The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is one of the best places you have probably never seen. Located within Sea Pines, you can easily get there by following 278 south (turn left out of Palmetto Dumes) straight through the round-about. The fee for a day pass for a car is $8 which will allow you to explore the nature preserve as well as Harbour Town (with the lighthouse and restaurants) and the Salty Dog complex.
A little difficult to find, the easiest way to get there is to take a brand new access road they made right after the community garden. The main road jogs to the left and you will see a (possibly unmarked) road on your left-hand side. Take the road for maybe 1/10th of a mile and the preserve will be a dirt road (with a sign) on your left. NOTE: A water treatment plant is right at the entrance to the park, so it is usually a good idea to roll up windows and turn off the air for the first several hundred yards of the dirt road).
The first thing you will find on your right is a large pond, and the picnic pavilion located at the pond is a great place to start your exploration. Don’t just drive the roads – get out and walk some of the trails, especially the trail to the Rice Field Boardwalk. The walk from the pavilion to the end of the Rice Field Boardwalk is about 0.75 miles and will give you a good look at what Hilton Head must have looked like before the development.
Expect to see alligators, birds (even Osprey and possibly eagles), and lots of native plants.