Almost all guided tours on Hilton Head  focus on the water. Harbour Town Cruises (843/363-9023, www.vagabondcruise.com ) offers several sightseeing tours, as well as excursions to Daufuskie  and Savannah . They also offer a tour on a former America’s Cup racing yacht.
“Dolphin tours” are extremely popular on Hilton Head and there is no shortage of proprietors. Dolphin Watch Nature Cruises (843/785-4558, $25 adults, $10 children) departs from Shelter Cove, as does Lowcountry Nature Tours (843/683-0187, $40 adult, $35 children, 2 and under free). The Gypsy (843/363-2900, $12 adults, $6 children) sails out of South Beach Marina, taking you all around peaceful Calibogue Sound.
Two dolphin tours are based on Broad Creek, the large body of water which almost bisects the island through the middle. “Captain Jim” runs Island Explorer Tours (843/785-2100, $40 per person for two-hour tour) from a dock behind the old Oyster Factory on Marshland Road.
Not to be outdone, “Captain Dave” leads tours at Dolphin Discoveries (843/681-1911 $40 adults, $30 ages 12 and under for two-hour tour), leaving out of Simmons Landing next to the Broad Creek Marina on Marshland Road.
Outside Hilton Head (843/686-6996, www.outsidehiltonhead.com ) runs a variety of eco/dolphin waterborne tours as well as a guided day-trip excursion to Daufuskie, complete with golf cart rental. Calibogue Cruises (843/342-8687, thehiltonhead-daufuskieconnection.com) provides a similar service.
For an in-depth look at Hilton Head ’s rich Gullah history , you might want to call Gullah Heritage Trail Tours (843/681-7066, www.gullahheritage.com , Wed.–Sat. 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m., $22 adults, $11 children), which departs from the Coastal Discovery Museum .