The Best Sunsets On Hilton Head Island

The Best Sunsets On Hilton Head Island

We get asked the question all the time, where can I watch the sunset on Hilton Head. While there are no shortage of spots to watch the sun go down on Hilton head, we have the list of the best places to watch the sunset on Hilton Head Island. As long time Lowcountry residents, we have seen our fair share of sunsets here, but if I had to narrow down the list to just the most exquisite spots, then these are the places to go!

Sunset is a glorious time of day, whether the light is reflecting off a city skyline or you’re watching the last rays shine out over the ocean.

HILTON HEAD’S BEST SUNSETS

On Hilton Head Island, the sun rises on the beach side and sets on the creek side, but there are breathtaking sunsets from the beach as well as the creek. Here is our ranked list of best Hilton Head Island sunsets.

Skull Creek Dockside

This waterfront restaurant overlooking the western marshes has a picture perfect view for watching a sunset. When the sun paints its masterpiece you will be transported to another world. Take a walk on the dock and hopefully you will see a pod of dolphins swim by.  

Fresh seafood and house smoked BBQ. Family friendly environment. Massive outdoor bar.

Skull Creek Dockside
2 Hudson Road
Hilton Head Island,SC
(843) 785-3625
https://www.docksidehhi.com/

Fresh seafood and house smoked BBQ. Family friendly environment. Massive outdoor bar.

Harbour Town Lighthouse

Whether you leave on a relaxing sunset cruise from the docks of Harbour Town or simply lounge in the red rocking chairs across the marina, you will experience an arresting, splashy palette of colors. A definite sunset destination. Climb the 114 steps of the lighthouse for the highest view.

Harbour Town Lighthouse and Marina
149 Lighthouse Rd
Hilton Head Island, SC
(866) 305-9814
https://harbourtownlighthouse.com/

Climb the 114 steps of the lighthouse for the highest view.

Skull Creek Boathouse

A longstanding island favorite with unparalleled water views and technicolor sunsets. 

Extensive menu featuring sushi and fresh seafood. Outdoor bar. You can also walk on the dock, just like you can next door at Dockside.

Skull Creek Boathouse
397 Squire Pope Road
Hilton Head Island, SC
(843) 681-3663
https://www.skullcreekboathouse.com/

A longstanding island favorite with unparalleled water views and technicolor sunsets.

Folly Field Beach

A public beach area close to the northern end of the island. Parking/restroom area includes outdoor showers so it’s very convenient if you have spent the day and are waiting for an incredible sunset. This is a must see – you will not be disappointed.

Folly Field Public Access Beach
55 Starfish Drive
Hilton Head Island, SC

A public beach area close to the northern end of the island

Shelter Cove Marina

If you like boats in the foreground of your sunset this is the spot. The sun sets on Broad Creek, which supplies the marina. Beautiful spot to take pictures as you have the boats silhouetted on the water with the backdrop of the fading sun.

The Disney resort is on the far side of the marina and there are some great views from the property.    

Shelter Cove Marina
1 Shelter Cove Lane
Hilton Head Island, SC
(843) 842-7001
https://www.sheltercovehiltonhead.com/

The Disney resort is on the far side of the marina and there are some great views from the property.

Palmetto Bay Marina

Before there was Sea Pines, there was Palmetto Bay Marina. It opened in 1959 with its free spirited atmosphere. It’s conveniently located at the base of the Cross Island Bridge with western facing views of Broad Creek and its marshes teeming with wildlife.

The pure play of color in a sunset juxtaposed with the images of the marina are proof that there is no greater painter than Nature itself. Hyperbole? Go see for yourself.

Palmetto Bay Marina
86 Helmsman Way
Hilton Head Island, SC
(843) 785-5000
https://pbmarinahhi.com/

The pure play of color in a sunset juxtaposed with the images of the marina are proof that there is no greater painter than Nature itself.

Squire Pope Community Park

This is an overlooked spot that provides a stunning sunset. The anchored boats off the boardwalk and the undulating seagrass on the marsh creates an atmosphere of a bygone era. Fiddler crabs and dolphins inhabit areas underneath the dock.

Squire Pope Community Park
137 Squire Pope Road
Hilton Head Island, SC
(843) 681-7273
https://www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov/ourisland/Parks/parksandfacdetails.cfm?FacilityID=38

This is an overlooked spot that provides a stunning sunset

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

A 650-acre nature preserve that offers four different habitats. Take in the forest, wetland, lake and meadow sections of the preserve before settling in a sunset view spot. If you like to watch sunsets alone, then this is your chance. Meander along the banks of Fish Island and visit a 4,000-year-old Native American Village.

Sea Pines Forest Preserve
Sea Pines Resort
Hilton Head Island, SC
843 842 1979
https://www.seapines.com/recreation/activities-tours/forest-preserve.aspx

A 650-acre nature preserve that offers four different habitats

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

Located between the mainland and Hilton Head Island, this location supplies ravishing scenery. Secluded, yet accessible to the elderly, very young, and handicapped. You will find ponds, promontories, and swampy woods overflowing with wildlife on over 14 miles of trails.

A place to adore nature in all its glory. The sunset from this vantage point would do justice to a Winslow Homer painting with its tones of color, tranquility, and repose.

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
(located near the bridge to Hilton Head Island)
Bluffton, SC
(843) 784-2468
https://www.fws.gov/refuge/pinckney_island/

Go to one of these nine amazing places this evening; a sunset is waiting for you and it never gets old.    

A place to adore nature in all its glory

Let’s Dig A Little Deeper Into Sunsets, Why Do Sunsets Make Us Happy?

Sunsets make us happy because they have a strong influence on our emotional health. Just like a sunrise, a sunset speaks to our biological clock, to our natural rhythm and let’s us know we have completed another day. There have been many scientific studies that show sunsets regulate our emotions and thus can make us feel happy and content. 

There’s something magical about the sun setting for the day, but what does a resplendent sunset mean? For some, it’s the orange glow setting behind a silhouetted building. For others, it means watching shades of pink and purple sweep over the horizon. Essentially, a radiant sunset means whatever you want it to. We’re all looking at the same sunset, but we all have our own experiences with them.

Many of us will do anything to watch a sunset. We’ll stand and stare and remain silent, as suffused shades of reds and oranges stretch over the vista. Meanwhile the sun, like a painter who keeps changing his mind about which colors to use, finally resolves everything with shades of pink and light yellow before sinking finally into a stunning darkness of purples and blues.    

Suddenly, we are awed and uplifted, pulled out of our ordinary lives and taken to a province far richer and more evocative than anything we know.

Call it sorcery, the difference between the time-bound and the timeless, between us and the other-worldly. All beauty and art can elicit harmonies that deliver us to a heavenly place. For only seconds or a few minutes, time stops and we are one with both heaven and the world.

Suddenly, we are awed and uplifted, pulled out of our ordinary lives

Yes, we fall in love with the sunsets of beaches and golf courses, with works of art, with places like Cape Cod, and the Rockies, and the south of France. And, of course, we love the sunsets we’ve experienced with other people. But nowadays we live in the smartphone era. It can be very hard to take away our eyes from our phone, and much of the time we ignore the beauty that readily awaits us.

Sunsets come with a promise that there will be a new day dawning tomorrow. Sunsets come with the hope that we will have joy in every success we encounter and joy in learning from every failure and every obstacle we face.

What is it about sunsets that make them so captivating? I did a bit of research and discovered that watching sunsets is good for us, emotionally and physically, and we should all be doing it more often.

Sunsets can make you feel better

You may have noticed a sense of peace after a few minutes watching a beautiful sunset. Turns out that connections to nature can improve our well being, especially if we are receptive to nature’s beauty.

Several studies have found that people who do things like take a walk in the park, spend time surrounded by nature, or even look at pictures of nature, experience greater vitality than those who don’t.

Scientists aren’t sure why this is, but while they try to figure it out, we can take advantage of this easy way to make our day a little bit better. You always have the chance before the sun goes down to get out and watch.

connections to nature can improve our well being

Sunsets might help you feel more compassion for others.

An interesting set of four studies showed that all of us may be touched in similar ways by natural beauty, to the point that we feel a general sense of compassion for each other, and are less focused on ourselves. In all the studies, researchers found that the positive feelings generated by natural beauty led to expressions of greater concern for others.

Sunsets can help you feel more in control of your time

Do you feel rushed all the time lately? It’s a common struggle in today’s world, one that may be helped by watching sunsets. When the sun, the clouds, and the sky put on a particularly spectacular show, many of us experience a sense of awe. According to one study, that awe can actually expand our perceptions of time.

In other words, if you want time to slow down, even for just a few minutes, watch a sunset.

Researchers conducted three different experiments, and found in each one that participants who felt awe, over any other emotion, felt like they had more time available, and felt less impatient. These participants also felt more willing to help other people and experienced greater life satisfaction.

if you want time to slow down, even for just a few minutes, watch a sunset

Sunsets might increase your energy and vitality

Many studies have found that spending time outdoors helps increase energy and vitality, no matter what else you are doing. Scientists reported that taking walks outdoors increased vitality more than taking walks indoors, and that photographs of nature were much more energizing than photographs of city buildings. Nature is fuel for the soul. Often, when we feel depleted, we reach for a cup of coffee. But research suggests that a better way to get energized is to connect with nature, and what better way than watching a sunset.

Sunsets promote a meditative state

You’ve probably experienced it before: that sensation of losing yourself in the colors of a sunset. There is something about the peace of it, the colors, and the awareness of the day coming to an end that can bring our attention completely into the moment, which is essentially what meditation is.

I have always liked watching the sun set. Nature’s magnificent celebration of color and light is one of her best show-off moments. Watching a sunset reminds us to take the time to smell the roses. To me, it’s an opportunity to slow down, breathe, and experience gratitude for the day.

There is something about the peace of it