Hilton Head is the perfect place to dig your feet in the sand, lie back in your beach chair and close your eyes for the next six hours. It's a place built for deep relaxation. But if you're the parent of an action-loving teenager, don't fear. Hilton Head is also chock-full of activities that will get their adventuresome hearts racing and let them flex their growing independence.
Here are some suggestions that are guaranteed to get your teens to put down their phones and tablets and discover an adventure on one of the most beautiful islands in world.
Hilton Head is blessed to be the home of dozens of resident dolphins who live year round in the warm waters around the island, as well as host to hundreds of migratory dolphins who pass through every year. This makes the island one of the top places to see wild dolphins, and a dolphin cruise is the best way to observe these amazing creatures up close. There are several places on the island that offer dolphin tours. Try Island Explorer for a more traditional experience on a 27-foot Carolina skiff. For a bit more adventure try a Zodiac tour. Zodiacs are hard-bottomed rubber rafts with outboard motors. A ride in a Zodiac is a thrilling experience all on its own as the raft bounces and flies in the waves of Calibogue Sound, and its small size allows passage into the shallow channels and marshes where dolphins often feed. Try Commander Zodiac for their great wildlife and dolphin tour.
Hilton Head is crisscrossed with beautiful and easily accessible bike paths. The bike paths within the big plantation resorts wind through mossy trees, past the beguiling ponds and marshes that make Hilton Head so beautiful, and right to the wide, sandy beaches that make the island so popular. Outside the resorts, bike paths are found alongside most roads, offering a safe and easy way to bicycle to restaurants and shops. It's really a bike-rider's paradise. A family bike ride exploring the beauty of the island is the perfect way for families with tweens to spend the afternoon together. For young teens on their own for a bike ride, a bicycle on Hilton Head is the kind of intoxicating taste of freedom most kids won't experience until they get their driver's licenses. There are numerous places to rent bicycles on the island for the day or for longer, including Island Life Bike Rentals and Hilton Head Bicycles.
There's more than just gorgeous beaches on Hilton Head. The island is also home to an amazing skateboard park. Located in the Bristol Sports Arena, which is a public park, the skateboard park is easily accessible by bike paths. It's the perfect place to spend an afternoon for those newly independent bike-riding tweens and teens.
Parasailing/Banana Boat/Stand Up Paddle Boarding/Wave Runners
Looking for even more adventure? Take to the water. No, not just swimming or body-surfing (though they are lots of fun, too.) We mean the amazing array of water sports and adventures available on the island. Parasailing lets teens soar high above the ocean in a parachute pulled through the air by a speedboat. If you'd rather stay on the earth, a banana boat pulls groups of people hanging on for dear life behind a boat as it crashes through the ocean. Stand up paddle boarding is the most popular new activity among teens, according to vendors. Wave runners and jet skis are available to teens 18 and older, but teens younger than that can still ride or even drive if accompanied by an adult. H2O Sports and Island Water Sports are great places to check out the wide variety of water sports offered on this fun-loving island.
Adventure Hilton Head
When your teenager has had enough watery fun, head to Adventure Hilton Head. Its aerial course takes you dozens of feet into the air to navigate through a challenging high ropes course. The zipline tour ramps up the adventure another notch. Imagine leaping off a platform high above the ground and flying through the air, through the lush live oaks and Spanish moss, until you land at another platform high in the air. This popular family attration also offers gokart racing, making for an entire day of thrills, enough for even the most daring teenager.