Seafoodies, This Lowcountry Festival Was Made for You—and You Can Win Tickets

Seven days of delicious events draw Charlotteans to this Lowcountry culinary affair from February 18 to 24, 2019.



Imagine this: You're soaking up the South Carolina sunshine on a crisp February day. With your sunglasses on, you chat with friends new and old as you slurp down fresh oysters and chomp into a delicious lobster roll. Live music sets the scene, along with fishing vessels lining the docks on Hilton Head Island.

Yep, you're in "seafoodie" heaven, or, as it's known officially, the 12th annual Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival.


Taking place February 18-24, 2019, this year's Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival is bigger than ever and primed to deliver plenty of culinary delights for seafood lovers. Renowned chefs will be in attendance, with master culinary classes and other special events filling the calendar of this seven-day food fest on the picturesque Hilton Head Island. Start planning your getaway now, because tickets won't last long. (Head to Charlotte magazine's Instagram to win a pair of VIP tickets plus hotel accommodations for two nights!) 


Your 2019 Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival Itinerary

The headlining Seafood Fest will take place Saturday, February 23, but there are some additional events happening during this seven-day span, so make sure to plan your trip around the ones you're most interested in. You can't go wrong with any choice—just be sure to arrive with an empty stomach and a fun-loving spirit. See all the events listed here.


Lowcountry Seafood Experience on the Water — Monday, Feb. 18 through Friday, Feb. 22


On this exciting two-hour excursion, you can learn shrimping, oystering, clamming, and crabbing with a couple of the Lowcountry's foremost watermen, Captain Christopher and Matthew Shoemaker. After the work is done, guests will enjoy the fruits of their labor at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks. Availability is limited. Tickets are $69 per person, which include a complimentary soft beverage or draft beer at the restaurant. Call Captain Christopher at 843-304-2878 to reserve your spot.


Panel Discussion About the World of Food & Drink at The Beach House Resort — Wednesday, Feb. 20

hilton head island seafood festival

Enjoy a stunning seaside discussion with some of the culinary world’s most respected opinion-makers such as David Shields, Barton Seaver, Brian Hoffman, Garden & Gun magazine, the James Beard Foundation, and award-winning chefs and authors. From 2 to 4 p.m., you'll indulge in an afternoon full of dynamic discussion about the biggest trends in food. Advance tickets are $29.


Pitmaster 101 at Waddell Mariculture Center — Thursday, Feb. 21

hilton head island seafood festival

Learn to make the best barbecue from guest pitmaster Bryan Furman of B's Cracklin' BBQ as he prepares for the upcoming Pig Pickin' & Oyster Roast event. From 4:30 to 6 p.m., this is a limited, class-size event featuring top 'cue techniques plus a taste of what's to come. Tickets are $39 per person.


The James Beard Foundation's Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner at The Shorehouse — Thursday, Feb. 21


From 6 to 10 p.m. at the Omni Oceanfront Resort's Shorehouse, you'll experience the ultimate culinary tour de force led by award-winning James Beard chefs. This one-night-only, multi-course, line-to-table dinner with wine pairings brings a taste of what happens at the James Beard House in New York City to the Carolina island.

Your ticket includes a "Meet & Greet" Champagne Reception from 6 to 7 p.m. with the chefs and sommeliers joining the evening. This limited-seating event recommends you sport cocktail attire. Advance tickets are $185 per person.


Pig Pickin' & Oyster Roast at Waddell Mariculture Center — Friday, Feb. 22


This quintessentially Lowcountry, family-style food event will feature the Island’s best chefs, celebrity guest chefs, and pitmasters preparing local shrimp, whole hogs, whole chickens, chopped BBQ, and all the side-dish trimmings you could want. Wash it all down with brews, wines, and signature cocktails as you sway to the live music. Tickets are $79 each.


Seafood Festival at Historic Honey Horn Plantation — Saturday, Feb. 23


The all-day main event for this week of activities is family-friendly, featuring area restaurants and chefs serving up seafood specialties and other tasty cuisines. Additionally, there will be celebrity chef cooking and mixology demonstrations, kids activities, David M. Carmines Foundation Silent Auction, a beer garden, artisan market, and more. There will be live music by Deas-Guyz from noon to 4 p.m.

Children under 10 years of age receive free admission; all other attendees can get in on the fun for just $9 per person if you buy tickets by January 31 at 11:59 p.m. Tickets are then $10 per person (aged 10 and older) from February 1 through February 23 at 5 p.m.

For a special experience, treat yourself to a VIP ticket, but act fast, because this limited amount sells out quickly. Your 2019 VIP Lounge ticket will include access to the VIP Lounge area from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Publix, and complimentary beverages at the private bar including beer, wine, and spirits. VIP tickets are $89 per person. And, don't forget, you can win two VIP Lounge tickets with Charlotte magazine's Instagram contest starting January 10, 2019!


Official Seafood Fest After-Party at The Beach House Resort — Saturday, Feb 23

hilton head island seafood festival

Don't want the fun and fish to end? Head to the oceanfront, al fresco after-party from 6:30 to 8 p.m., where you'll enjoy signature cocktails and chef tastings under the stars and to the tune of live music. Advance tickets are $59 each.


Gullah Sunday Brunch at Hudson's Seafood on the Docks — Sunday, Feb. 24


Close out your tasty trip with this final event of the festival, which includes a bottomless Bloody Mary bar, music, champagne, and seafood specials at a picturesque waterfront restaurant. Tickets are available for three brunch time slots, all at $69 per person: 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m.


Where to Stay During the 2019 HHI Seafood Fest


The event organizers have made it simple for Charlotteans to make the trek to Hilton Head Island, offering some attractive hotel packages. Check out all the available lodging options here to make your stay the best it can be. Many of these packages include tickets to the festival events plus other yummy perks.


For more information about the festival events, hotel packages, tickets, or any other details, visit