A Travel Price Comparison for South Carolina Charleston vs. Hilton Head Island for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Charleston or Hilton Head Island?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Charleston or Hilton Head Island, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Charleston

Charleston is a beautiful, southern city and seaport town in South Carolina. It has a wonderful, historic downtown area that the city government works hard to maintain. Located on a peninsula that is created by two rivers, the city is a stunning setting with much character. It is a popular place to visit for its culture, architecture and cuisine. In recent years Charleston has gained popularity and it continues to grow as both a regional and international travel destination. With its rising popularity comes increasing costs. Travel costs continue to go up as restaurants and hotels raise their prices, particularly during the peak travel season and holiday periods.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head, also called Hilton Head Island, is primarily a resort and beach town off the coast of South Carolina. Located on a barrier island, the place is best known for its beaches and golf courses overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Which city is cheaper, Hilton Head Island or Charleston?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Charleston is $136, while the average daily cost in Hilton Head Island is $195. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Charleston and Hilton Head Island in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Charleston is about $144 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $206 in Hilton Head Island For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charleston $72
    Hilton Head Island $103
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charleston $144
    Hilton Head Island $206

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Charleston cost around $46 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $18.

Food in Hilton Head Island costs travelers about $48 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Charleston $46
    Hilton Head Island $48
Typical Food prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of dining costs in Charleston are as follows:


  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
    $21
  • Breakfast
    $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Charleston.

  • Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise & Live Music: $66
  • Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour: $73
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Chef's Kitchen Guided Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Charleston: $129
  • Undiscovered 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class: $154
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Charleston w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Hilton Head Island

For Hilton Head Island, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Hilton Head Coligny Beach Walking Food Tour: $60

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $26 per day to get around in Charleston.

Hilton Head Island's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $27 per person, per day on transportation in Hilton Head Island.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charleston $26
    Hilton Head Island $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Private transfer: Charleston to Charleston Airport (CHS): $622
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charleston Airport (CHS): $52
  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $124

Is it cheaper to fly into Charleston or Hilton Head Island?

Prices for flights to both Hilton Head Island and Charleston change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $17 per person, per day in Charleston. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Hilton Head Island can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $19 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charleston $17
    Hilton Head Island $19
Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Charleston are as follows:


  • Patriots Point (for 2)
    $60

Tours and Activities in Charleston

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Charleston are as follows:

  • 2-Hour Guided Kayaking Eco Tour in Charleston: $48
  • 2-Hour Paddle Board Eco Tour of Charleston Lowcountry: $48
  • 90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of Charleston: $25
  • Amazing Ladies of Charleston Walking Tour: $35
  • Best of Historic Charleston Walking Tour: $35
  • Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston: $61
  • Bruce Knows Insider Walking Tour of Downtown: $26
  • Car Service: Airport to / from Cruise Port: $130
  • Charleston Attraction & Tour Pass for 1, 2, or 3 Days: $73
  • Charleston Boo Hag & Brews Walking Ghost and Bar Tour: $29
  • Charleston Chicora Walking Tour: $26
  • Charleston City Bus Tour with Charleston Museum Admission: $32

Tours and Activities in Hilton Head Island

For Hilton Head Island, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Hilton Head Honey Horn Admission with Guided Tour: $12
  • Hilton Head Pirate Ship Adventure Cruise aboard the Black Sparrow: $31
  • Hilton Head Island Dolphin Watching Nature Cruise: $33
  • Hilton Head to Daufuskie Island Round-Trip Ferry Ticket: $35
  • Hilton Head Island Dolphin Boat Cruise: $35
  • Mermaid Encounter Boat Tour: $35
  • Guided Stand Up Paddleboard Tour: $35
  • Guided Dolphin Tour: $35
  • Hilton Head: Sunset or Daytime Dolphin Watching Cruise: $35
  • Hilton Head Mermaid Encounter Boat Cruise: $36
  • Hilton Head Pirate Ship Adventure Sail aboard the Black Dagger: $36
  • Guided Stand Up Paddleboard Tour: $40

Alcohol

The average person spends about $28 on alcoholic beverages in Charleston per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Typically, people visiting Hilton Head Island spend on average $21 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charleston $28
    Hilton Head Island $21

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Charleston:

  • Charleston Bar Hunt: Charleston Chase Bar Crawl: $12
  • Ghost Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in Haunted Charleston: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market: $37


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Charleston and Hilton Head Island, we can see that Hilton Head Island is more expensive. And not only is Charleston much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Charleston would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Charleston and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Hilton Head Island would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Hilton Head Island than you might in Charleston.

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Charleston vs. Hilton Head Island Travel Comparison

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