Coastal Discovery Museum Hilton Head Island

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The Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island

There are many area attractions, shops, restaurants, and activities to keep everyone busy throughout a stay on Hilton Head. Learn about the ecology of the area as well as its history, culture, and art through the Coastal Discovery Museum exhibits and even guided tours that take you out in the thick of it all.


There are a mix of permanent and temporary exhibits that bring to life what it was like on Hilton Head before the first bridge was built in 1956. Learn about the area’s natural history and culture, including hands-on exhibits like the seashell identification table, alligators, temporary art exhibits, and of course the amazing 68 acres the museum sits on. Discovery House, where many of these exhibits are located, has a limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Santa Elena Center

The center allows visitors to discover life on 16th Century Hilton Head and Port Royal Sound. The natural harbor was visited over many decades in the 1500s by Europeans, including the establishment of the first French and Spanish beachheads in the New World. Learn about the settlement’s height when the population was nearly 450, how Native Americans were taken from the area and enslaved in Spain, and more.


Take a special tour of the area and learn more about how it came to be. Go birding, kayaking through a marsh, watch dolphins, or explore underwater. Get the answers to questions like how the name Hilton Head was chosen, what causes the holes on the beach, and more. You’ll walk away with more knowledge and appreciation for the area as more than a beach vacation spot. Tour on land, water, in a group, or privately.


There are many experiences to enjoy at the museum. In-person presentations get you up-close to reptiles, amphibians, and other species, while hands-on programs allow you to hold a snake or other native animal yourself! The museum has hosted over 50 guest speakers as part of its lecture series, where you’ll learn about the history, culture, environment, conservation, and more. There are even digital experiences – geared toward younger students – that can be enjoyed from anywhere. These in-person events have a limited capacity. Please wear a mask.

Learn About Hilton Head

You came to Hilton Head to explore and experience a new place on a fun, relaxing getaway. We have units as small as one bedroom for a small family or sweetheart getaway, all the way up to seven bedrooms for a large family or group reunion!

You’ll have access to private outdoor spaces like a pool, balcony, or deck. Relax indoors in stylish bedrooms. After a visit to the Coastal Discovery Museum, make a meal in the fully equipped kitchen, then spread out in an open living area. For a luxury stay like no other, choose a premium unit to include perks like wood floors, flat screen TVs, an elevator and more to make your stay one you’ll never forget.

Call us today to start planning a fun-filled visit to Hilton Head Island and the Coastal Discovery Museum!