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Condé Nast Traveler

Best Islands in the U.S.: Readers' Choice Awards 2015

RCA_Top+Islands+US+finalist Hilton Head Island has once again been recognized as one of the top 10 islands in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler readers .

Hilton Head Island is a vacation destination that never goes out of style; it’s a tradition that has been extended across generations of families and friends. When you visit Hilton Head Island, you are creating memories that will last a lifetime; disconnect from the distractions and demands of everyday life and reconnect with those that matter most.

Hilton Head Island offers a variety of accommodations and activities to suit every visitors taste, lifestyle and budget.

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Along with Hilton Head Island’s ranking as one of the top 10 islands in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler, many of our area hotels and resorts also received high honors. Rest your head at some of the most luxurious accommodations in the world right here on Hilton Head.

See & Do

If you’re ready to take a break from such timeless Hilton Head activities as building sandcastles, basking in the sun and frolicking in the waves off some of the top beaches in the U.S., you’ll discover a myriad of things to see and do on Hilton Head Island. From biking and hiking to fishing and kayaking , or shopping and guided tours to historical and cultural pursuits: A new adventure awaits you around every corner. And with over 350 tennis courts , 24 world-class golf courses and 60 miles of multi-use public pathways there are always lots of fun and games waiting here for you, too. Life’s a beautiful day at the beach—and a whole lot more—on Hilton Head Island.

History & Heritage

Incorporated as a town in 1983, Hilton Head Island is home to more than 30,000 residents who live year-round in our renowned environmentally planned resort and residential communities. Yet much of the Island remains as it was when sighted from William Hilton’s ship more than 300 years ago And now is the time for you to leave your own footprints in the sand…on Hilton Head Island.

Hilton Head Island is home to more than 30,000 year-round residents and much of the Island remains the same as when it was first sighted from William Hilton’s ship more than 300 years ago. Over the centuries, Hilton Head Island’s natural beauty, spectacular seascapes, exceptional ecology and South Carolina historical sites have beckoned generations of explorers—with Native Americans, English, Spanish, French colonists, pirates, African-Americans and soldiers all leaving their footprints on the sands of South Carolina’s Treasured Coast.

Gullah refers not only to a language but also to a culture and a still vibrant community supported by the courage and the heritage of its forefathers. Brought to America as enslaved people, the Gullah remains one of the most culturally distinctive African American populations in the U.S. This profound story of the Gullah and freedom awaits your exploration here on Hilton Head Island and throughout the Lowcountry region.

Arts & Culture

For a community of our size, Hilton Head Island boasts a cultural scene equal to major metropolitan areas. Offerings range from Broadway shows and classical symphony concerts to exhibits highlighting local and nationally acclaimed artists.

The third-largest arts organization in South Carolina, the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina produces its own shows – from costumes and casting to crafting sets and choreography.


With over 250 restaurants, Hilton Head Island’s local and sustainable culinary scene features a wide variety of cultures and tastes. Island chefs agree that the best, freshest ingredients are found within a few miles of their kitchens. Award-winning local restaurants proudly feature locally sourced provisions from the ocean, the saltmarsh and family farms.

No matter what you long for – from authentic Carolina coastal cuisine and French, Italian and Mediterranean fare to classic barbecue and fine dining – it’s being served up on Hilton Head Island.

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