Sometimes the most difficult decision of vacationing is deciding when.
With this helpful guide full of Hilton Head hints on what to expect, what to pack and where to go, the decision will get much simpler. Discover the best time of the year to take in the Lowcountry lifestyle—when you can save the most, when the loveliest weather peaks and where the best celebrations of the seasons can be found!
Arguably the best time of the year for locals, spring brings an atmosphere of sunshine and warmth that fills the Lowcountry. Flowers bloom, sunbathing begins and the RBC Heritage takes over the island mid-April! Beautiful weather beckons many to visit our beaches and, with less people around, the 12 miles of sandy shores that surround the Island are yours for the choosing. Take your time and enjoy the outdoors by starting up water sports again—go on a kayaking or sailboat adventure—or by lounging about under the big oak trees.
The energy returns back to the region as spring break hits and South Carolina’s only PGA golf tournament returns, with summer just around the corner. Take a leisurely vacation during the spring to get the best flair out of the Lowcountry without all the hustle and bustle of summer vacation traffic!
Temperatures: Highs in mid-60s to low 70s in March, highs in 70s in April and highs in low 80s in May
What to pack: Favorite pair of jeans, espadrilles and sandals, a light blouse
Events to catch: Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival, RBC Heritage
Visiting Hilton Head Island in the summer is the prime season for visitors as many seasonal activities reopen, all kinds of events pop up on the calendar, the water is finally warm enough to swim in and the sun sets a little later each day. Feel the summer excitement rush to the area as villas and hotels book up fast, the tans get a bit browner and the nights dazzle! When preparing for your trip, make sure to book your stay in advance and come ready for outdoor adventures. This time of the year boasts the best biking and, with over 50 miles of bike trails covering the Island, there’s always a path to explore.
Bring an umbrella or raincoat, as summer showers and thunderstorms tend to frequent the Island; luckily they’re usually quick and the sky is clear before you know it. Take in the summer heat with cool refreshers by pool, ocean or creek! Don’t forget about the humidity, as it tends to make it feel about 10 degrees warmer outside; be sure to drink a lot of water so you don’t get dehydrated. And remember that this Lowcountry land is the perfect place to make lasting memories.
Temperatures: Highs in mid to upper 80s in June, highs in upper 80s in July and highs in upper 90s in August
What to pack: Swimsuits, colorful sandals, beach cover-ups, light summer dresses for the ladies. Breathable shirts for the guys, as well as a rain jacket and umbrella
Events to catch: HarbourFest featuring Tuesday night fireworks at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, Summer Jams and Movies in the Park at Shelter Cove Community Park
The Lowcountry region has a lengthy summer. Southern Indian Summers linger and the heat extends well into late October. Post-Labor Day brings less crowds as the masses head back from summer vacation. This means great weather for beaches and much less people! With all kinds of fall festivals taking place each month, this is the best time of the year to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Being on the coast means our evergreen trees don’t change colors during the fall. You can still catch an amazing array of colors with fantastic fall sunsets. When preparing for your stay, make sure to be mindful of our Hurricane season. But don’t let it keep you away from this beautiful season of change.
Temperatures: Highs in mid to low 80s in September, highs in mid to upper 70s in October and highs in the mid 60s to low 70s in November
What to pack: Sundresses, wedges, swimsuits, linen pants
Events to catch: Italian Heritage Festival at the Coastal Discovery Museum, Burgers and Brew Fest, the Oyster Festival at Shelter Cove Community Park, the Hilton Head Motoring Festival and Historic Bluffton’s Seafood & Art Fest on Calhoun Street
Winters on Hilton Head take the longer route when visiting the coast and don’t stay for long. Expect the holiday season in the month of December to be a big mix. A balmy 70 degrees on a Monday turns into a windy 50 degrees on a Tuesday. Be prepared for a coastal Christmas. Hilton Head’s winter holidays have an average of 70 degrees. The Island isn’t a favorite of snowbirds for nothing! Christmas is festive and fun as the merriment can be found all around. As it is our slowest season on the Hilton Head, the best spots in town are yours for the picking! Just remember that a lot of the watersport companies, and even some restaurants, close for the season.
Temperatures: Highs in low 60s in December and upper 50s to low 60s in January. Highs in low to mid 60s in February
What to pack: Boots, red scarf, cashmere sweater, jeans, lightweight long sleeve shirts
Events to catch: Lights at Shelter Cove Towne Center, Harbour Town Lights in The Sea Pines Resort