Helmed by local biologist and US Coast Guard?certified captain Meg Hoyle, Botany Bay Ecotours leverages scientific expertise while exposing Edisto Island's natural beauty through leisurely boat tours and educational kayak excursions. Dolphin eco tours set off in pursuit of clear, memorable glimpses of the bottle-nosed creatures, while sunset tours showcase the exquisite colors of the sun setting over the beach and birds heading to their marshland roosts. Guests looking for a similar experience on dry land can observe turtles on the beach or head off on a private island safari. Guides augment the sightseeing experiences with rich explanations of the history and biology of local wildlife, as well as the region's low-country and Gullah culture.
The 18-hole course at Lady’s Island Country Club meanders through the forested terrain of its namesake isle, presenting a round filled with dense tree lines, contoured greens, and oversized sand traps. Opened in 1970, the Timothy Freeland–designed layout leads golfers over wide fairways lined with stately trees, demanding precise tee shots or enough golf balls to feed a grove of hungry trees. The expansive boundaries create beautifully sculpted fairways cleaved into the natural landscape, creating a track of uniquely designed holes with no two fairways running directly alongside one another.
Recommended by Golf Magazine, Tour Academy teaches golfers how to better pendulate their putters with a slice-fighting array of instructional techniques. A private lesson from head instructor and PGA member Ed Brill uses a state-of-the-art video swing analysis before teaching the fundamentals of ball-flight laws, the development of a pre-shot routine, and how to use a written game plan. Port Royal Golf Club's coastline green is surrounded by mounds of majestic marshland, with 54 holes cutting through a labyrinth of magnolias and live oaks. The course itself sits atop former Civil War grounds and is peppered with historical markers that chronicle significant wartime events. For students without sphere-pounding clubs, Tour Academy provides an arsenal of driving, chipping, and putting tools.
An armada of sea kayaks quietly slices through the sparkling waters of Broad Creek, suddenly interrupted by the playful splashes of two bottlenose dolphins sidling up to the fleet. As the people in the kayaks erupt into squeals of glee, one of Water Dog Outfitters’ seasoned guides launches into an impromptu lesson explaining dolphin behaviors and why they’ve alighted upon the kayaks. This awe-inspiring interaction is the reason Water Dog Outfitters was founded in 1998, and today its knowledgeable staff continue to lead engaging, history-laced tours around Hilton Head Island, Pinckney Island, and the surrounding lowlands. While the company’s focus remains on maritime exploits along local rivers and impressive puddles, Water Dog’s cadre of naturalists also returns to terra firma to lead bicycle tours and hikes for explorers of all ages and abilities.
Some people spend their days working with computers and copiers; the staff at Parasail Hilton Head prefer parasails, banana boats, and jet skis. Based at Salty Fare Boat Landing, the team shares its sense of adventure with visitors ages 6 and up.
During parasailing outings, Parasail Hilton Head's 31-foot parasail boat zooms through Skull Creek, lifting riders up to 500 feet into the air so that they can ogle the area's million-dollar homes, drifting sailboats, and frolicking dolphins. The company's captains also cut zigzags into the water during wild banana boat rides for up to six people, and they let customers do the driving by renting out jet skis by the hour.
Aboard her 25-foot Stingray 234LR, Captain Megan escorts up to six passengers on more than 10 intimate charters. The USCG-licensed captain navigates waters teeming with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins by day, floats through Calibogue Sound at sunset, and cruises past Shelter Cove's summertime fireworks displays from the water at night. Her Stingray 234LR also pulls one- and two-person tubes along the whitecaps and navigates backwater marshes en route to open areas ready for watersports such as wakeboarding, water skiing, and turtle wrestling.