Sailing in Hilton Head, South Carolina (Kenneth Garrett/National Geographic/Getty)

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What to do in Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a beach-resort destination with a serious golf fixation. More than two dozen courses dot Hilton Head’s luxury vacation communities, and an annual PGA tournament hits every April. But that shouldn’t dissuade non-golfers looking for a more natural escape. In fact, Hilton Head was developed with a mind toward preserving its barrier island wilderness, making bikes and sea kayaks terrific modes of exploration. Hilton Head has more than 50 miles of public bike trails and extensive maritime forests and nature preserves. Ringed by oaks, palmettos, and pine trees, the 14 miles of sand is famous in its own right. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, near-constant 80-degree ocean temperatures in the summer make for ideal boating, jet skiing, and parasailing conditions.

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