Destination guide

Nurture your need for relaxation in this sandy safe harbor

One of a chain of barrier islands protecting South Carolina from the Atlantic Ocean, Harbor Island is 1,400 acres of tidal marshes, unspoiled beaches, and a miniature resort community of vacationers who know they're lucky. The island was used as a hunting ground and largely uninhabited until the 1930s, and the homes, shops, and playgrounds still have an edge-of-the-wilderness feel. If you're ready to while away a few days poolside, stroll a beach at sunset, or try your hand a catching a ghost crab, you're ready to book a Harbor Island vacation rental.

Things to do

The island won't harbor ill will if you take a quick detour

Harbor Island's key attraction might be its scant population, but neighboring islands provide all the cultural and outdoor adventures you'll need when its time to re-engage. Neighboring St. Helena Island gives you Penn Center, site of a school that was once one of the first for former slaves. The center was a retreat for Martin Luther King Jr., and the York W. Bailey Museum, on Penn Center grounds, tells the history of the place and its African American heritage. Hunting Island is another friendly neighbor. It features a historic 19th-century lighthouse that visitors can climb for spectacular views.


Eat fish caught by locals, or the crab you snagged yourself

Your Harbor Island vacation rental will be set in a pristine, natural wonderland and within a vibrant resort community, so take advantage of both. The island's gated residential area offers swimming pools, tennis courts, and playgrounds for the kids. Its 2.5 miles of white, sandy beaches offer tons of spots for picnicking, fishing, and water sports. Crabbing in the tidal creeks is popular, too. Once you've worn yourself out in the great outdoors, relax at a local restaurant that serves fresh fish caught right off shore.


Ocean breezes blow the edge off high temps on Harbor Island

Like the rest of South Carolina, Harbor Island is blessed with year-round weather you can smile about. Summers are hot and humid, with highs in the upper 80s and low 90s, but ocean breezes keep beachcombers feeling refreshed. Thunderstorms break the heat in the afternoons, too, so bring sunscreen and your raincoat just in case. Fall and spring have a lot in common. High temps top out at 80¡F, and cool nights can bring a bit of a chill. Winters are short, with cold nights lasting from December through February.

Natural features

Tweet it with us: Birds! Are! Important!

Peaceful, sparsely inhabited, and dotted with graceful sand dunes, Harbor Island's natural beauty is pretty in-your-face. You may leave your Harbor Island vacation rental to run an errand, then find yourself irresistibly drawn to the sight of sea grasses waving in the breeze. Next thing you know, you're on the sand, watching the dolphins and forgetting about dinner. Terns and pelicans are frequent visitors to your island getaway. In fact, Harbor Island is an official member of an Audubon Important Bird Area, thanks to its wading bird rookeries and well-defined lagoon with abundant egrets, herons and ibises.

How to get there

Transportation to and around Harbor Island

Fly into Hilton Head Island, SC (HHH), the closest airport, located 18.6 mi (29.9 km) from the city center. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you could also fly into Charleston, SC (CHS-Charleston Intl.), which is 41.6 mi (66.9 km) away.

Where to stay around Harbor Island?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 628 vacation rentals near Harbor Island. From 388 Houses to 73 Villas, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Harbor Island for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Harbor Island?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Harbor Island. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Hilton Head Island: 8,002 vacation rentals
  • Kiawah Island: 3,356 vacation rentals
  • Edisto Beach: 839 vacation rentals
  • Fripp Island: 690 vacation rentals
  • Seabrook Island: 3,361 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in Harbor Island! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Harbor Island?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Harbor Island:

  • Hilton Head Island: 8,002 rentals
  • Kiawah Island: 3,356 rentals
  • Edisto Beach: 839 rentals
  • Fripp Island: 690 rentals
  • Seabrook Island: 3,361 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holidays in Harbor Island?

HomeAway offers a large selection of rentals near lovely places in Harbor Island. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Singleton Beach: 8,623 rentals
  • Edisto Beach State Park: 2,296 rentals
  • Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island: 2,960 rentals
  • Folly Field Beach Park: 8,666 rentals
  • Hunting Island State Park: 1,801 rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Harbor Island listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.

Explore destinations around Harbor Island

Hilton Head Island
8,002 vacation rentals
Kiawah Island
3,356 vacation rentals
Edisto Beach
839 vacation rentals
Fripp Island
690 vacation rentals
Seabrook Island
3,361 vacation rentals
2,246 vacation rentals
Edisto Island
1,755 vacation rentals
Johns Island
4,301 vacation rentals
Port Royal
3,009 vacation rentals
Parris Island
2,318 vacation rentals
Hilton Head Plantation
5,407 vacation rentals
Dataw Island
272 vacation rentals
Ladys Island
2,714 vacation rentals
4,795 vacation rentals
Wadmalaw Island
4,696 vacation rentals
9,330 vacation rentals
1,550 vacation rentals
1,376 vacation rentals
Shelter Cove
144 vacation rentals
Shell Point
362 vacation rentals