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national geographic

National Geographic

A mermaid’s perfect day on Hilton Head Island

Surf, sand, and sea are in abundance on this 12-mile-long island off the South Carolina coast.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND lures people in with its laid back beach vibes and vibrant sealife. Whether its swimming with dolphins or learning about Hilton Head’s aquatic ecosystems, come discover epic fun for travelers of all ages.

Morning

Rise early and head to the beach to watch the sun peak over the horizon and turn the sky and sea into a phantasmagoria of pinks and oranges. Mornings are the most peaceful time to enjoy the beaches when attendance is at its lowest for the day.

While strolling at low tide, you are likely to come across Hilton Head’s signature sea creature: the sand dollar. Sand dollars are living creatures, and it is illegal to remove them from their ocean homes. Pro tip: Don’t let a local catch you picking up these echinoderms, as they tend to be very passionate about protecting our wildlife, and you may just earn yourself a speech.