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The 10 Best Things About Winter on Hilton Head Island

Planning Your Vacation

The low season in Lowcountry—there’s nothing quite like it! When the winter months roll around, Hilton Head Island never runs short of things to see and do. From outdoor adventures to fun festivals and events, a winter getaway promises all the best of summer, plus a few extra perks.

1. The Weather

Lower temperatures bring less humidity to the air around the island. From late November to early March, you can expect the temperature to hover around 64°F, rarely dipping down to the forties. Days are still just as sunny as summer, but less stifling. Definitely pack your shorts and t-shirts, but also bring along some warmer wardrobe pieces for after the sun sets. Speaking of sunsets…

2. Sunrises and Sunsets

Hilton Head Island is known for its breathtaking sunrises and sunsets—and in the winter months they get even more vibrant. Low humidity gives way to clear, crisp air that allows for reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows to shine brighter—here’s the science behind it. To catch a stunning sunrise, rent a bike and cruise along the east side of the island in the morning. For sunsets, dine al fresco at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina for some of the very best.

3. Pet-Friendly Vacations

Want to bring your four-legged family members along on your Hilton Head Island vacation? Winter is the perfect time to do just that. Not only will Fido enjoy those cooler temperatures, there are no restrictions for dogs on the island’s beaches during low season. Browse our pet-friendly vacation homes and villas here.

4. The Hilton Head Wine & Food Festival

Authentic Lowcountry cuisine is paired perfectly with wines from around the world at this festival that’s a must for any foodie. Usually in March, festival events are held all around the island to mark the unofficial end of winter. Go big at the Grand Tasting, and sample over 250 wines and delicious bites at the Public Tasting.

5. The Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival

What could be better than seven days of seafood? In February, sip, shuck, and savor your way through a series of incredible events including an oyster roast, a big barbeque, champagne brunch, plus the much-anticipated James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour. Ask about our Seafood Festival package.

6. The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra

The winter season of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra promises a sophisticated, special night out during your winter getaway. Enjoy the sounds of Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Haydn and more surrounded by the stunning architecture and sublime acoustics of the First Presbyterian Church. View the orchestra’s performance schedule here.

7. Holiday Fun

We think “the most wonderful time of year” is even better around here. Hilton Head Island offers tons of holiday fun with no shovel or snow tires required! Ditch the big box stores and head to Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina for Black Friday deals and for some seasonal sparkle to see boats bedecked with Christmas lights. Need to work off some of that holiday feasting? The Jingle Jingle 5K run is perfect for a little outdoor fun.

8. Water Wonderland

No snow? No problem! Warm temperatures are perfect for all kinds of aquatic adventures on Hilton Head Island. Paddleboard or kayak along the lazy Skull Creek for a leisurely day, or if it wouldn’t be winter without some kind of skiing, strap on some water skis and zoom around at high speed. Hit the open water on a fishing charter, or get your sea legs with a sailing lesson for even more fun this winter.

9. Winter Wildlife

Gators tend to hibernate in winter, but much of the island’s wildlife actually becomes more active and easier to spot from late December to early March. Head to Fish Haul Creek Park beachfront at low tide and you’ll be treated to flocks of migratory shorebirds including curlew, dunlin, dowitcher, godwit, red knot, and willet. Pickney Island National Wildlife Refuge is home to colonies of larger birds like egrets and herons, while the waters all around the island are prime for spotting playful dolphins.

10. Golf Galore

The low season means fewer golfers on our courses, giving you more time to perfect your swing and take in the exceptional natural beauty that surrounds you while you play. With three iconic courses on our resort, you won’t have to go far for an award-winning golf experience. Soak in stunning sea views on the Robert Trent Jones course—considered the best in the southeast—challenge yourself on the final four holes of the George Fazio Course, or try the shot-maker’s favorite Arthur Hills Course that perfectly blends in the beauty of the Lowcountry. Try them all with one of our incredible golf packages.

Ready to book your winter getaway at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort? Browse our vacation packages and specials and find the perfect cure for those winter blues.
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