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14 Nov 2019
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When it comes to popular vacation spots in the Southeast, Hilton Head Island and the Outer Banks are at the top of the list. Both of these destinations are ideal for families and boast beautiful weather, sandy beaches, and countless activities and attractions. So, you may be wondering: What is the difference between Hilton Head vs the Outer Banks? Keep reading to find out! Then, use our Digital Concierge to cut your vacation planning time in half. Simply submit your preferred criteria, and we will notify you of which Hilton Head rentals match your travel dates and budget.

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Hilton Head vs Outer Banks

Let’s start with the basics. The Outer Banks is a 200-mile string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. About 500 miles south is Hilton Head, a small island off of the South Carolina Coast. In general, OBX is much more developed than HHI; Hilton Head has strict building ordinances that preserve the island’s beautiful, natural habitat. Additionally, Hilton Head is known for its welcoming locals, golf courses, and family-friendly beaches. Let’s dig into that a bit more.


Unlike OBX, Hilton Head Island has beaches with nice, calm waters that are protected by lifeguards. This means that your kids can swim and play without a care in the world! Plus, every community on HHI offers convenient beach access. Use our beach guide to find the perfect stretch of shoreline for you. Or, book an oceanfront home with a private boardwalk for the ultimate beach experience!

Activities & Attractions

We mentioned that Hilton Head Island is less commercial than OBX, and that’s a huge plus for your family vacation! This is the perfect opportunity to get outside, take family bike rides, and admire the local wildlife. Other popular activities include:

Looking for more things to do on Hilton Head? Check out our 7-day itinerary! It includes our top recommendations for places to shop, dine, explore, and more.

Annual Events

Just because Hilton Head is quieter than OBX doesn’t mean it’s any less fun! There are countless island events to enjoy throughout the year. Whether you want to visit a farmers market in the summertime or view Christmas lights during the offseason, you'll get to experience the island's unparalleled charm. Some of our favorite local events include:

Plan the Vacation That’s Right for You!

When considering Hilton Head vs Outer Banks, Beach Properties has a bit of a bias! Our luxury vacation rentals provide the ideal getaway on Hilton Head. Choose from one to seven-bedroom homes, villas, or condos right near the beach. Each property is privately owned and unique in its own way. No matter where you choose to stay, we promise that you and your family will leave the island with lasting memories! Check our availability and book your perfect vacation on Hilton Head today! We look forward to hosting you.

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