little ones LOVE this event because Harbour Town has two ball drops every New Year’s Eve: One at 7 p.m. so the kids can be awake for it, and the other at midnight. The event also features food, live music and other entertainment.
Of course, we can’t talk about Sea Pines events without mentioning RBC Heritage. This is THE event of the year for Sea Pines. If you’re new here: RBC Heritage is a PGA Tour stop held in Harbour Town Golf Links each year. The event is so much more than golf, and it draws more visitors to the island than any other event annually.