Hilton Head Island has consistently been ranked as a top vacation destination, but it’s also a great place to live year-round. So what makes the foot-shaped barrier island off the coast of South Carolina so special?
Here are 10 reasons why you should buy a home on Hilton Head:
We’ve all heard the term “snowbirds” and it’s true: Hilton Head Island is a great place to move if you’re fed up with winter. While our island has seen some flurries, it’s very rare for temperatures to fall below freezing. And when they do, the cold is usually very short-lived. Even in January, the average high temperature is 60 degrees, according to U.S. Climate Data. And in the summer?
While Hilton Head can get hot and humid, it’s not known to be as scorch in’ hot as some other places in the South. And, of course, there’s usually a nice island breeze rolling in off the Atlantic Ocean!
This is probably the most obvious reason tourists and locals alike love Hilton Head Island so much. All of Hilton Head’s beaches are free and open to the public. Most of our beaches charge nominal parking fees, but none of the 12 miles of pristine shoreline on Hilton Head are technically private.
If you are interested in living near the ocean, some of the gated communities and resorts have private beach access areas. However, anyone can still use the beach area itself as long as they walk or bike from a public access point – making it possible to take really long walks or bike rides on the beach. In heavy traffic areas of Hilton Head’s beaches, lifeguards are available, making playing in the water safer. The beaches themselves have beautiful white sand, and our community works hard to protect the dunes and the wildlife.
The Lowcountry’s picturesque marshes, beaches and estuaries are home to an array of wildlife you won’t see anywhere else. On the beach, you can find sand dollars, starfish, crabs, dolphins, sharks, stingrays – even manatees in the summer. A wide variety of birds visit the island at different times of the year, such as the rare roseate spoonbill, egrets and blue herons. The wetlands and marshes attract a menagerie of birds, turtles and, of course, alligators.
The island and its communities work very hard together to protect and preserve all of the wildlife and their habitats. Sea turtle nesting is taken very seriously around our beaches, thanks to the efforts of the Coastal Discovery Museum. You’ll notice many rules posted at public access points describing the rules in place to protect the turtles, including filling in holes and using red flashlights during nesting season. Similarly, there are bans on removing any live creatures from the beaches, including sand dollars, crabs and of course, turtles. All in all, the island is simply a nature lover’s paradise!
The golf courses
Hilton Head Island is known for being one of the world’s top golf destinations. The island has 24 championship golf courses, many of which are designed by world-renowned golf architects like Robert Trent Jones Sr., Pete Dye, and Jack Nicklaus. The island has also been a PGA Tour stop since 1969 with the annual RBC Heritage held at Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines Resort.
Hilton Head has made a name for itself in the foodie culture with around 250 restaurants. If you like seafood, you’ll love it here. There’s so much fresh, locally-caught seafood available: shrimp, oysters, crab, fish, etc. The iconic places never disappoint – including The Crazy Crab, Fishcamp at Broadcreek, Old Oyster Factory, Hudson’s Seafood on the Docks and Skull Creek Boathouse.
The Lowcountry also has its own special cuisine that dates back to Hilton Head’s native islanders with deeply rooted Gullah traditions and recipes that include shrimp and grits, She Crab soup and the Lowcountry boil. There are also several weekly farmers markets in the area, where you can get fresh produce, seafood, baked goods and more.
Everything you need can be found on Hilton Head. The island has your normal grocery stores: Wal-Mart, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Kroger, Fresh Market and Piggly Wiggly. Plus, Target and Publix are both right across the bridge in Bluffton.
As for the rest of the shopping? There’s a great mix of chain stores like Belk, Barnes and Noble, and Lululemon, as well as boutiques, novelty stores, outdoor equipment and more that dot Shelter Cove Town Center the Coligny Plaza Shopping Center and Main Street Village — from clothing to home goods and everything in between, there’s not much you need