This beach-lined South Carolina destination is a beloved spot of golfers: the PGA Tour comes here each April, and there are plenty of golf courses for the non-professionals to play on, too. Beyond the putting green, there’s green in general, from plentiful and wild Spanish moss to the Coastal Discovery Museum, where gardens and exotic trees await.
An island with an easygoing tempo (and dolphins!), the tourists and resort-goers can multiply quickly in summer months. The hordes reach their peak around July or so, when heat, humidity and balmy storms are in abundance. Crowds thin out around October or so, but with spring comes March’s Wine and Food Festival. Even off-season, Hilton Head’s weather is pleasant, with January highs of about 60ºF. No matter what season you arrive, these beachfront hotels at least provide some gorgeous ocean views.
From $191/ night
One more factoid about Hilton Head is that the resorts are traditionally known as plantations. As the name implies, they’re grand in a classically Southern way. But not all travelers want sprawl and pompousness. The Beach House resort caters to those folk with a beachy, casual vibe, including a tiki bar. Every night it serves ice-cold cocktails alongside live music in its unpretentious, laid back atmosphere. Porch Southern, the on-site restaurant, serves the meaty, oft barbecued cuisine of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. A breakfast buffet is available is also available every morning, while beach access is always close by—this resort is only feet away from the inviting white sands of Coligny Beach.
From $197/ night
We told you golfers love Hilton Head, and apparently the pro golfers love the Omni, as it’s the official hotel brand of the PGA tour. Line up your dates right and maybe you’ll get to meet some pro golfers—but at the very least you’ll be enjoying this resort’s many amenities, from 11-miles of lagoon and bike trails to tennis courts and of course a championship golf course (three of ’em, actually). After a day on the grounds, your muscles might be sore, so why not stop in at the Ocean Tides Spa? Or pull out that resort map and head to a more natural paradise: a cozy stretch of private beach.
From $308/ night
Feeling sophisticated? This highly rated luxury property is sure to appease your chichi side with one of its 60 guest rooms, each tastefully designed and reflective of Hilton Head’s storied atmosphere. Guest reviews suggest super helpful staff —such as one anecdote about a staff member making an off-menu mint julep for two guests in the hot tub. Yes, 24-hour butler service is actually available here. That, along with beach access, pools and generously sized rooms should be enough to make you feel like nobility.
From $144/ night
OK, it’s a three-star, mid-tier chain hotel, so no, this Best Western doesn’t have the glamor of the Inn and Club or the Omni Oceanfront. But it does sport relaxed and modern interior design, along with all the expected amenities—including the necessary breakfast munchies like bacon, juice, cereal and eggs. If you’d like to broaden your dining options, there are dozens of restaurants within a mile of the hotel. Also walkable: Coligny Plaza, where you can shop, and Coligny Beach, where you can swim.
From $135/ night
This 153-room Holiday Inn isn’t flashy—then again, it kind of is, given the six acres of land it sits on, decorated with sparkling lagoons and swaying trees. Aside from the unexpected beauty, all the needed amenities are here: from towels for the pool to free wifi and continental breakfast. The hotel’s insides have also been renovated in the past few years to comply with Holiday Inn’s “Express Blue” design formula, which the company says is intended for a demographic of “smart travelers.” Given the average price tag here, and the amount of necessities included, it’s indeed a savvy choice.