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Why Spring is the best time to visit Hilton Head Island

red azalea bush

You might think that summer is the best time to vacation on Hilton Head Island – but we actually prefer spring.


The weather is gorgeous

Summers in the Lowcountry can be HOT; highs in the 90s are not uncommon. Some people love the heat – especially with the island breeze. But if you’re not a fan of high temperatures, spring is the perfect time for you to visit Hilton Head’s beautiful beaches.

In March and April, you can expect sunny skies and high temperatures in the 70s – occasionally reaching the mid-80s. The average high temperature for May is 82 degrees. And while “April showers bring May flowers,” spring is NOT the rainy season for Hilton Head. On average, it doesn’t rain more than once or twice per week in April on the island.

Another great thing about spring weather? The humidity stays relatively low. So while you have the heat and sunny skies, you don’t necessarily have the sticky heat of the hot summer days.

The beaches are less crowded

While spring may see a few peak weeks – such as when area schools are in Spring Break – beaches are generally much less crowded in the spring than in the summer months.

Coligny Beach might still have small crowds, but many of the other public beach access points on the island can be nearly empty in the spring. It’s a great time to go for long, quiet walks on the beach, to spend the day reading on the beach or to grab a seat at your favorite island beach bar.

Dogs are allowed on the beach

During the summer’s peak tourist season, dogs are NOT permitted on the beach – unless it’s early in the morning or after 5 p.m. Learn more here.

In the spring, dogs are allowed ANY time of day; they just must be leashed between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. In the mornings and evenings you can let your pups run freely – as long as they’re under positive voice control.

Traffic is light

Another perk of less crowds? Traffic is much lighter, and parking is easier to find.

Less crowds also mean: Less people in the grocery stores, in restaurants, renting bikes and kayaks, etc. The island is your oyster!

Wildlife is active

Hilton Head Island sees a large variety of migratory shorebirds in the spring. It’s also nesting season for many of the island’s bird species – including Great Blue Herons and Egrets.

For many other animals, spring is the mating season. That means alligators are more active, horseshoe crabs line the beaches near the full moon, and you have a chance of seeing all the baby animals.
Sea turtle nesting season also kicks off in March, so you might even get to see a loggerhead sea turtle up close!

(Just remember: Do not disturb a turtle or its nest. And fill in holes and knock down sandcastles before you leave the beach so that the turtles don’t get stuck! If visiting the beach after dark, grab a red flashlight since any other light can confuse hatchlings, which follow the moonlight to the ocean.)

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