Hilton Head Island enjoys nice weather year-round and there really isn’t a bad time to visit the area. Locals divide the seasons into two distinct categories – low season and high season. These seasons are distinguished by the visitor traffic however and should not influence your decision to visit at any specific time of year.
December, January, February
This is peak low season and that means you can easily get scheduled for the top golf courses in the area. It also means you have easy access to everything ranging from great restaurants and boat rentals without much in the way of competition. Many folks intentionally visit during the low season for this very reason.
The temperature is actually quite pleasant with most days hitting the low 60’s. The humidity is lower than the hot months and the average precipitation is low as well. Really, the weather is pleasant when compared to any of the northern states.
These months also produce some seasonal seafood that is fantastic. In most years, February and March are big seafood producers and you will even find a Seafood Festival, Wine and Food Festival and a Gullah Celebration. All of these events focus heavily on the fresh seafood with bottomless oysters and rich local dishes.
The winter months don’t just turn out seafood. These months are very productive for sport fishing and chasing redfish, flounder and trout is a popular game. The backwaters are especially productive and luckily, they are often a bit sheltered from the wind. You can have some pleasant days on the water for fishing or just cruising around to enjoy the epic winter sunsets.
March, April, May
The temperature starts rising during these months but not in a bad way. March sees days in the low 70’s and April feels a slight increase to the high 70’s. You will still find fresh seafood in abundance form the March harvests and the weather is really mild and nice at these temperatures. April and May also have relatively low precipitation so don’t expect too much rain. May is a great month for a little warmer weather without jumping too high. It’s nice in the mid 80’s without being scorching hot, making it a favorite fair weather time to visit and spend time outdoors.
The nice thing about these months is the relatively low traffic combined with warmer weather. Many of the major golf tournaments are also held during April and May. If you want to watch the professional golfers in action, pay attention to the calendar and plan accordingly.
June, July, August
These are prime summer months and Hilton Head is bustling with energy and excitement. The weather turns up a bit, making the best time for visiting the beaches. Expect highs in the high 80’s and low 90’s and the occasional rain shower to keep everything pleasant and not too hot.
Summer is a favorite for a reason and the coastline is waiting to be explored on yachts and sunset cruises. The evenings are often just perfect and the days are sunny and made to match the idealistic golf courses scattered across the islands. Although the summer months have the highest precipitation levels, rain showers are often quick and refreshing.
Summer is also the best time to visit for live events like concerts and festivals. The summer crowds bring a ton of energy to the area, making it a really fun time to enjoy the resort culture.
September, October, November
September through November experiences a slow step down in temperature but it never gets really cold. September is actually a great time for swimming as the water temperatures haven’t dropped yet. The days are warm enough for short sleeves and the crowds begin slowing down. September still has days in the 80’s while October and November drop to the 70’s.
Much like the spring months, the fall is pretty ideal for golfing and exploring without the summer high season traffic. Think about sitting on an empty beach with weather in the 80’s and you can quickly gather the advantages of visiting during the fall.
The only thing to note here is that fall is hurricane season on Hilton Head. That really isn’t a big deal because hurricanes rarely hit the island with any force. You might catch some rain from a storm so carry a raincoat and an umbrella. Otherwise, this is the perfect time of year if you want warm weather without the crowds.