Given the temperate weather we enjoy, there’s really no off-season on Hilton Head. Fall is just as vibrant as spring and summer in our little corner of the world, and the abundance of festivals and goings-on here is proof of that fact. Put simply, there’s no shortage of things to do this autumn. That said, there are a few local celebrations this year that truly stand out!
Whether you call Hilton Head home or you’re just here for a visit, come enjoy some southern hospitality at these unique fall events…
1) Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival
Now in its 15th year, the Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival is a week-long celebration of life in the Lowcountry. From October 12th to 20th, you can savor fresh seafood, peruse a massive art show, or even take a paddleboard tour of the May River! While there are plenty of fun events planned, we can’t wait for the Boat Parade on October 13th. Spectators will watch a procession of watercrafts pass by, all the while listening to the comforting sounds of gospel music. Admission is $18 for adults and just $10 for kids—and attending is well worth the price.
If you’re a lover of arts and culture, you won’t want to miss Crescendo. This one-of-a-kind festival (which will take place from October 10th to November 15th) features over 75 concerts, theatre productions, museum exhibits, literary readings, and historical tours. Highlights will include live jazz by the ocean, a parade of lanterns, and performances of The Nutcracker by the Hilton Head Dance Theatre. The cost of admission will vary depending on the events you want to attend. To learn more, visit the Crescendo website.
3) Concours D’Elegance & Motoring Festival
Car aficionados, this one’s for you. From November 1st to 3rd, nearly 200 classic automobiles will be showcased along the fairways of Port Royal Golf Course as part of the Concours D’Elegance & Motoring Festival. A total of 75 judges will be on hand, ready to crown one stunning car best in show! To see more incredible engineering on display, head over to the Hilton Head Island Airport—where you’ll find an impressive collection of vintage aircrafts on display. Put simply, fans of luxury living won’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind event General admission ranges from $60-$115.
4) Tee Off Fore the Arts
Do you enjoy participating in your sport of choice as much as you like being a spectator? If so, Tee Off for the Arts is the perfect autumn tournament for you. Whether you’re a golf or tennis lover, October 28th is the day to square off against other local enthusiasts! Participation fees start at $150 for tennis players and $350 for individual golfers. This money goes to a great cause—the Arts Centre and its education and outreach programming. So grab your clubs or racquet and head down to the Wexford Golf Club!
5) Gullah Food Fest
On Saturday, October 19th, the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head will pay tribute to the cuisine of an incredibly unique island culture. We’re talking gumbo, shrimp and grits, oxtails, and other delicacies. In addition to a savory meal, the Gullah Food Festival will serve up plenty of live music and family-friendly entertainment. The best part is, it’s free! So grab the family and wander over to 12 Georgianna Drive to tickle your tastebuds—and celebrate an important part of our island’s heritage.
6) Music To Your Mouth
Foodies rejoice! It’s almost time for the 13th annual Music To Your Mouth Festival. From November 18th to 24th, head over to Palmetto Bluff to sample some of the most delectable food in the country—along with artisan beer, wine, and cocktails. From incredible chefs to highly-skilled mixologists, some of the best creative talent in the business will be gathered for this can’t-miss event. Attendees will also enjoy a variety of great local music—including jazz, blue grass, and Southern rock. For a full weekend package, you’ll pay $1,500.
7) Farmers Markets
One of the most popular ways to enjoy fall on Hilton Head is by attending one of our local farmers markets. These are the ideal places to stock up on autumn ingredients for your pumpkin soup, mashed potatoes, cornbread…the list goes on. Two of our favorites are the Farmers Market of Bluffton (held on Calhoun Street from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Thursday) and the Hilton Head Farmers Market (at the Coastal Discovery Museum, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday). So break out those autumn recipes, because it’s time to get cooking!