Making Special Arrangements for your Hilton Head vacation

Pets

The best bet is to leave your pets at home. If you must bring a pet, ask the rental agent for an accommodation that will accept pets.  This will narrow your choices to a very few properties.  A few motels accept pets.  You can bring your pet and board it at some of the veterinary clinics or at the Evergreen Pet Lodge, and on the Internet you can find some private rental homes that will take in dogs.

Most condominium associations have banned pets even for property owners.  If you try to sneak a pet in, chances are you will be noticed and reported.  This could result in eviction.

Rental equipment

Hilton Head Outfitters rents Surf boards, beach umbrellas and chairs, paddleboards, fishing rods and jogging strollers. Keen's Beach Rentals rents beach stuff including coolers. Hilton Head Bike Rentals has a wide selection of items, from bikes to beds to beach and baby stuff. The lifeguards on the beaches rent umbrellas, chairs and other beachy things.

Baby Needs

Baby furniture such as high chairs, cribs, playpens and strollers can be rented through your rental agent or supplied by your hotel. If you plan ahead these items can be placed in your accommodation before your arrival and picked up after your departure.  For sanitary reasons, crib sheets are sometimes not provided - play it safe and bring one. Baby's Away, Hilton Head Baby Rental, and many bike rental companies (ask for a package deal) rent baby gear.

Audio & Video Equipment

You can expect one TV and maybe a VCR in a hotel.  Rental villas often have more - ask before you lug that heavy stuff with you. These items can also be rented, however TV reception is not possible by antenna alone, so a TV is of little use without a cable jack.  Some villas have CD players and stereos, but this is not the norm.

Computer Access

If you just want to check your e-mail, the Public Library will provide access, though there may be a wait to get on their computers.
Ask your rental agent if they can provide access for checking e-mail.
If you want to go on line with your own computer, click here.

Boats

Hilton Head has several boat launching ramps, so bringing a boat for day use is complicated only by the need to store it and its trailer overnight.  Some hotels have parking areas for boat trailers.  Rental houses usually can accommodate trailers, but condos cannot.  There are several storage companies (the kind that have the sheds) that accept boats and trailers.  Some of them are:
U Store It 843-681-7212 (mid island) and 843-681-4130 (mid island) and Beach City Self Storage 843-681-7333 (mid island). A new public access boat launching ramp opened August 1, 2005 in Broad Creek at the Cross Island Expressway bridge. Access is from Helmsman's Way. It will provide deep water access and includes a floating dock. Details here. Another public access ramp, Broad Creek Landing,  is on Marshland Rd. but it can be iffy at low tide. You can launch at some of our marinas. Details here. There are several ramps in neighboring Bluffton and one on Pinckney Island.

If you have a boat you want to launch on arrival and keep in the water, you need to contact a local marina to make arrangements. Not all marinas will be able to accommodate, and some may sell out of space in the summer.  List of marinas.

Vehicles

Hilton Head has limited parking facilities, so some properties restrict the number of vehicles a renter can park.  Most hotels do not have a problem, but if you are staying in a condo or house and have more than two vehicles, make sure they can be accommodated.

Motorcycles are prohibited in almost all plantations (noise) and some condominiums and timeshares.

Vehicles with signage on them are restricted in some places, especially from overnight parking.

If you bring any kind of trailer, make arrangements or plan to put it in a storage facility, such as: U Store It 843-681-7212 (mid island) and 843-681-4130 (mid island) and Beach City Self Storage 843-681-7333 (mid island).

Motor Homes

There are two motor home parking facilities on Hilton Head.  No motor homes (or tents or anything else) are permitted on the beach overnight if at all.  Outdoor Resorts, at the south end of the island can accommodate a motor home for $57 to $77 per day, renting space owned by individuals.  Outdoor RV Resort and Marina, at the north end does also for $49 to $64 per night.  Motor homes can be stored at many of the commercial storage facilities such as: U Store It 843-681-7212 (mid island) and 843-681-4130 (mid island) and Beach City Self Storage 843-681-7333 (mid island).

Handicapped Access and Equipment

Many properties on Hilton Head were built before ADA and are not well equipped to handle handicapped visitors.  This is not to say it's impossible,  just that planning ahead is essential.  If you rent a home or condo, let the rental agent know if you cannot negotiate stairs - there are plenty of single story properties available.  Most hotels are OK, but some motels will need to know your needs. Wheelchair mats have been added to almost all beaches to permit wheelchairs to cross the loose sand to firmer sand (see Beaches).

Equipment such as wheelchairs, oxygen systems, and other aids can be rented from Burke's Main Street Pharmacy and other places. 

Bicycles

Hilton Head Island is very flat, and with parking limited in some areas, bikes are a great way to get around.  Beach bikes rent for about $25 per week (ask for multiple bike discounts) including helmet and chain lock.  You can bring your own, but the salt air is rough on bikes and you can't take them inside your rental property to keep them safe.  During low tide, our beaches are very firm and you can easily ride a bike with wide tires on the beach. 

You can also rent bikes by the day or even by the hour.  For those with children, there are tandem bikes (built for two - one adult, one child), kiddy trailers, training wheels, and kiddy seats (behind the adult).  For those who have never ridden a bike, there are adult tricycles.  There are even jitney bikes that hold four to six people.

South Carolina law permits bikes on all roadways. They must adhere to the same traffic laws as motor vehicles, including riding with the traffic, but as far to the right as practical. The leisure trails are much safer. There are 57 miles of ''leisure" trails on the island that accommodate bikes, with 28 additional miles in progress, and more inside the gated communities. Bikes on leisure trails must yield to traffic at intersections and driveways, which is where most accidents occur.

During the busy season it's a good idea to reserve bikes ahead of time.  Ask the rental company what their policy is regarding stolen bikes.  There are some people who like to take a bike at night for a joy ride and then abandon it.  Usually they are recovered, but most rental companies will hold you financially responsible for the value of the bike.  

When you arrive on the island, go to the bike rental company and pick out your bikes and have them adjusted for you.  The bike rental company will deliver them to your accommodation and pick them up the day you leave at no extra charge.

Click here for a great map showing the town pathways (bike + paths).

Welcome Gifts

Someone you know on a honeymoon or other special occasion?  Their hotel or rental agent will be glad to deliver a gift basket of fruit, candies, wine, cheese, or whatever goodies you desire to the guest at your request.  Other sources include florists and Wine & Cheese if You Please.   If you don't have their rental property address, you can have gifts delivered to their rental agent. Or you can telephone a restaurant and with your credit card arrange for a gift certificate that can be picked up at the door.

 This page  Updated 08/07/2019
 

 

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