31 Mar 2022
Whether you are looking to retire or want a new start, Hilton Head Island is a great place to live! From the 12 miles of Atlantic beachfront to the year-round subtropical weather, it is pretty hard to beat living on Hilton Head. Despite all its positives living in the Lowcountry is not perfect for everyone. We break down why you should or should not try living on Hilton Head Island.
Have you ever been to Hilton Head Island before and need a list of the finest restaurants, most relaxing beaches, and exciting new things to do? Request and read our complimentary Destination Guide to learn more about our home area!
5 Things to Consider Before Moving to Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island’s Climate and Population Growth
Our community has steadily grown over the past 15 years as more and more tourists become locals. The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort Metropolitan area has gained 32,111 inhabitants from 2010 to 2020. Still, most of that growth was found outside of the town of Hilton Head Island itself. The island only has 39,000 permanent residents, but that grows to 150,000+ during peak tourist season.
The area’s growth can be attributed to the humid subtropical climate, rich history and cultural opportunities, and steady economic development. Eco-friendly, the town of Hilton Head’s Natural Resources Division works to preserve the natural beauty of the Sea Island.
For Consideration: The island will see 2.5 million visitors each year, and the temporary population swells to 150,000 during the peak of summer.
Hilton Head Island’s Attractions and Beaches
The number of attractions and things on Hilton Head is borderline endless. The 12 miles of Atlantic Ocean beachfront is home to private and public access beaches. One of these private gated communities (Sea Pines) is also home to a 600-acre forest preserve, golf courses, and the 4,000-year-old Sea Pines Shell Ring.
Activities on and around the island include:
- Watersports (boating, fishing, and jet-skiing)
- Horseback riding
- Hiking, Biking, and Birdwatching
Some of our favorite public beaches, like Coligny Beach Park at Forest Beach, are family-friendly, have free public parking, and are within walking distance to boutique shopping and tasty restaurants. Do not limit your search for entertainment to the sandy shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The island has a robust lagoon system filled with adventure and good fishing. The island is home to birdwatching, hiking, biking, and more activities in the forest and state parks of Hilton Head.
For Consideration: The island is home to beaches, lagoons, trails, shopping centers, and more for all of your entertainment needs. It is hard to get bored on Hilton Head Island, even during the offseason.
Hilton Head Island’s Day Trips and Excursions
The island’s location makes it an excellent stop for a South Carolina road trip. Two and a half hours from historic Charleston, SC, 45 minutes to Savannah, GA, and a quick ferry trip to Daufuskie Island, there are many great trips under 3 hours away.
If you enjoy horses, beaches, and no traffic, take the ferry across the harbor to idyllic Daufuskie Island. Home to a permanent population of under 1,000, the island offers the only place where you can ride horseback on the beach. The primary mode of transportation is a golf cart.
Other fantastic day trips include Edisto, Tybee, and Kiawah Island.
For Consideration: There are plenty of great options for day trips and excursions within a three-hour drive of Hilton Head Island.
Hilton Head Island’s Schools, Grocery Stores, and Restaurants
Despite being a vacation destination, Hilton Head boasts an excellent public and private school system, earning an A from Niche.com. When your kids are ready to go to college, there are quality regional options such as the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), College of Charleston, The Citadel, and the University of South Carolina Beaufort-Bluffton.
Hilton Head is served by great grocery stores such as The Fresh Market, Kroger, Whole Foods, and an assortment of local specialty stores and delis. One of the backbones of Hilton Head’s rich cultural heritage is its food culture. Home to several food festivals and over 250 restaurants, the diversity and depth of flavorful foods is a delight to the senses.
For Consideration: Hilton Head has a wide variety of options for schools, eating out, and finding groceries.
Hilton Head Island’s Golfing
Yes, golfing is that big of a deal that it deserves its own category. Home to 24 championship golf courses (40 in total), Hilton Head takes its golfing seriously. You can tee off on majestic greens with oceanfront views or watch from the gallery during the annual PGA Tour stop (RBC Heritage).
Some communities are built around golf courses or offer exclusive access to private courses. If you prefer or enjoy mini-golf, there are courses on the island to cater to everyone in the family unit.
For Consideration: Whether you are a casual or die-hard golfer, Hilton Head Island offers a wide diversity of courses designed by the very best golf architects in the world.
Staying on Hilton Head Island With Beach Properties
You found the perfect neighborhood to move into, but now you need to go house hunting in person. Why not make it a vacation and stay with Beach Properties? With homes, villas, and condos all over the island, Beach Properties can turn your house hunting trip into a marvelous memory you can look back on.