Do you want to see us make a whole island disappear before your very eyes? Okay, okay, so it’s actually nature that controls this “Vanishing Island.” But just think about going home and telling your friends that you witnessed a completely disappearing island! You’ll probably get some interesting looks, so here’s the info you’ll need to explain to them what you actually saw.

What is the Vanishing (or Disappearing) Island?

Past the Broad Creek salt marshes and Calibogue Sound, you’ll find—if you’re lucky—the Vanishing Island of Hilton Head. As you can imagine, this “island” (which is actually just a large sand bar) is only visible during low tide.

How Can You See the Vanishing Island?

Only by chartered tour. Island Explorer offers 3-hour tours for $65 pp or $55 per child. Once you leave the boat, be prepared to comb the island (while slightly below sea level) for sand dollars, starfish, and other interesting sea life and shells you might not find on the shores of the main island. When you’re not exploring the island, this boat tour is a terrific means of getting up close with dolphins and viewing other wildlife and scenery.

Some Things to Know Before You Go

The tour will involve getting on and off the boat by climbing over the side or using a ladder, which may be difficult for anyone with physical limitations. Those with severe disabilities, poor mobility, or serious medical conditions may be excluded from participating.


Now you know that the attraction of the Vanishing Island isn’t necessarily the island itself, but the wildlife and shells that surround it. But the same excitement is there, and it makes for a fun story and a great way to spend an afternoon in Hilton Head.