What to do in February and March on Hilton Head

While summer is “peak tourist season” for Hilton Head Island, February and March are arguably a close second. But why are these months so popular?

They mark the beginning of festival season!

The next two months are packed full of fun events on Hilton Head and in the surrounding area. 

February has two month-long events on the island: the annual Gullah Celebration and Foodie February — which includes Chamber Restaurant Week, the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival, Savor Sea Pines and more!

March has plenty of its own fun events, including St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and the Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival.

Check out the full list of events below:

The Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration

The annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration showcases the Gullah people and their history on the island. The Gullah people are African Americans who live in the Lowcountry area and are known for preserving more of their African linguistic and cultural heritage than any other African-American community in the United States. The events of this annual celebration incorporate many facets of the Gullah culture — from food and music to the visual arts.

Events include:

  • Arts Ob We People, Exhibit & Sale — an annual arts and crafts exhibition that features the work of local artists' interpretations of the people, food, dancing and daily living of the Gullah people — held daily Feb. 1-27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Freedom Walk — to celebrate National Freedom Day — starts at Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5.

  • 26th Annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration Opening Party — Feb. 9 from 5-7 p.m. at the Art League Gallery.

  • A Taste of Gullah — an afternoon filled with authentic Gullah dishes and classic lowcountry favorites — on Saturday, Feb. 12 from 12-3 p.m. at the Art Center of Coastal Carolina.

  • The Gullah Market — an all-access experience to journey through the history, heritage and evolution of Gullah culture through food featuring authentic Gullah foods and lowcountry classics, music, and crafts — Saturday, Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Coastal Discovery Museum.

  • Celebration of African American Authors — includes a featured presentation by New York Times Best Selling author Bakari Sellers, where he will showcase and sign copies of his latest book "Who Are Your People.” Held on Saturday, Feb. 26 from 12-3 p.m. at the Rotary Community Center in Bluffton.

Foodie February

February is the month to celebrate all things culinary in the Lowcountry! From fresh oysters and shrimp to grilled Mahi and flounder, foodie February will leave you with a longing to return to the area to explore the more than 250 restaurants; most locally owned.

Key events include:

  • A Taste of Gullah (see Gullah Celebration above!) — Feb. 12

  • Chamber Restaurant Week — The chamber’s 14th annual Restaurant Week is back for you to enjoy a price-fix menu from some new spots or old favorites! This year’s restaurant week is held from Jan. 29 - Feb. 5.

  • Hilton Head Island Farmers Market — held every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Coastal Discovery Museum.

  • Savor Sea Pines —  an eclectic epicurean festival fast becoming a foodie favorite in the Lowcountry which brings some of the area’s finest chefs together for a month-long celebration of food, wine and spirits. Held in The Sea Pines Resort’s most beautiful venues, the acclaimed festival will include fabulous dinners, tastings, oyster roasts, demonstrations and jazz supper club nights. Individual events include:

    • Rum 101 Dinner, Feb. 5 — Discover the taste of unique rums paired with a multi-course dinner in the stunning Atlantic Room overlooking the Atlantic Ocean featuring Sea Pines Resort Chef de Cuisine, Aaron Cox.

    • Around the World Sampling, Feb. 5 —  Try beers, wines, and liquors from around the world for an international wine tasting with offerings to please every taste and palate in the Harbour Town Clubhouse.

    • Brunch in Paris at Links, an American Grill, Feb. 6 — The chefs at Links, an American Grill are making their classic Sunday brunch extra special with made-to-order crepes with your choice of fresh toppings.

    • See the full schedule of events here.

  • Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival —  a family-friendly, week-long culinary and cultural celebration showcasing the very best in savory eats, crafted cocktails, gourmet wines and more. This year, the festival will welcome some of the finest award-winning chefs, local culinary stars, celebrated winemakers and brewmasters to breathtaking waterside venues Feb. 21- 27.

March events:

The Hilton Head International Piano Competition, one of the leading international piano 

competitions in the United States, operates with a three year rotation of events: an adult 

competition for pianists 18 – 30 years of age, a young artist competition for pianists 13 – 

17 years of age, and a festival that showcases past prize winners and other famous 

piano artists performing music ranging from classical to jazz genres. The competition 

events draw applicants, artists, and audience from countries the world over.

Kick off your St. Patrick's Day Celebration on Hilton Head Island during the 27th Annual Pinnacle Bank Hilton Head Shamrock 5K. Hilton Head’s Annual "Running of the Green" will be held on Saturday morning March 12th at 7:30am.

Kickoff St. Patrick’s Day weekend with a boat parade on Broad Creek followed by an 

Irish Concert from 5-7 p.m. at Celebration Park.

Join South Carolina’s oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade and the island’s largest single-day event! Kicks off on Pope Avenue at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. 

*Planning to head to Savannah for their St. Pat’s celebrations on March 17? You can book a ferry from Sea Pines to Savannah to avoid the traffic nightmare.

The event will feature 20 – 25 local restaurants cooking their best wings. Over 6,500 lbs 

of chicken wings will be served at the fun-filled, family friendly festive atmosphere. There 

will be many activities such as a kid’s zone, rock climbing wall, bungee jump, live bands, 

big screens showing March Madness Basketball, wing eating contests and more.

Hilton Head Island’s wine and food enthusiasts greet the Island’s popular spring season every March with a week-long celebration to embrace the fruits of global wine partnerships, signature Lowcountry cuisine, grassroots cultural happenings and the authentic fabric of a unique community. What unfolds is an inspiring series of events that draw guests to Hilton Head Island from not only across the country, but even from far corners of the globe.

Lindsay Bunting
Lindsay Bunting
PO Box 3087 Hilton Head Island SC 29928