Kayakers will enjoy Hilton Head Island , which offers several gorgeous routes, including Calibogue Sound to the south and west and Port Royal Sound to the north. For particularly good views of life on the salt marsh, try Broad Creek, which nearly bisects Hilton Head Island, and Skull Creek, which separates Hilton Head from the natural beauty of Pinckney Island .
Broad Creek Marina is a good place to put in. There are also two public landings, Haigh Landing and Buckingham Landing, on Mackays Creek at the entrance to the island, one on either side of the bridge.
If you want a guided tour, there are plenty of great kayak tour outfits to choose from in the area. Chief among them is certainly Outside Hilton Head (32 Shelter Cove Ln., 800/686-6996, www.outsidehiltonhead.com ). They offer a wide range of guided trips, including “The Outback,” in which you’re first boated to a private island and then taken on a tour of tidal creeks, and five- or seven-hour “Ultimate Lowcountry Day” trips to Daufuskie , Bluffton , or Bull Creek.
Other good places to book a tour or just rent a kayak are Water-Dog Outfitters (Broad Creek Marina, 843/686-3554) and Kayak Hilton Head (Broad Creek Marina, 843/684-1910). Cool Breeze Kayaking (Broad Creek Landing, 843/683-4040) offers two-hour dolphin kayak tours.
Leaving out of the Harbour Town Yacht Basin is H2O Sports (843/671-4386, www.h2osportsonline.com ), which offers 90-minute guided kayak tours ($30) and rents kayaks for about $20 per hour.
Within Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort  is Palmetto Dunes Outfitters (843/785-2449, www.pdoutfitters.com , daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m.), which rents kayaks and canoes and offers lessons on the resort’s 11-mile lagoon.