3 Places to Cool Down on Hilton Head Island

There’s a few things you need to know about Hilton Head Island. First, it’s beautiful.

That much should be pretty evident if you’ve seen all your friends’ day trip photos and seethed with jealousy. Second, there’s plenty to do. Yeah, everyone knows it for golf but that’s just the tip of the daiquiri.

The third thing you need to know is that it can get hot. Summer average temps hover around the high 80s and aren’t looking to dip any time soon. And a note on humidity – if at all possible, wear your contacts because glasses tend to get real opaque real quick.

The point being, at some point during your Hilton Head Island vacation you’re going to want to head into the shelter of some A/C. But why let something like a little too much sun stop the party? Here are three places on Hilton Head Island you can cool down.


Coligny Theater

Photo via arkhaiosfilmfestival.org

Located just steps from Coligny Beach Park, Coligny Theater is a cool little secret spot on the island with an old-school theater vibe and an expertly curated selection of independent and obscure films.

The lobby harkens back to the pre-multiplex days of yore, with a single counter slinging popcorn, candy and sodas right next to a spiral staircase leading up to the projection booth. Most of the time you’ll have the same person running both, just like in the old days.

Showing in the next few weeks you’ll find indy darlings like “The Dinner” starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Hall and Chloë Sevigny; Scottish historic drama “Tommy’s Honour” about the early days of golf; and “The Lovers” starring Debra Winger and Tracy Letts.

Step into the air conditioning, grab some popcorn and take in some culture on your next trip.


The Frosty Frog Cafe

Via hiltonhead.com.

Just around the corner from Coligny Theater, Frosty Frog is famed around the island for its huge selection of frozen drinks in every color of the rainbow.

The menu of 23 different daiquiris runs the gamut from the Southern Lemonade (spiked with 190 proof grain alcohol) to the Incredible Hulk (a mild 80 proof strawberry kiwi blend). Not strong enough for you? You can always add an extra “frogger” shot of grain alcohol.

Like the sign says, “Welcome to your liver’s worst nightmare.”


Hilton Head Ice Cream

Via onlyinyourstate.com.

Of course, there’s a chance you’re not looking to get sideways on your brief trip out of the sun. Good for you, you responsible day tripper.

Reward yourself with a trip to Hilton Head Ice Cream, located off New Orleans Road.  One of the longest running local shops on Hilton Head, they’ve been serving handmade ice cream here since 1982.

The old line about the ice cream here is that it’s somehow improved by the salt in the air, a claim that’s hard to argue once you taste the rich, creamy creations they put out at Hilton Head Ice Cream. And while it’s available at a slew of retailers, you have to try it right from the source. The fishtank and crazy décor alone are worth the price of admission.

To discover more places to Eat, Play, Stay and Shop all throughout the Lowcountry, subscribe now or pick up a copy of the April/May issue of South magazine.