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Moving to Hilton Head, South Carolina: A Guide

Hilton Head is a popular tourist destination, but it’s also a popular place for retirees and snowbirds to relocate  to for warmer weather and a relaxed beach town lifestyle. Even if you’re neither a snowbird nor a retiree, there’s plenty of reasons why moving to Hilton Head might be an ideal choice. From the tight-knit community to the exceptional food, there’s a reason why so many visitors end up making Hilton Head their home.

Whether you’re moving for a fresh start or moving to warmer climates for retirement, we’ll tell you what you need to know about living in Hilton Head before taking the plunge—and where you can find Hilton Head storage near you!

What’s the weather like in Hilton Head?

As you would expect of an island in a subtropical climate, the weather is just about perfect. You can expect the lowest average temperature to be in the upper 30s and the warmest in the 90s. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the island enjoys mild winters and hot, humid summers.

Hilton Head Economy and Workforce

Hilton Head is a popular tourist destination with more than 2.5 million tourists flocking to the Lowcountry resort island every year throughout spring and summer. Tourist season may increase traffic and wait times at restaurants, but they are also a large part of the economy, so many locals view tourists as a welcome sight year after year. 

As you might guess, much of Hilton Head’s economy is centered around the tourism industry. So, if you work in hospitality or food service, you’re likely to find a job quickly. Otherwise, most people that aren’t retirees work somewhere off the Island. However, the pandemic has made the option to work remotely more accessible than ever, allowing many families and couples interested in moving to Hilton Head make the transition seamlessly.

Is there traffic in Hilton Head?

While you may not think so on such a small island, traffic is a factor to consider. Because Hilton Head Bridge is the only way on or off the island, a bottleneck situation is present and experienced especially during times of high traffic. If you plan to work off the island, you might want to reconsider living on Hilton Head.

Neighborhoods in Hilton Head

Like many Oceanfront Cities, Hilton Head is made up of resort communities. Most people live in a private resort community on the island and there are few districts to speak of like many large metropolitan areas. Nevertheless, these communities have their own unique character, and choosing the right community for you, your family, and your lifestyle will be key to feeling right at home in Hilton Head:

Hilton Head Plantation

If you’re looking for variety, you’ll find it at Hilton Head Plantation. This neighborhood resort is one of the largest and most age-diverse on Hilton Head Island. When you live on the plantation, you’ll gain access to a semi-private golf course designed by Rees Jones, two miles of beach, a recreation center, and an extensive leisure path for walking, biking, and jogging.

The Sea Pines Resort

As one of the first private plantation communities on Hilton Head, it stands to reason that this community is one of the largest. Boasting 5,200 acres, nearly 4,000 homes, and a little over 2000 villas, The Sea Pines Resort is larger than Hilton Head Plantations’ 4,000-acre community. With all this space, you’re sure to find plenty to do without having to venture away from the neighborhood.

Head down to the Harbor Town Marina and get a close-up view of the famous red-and-white striped lighthouse, take a walk through the forest preserve, or enjoy the five miles of beaches available in your own backyard. There arethree championship golf courses in The Sea Pines Resort, which is the site for the PGA Tour’s annual RBC Heritage.

Palmetto Dunes

Palmetto Dunes is a mid-island residential community sitting on 1,800 acres. Not only are there three miles of Atlantic beaches and 11 miles of lagoons, but Palmetto Dune is also one of the largest tennis centers on the island featuring 25 courts. Should you choose to live here, expect to see tourists around the neighborhood from time to time since Hilton Resort and Hilton Head Marriott Beach and Golf Resort are both located within this community. The three public golf courses located in Palmetto Dunes are well renowned and constantly attract golf enthusiasts.

Windmill Harbor

Windmill Harbor may be one of the smaller resorts in Hilton Head, but it might have some of the most beautiful oceanfront views. Located just off Hilton Head Bridge, Windmill Harbor is made up of 350 homes and 70 villas, brightly colored in a signature coastal style, (think Jim Carrey’s The Truman Show) with about 80% of them having a water view. Windmill Harbor is also home to the South Carolina Yacht Club.

Things to Do in Hilton Head, SC

Once you’ve settled into your new “beach bum” lifestyle in Hilton Head, you’ll start to find your own favorite spots, but you’ll likely need a few ideas to get started to figure out what you really want to dig into. Here are a few tried and true favorites that Hilton Head residents and tourists alike enjoy:

Hitting the Links at the Many Golf Courses

A man golfing at a golf course

A few popular golf courses include:

Hilton Head is a prime golfing destination. In fact, the PGA often holds part of the RBC Heritage Tournament in Hilton Head each year. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned golfer, Hilton Head offers plenty of opportunities to place on championship courses and links with distinctive and challenging terrain to hone your skills.

  • Harbour Town Golf Links
  • Atlantic Dunes at The Sea Pines Resort
  • Arthur Hills at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

Discover Your Inner Foodie at One of 250 Restaurants

A woman eating on a table by the water

Hilton Head may be an island, but it’s filled with plenty of unique restaurants and eateries that would satisfy any foodie. Are you in the mood for Italian, Thai, French, Caribbean, or Mexican cuisine? Choose from a variety of ethnic foods or opt for some of the freshest seafood around! No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll never be disappointed in the food options available to you.

A few local favorites include:

  • The Sage Room
  • A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant
  • Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks
  • Skull Creek Boathouse
  • Nunzio
  • Burnt Church Distillery

Visit Savannah for a Taste of City Life

River Street in Savannah, Georgia

If you’re a transplant from a larger city, the small-town beach feel of life in Hilton Head may have you longing for a bit of city life. Thankfully, Savannah, Georgia, is less than an hour away. In Savannah, you still get the benefit of a beach and a larger city to explore that is chock full of history and architectural beauty.

If you’re interested in exploring other nearby cities, you can easily take a trip to Charleston and Jacksonville within two and a half hours or take a four-hour trip to Atlanta to get a bustling city feel. After you’ve explored the other nearby cities, you’ll likely be ready to return to the beach life on Hilton Head Island.

Explore the Wilderness

Walkway at a wildlife preserve in Hilton Head

There’s more than just beaches to explore in the way of nature when you move to Hilton Head Island. Hilton head is also home to several wildlife preserves that allow you to hike, camp, bike and more. If you really want to get away from a beachy landscape, you can load up for a five-hour car ride to the Great Smoky Mountains.

Head to the Beach

We would be remiss if heading to the beach wasn’t somewhere on this list. While there’s no shortage of beaches on Hilton Head, there are beaches that are popular amongst tourists and beaches that pretty much only the locals know. These beaches are a lot less crowded and provide more opportunities to collect shells and even spot some marine life up close. A few beaches to explore that are off the beaten path include:

  • Mitchelville Beach
  • Pine Island Beach
  • Burkes Beach

Find Hilton Head Storage at Prime Storage

If you’ve decided that moving to Hilton Head is right for you, you’ll need to put together a plan to ensure your move is as stress-free as possible. Whether your move is just a few hours away or several states away, there are a few essentials you’ll need to consider:

  • Moving trucks
  • Packing supplies
  • Self Storage

Luckily, Prime Storage can provide all three! We have moving trucks available to rent for across-town moves, packing supplies from boxes to dolly straps, and storage units small enough for a few items or large enough for the contents of your 2 or 3 bedroom home.

Whether you’re planning to set up a part-time vacation home in Hilton Head or want to fully embrace the beach life, Prime Storage can help you move and get the space that life often demands. Don’t let the thought of moving keep you from living in paradise—count on Prime Storage to handle the details. Get answers to common storage questions or give us a call for more specific inquiries. If you’re ready to rent your Hilton Head storage unit, visit us online today! 

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