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.
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.
Lawton Stables' knowledgeable guides lead beginners riding Western-style on one-hour trail rides that pass through the undisturbed Sea Pines Forest Preserve, which spans 603 acres. While sitting, posting, or head-standing atop gentle mounts, equestrians delve into palmetto-covered canopies and wildflower meadows before breaking in horseshoes along the banks of Lake Thomas. Small groups ride at a leisurely pace on the trail, winding past hordes of wildlife that may include herons or alligators basking in the sun on the bank of the lake. Reservations are required, and guests must arrive 30 minutes before departure adorned in loose-fitting clothing, closed-toe shoes, and chainmail.
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.
Live Oac ferries dolphin-spotters along the winding waterways of Skull Creek and Pickney Island National Wildlife Refuge via a range of eco-tours set against the scenic backdrop of the low country’s natural flora and fauna. With space for up to six sea-salt passengers, cruise in comfort on the hurricane deck boat during your one-hour private dolphin tour and nature cruise led by an experienced naturalist and U.S. Coast Guard–licensed captain. Swoon as herons and osprey warm up crowds before Atlantic bottlenose dolphins grace the sea stage with their adorable smiling snouts and off-the-cuff magic tricks. Heavily populated tour routes can afford viewers multiple dolphin sightings during each tour as well as prime seating for bottlenose bottleneck traffic altercations.