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Family-Fun Activities Back at Palmetto Bay Marina

Summer is always a blast at Palmetto Bay Marina! The marina is tucked away near the Cross Island Parkway (bridge), but is filled with so much to do. Did you know this was the first marina ever built on Hilton Head Island? Since 1959, Palmetto Bay Marina Village has hosted fishing, sailing, parasailing, wave runners, boat rentals, tours, kayaks, restaurants, gifts, and so much more. There are three restaurants with both indoor and outdoor dining areas, and two outdoor bars. Several times a day, you can watch the marina’s 70-ton travel-lift haul out or launch boats from the Palmetto Bay docks.

The Palmetto Bay Marina that you see now is not the same one it was about a year ago. It was violently hit by Hurricane Matthew, causing it to be evacuated in October of 2016. Hurricane Matthew had 88 mile-per-hour winds and a storm surge of roughly 12 and a half feet. People brought their boats to the marina before evacuating, thinking it would be a safer place, but they were very wrong. So many boats were tossed together and washed ashore at the marina—all in a large pile. The docks also became loose and let go, resulting in complete destruction. Despite this setback, several months later, Palmetto Bay Marina is showing signs of progress as its residents and tenants continue to rebuild.


One of the newest attractions to Hilton Head Island calls themselves Island Head Watersports, and resides from Palmetto Bay Marina. The group of island lovers offer a premium family-run water experience unlike anything else on Hilton Head Island.

Top-ranked on TripAdvisor, and receiver of the Certificate of Excellence, Island Head Watersport takes your family on breathtaking tours that you can’t get anywhere else. USCGA Licensed Captains serve as your trusty navigator, offering new perspective on exquisite landscapes of the Palmetto Bay Marina and surrounding seashores and saltmarshes. Looking for activities with both high-speeds and adventure? Look no further!

Island Head Watersports has been a blessing to the Palmetto Bay Marina, as so many past travelers thought that Hurricane Matthew put the marina out of commission permanently. But IHWS has given the marina new purpose. And, in turn, these docks are back with a passion and resilience that shines in the dozens of activities available for all kinds of Hilton Head Island visitors.

With Island Head Watersports, you can embark on a thrilling 75-minute Hilton Head Island jet ski tour in the largest riding area of the Island. You can ride a single wave runner, or even double wave runners, with your friends and loved ones. How cool! If you’re seeking a real Hilton Head Island thrill ride, you are sure to enjoy the high-flying family fun of parasail. Or, hop on one of many charters to take a tour of surrounding islands and wildlife. You can kayak with your family, set sail on sunset cruises, or invest in a life-changing dolphin tour.

TripAdvisor reviewers have taken to the internet to express their love for both Palmetto Bay Marina and Island Head Watersports are several occasions. Some of the most popular reviews have stated that the guides could not have been better, whole families have loved the adventures, and many first-timers to waters ports have gained confidence in trying new things and delving into more vacation adventures.


Reservations are a must with Island Head Watersports, but many of the shops and restaurants at Palmetto Bay Marina are perfect for impromptu walk-in visits. If you plan on doing any watersports, give them a call at 843-686-4386 to check their schedule and see what’s on the roster for the day.

When you have had your fill of Island Head Watersports, bid a fond farewell to your guides with promises to return. Then head over to one of Palmetto Bay Marina’s many restaurants, like Black Marlin Bayside Grill, Palmetto Bay Sunrise Café, or Carolina Crab Company. Palmetto Bay Marina and Island Head Watersports are two of the biggest must-see destinations in Hilton Head Island. So, do yourself a memorable favor and book a few tours, have a few adventures, and explore all of the great things that these areas have to offer.

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