Here in the Lowcountry, we take Independence Day seriously.
There are so many events to celebrate America in all the right ways from Hilton Head Island to Bluffton to Beaufort, starting as early as this weekend.
When it comes to the fireworks displays, you’ll want to strategically position yourself for an optimal viewing situation where you’ll see several displays light up the sky in different directions.
Here are six spots (with maps included) to help you plan for an amazing Fourth of July.
Fireworks display: Around 9:30 p.m.
Why it’s awesome: Grab a drink or dinner at one of the top seafood restaurants (Skull Creek Boathouse, Skull Creek Dockside and Hudson’s) on Hilton Head and sit back and relax as fireworks light up the sky over the waterway.
You might be able to see: Shelter Cove’s display to the south and Port Royal and Parris Island’s displays to the north.
Details: Be sure to park at Hudson’s or the Skull Creek parking lot a few hours before the event.
Fireworks: Around dusk over the Calibogue Sound.
Why it’s awesome: Harbour Town will be lit — literally— and the lighthouse will be at its best.
Details: There is an $8 gate fee to enter the resort (unless you are a resident or a guest staying on the resort), and a free shuttle service will be offered between Harbour Town and various parking lots in the Sea Pines Resort. No coolers allowed.
You might also see: Shelter Cove’s display to the north and Tybee displays to the southeast.
Fireworks: Immediately following the end of the Parris Island fireworks display (which starts around 9:15 p.m.)
Why it’s awesome: The Port Royal Sands is one of the most popular and unique beaches in the Lowcountry, and its position just north of Parris Island and south of Beaufort makes for excellent Fourth of July views.
Details: Parking will be available within the Port Royal downtown village area (including Paris Avenue and connecting side streets). The road will be blocked at the corner of London Avenue and Sand Beach Road for traffic, except for handicap vehicles and golf carts.
You might also see: Parris Island’s display before the show.
Hilton Head beaches — particularly the South End
Fireworks: There’s no actual display on the beach, but it’s a great spot on the island to see fireworks light up the Lowcountry sky.
Why it’s awesome: It’s the beach on Fourth of July. What more could you ask for?
What you’ll see: Displays from Tybee Island to the south, Harbour Town to the west and Shelter Cove to the northwest. You might even see Savannah fireworks displays if the sky is clear.
Details: South end beaches outside of Sea Pines (North Forest, Coligny, and South Forest) are the most crowded beaches on Hilton Head Island, so expect crowds there. Heading to Adler Lane beach might be your best bet if you want to stay outside of Sea Pines. There is an $8 gate fee to enter Sea Pines (unless you are a resident or guest staying on the resort).
Fireworks: Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina will set off fireworks at dusk from a barge on Broad Creek.
Why it’s awesome: Shelter Cove won’t be messing around this Fourth of July and should be one of the best displays in the Lowcountry. You’ll get a great view of this display from any restaurant in Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina. Plus, 1,500 flags will be distributed at 6 p.m.
Hint: You can also see the Shelter Cove fireworks from Broad Creek Marina.
Details: Additional parking outside of Shelter Cove will be directed into two locations: The Hargray building parking lot and Chaplin Park. Free shuttles will be available from both locations. Check this link for more info on parking.
Fireworks: 9:15 p.m. (ish) from the Marine Depot.
Why it’s awesome: The Parris Island Independence Day celebration is free and open to the public and will begin at 5 p.m. The event features a performance by the Parris Island band at 6:30 p.m.
You might also see: Port Royal’s display to the north and Hilton Head displays to the south.
Details: Don’t forget to bring your ID to get through the gate. Follow signs, and Marines will help guide you to parking. No coolers, pets or outside fireworks will be allowed. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.