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