Hilton Head Island has a rich cultural history. From ancient Native American shell rings, to civil war ruins, to the rich cultural history of the Gullah, and the cultural melting pot the island has become in the years since the building of the first bridges, Hilton Head's culture is unique to itself, and something the locals are quite proud of.
Coastal Discovery Museum
A great first stop in exploring Hilton Head Island's history is the Coastal Discovery Museum. The museum, housed in a former plantation house, is located on 68 beautifully preserved acres of forest, field and marsh. The museum offers permanent and rotating exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the island, from Native Americans before the settlement of Europeans, through the resort boom of the 1960s and 1970s. Even more impressive than the exhibits are the classes and tours the museum offers. You can learn to weave traditional sweetgrass baskets perfected by the Gullah people, or how to cast a net in the traditional Gullah style of fishing. You also can tour historic forts and learn the history of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars on the island.
You can find their website here: www.coastaldiscovery.org
Arts Center of Coastal Carolina
Located in the heart of Hilton Head Island, The award-winning Arts Center of Coastal Carolina strives to enrich the community through professional performing and visual arts, as well as through cultural festivals and educational outreach. The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina is an independent, non-profit theater, bringing all that's inspiring and wonderful in the arts to the Lowcountry.
You can find their website here: www.artshhi.com
The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra
The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra has been a centerpiece of the Lowcountry’s vibrant musical scene for over four decades. During any given year, attend a concert by the HHSO and you will hear the beloved pieces of Bach, Berlioz, Brahms, Chopin, Mozart, Liszt, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Rachmaninoff, and of course, Beethoven
You can find their website here: www.hhso.org
The Sandbox Children's Museum
The Sandbox has been successfully disguising learning as play since opening its doors in 2005. The Sandbox has become one of Hilton Head Island’s premiere family destinations, having welcomed more than 350,000 neighbors and visitors over the years. Designed to allow kids to play freely while discovering their surroundings - the museum is the ideal place to let little ones lead the way!
You can find their website here: www.thesandbox.org
The Sea Pines Shell Ring is listed on the National Register of Historic places and is an excellent place to learn more about the native peoples who lived on Hilton Head Island thousands of years ago. The ring is relatively small, with the shell mound measuring almost 200 feet across and only reaching a few feet high. Despite being small, the Sea Pines Shell Ring has long been a very important place. The ring was first established 4,800 years ago, making it one of the oldest rings in the region. That's around the same age as the pyramids at Giza!
A short walk starting at the east entrance of the Forest Preserve (off Lawton Drive) will lead you to The Sea Pines Shell Ring, which is well marked. The Sea Pines Shell Ring remains a sacred and significant part of our past. It remains in near pristine condition and should be respected by not disturbing or removing anything from the site.