View of Oak Trees and Kiawah Marsh

Heron park nature center

Kiawah Island is home to a unique ecosystem with many types of marine life dependent on each other for survival. To help conserve this extraordinary natural structure, Kiawah Island has established the Heron Park Nature Center, which focuses on preserving and educating people about the landscape. While visiting the island, you should check out the center to learn more about the area’s wildlife, participate in programs, or use the center’s swimming pool!

While researching more about the Kiawah Island area, you should request access to our complimentary Destination Guide to help cut your planning time in half. When you use this practical planner, you’ll receive insider tips about the best places to visit, like Heron Park Nature Center, and top places to eat. Get your copy today!

Nature Programs 

At the center of Kiawah Island, the Heron Park Nature Center is located within the Night Heron Park. The center opens daily at 8:30 a.m. and remains open until 5 p.m. Throughout the day, you can choose to attend classes on everything from Birding for Beginners to Yoga on the Beach! Check the center’s event schedule to find out which classes are being offered during your visit. Nature programs and wellness initiatives hosted at the Heron Park Nature Center are organized by knowledgeable and friendly on-site staff and guides who are excited to share their insight with the public. Opportunities to enjoy Kiawah Island’s natural beauty and an amazing array of wildlife alongside an expert who can point out details you might otherwise miss along the way is an experience you won’t want to miss the next time you’re here. 


One of the best ways to explore the island is through its many waterways. From the Heron Park Nature Center, you can book several types of guided tours, including kayak and canoeing excursions through the Marsh Creek or Kiawah River. Along the way, you’ll have up-close encounters with the island’s wildlife—herons wandering the banks searching for small fish and dolphins may even pop up from the water as you glide past. In addition to exciting marsh and ocean kayaking and paddleboarding outings you can enjoy at the Heron Park Nature Center, there are opportunities to take part in sunset cruises or eco-tours with a focus on dolphin spotting while you’re visiting the center. Additional options for boosting your itinerary while you’re here including shelling expeditions alongside on-site staff or alligator adventures for those who are excited to pair their wildlife observation with thrills. If you prefer to slow things down, a guided beach walk is always a treat while birding alongside an expert guide can give you unique insight into the many species of feathered creatures that call this lush area home. For visitors to the Heron Park Nature Center who love casting a line, options to book a deep sea or fly-fishing charter are not to be overlooked.  

Add Biking to Your To-Do List at the Heron Park Nature Center 

While exploring the Heron Park Nature Center by kayak, paddleboard, or on foot is always something to look forward to, those who prefer their scenic sightseeing on two wheels will find this is a prime place to hop on a bike and explore at their own preferred pace. The Heron Park Nature Center hosts miles of biking and pedestrian paths to explore when you visit and no matter what route you choose, you’re in for a breathtaking view. Visitors are more than welcome to bring their own bikes to make the most of the fun but there are a variety of bike rental companies in the area that make booking your gear for the day just as simple. Consider looking into the options available at places like Island Bike and Surf, Seacoast Outfitters, Seaside Cycles, Alligator Bikes, or Night Heron Park to make your adventures that much more convenient.  


One of the Heron Park Nature Center’s biggest events of the year is the 4th of July celebration! Encompassing an open field with plenty of space, the center sets off an extravagant display of fireworks each Independence Day. Be sure to regularly check the event schedule as the center often hosts outdoor concerts and other events year-round. 

Fun Options When You Arrive with Kids 

If you’re heading this way with the little ones in tow and you’re looking for an experience that’s equal parts engaging and educational, Kamp Kiawah for Kids is a must! This inviting day camp on Kiawah Island is ideal for participants ranging in age from 3 to 11. Camp themes are always unique and change up depending on the season and week you sign up. To that end, you’ll want to be sure you sign up your little ones in advance of your arrival as these day camp experiences tend to fill up quickly with good reason. Kids who participate can enjoy everything from nature-related activities that foster an appreciation for the great outdoors to sports, arts, crafts, and games that are suitable for all ages.  

Enjoy a Taste of Island Living at Andell Inn

When you stay at the Andell Inn, you’ll have easy access to favorite Kiawah Island locations like the Heron Park Nature Center and Beachwalker Park. Set within Freshfields Village, the inn provides top-notch accommodations including a gorgeous saltwater pool, talented bartenders at the Porch Bar, and a guest laundry facility. Walk to any of the village’s spas, shops, and restaurants in minutes or take the short drive past the gates to Kiawah Island.

Our luxurious Presidential Suite is the perfect room to book if you plan to celebrate a special occasion during your stay. Featuring a large living and working area, this room provides all the additional space you need. The fully equipped kitchen has bar seating for three and includes a refrigerator, conventional stove top, dishwasher, microwave, and oven.

Presidential Kitchen

Browse our complete catalog of available rooms and suites and start planning your island getaway today! We can’t wait to help make your stay unforgettable.