If you are looking for a busy, action-packed vacation, go to Myrtle Beach. If you want to relax and enjoy low country living by doing more nature types of things, go to Hilton Head Island. Both cities are fun, but it depends on the kind of fun you are looking for! If you like city fun, you will like Myrtle Beach better. If you want to relax, go to Hilton Head Island. One thing is for sure, if it rains on your vacation week, go to Myrtle Beach as there aren’t many things you can do in Hilton Head if it rains. Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head are 203 miles apart. So if you are planning a week-long vacation, choose one place.
This blog will answer your question about Myrtle Beach vs Hilton Head based on what you like to do. To each their own! Cheers!
What is the Best time of Year to visit Myrtle Beach?
The best time of year to visit Myrtle Beach is from May to September. It is likely too cool to enjoy the beach before May and after September. If your vacation is a romantic getaway, or you are vacationing with your family, you may want to avoid visiting Myrtle Beach during the Biker weekend dates. Always check the main website before you come down as dates vary a little.
What is the Best time of Year to visit Hilton Head?
The best time of year to visit Hilton Head is also from May thru September. Myrtle Beach vs Hilton Head are both along the Atlantic Ocean, so both are colder outside those months. The great thing about Hilton Head is there is no biker week and as such no weekends to avoid coming down here if that is not your cup of tea!
Is Myrtle Beach Expensive?
Myrtle Beach is pretty affordable as long as you book your lodging in advance. Hotels range from $100 to $975 a night. With fast food, you can get a cheap meal for $5. Car rental if booked in advance can start at $30/day, but unless you plan to explore the state, a car rental is not necessary even if you are here for a week. Myrtle Beach is more touristy, so Ubers are more common here. And there’s a lot of things to do within walking distance. Gas prices as of September of 2021 is about $3.07/gallon. Sales tax is about 9.0% +/-You can definitely plan a vacation here, and not go broke.
Is Hilton Head Island Expensive?
Hilton Head Island is also pretty affordable if you book your lodging and car in advance. Hotels range from $95 to $975 a night. Food can be as cheap as $5 a meal and up as they have fast food here like they do in most places in America. For car rental, as long as you book in advance, you can get a car for $30/night. Gas is about $2.99 a gallon as of September 2021. We would recommend booking a car if you plan to stay in Hilton Head for more than 2 days. Uber is not so common down here. Public transportation is limited. Sales tax is about 7%+/-. Depending on what you choose to do, prices can definitely vary and you can choose to do more upscale things. But a week-long vacation in Hilton Head can be done on a practical budget.
Is Myrtle Beach Safe for Tourist?
Myrtle Beach is very family-friendly and as such is safe for tourists. I wouldn’t recommend children to be by themselves at night, but as long as there is adult supervision, you can feel safe. Myrtle Beach is more city-like than Hilton Head, so more younger people will be out past 10 p.m. vs Hilton Head but not many families are out past 10. p.m.
Is Hilton Head Safe for Tourist?
Hilton Head is very safe for tourists! If you are staying at a hotel and doing what every other tourists are doing, you’ll be perfectly happy and safe. Hilton Head has an “unofficial” curfew at about 10 p.m. Most things close around 10 p.m. The lighting dims to even dark in certain locations past 10 p.m. Hilton Head is not a big city so they prefer to close up shop early so there are fewer people on the streets.
Myrtle Beach vs Hilton Head Weather
As both Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head are along the coast, the climate is very similar. It’s colder during winter. It can go down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. But typically stays in the 40’s. Neither place snows. Summer weather can reach up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. While both cities are coastal, hurricanes are more likely to hit over Hilton Head vs Myrtle Beach. Definitely tune into the hurricane weather website before coming. If it rains during your week stay in Hilton Head, there are fewer things to do here than in Myrtle Beach.
Myrtle Beach Attractions?
Myrtle Beach has plenty to do for the whole family. Myrtle Beach is the miniature golf capital! If you enjoy miniature golfing, there are so many options and expertise levels to choose from. It’s also a great thing to do when it’s raining, as there are indoor miniature golfing locations as well! They decorate the miniature golf courses like you were at Disney. They are really well done!
Broadway at the Beach
Broadway at the Beach is a really fun thing to do for the whole family. They have rides, dining, and entertainment at an amusement park-like location.
How much does it cost to get into Broadway at the Beach?
While it’s amusement park-like, Broadway at the Beach is completely free to go to. You can walk around and window shop or people watch if you like. If you want to eat something, they have fair-like food options and prices. They also have nicer sit-down restaurants as well.
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
If you are looking for entertainment and dinner, this is a great place to go as a couple or as a family. The food is mediocre at best, but the entertainment is priceless. The jousting tournament based on 11th century Spain is both fun and dynamic. The pricing is a bit steep at $55.95 for an adult ticket, and children 12 and under are $28.95. But if you are only here once, or you have little kids, it’s definitely worth it to budget this into your plans. They do not have vegetarian options, but you can remove the chicken, and you can eat the tomato bisque, garlic bread, potato, corn on the cob, and dessert. Once again, you are going for the entertainment. 🙂
Myrtle Beach Shows & Theatre
Myrtle Beach is fun for adults too! They have the New Le Grand Cirque Show at Broadway at the Beach. They are described as the “Next Generation of Cirque de Soleil”. Duo Transcend performs on the show. They were the first-runners up on America’s Got Talent show in 2020!
Myrtle Beach also has the Carolina Opry show and Albama theatre! So if you looking for something to do at night without going into a bar, it’s a great place to stay entertained.
When is Biker’s Week in Myrtle Beach?
There are 2 bikers week in Myrtle Beach each year. One is scheduled in the Spring and the other is in the Fall. The 2021 Spring bike week in Myrtle Beach was scheduled for May 7-16th. The 2021 Fall bike week in Myrtle Beach is scheduled from September 27-October 3, 2021. Bikers from all around the world come together for this event. They have all kinds of special events for them.
Things to do in Hilton Head
Golfing in Hilton Head Island
Golfing is the number 2 reason people to visit Hilton Head Island. There are both public and private golf courses here. Prices can vary. The world-famous RBC Heritage is played in April annually in Hilton Head. The Harbor Town Golf Links was designed by Peter Dye in consultation with Jack Nicklaus. An incredible number of past world Golf champions have won the RBC Heritage. Each year the RBC Heritage pumps more than 100 million dollars into South Carolina’s economy. It’s a fun South Carolina tradition that gets golf fans from all over to come to see the games.
Biking in Hilton Head Island
Because there are so many biking paths along Hilton Head Island, it’s a great place to either bring your bike or rent one! It is completely safe and free from most traffic. Most of the areas are well shaded from all the trees in Hilton Head.
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Why is Hilton Head so Popular?
Hilton Head is so popular because of its beautiful beaches and golf courses. Millions come each year just to getaway! While many “tourists” come here, it’s not a “touristy” destination like Myrtle Beach. Many repeat visitors come to Hilton Head. And many wealthy people and celebrities visit and stay here. It’s a beautiful isolated area. You can visit Hilton Head and feel rejuvenated after your vacation as opposed to being tired from all the activities. You can actually relax here. And speaking from a local perspective, we enjoy living here!
Myrtle Beach Food
Myrtle Beach is a very touristy destination in South Carolina as such there are a lot of Chain Restaurants there. These are common restaurants you have seen elsewhere. A lot of families visit Myrtle Beach, and they are looking for cheap and common staples to feed their families after spending money on attractions and stay. This is very different from Hilton Head, more on that later.
Seafood Buffets in Myrtle Beach
2 Buffets in Myrtle Beach that we would like to give a shout out to. We have been to both and would highly recommend them.
Being near the Atlantic Ocean means the seafood is fantastic in Myrtle Beach. Crabby Mikes has been around for 29 years and counting. They have the best seafood buffet. They have all-you-can-eat Alaskan Snow Crab Legs and 100’s other seafood options. If you don’t like seafood, they also have Prime Rib and Ham. The decor leaves you feeling like you are Under the Sea! The food is great and the service is fantastic! They open daily at 4 p.m. Why not?!
Captain Benjamin’s is another personal favorite of ours! They also have the best crab legs. Calabash seafood originated in Calabash, North Carolina, and people from all over come and eat here. Calabash means it is lightly battered and fried. Captain Benjamin’s also has the best Hushpuppies–a calabash-style ball of cornmeal! They accommodate people who are not seafood lovers as well. If you are spending a week here, and can’t get enough seafood, hop on over to both of them!
Hilton Head Food
If you are looking for upscale seafood, Hilton Head is a great place to eat! The prices are reasonable but can vary. Because Hilton Head is not a “touristy” destination, you will find more local restaurants here. There are not as many chain places. It is far better to eat at a local restaurant here, as the food is worth it. Your stomach will come away happy! Als Aloha Kitchen in Hilton Head is a great place to eat if you are looking for good food on the go!
Shopping in Myrtle Beach
At least in the touristy area of Myrtle Beach, shopping is mainly for souvenirs and beach clothes, both high-end and on a budget. If you are looking for sandals or sunglasses, you will definitely find them in Myrtle Beach. If you are looking for a jacket, a hoodie is likely what you’ll find. So if you come to Myrtle Beach in the winter, you may want to pack well before you come. The Myrtle Beach Mall is nothing to get excited about. Belk and Bass Pro shop take up the bulk of the mall.
Shopping in Hilton Head
Hilton Head has a lot of beach clothes shopping available. Coligny Beach sells a lot of souvenirs. They do have a couple of local nicer end clothes, but it is limited. The next area of shopping is found in Shelter Cove which is also in Hilton Head. The only major department store they have is Belk for both men and women. They do have some tiny locals stores, but once again limited. Sea Pines is another location for some shopping, but only if you looking for high-end clothes. This is more for people in their 50s and up. You do have to pay to go into the Sea Pines Resort. But Sea Pines has good food and biking trails. The closest thing to a mall that you’ll find in Hilton Head is the Tanger Outlets. They have a Tanger 1 and Tanger 2 Outlet. This is technically in Bluffton, SC, although the advertising is misleading and will tell you that they are in Hilton Head.
Beach Life at Myrtle Beach
Beaches are pretty in Myrtle Beach as the South Carolina Coast itself is beautiful. Here you’ll find 60 miles of beach along the Atlantic Ocean. 14 million people who visit Myrtle Beach each year come primarily for beach life. But they can become pretty busy as well. Not as busy as Florida, but definitely busier than Hilton Head. We would highly recommend staying at an ocean-front hotel. Yes, it’s more costly, but it’s definitely worth it to not have to bring all your gear with you to the beach or fight for parking.
Beaches in Hilton Head Island
The beaches in Hilton Head Island are the number 1 reason people visit Hilton Head. Read more here Relax at these 7 Beautiful Beaches on Hilton Head Island, SC – PiscesTourist
Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island Packing List
So if you are anything like us, we like to plan before we go. Here are some things you don’t want to forget to pack before you go! Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Pisces Tourist also participates in other affiliate programs and receives compensation for providing these companies traffic.