A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Saint Simons vs. Hilton Head Island for Families, Food, Resorts, and Beaches

Should you visit Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Saint Simons

Saint Simons is a scenic, relaxing, and laid back island. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a relaxing, peaceful, and beautiful coastal town. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for food, beaches, and shopping.

Saint Simons and Hilton Head Island: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance


Is there more to do in Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Saint Simons than Hilton Head Island, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Saint Simons is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, hiking, shopping, and small town charm, while Hilton Head Island is more popular for its resorts. Saint Simons is well known for its beaches, charter fishing, and golf courses. Also, Saint Simons is famous for East Beach. Hilton Head Island is well known for its long sandy beaches, many golf courses, popular tennis camps, and accessible bike trails.

How is Saint Simons different from Hilton Head Island?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Hilton Head Island and Saint Simons. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island?

Saint Simons
Hilton Head Island

Saint Simons is a decent place to visit for its museums and history. However, Hilton Head Island does not have museums and landmarks.

While most people don't head to Saint Simons specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. St. Simons Lighthouse is a highlight for many visitors. There's a maritime museum attached to the lighthouse as well. Fort Frederica National Monument is another historic site that is worth a visit.

Hilton Head Island does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Saint Simons
Hilton Head Island

Saint Simons is a very popular place for its restaurants. Also, Hilton Head Island is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Saint Simons has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. There are more than 70 restaurants on the island that range from cafes to fine dining. You can enjoy an eggs benedict for brunch, crab cakes for lunch, and shrimp and grits for dinner. Many restaurants take advantage of the mild climate by offering outdoor seating. There are also several dessert places with ice cream or donuts.

Hilton Head Island offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The island has many famous restaurants but reservations during the summer are a must. Restaurants can get very crowded during peak times. For some of the best restaurants head to Shelter Cove or Harbour Town. Popular local dishes include fried seafood and oysters.

Is Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island Better for Nightlife?

Saint Simons
Hilton Head Island

Saint Simons is a decent place to visit for its evening party scene. However, Hilton Head Island is lacking in good options for nightlife.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Saint Simons. There are several family-friendly bars with laid back atmospheres around town, but if you're looking for a wild night out, there aren't a lot of places to go.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Hilton Head Island. There are a few sports bars and comedy clubs, but nightlife isn't really a thing in Hilton Head. This is very much a family destination that shuts down with the sunset.

Is Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island Better for Resorts?

Saint Simons
Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a great destination for its resorts. Also, Saint Simons is still popular, but not quite as popular for its luxury resorts.

Hilton Head Island is known as a popular and fun resort destination. Most of the accommodation in the area is in the form of weekly condo rentals, which usually include a pool and outdoor space. Tennis and golf are also popular on the island so many resorts have facilities for each.

With a selection of resorts, Saint Simons makes a nice vacation spot. There are a handful of nice resorts with pools and beachfront settings.


Is Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island Better for Beaches?

Saint Simons
Hilton Head Island

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Saint Simons and Hilton Head Island are great choices.

Saint Simons is considered a top beach destination. There's golden sand and a beautiful setting. Visitors enjoy swimming or walking along the coastline. You'll also find piers and playgrounds. East Beach is one of the most popular.

Hilton Head Island is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. The island has nice beaches that are popular with families. They are great for swimming during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. While some beaches may get a bit crowded during peak holidays, they're usually pretty relaxed and less crowded than many nearby beaches.

Is Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island Better for Hiking?

Saint Simons
Hilton Head Island

Saint Simons is very good for its hiking trails. However, Hilton Head Island is not a hiking destination.

Many people include a hike when visiting Saint Simons. There are several parks and natural areas where you can enjoy a walk in nature. Cannon's Point Preserve has a nice trail system. Other trails on the island include John Gilbert Nature Trail, Earth Day Nature Trail, and Wanderer Memorial Trail.

Hilton Head Island is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island?

Saint Simons
Hilton Head Island

Saint Simons is a very popular place for its shopping areas. Also, Hilton Head Island is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Saint Simons. You'll find a good concentration of gift shops and clothing boutiques on the island. Antiquing is also popular. Head to Pier Village for a nice mix of shops.

Hilton Head Island is a great destination for shopping. The area has upscale shopping with designer names and local venues. Popular shopping areas include Shelter Cove Town Center and Harbor Town.


Is Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island Better for Families?

Saint Simons
Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is an unbeatable place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Saint Simons is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Hilton Head Island is a very family-friendly destination. This area is a popular family-friendly beach destination with a number of summer events for the whole family, peaceful beaches, and family-friendly restaurants throughout. Older kids will enjoy cycling around the island's many bike trails or attending a popular tennis camp.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Saint Simons is very family-friendly. The beaches are kid-friendly and there are many family-friendly restaurants in town. There's also the St. Simons Lighthouse, minigolf, and kayaking, as well as Neptune Park Fun Zone.

Is Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island Better for Couples?

Saint Simons
Hilton Head Island

Saint Simons is a very popular place for couples. Also, Hilton Head Island is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

Saint Simons makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are romantic restaurants, beautiful beaches, and nice hotels. Sunset walks on the beach or a round of golf all make this a favorite couple's destination.

Hilton Head Island is a nice destination for couples. While the area is most popular with families, it is a fun place to explore as a couple because of the many high end restaurants and the beautiful setting. Couples can rent bikes to explore or play a friendly game of tennis.

Is Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Saint Simons
Hilton Head Island

Neither Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island offer decent public transit.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Saint Simons. While there are trolley tours available, public transportation is basically non-existent.

Public transit is quite limited in Hilton Head Island. You must have a car to get most places on the island, unless you bike. Rush hour during summer months can have intense traffic.


Is Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island a more walkable city?

Saint Simons
Hilton Head Island

Saint Simons is very good for its ease of walking around. However, Hilton Head Island is lacking in good options for its walkability.

Saint Simons is a somewhat walkable island. The downtown area is walkable, but to access much of what is available, you'll want to have a car.

Hilton Head Island is generally not very walkable. You really need a car to get around, but for those who are motivated, there is a great network of bike trails. It's mostly used for recreational purposes though.

For even more information, also check out Is Saint Simons Worth Visiting? and Is Hilton Head Island Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Hilton Head Island or Saint Simons?

How long in Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island?

Both Saint Simons and Hilton Head Island have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Hilton Head Island than in Saint Simons. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Saint Simons, and 5-7 days is enough time in Hilton Head Island.

Families should spend more time in Hilton Head Island than Saint Simons. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Hilton Head Island, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Saint Simons than Hilton Head Island. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Saint Simons that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Saint Simons than Hilton Head Island if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Saint Simons.


  • How many days in Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island? Ideal Length of Stay
    Saint Simons 2-4 
    Hilton Head Island 5-7

One day in Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island?

Saint Simons might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. This island offers something for everyone. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Hilton Head Island, many people enjoy the shopping and food that this relaxing coastal town offers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island?

Saint Simons is a popular place to visit. Even though Saint Simons is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Saint Simons has to offer.

Hilton Head Island is a fun place to experience. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.


Five days in Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island?

Since Saint Simons is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. Most people come for the beaches. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

In Hilton Head Island, many people enjoy the shopping and food that this family-friendly destination offers. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

A week in Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island?

Saint Simons is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. It offers something for everyone. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

Hilton Head Island is a popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage, and The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco.


Which place is cheaper, Hilton Head Island or Saint Simons?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Saint Simons is $176, while the average daily cost in Hilton Head Island is $243. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Saint Simons and Hilton Head Island in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Saint Simons $100
    Hilton Head Island $129
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Saint Simons $200
    Hilton Head Island $258
Compare Hotels in Saint Simons and Hilton Head Island

Looking for a hotel in Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Saint Simons


Hotels in Hilton Head Island


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Saint Simons Hotel Prices and Hilton Head Island Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Saint Simons $49
    Hilton Head Island $34

Is it cheaper to fly into Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island?

Prices for flights to both Hilton Head Island and Saint Simons 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Saint Simons $48
    Hilton Head Island $60

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:

  • Dolphin Watching 3-Course Dinner Cruise: $70
  • Sunset Dinner Cruise: $106
  • Hilton Head Sunset Dinner Cruise: $106
  • Sunset Hibachi Dinner Cruise : $115

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Saint Simons $16
    Hilton Head Island $23

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:

  • Ticket/Civil War Era on Hilton Head Island Talk: $12
  • Kazoo Factory Tour & Museum : $15
  • Tybee Island Ghost Tour: $30
  • History and Movie Tour of Beaufort by Golf Cart: $32
  • Beaufort City Minibus Tour: $35
  • Historic Tour of Tybee Island: $35
  • 90-Minute Dolphin & Nature Tour: $35
  • Hilton Head Island Dolphin Watching Nature Cruise: $38
  • Dolphin Nature Cruise: $38
  • Tybee Island Bike Tour: $39
  • Sunset Cruise on Hilton Head Island: $40
  • Hilton Head Island Dolphin Boat Cruise: $40

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Saint Simons $60
    Hilton Head Island $26


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Saint Simons and Hilton Head Island, we can see that Hilton Head Island is more expensive. And not only is Saint Simons much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Saint Simons would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Saint Simons 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 Saint Simons.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Saint Simons Expensive? and Is Hilton Head Island Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island?

Hilton Head Island has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Saint Simons. When comparing the sizes of Saint Simons and Hilton Head Island, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Saint Simons as well as Hilton Head Island. The beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Saint Simons this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Hilton Head Island for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Saint Simons is generally around the same temperature as Hilton Head Island. Daily temperatures in Saint Simons average around 82°F (28°C), and Hilton Head Island fluctuates around 82°F (28°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Hilton Head Island. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Saint Simons this time of the year. In the summer, Saint Simons often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Hilton Head Island. Saint Simons gets 286 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Hilton Head Island receives 267 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Hilton Head Island. Saint Simons receives a lot of rain in the summer. Saint Simons usually gets less rain in July than Hilton Head Island. Saint Simons gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Hilton Head Island receives 7.9 inches (200 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Saint Simons 82°F (28°C) 
    Hilton Head Island 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island in the Autumn?

Both Hilton Head Island and Saint Simons are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Saint Simons for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Hilton Head Island in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

Saint Simons is around the same temperature as Hilton Head Island in the autumn. The daily temperature in Saint Simons averages around 70°F (21°C) in October, and Hilton Head Island fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).

It's quite sunny in Hilton Head Island. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Saint Simons. Saint Simons usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Hilton Head Island during autumn. Saint Simons gets 214 hours of sunny skies, while Hilton Head Island receives 223 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Saint Simons usually receives around the same amount of rain as Hilton Head Island. Saint Simons gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Hilton Head Island receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Saint Simons 70°F (21°C) 
    Hilton Head Island 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island in the Winter?

Both Hilton Head Island and Saint Simons during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Saint Simons in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Hilton Head Island for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months.

In the winter, Saint Simons is a little warmer than Hilton Head Island. Typically, the winter temperatures in Saint Simons in January average around 53°F (12°C), and Hilton Head Island averages at about 48°F (9°C).

In the winter, Saint Simons often gets more sunshine than Hilton Head Island. Saint Simons gets 191 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Hilton Head Island receives 176 hours of full sun.

Saint Simons usually gets more rain in January than Hilton Head Island. Saint Simons gets 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain, while Hilton Head Island receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Saint Simons 53°F (12°C) 
    Hilton Head Island 48°F (9°C)

Should I visit Saint Simons or Hilton Head Island in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Saint Simons and Hilton Head Island. Most visitors come to Saint Simons for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty during these months. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Hilton Head Island because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

In April, Saint Simons is generally around the same temperature as Hilton Head Island. Daily temperatures in Saint Simons average around 68°F (20°C), and Hilton Head Island fluctuates around 67°F (19°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Hilton Head Island this time of the year. In Saint Simons, it's very sunny this time of the year. Saint Simons usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Hilton Head Island during spring. Saint Simons gets 285 hours of sunny skies, while Hilton Head Island receives 275 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Saint Simons usually receives around the same amount of rain as Hilton Head Island. Saint Simons gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Hilton Head Island receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Saint Simons 68°F (20°C) 
    Hilton Head Island 67°F (19°C)

Typical Weather for Hilton Head Island and Saint Simons

Saint Simons Hilton Head Island
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 53°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 48°F (9°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Feb 56°F (13°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 52°F (11°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 62°F (17°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 58°F (15°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
May 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 73°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 5.7 inches (146 mm) 80°F (26°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.9 inches (200 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.8 inches (199 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (164 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (180 mm) 77°F (25°C) 5.6 inches (141 mm)
Oct 70°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm)
Dec 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)