Mild weather year-round makes Hilton Head a popular vacation-home destination for snowbirds and summer vacationers alike. But it’s the latter that constitute the longest, busiest influx of visitors, ramping up around Memorial Day and subsiding when the kids go back to school in late August/early September. During these summer months, the water is warm and the weather is hot and sunny, with temps pushing 90 degrees.
Though winter isn’t ideal for beach lounging (temps dip into the 60s in early January), it is a great time to get on top of the water to explore the surrounding islands, marshes, and wildlife preserves by kayak. Not surprisingly, holidays like Christmas and spring break see a big increase in visitors (and hotel rates).
In spring, occasional storms keep the golfers at bay, making it a good time for golf-neutral travelers to find deals and beat the crowds. One exception is April, when the annual The Heritage PGA golf tournament brings the best in the world to Hilton Head, along with a few thousand fans. In February, the island delves into a monthlong celebration of Gullah, the historic African-American culture borne of freed West African slaves unique to the Carolina and Georgia Low Country.
Fall means a variety of seafood festivals. Those looking for oysters can hit the week-long Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival in mid-October or the Hilton Head Oyster Festival the weekend before Thanksgiving.