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Harbor Island in Beaufort, South Carolina

Travelers looking for a memorable vacation should consider taking a trip to one of the most secluded destinations in Beaufort, South Carolina. Located 15 miles outside the city sits the famous Harbor Island, known for its graceful dunes covered with sea oats and coastal grasses. The 1,400-acre barrier island offers its guests an abundance of great amenities, allowing them to create the vacation of their dreams. Learn more about this fantastic getaway destination from Visit Beaufort and how we can help you plan your visit.

History of the Island

Before it became known as a popular travel destination, Harbor Island, SC, was largely uninhabited and used primarily as hunting grounds until the 1930s. Later, development of the island began, turning this scarce piece of land into a gated residential and resort community.

About the Area

Nestled between St. Helena Island and Hunting Island, Harbor Island offers travelers the perfect place for a romantic weekend getaway, a family vacation, or simply a place to retreat. This small barrier island features an abundance of natural beauty with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean from almost anywhere on the island. Travelers will enjoy the small community atmosphere mixed with relaxing vacation vibes.

The area features a peaceful gated community that houses a variety of vacation rentals and condominiums which can accommodate couples, families, or large groups. The area is also home to a vast array of wildlife. Throughout the year you can spot over 200 species of birds roaming around Harbor Island, such as terns, pelicans, egrets, and herons. Other wildlife creatures that call Harbor Island home include blue crabs, loggerhead turtles, and dolphins.

Things to Do

South Carolina's Lowcountry and Harbor Island offer guests much to do and see, from a variety of recreational activities to breathtaking natural views. With so many things to do, visitors have the option to create a vacation that best suits their needs and interests. Some of the activities visitors can add to their itineraries include:

Outdoor Activities

While Harbor Island is a pristine location for wildlife lovers, the three miles of pure, untamed, sandy white beach offers outdoor enthusiast plenty to do. While vacationing on Harbor Island, guests can enjoy the following:

  • Swimming: With three outdoor pools, guests have plenty of space to comfortably splash around, getting much-needed relief from the warm sun.
  • Tennis: Work on your game or learn a new sport while on vacation, as Harbor Island features several tennis courts for guests to use.
  • Golf: SC is known for its beautiful golf courses, and Harbor Island is no exception. Choose from terrific courses and putting greens to work on your short game.
  • Surfing: Take to the Atlantic coast to catch some waves by planning your stay on Harbor Island.
  • Biking: There is no better way to explore the island than by grabbing a bicycle and taking a ride throughout the area.
  • Boating: Get a taste of the open seas as you sail the vast Atlantic Ocean on one of the many boating charters available.


No vacation is complete without indulging in the area’s local culinary establishments. Harbor Island features numerous locations serving some of the area’s best dishes. Harbor Island restaurants offer everything from casual Southern eats to waterfront fine dining. Whether you want to have a romantic evening with your significant other, celebrate a special occasion with the whole family, or are just looking for something quick and delicious, Harbor Island’s eateries can accommodate you.

Plan Your Trip to Harbor Island

Whether you need a relaxing vacation away from the stresses of life or just want to spend quality time with the ones you love, Harbor Island is the ideal getaway destination. If you need help planning your trip, turn to Visit Beaufort for recommendations. We will offer insight into various Harbor Island hotels, attractions, and places to eat to make your vacation unforgettable. Contact us today to begin planning your stay in Beaufort, Port Royal, & Sea Islands.