It used to be, Hilton Head Island “slept” during the winter months. Few visitors took advantage of the still-temperate months of December, January, February and March., leaving the island quiet and even more peaceful than other times of the year. Stores and restaurants would shutter their doors for six weeks at a time; it was the owners’ turn to take a vacation. Today, more and more visitors have discovered the joy of Hilton Head in the winter months.
Despite the relative temperance of the Lowcountry’s climate, we still enjoy four distinct seasons…unlike the northern climates, however, our extremes are not severe. Each of the Island’s seasons brings its own distinguished personality into play, giving visitors an ever-changing potpourri of activities from which to choose and new things to admire.
Spring, for example, is a riot of color on Hilton Head: beautiful pink, white and coral azaleas burst their blooms right in synch with the more delicate dogwoods. Temperatures warm enough to give perky daffodils and tender tulips their vivid hues; they beckon islanders and visitors alike back outdoors and activity explodes as vibrant as the colors of the blossoms. The thump of golf and tennis balls become a regular sound again.
The Memorial Day weekend heralds the unofficial opening of the summer season with its bright, hot days and relieving evening breezes. While golf, tennis and beach going are the main attractions for island activities, many take advantage of the abundant account of water sporting activities including: kayaking, canoeing, dolphin watching, deep sea fishing, taking jet skis out for a spin as well as a relaxing cruise on your very own private catamaran tour. Hilton Head truly offers a wide variety of exciting activities for both the young and old.
Fall, of course, brings with it cooler temperatures. It’s then that visitor profiles include fewer families, but more couples and convention visitors. Indeed, these are the folks who often get the island’s best season, for the hot days of summer have gone and warm sunny days and cool nights have returned permitting fall’s colors to paint a colorful backdrop for the lush greens which also still permeate island foliage.
And then, there’s winter….and yes, there is a winter on Hilton Head Island. December, January and February tend to be our coldest months, and though seldom brutal, we do get short bursts of cold weather. This is the time of the year when there are the fewest visitors on the island. But, this time of year has grown to be more popular for the part time retiree who comes down from the frigid upper North to spend 3 to 4 months relaxing in our very moderate winter temperatures.
Great weather is just one of the reasons many people decide to make Hilton Head Island their home….and they are never disappointed.
Month Avg Day Temp Avg Night Temp Avg Ocean Temp Avg Rain Inches
January 60 39 53 3.9
February 63 42 59 3.3
March 69 49 60 3.8
April 76 55 67 2.9
May 82 63 75 3.5
June 86 70 82 5.1
July 89 73 84 6.8
August 89 72 84 7.2
September 84 67 80 5.5
October 77 58 74 3.8
November 69 49 63 2.3
December 62 41 54 2.9
Average 76 57 70 4.3
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Climate Center Asheville NC