Posted on 4/12/2022

Top 5 Tips for Summer Hilton Head Vacations

Looking forward to warm summer weather, sandy beaches, and just getting out of the house at this point? Us too! When the weather begins to warm up and summer days are ahead, we look to daydreaming about our future travel plans for some relief. We hope our top 5 tips for summer vacations on Hilton Head Island provide a much-needed escape from the everyday routine! 

During the summer months, Hilton Head’s serene landscape welcomes thousands of tourists, transforming into a vacation hotspot. Hilton Head was recently named Best Island in the United States by Travel + Leisure magazine, which means the island is only growing more and more popular. Because of this, we’ve brainstormed a list of tips and tricks to help you navigate the crowds during the summer months and make the most out of your vacation. These are our top 5 tips for summer Hilton Head Vacations!

#1 - Prepare for Saturday Traffic

If you’re checking into your rental or hotel on a Saturday, prepare for major traffic on the bridges to Hilton Head. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable, but the good news is that the views you’ll see are unbeatable. It’s hard to complain about the traffic when you’re surrounded by the ocean and Lowcountry landscape.

Kids playing games in the car

If you’re traveling with children, it is a good idea to bring movies or games to keep them occupied while you wait. Once you get settled, we would recommend either going out to dinner, ordering in, or even bringing your own food from home for the first night. Grocery stores are absolutely packed on Saturdays, and we suggest avoiding them altogether.

#2 - Rent Bikes to Avoid Traffic and Parking When Possible

Hilton Head has expansive bike paths that allow you to travel nearly anywhere on the island. Not only is it great exercise, but it also is a fun activity for the family to do together. We strongly emphasize biking, because parking can become challenging when the island gets crowded.

woman riding bike at sunset

There are multiple bike rental establishments all over the island, just be cautious when riding near major roadways. Locals know to beware of bicyclists when driving, but tourists driving may not be as mindful.

*Pro Tip: When you book your vacation rental through Vacation Homes of Hilton Head you get access to free cruiser bike rentals with our Southern Hospitality Pass!

#3 - Check the Tides for Optimal Beach Bathing

Visitors usually do their best to prep for the beach, but many people overlook the tides. The tide charts can easily be found online or in visitor booklets, and they are extremely helpful in figuring out the best times to head down to the beach. High tides drastically reduce the size of the already crowded beaches, and if you decide to leave your things on the beach while you take a stroll, make sure the tide isn’t coming in to wash your belongings away.

#4 - Prepare a Rainy Day List

While most people come to the island to enjoy the outdoor recreations, prepare yourself for the possibility of a rainy day. In other words, make a rainy day activity list in the offset you do experience some bad weather on your vacation.

Mom and daughter at the spa

We suggest trying one of the island’s movie theaters, shopping at the Tanger Outlets in Bluffton, or painting ceramics at the Art Café located in Coligny Plaza. There are also plenty of nail salons, spas, and hair salons if you want to treat yourself to a rainy spa day.

#5 - Plan a Day Trip to Explore

Hilton Head has plenty of great activities to offer, but if you're staying for a longer vacation we suggest exploring some of the surrounding areas.

Old Town Bluffton

Old Town Bluffton is only a short drive over the bridge and offers the ideal example of a Lowcountry town. There are cute boutiques, delicious restaurants, and breathtaking views of the May River.

Savannah Georgia

If you’re willing to drive a little farther, Savannah, Georgia is about an hour away and is a stunningly beautiful, historic city full of great food, shopping, and culture. It is also said to be one of the most haunted cities in the country, so there are fun options for historic tours and museum visits.


Lastly, about two hours away is the charming city of Charleston. Charleston is known for its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and pastel antebellum houses. Charleston is a cool spot to visit for history buffs, and you can even visit Fort Sumter, a federal stronghold where the first shots of the Civil War rang out. Additionally, it is home to the South Carolina Aquarium, which is fun for the whole family.

Ready to Pack Your Bags?

A private pool in a Hilton Head vacation rental

There's a reason summers on Hilton Head are so popular, and you deserve to experience this beautiful island yourself. Start planning your Hilton Head vacation now by finding the perfect vacation home.

Hilton Head Vacation Homes 

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