Known for its candy-striped, red-and-white lighthouse, the Harbour Town marina is easily the most-touristed waterfront on Hilton Head. Large yachts moor behind the newly expanded seawall, shops stock the requisite “I heart Hilton Head” souvenirs, and water sport outfitters launch Jet Skis and hoist Para-Sails in Calibogue Sound. The waterside restaurants don’t shine for their innovative cuisine, but they’re worth a stop for the prime real estate--westward-facing Harbour Town is one of the best spots on the island to catch the sunset.
Hard-bottomed Zodiac boats crouch closer to the water than a traditional boat does. We booked a one-hour tour with H2O Sports (www.h2osportsonline.com or  671-4386) and spent the afternoon watching dolphins play.
photo: Visitors flock to Harbour Town, with its candy-striped lighthouse, for water activities.