Welcome to Hilton Head Island
Perched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, gentle sea breezes caress Hilton Head Island and coax the inhabitants into a relaxing way of life. Just enough off the beaten path to retain the classic flavor of the South, this Island gem of the South Carolina Lowcountry features a pristine natural environment that showcases fertile salt marshes, networks of lagoons and creeks, forests of moss-draped oaks, magnolias, pines, palmettos and a 12-mile stretch of deep, sandy shoreline.
More than 50 years ago, Charles Fraser looked at a sparsely populated island of agricultural tracts and hunting lands and molded it into the prototype of the modern resort community, now copied around the world. Armed with vision, energy, modern air conditioning and investment dollars, he created a master plan for a friendly community of resort retreats and welcoming home sites. Interspersed with gorgeous scenery are championship golf courses, fine restaurants, luxurious resorts and private villas.
Not just a world-class vacation destination, Hilton Head Island is paradise for nearly 39,000 residents. The median age on Hilton Head Island is 46 and the daily average commute is less than 20 minutes. Nearly three-quarters of the population has completed some college. The crime rate is low, as are property taxes. The arts community thrives along with numerous dining and entertainment venues.
Hilton Head Island encompasses 42 square miles of semi-tropical landscape. The first eco-planned destination in the U.S., the Island’s pristine natural environment offers a relaxing, hospitable atmosphere with subtle signage and no neon light.
Buildings are set back from main roads, showcasing the native pines and oaks. Colors are not flamboyant and bright; instead they are subdued and blend with the natural environment, and bright streetlights here are as rare as snowstorms. A progressive land purchasing program undertaken by town leadership ensures that there is plenty of green to be seen, and strict development guidelines ensure a breathtaking view at every turn.
It’s easy to see why people choose to call the Lowcountry their permanent home. At the very foundation of the community are full-time residents who work hard to ensure the area is a clean, safe and enjoyable place to visit. Friendly faces greet visitors and newcomers everywhere they go.
Tourism is a mainstay of this lush retreat, with an economic impact of more than $1.4 billion in 2013. Warmed year-round by the Gulf Stream, the Island’s average daytime temperature is a mild 70°F. More than two million visitors annually spend some leisure time relaxing or reconnecting on the Island.
Much of the Island remains as it were when sighted from English Sea Captain William Hilton’s ship more than 300 years ago. Hilton Head Island’s natural beauty, spectacular seascapes and exceptional ecology now beckon a new generation of explorers.