If you’re headed to one of South Carolina’s most beautiful barrier islands for a getaway, you’re probably wondering, “What is the best area to stay on Hilton Head?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a complete guide to each of the unique neighborhoods. Although the island is less than 70 square miles, there are dozens of different options for where to stay during your trip. You can choose between oceanfront vacation rentals or opt for an inland property and stay close to the restaurants, activities, and attractions. No matter where you decide to stay on Hilton Head, you’re sure to have the trip of a lifetime!
As you begin planning your trip, don’t forget to request a copy of our complimentary HHI Vacation Guide! This handy travel planner is the best way to get tips and recommendations from locals on where to dine, shop, and explore.
Your Ultimate Guide to Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island is separated into a number of different neighborhoods where you can find luxurious rental properties with everything you need for a great vacation. Depending on how many people you’re traveling with and what you would like to stay close to on the island, you have a variety of choices for places to stay. To help you decide, we’ve created this breakdown of the best areas to stay on Hilton Head.
Sea Pines Resort is home to a combination of permanent residents and visitors looking to stay in the largest golf resort on the island. For anyone who is visiting Hilton Head for a golf trip, Sea Pines is the best area to stay as it has three championship courses: Harbor Town Golf Links, Heron Point by Pete Dye, and Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love lll. One of the biggest PGA Tour events of the year, the RBC Heritage, takes place right here in Sea Pines every April.
Although Sea Pines Resort is ideal for avid golfers, there are so many other activities here for the entire family. When you opt to stay in a Sea Pines vacation rental, you’ll be close to the popular South Beach area and can event rent a beachside villa. Guests staying in the Sea Pines areas also receive access to horseback riding, a petting zoo area, walking and biking trails, a fishing area, and access to the Sea Pines Beach Club.
Throughout the year, a seasonal trolley service runs through the resort to help transport locals and visitors. The Harbour Town area is located within Sea Pines Resort, giving guests plenty of things to do during the day — from walking along the harbor to exploring the many restaurants and bars.
Another one of the best areas to stay on Hilton Head for golfers, Palmetto Dunes is a gated community with three additional championship courses designed by top golf architects. If you’re an outdoor adventurer, you’ll also love staying in a vacation rental within this neighborhood as you will be able to access the 11-mile lagoon system that is perfect for kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and fishing. You can hit the beach any time with three miles of shoreline, or get you daily workout in when you head to the tennis courts for a quick game. Don’t feel like getting all sandy at the beach but wanting to go for a quick dip? When you stay at a Palmetto Dunes property, you’ll have access to a community pool!
One of the greatest advantages of staying in Palmetto Dunes is the nearby Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina. Similar to the Harbour Town area of Sea Pines, this part of the resort offers community access to a series of boutique shops, restaurants, and other forms of entertainment. Rent a boat and jet off from the dock for a day on the water or simply spend some time exploring all that this place has to offer.
For anyone looking to spend most of their vacation time out in the sun, Sea Crest is the place to stay. This resort community has dozens of beautiful oceanfront properties and offers guests access to two luxurious outdoor pools and large hot tub. The best part? You’re just steps away from the ocean if you want to take a swim in the water. Then, head back to your poolside lounge chair!
Often described as Hilton Head’s “downtown” area, Coligny Plaza is just across the street from Sea Crest, allowing visitors easy access to the best of the area’s shopping and dining options. You’ll have everything you need for an unforgettable trip within walking distance!
If you’re still wondering what is the best area to stay on Hilton Head, there are a few more options for accommodations on the island. Forest Beach is another one of our favorite neighborhoods and is close to more than 100 of the island’s restaurants and shops. Although this community is more inland than the other beachside options, the ocean is still within walking distance, making it easy for you to get from your rental property to the water in minutes.
The convenience of being so close to restaurants, groceries, and shops is a major benefit of staying in Forest Beach. After you’ve spent the day lounging on the beach, take time in the evening to walk around the shopping plazas and pick up some unique souvenirs or gifts to bring back home with you. With so many different dining options, you can either pop in to grab a quick bite or sit down for a fancy, romantic dinner.
There are several mid-island communities where you can rent vacation properties including Folly Field, Bradley Beach, and Burkes Beach. While these neighborhoods are described as “mid-island”, they’re actually still very close to some of the more private beaches on Hilton Head. This is a great place to stay if you’re looking to escape the big crowds that hit the beach each summer and spring.
Every location has access to either a private pool or community pool and many still offer beachfront views. The Island Club rentals allow guests to use the community spa, a 13-acre catch and release lagoon, outdoor grill and picnic areas, and a tennis center, amongst other great amenities.
Looking for Pet-Friendly Rentals?
Sometimes when taking a family getaway, it’s hard to leave your furry friend behind. Most hotels have strict no-pet policies, but when you stay in one of our Beach Properties of Hilton Head rentals, you’ll find dozens of pet-friendly options. Located throughout the island, our pet-friendly homes allow you to bring every member of your family on the trip with you and provide plenty of space for your pet.
When looking for the best area to stay on Hilton Head, you can’t go wrong with any of these five neighborhoods. Each one is unique in its own way, offering an assortment of activities, restaurants, and shops while also remaining close to the beaches. All of our properties at Beach Properties of Hilton Head allow access to either a private or community pool, and most are within quick walking distance to the ocean.
Whether you’re planning a trip with a large group or just taking a weekend getaway with someone special, we’ve got a property to suit your needs. Plus, when you stay at one of our locations, you’ll also receive a Beach Island Properties Island Discount Card! This card can be used at more than 125 local business to get you discounts on everything from dining and shopping to golfing and other attractions. So, what are you waiting for?
Check our availability and book your stay today!