harbor town hilton head

Hilton Head, South Carolina is filled with Insta-worthy sights. (Photo: Getty Images)

Insta-Inspired Travel

Snap the Best of Savannah and Hilton Head on a Photo Tour

Go slow and low. Hilton Head, in South Carolina’s low country, and Savannah, the gem of Georgia, are the perfect places to relax and explore.

It’s hard to find a more picturesque city in America than Savannah, draped as it is in Spanish moss and checkered with 22 town squares dating to the town’s colonial era. Hilton Head has vast beaches and an easygoing, outdoorsy vibe.

Here’s where to get the most enviable, Instagram-friendly photos in both these gorgeous Southern destinations.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.


Harbour Town Lighthouse

Your photo tour of this 12-mile-long island starts at the Harbour Town Lighthouse, a 15-minute car ride away from the SpringHill Suites Hilton Head Island.

This beloved local landmark has an eye-catching red and white exterior; inside, there’s a museum that tells the story of the area and the lighthouse’s history as you climb up. It also has a gift shop ideal for scouting coastal-themed mementoes.

Instagram tip: With an iconic but often-photographed location like this lighthouse, you have to work a little harder to find an interesting angle, such as putting something else in the foreground. Use the Adjust tool in Instagram if you need to straighten the lighthouse up a bit for the resulting photo.

Coligny Beach Park

coligny beach
Capture the depth of Coligny Beach Park on Hilton Head Island. (Photo: Getty Images)

Rocking chairs, walking paths, porch swings and an access-friendly mobility mat leading to the beach make Coligny Beach Park the nicest — and most popular — beach area on Hilton Head.

Instagram tip: Photograph the park’s sculptures, like Sandy Roads (To the Beach) by local artist Mark Larkin. Try the C1 filter from the Vibrant Classic series of presets by VSCO.

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

Stroll the boardwalks through wetlands at the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. This is super-easy hiking, with fantastic marshes, forests and wildlife all right there to drink in visually. Lawton Stables offers trail rides through the forest if you’d rather adventure via horseback. Traveling with kids? Don’t miss the stable’s utterly charming animal farm.

Instagram tip: The fun signage of the forest preserve — think “Vanishing Swamp” and “Boggy Gut Trail” — makes for amusing Instagram posts. Use the Subtle filter by Instagram and play with the “Lush” option.


Wormsloe State Historic Site

wormsloe tree arch
The tree arch at Wormsloe State Historic Site is super photo friendly. (Photo: Getty Images)

Your first photo op is Wormsloe, an easy 20-minute drive from SpringHill Suites Savannah Downtown/Historic District. The expansive Wormsloe was once a colonial estate, and the entrance is a showstopper: a graceful, broad avenue lined with live oaks.

Peruse the tabby ruin of the home, which is the oldest standing structure in Georgia. While you’re there, try your hand with a musket alongside one of the historical interpreters in period garb.

Instagram tip: To get this quintessential Savannah shot, use the Crema filter to make the most of the ambient morning or late-afternoon light on the sun-dappled arch of trees.

SCAD Museum

Downtown, the Savannah College of Art and Design’s SCAD Museum of Art is always hopping. It features exhibits from internationally known contemporary artists, the permanent Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art, and a killer costume collection, all housed in an 1853 brick structure that was once a rail depot.

Instagram Tip: Photography for personal use is allowed, but save the Instagram Live broadcast for another location — no live video streams here, please. For an artsy look, try the Instagram filter Coconut Crème by Ana Casciello.

Tybee Island

tybee island pier
Catch Tybee Island’s pier at sunrise. (Photo: Getty Images)

Funky and quirky, Tybee Island beckons with wide beaches, mellow surf and great tacos, but on the way out, stop by Finches to pick up gourmet sandwiches and snap a selfie at the tropical mural by local artist Kipper Millsap. Next door, get lost for a while in YES Antiques & Thrift, which always has fun finds.

Instagram Tip: Have your travel buddy (or a passing stranger) stand back so that the camera can fully take in the scale of the mural as a backdrop. Then use the app “A Color Story” for Instagram grid preview and planning to see how the shot will look in your feed.

Cruise Tybee Beach on a rental bike, rent a kayak or climb the 178 steps up for a bird’s-eye view off the Tybee Island Lighthouse.

Instagram Tip: Use the summerCAM filter by @yulya.kors to make an Instagram Story, and shoot from the beach, up at the Tybee Pier & Pavilion.