Forest Beach is a beach community on Hilton Head Island, comprised of South Forest Beach and North Forest Beach. It is often referred to as the “unofficial downtown district” of Hilton Head Island. It is one of Hilton Head’s original beach communities. Forest Beach stretches a 3 mile distance of pristine South Carolina beach, between Shipyard and Sea Pines. It is marked by two roads, South Forest Beach road and North Forest Beach road that meet together with Pope Avenue and Coligny Circle. It offers beautiful landscapes, excellent views of the ocean, and an exciting experience for any Hilton Head vacation. It is home to some of the Island’s largest and most luxurious vacation houses. Much like the rest of Hilton Head Island, tropical landscaping and the natural beauty of the Island make it a wonderful and beautiful place to spend your vacation relaxing, playing on the beach, shopping, or anything else your heart desires. Unlike Sea Pines and Palmetto Dunes, Forest Beach is not a gated community. It is a welcoming beach community offering miles of sandy beaches and fun for all ages.
Our Forest Beach accommodations are sure to please both you and your family on your Hilton Head Island vacation. All of our Forest Beach rental homes and villas are either on the ocean or a short walk to it. Our vacation rentals feature high-speed internet access, and all of our rental homes include private pools for your enjoyment. Our Forest Beach rentals range from four to seven bedrooms. Spend your family vacation in a private rental property, instead of trying to cram into multiple hotel rooms. Come experience Forest Beach, Hilton Head, we would love to have you as guests!
Forest Beach Activities
A vacation at Forest Beach is sure to entertain the whole family. Its location on Hilton Head Island means that it is close to many things to do in Hilton Head. Forest Beach specifically is a center of activity on the Island. Coligny Plaza offers shopping, dining, and service experiences you will find nowhere else on Hilton Head Island. It takes its name from Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, a French Admiral who sponsored two Huguenot expeditions to the New World in 1500. The first of these expeditions explored Hilton Head Island and the surrounding areas. For over 40 years, it has been the shopping center of the Island.
The plaza surrounds a duck pond, where visitors can view wildlife indigenous to the Island. It features over 50 specialty shops and restaurants that provide unique products, services, and experiences. Summer nights feature free live entertainment, ranging from concerts to magic shows. A main feature of Coligny Plaza is the Coligny Theater. Originally named The Island Theater, it opened in 1972 and was for many years the only theater on the Island. Eventually, as more people turned to home entertainment devices and business for theatres everywhere declined- especially single screen theaters like Coligny- the theater closed its doors in 1997. In 2001, the owners of Coligny Plaza decided that Forest Beach was in need of a theater, and renovated and reopened it as the Coligny Theatre.
They put its focus on art films, showing features from independent producers and targeting an upscale adult audience. The theatre also features a free family movie every Saturday morning at 11 AM. Coligny Plaza’s location makes for a great shopping experience and advertises itself as being exactly 73 steps from the beach. The Wacky Bear Factory lets kids of all ages (adults too) create their own customized plush animal. Numerous clothes and accessory stores can keep you up to date on all the latest fashions.
The plaza also has much to offer in the way of human cuisine. It features many eateries, some unique and some familiar. The Island Fudge shop has many delicious chocolate treats for you and your family. Rita’s Italian Ice offers the same exquisite treats that the brand name has come to be associated with. Coligny Circle and Pope Avenue also feature boutiques, restaurants, and factory outlets from excellent establishments such as New York City Pizza.
The beaches in Forest Beach are considered to be some of the best beaches on Hilton Head Island. The Town of Hilton Head and the community association of Forest Beach maintain many public beaches along Hilton Head Island. One of these is Coligny Beach Park, in South Forest Beach. Parking is free, and here you can rent everything you need to make your beach-going experience great- beach chair rentals, umbrella rentals, and much more.
For the tennis enthusiast, the Van De Meer Tennis Center offers lessons, workshops, and summer camps designed to hone your tennis skills. Van De Meer offers boarding tennis camps for youths aged 12-18, and daily classes for all others. For golf lovers, Hilton Head Island’s many golf courses are only a short drive away from Forest Beach.
Outside Hilton Head, a company that provides outdoor adventures is also a short drive away. This company offers kayak tours, boating excursions, kid’s activities, and more to help visitors appreciate the natural beauty of Hilton Head Island. Hilton Head Island features over 45 miles of publicly available nature and bike trails. Bike rentals are readily available on the Island, and we recommend Peddling Pelican.
- North Forest Beach is nicknamed “the bird streets”, due to the fact that the streets in North Forest Beach are named for different kinds of birds
- Forest Beach was split in two when Charles Fraser left the Hilton Head Company in 1956