The small-scale and comparative lack of traffic in most of the Lowcountry  are its more charming aspects. Don’t let that fool you into thinking you can knock everything out in a day, though. That would defeat the purpose, which is not only to see the sights but to fully enjoy its laidback, slow, and leisurely pace.
The common-sense game plan is to use the centrally located Beaufort  as a home base. Not only is it easy to get from there to anywhere else in the area, but there’s also a preponderance of affordable and charming lodging .
Take at least a half-day of leisure to walk all over Beaufort. There’s no need to hurry; just do what the locals do and take everything in its own time. Another full day should go to St. Helena’s Penn Center  and on to Hunting Island .
If you’re in the mood for a road trip, dedicate a full day to tour the surrounding area to the north and northeast, with perhaps a jaunt to the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge , and a stop at the Old Sheldon Church Ruins  in the late afternoon on your way back to Beaufort. If you have extra time, split it between Port Royal  and a tour of the historic and military sites of interest on Parris Island .
While the New York accents fly fast and furious on Hilton Head Island , that’s no reason for you to rush. Certainly a casual visitor can do Hilton Head in a day but its natural attractions beg for a more considered sort of enjoyment. Plan on at least a half-day just to enjoy the fine, broad beaches  alone. I recommend another half-day to tour the island itself, maybe including a stop at Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte  in Sea Pines for a late lunch or dinner.
While most of the marketing materials make scant mention of it, nature-lovers shouldn’t miss the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge , gorgeous enough to be a must-see, but small and convenient enough to fully enjoy in a few hours.