A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Tampa vs. Hilton Head Island for Families, Beaches, Food, and Couples

Should you visit Tampa or Hilton Head Island?

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

Should I visit Tampa 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.

Tampa

Tampa is a easy-going, low-key, and laid-back city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the beaches.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a relaxing, peaceful, and beautiful coastal town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the shopping, food, and beaches.

Tampa and Hilton Head Island: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance


How is Tampa 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 Tampa. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Tampa or Hilton Head Island Better for Food?

Tampa
Hilton Head Island

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Tampa and Hilton Head Island can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Tampa may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Some favorite dishes include fresh caught seafood, Grouper sandwiches, and Cuban sandwiches.

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. Popular local dishes include fried seafood and oysters.


Is Tampa or Hilton Head Island Better for Beaches?

Tampa
Hilton Head Island

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Tampa and Hilton Head Island are good choices.

Tampa is considered a top beach destination. Popular beaches near Tampa include Ben T. Davis Beach, Fred Howard Park, and Indian Rocks Beach.

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.

Is Tampa or Hilton Head Island Better for Families?

Tampa
Hilton Head Island

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Tampa or Hilton Head Island.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Tampa. The city has a number of kid-oriented attractions including Busch Gardens Amusement Park, several kid-friendly museums, and a number of animal centers, aquariums, and wildlife rescue facilities.

Hilton Head Island is one of the most popular family destinations. 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.

Is Tampa or Hilton Head Island Better for Couples?

Tampa
Hilton Head Island

With fun activities for couples, both Tampa and Hilton Head Island make for a good place to visit.

Tampa is not always the best place to visit for a couple. The area does have great restaurants and some fun places to explore.

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.

Is Tampa or Hilton Head Island a more walkable city?

Tampa
Hilton Head Island

Tampa and Hilton Head Island are similar when it comes to walkability.

Tampa is generally not a very walkable city. While there are some neighborhoods that are considered walkable, you really need a car if you hope to explore Tampa in depth.

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.


Should I spend more time in Hilton Head Island or Tampa?

How long in Tampa or Hilton Head Island?

Both Tampa 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 Tampa.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Tampa is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Hilton Head Island is 5-7 days.


  • How many days in Tampa or Hilton Head Island? Ideal Length of Stay
    Tampa 2-3 
    Hilton Head Island 5-7

One day in Tampa or Hilton Head Island?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the easy-going destination of Tampa. This city 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 food and shopping that this family-friendly destination offers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. This coastal town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Tampa or Hilton Head Island?

Tampa is a popular place to visit. Visitors enjoy the when visiting the laid-back city of Tampa. 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 Tampa has to offer.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Hilton Head Island. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Tampa or Hilton Head Island?

Many people enjoy the when visiting Tampa. 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.

Hilton Head Island is a fun place to experience. In Hilton Head Island, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this destination offers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A week in Tampa or Hilton Head Island?

Tampa 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.

In Hilton Head Island, many people enjoy the shopping and food that this peaceful destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Which city is cheaper, Hilton Head Island or Tampa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tampa 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Tampa and Hilton Head Island in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tampa $68
    Hilton Head Island $103
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tampa $136
    Hilton Head Island $206
Compare Hotels in Tampa and Hilton Head Island

Looking for a hotel in Tampa 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 Tampa


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: Tampa Hotel Prices and Hilton Head Island Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tampa $58
    Hilton Head Island $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa

Also for Tampa, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer from Tampa International Airport to Tampa: $75
  • Tampa hotel or address to Tampa Airport (TPA) - Departure Private Transfer: $82
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $164
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $82
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $83
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $167
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $167
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $83
  • Private Transfer from Tampa to Port Canaveral: $526
  • Private Transfer from Tampa to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $457
  • Private Transfer from Tampa to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $393
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Sarasota: $120

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

Prices for flights to both Hilton Head Island and Tampa 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
    Tampa $34
    Hilton Head Island $48

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tampa $15
    Hilton Head Island $19

Tours and Activities in Tampa

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

  • 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa: $31
  • 2-hour Tiki Boat BYOB Cruise in Tampa: $60
  • Adventure Island Water Park Ticket: $63
  • Bayshore Drive Motorbike Tour: $199
  • Bicycle Tour Orlando, Over Tampa Bay Ride: $150
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Admission Ticket: $110
  • Historic Ybor City Food and Drink Walking Tour: $59
  • Motorcycle Tour of Sunshine Skyway Bridge: $299
  • Nature Coast Private Day Tour From Tampa with Photographer , Max Group of 4: $250
  • Orlando: Aquatica Water Park Admission Ticket: $128
  • Skip the Line: The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay Ticket: $26
  • Skip the Line: ZooTampa at Lowry Park Admission Ticket: $45

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:

  • 2-Hour Guided Kayak Nature Tour of Hilton Head: $40
  • 3-Hour Private Customized Small-Group Fishing, Dolphin Watching, or Nature Tours: $497
  • Avocado Electric Beach Cruiser Rental at Hilton Head Island: $50
  • Creek Cat Tour: $119
  • Disappearing Island Dolphin Tour: $48
  • Dolphins & Donuts Cruise: $59
  • Guided Kayak Eco Tour: $40
  • Guided Mini Boat Dolphin Tour: $250
  • Guided Stand Up Paddleboard Tour: $40
  • Hidden Hilton Head Private Tours: $185
  • Hilton Head Fireworks Boat Cruise: $50
  • Hilton Head Guided Creek Cat Dolphin Eco Tour: $127

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tampa $20
    Hilton Head Island $21

Sample the Local Flavors in Tampa

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

  • Tampa Bar Hunt: Tampa Takeover Bar Crawl: $12
  • Haunted Tampa Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - Ybor City: $26
  • Private Tampa Brewery Tour - Party Bus: $600


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


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

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Tampa or Hilton Head Island in the Summer?

Both Hilton Head Island and Tampa are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The beaches, snorkeling, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Tampa this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Hilton Head Island for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences.

Tampa is around the same temperature as Hilton Head Island in the summer. The temperature in Tampa is usually 82°F (28°C) in July, and Hilton Head Island stays around 82°F (28°C).

It's quite sunny in Hilton Head Island. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Tampa. Tampa usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Hilton Head Island during summer. Tampa gets 265 hours of sunny skies, while Hilton Head Island receives 267 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Hilton Head Island. It's quite rainy in Tampa. In July, Tampa usually receives around the same amount of rain as Hilton Head Island. Tampa gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Hilton Head Island receives 7.9 inches (200 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


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

Should I visit Tampa or Hilton Head Island in the Autumn?

Both Hilton Head Island and Tampa during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Tampa for the city's sights and attractions. Furthermore, many visitors come to Hilton Head Island in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Tampa is a little warmer than Hilton Head Island. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Tampa in October are around 75°F (24°C), and Hilton Head Island is about 68°F (20°C).

In Hilton Head Island, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Tampa. In the autumn, Tampa often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Hilton Head Island. Tampa gets 234 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Hilton Head Island receives 223 hours of full sun.

Tampa usually gets less rain in October than Hilton Head Island. Tampa gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Hilton Head Island receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Tampa 75°F (24°C) 
    Hilton Head Island 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Hilton Head Island in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Tampa and Hilton Head Island. Many visitors come to Tampa in the winter for the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Hilton Head Island for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months.

In January, Tampa is generally much warmer than Hilton Head Island. Temperatures in Tampa average around 60°F (15°C), and Hilton Head Island stays around 48°F (9°C).

In Tampa, it's very sunny this time of the year. Tampa usually receives more sunshine than Hilton Head Island during winter. Tampa gets 200 hours of sunny skies, while Hilton Head Island receives 176 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Tampa usually receives less rain than Hilton Head Island. Tampa gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Hilton Head Island receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Tampa 60°F (15°C) 
    Hilton Head Island 48°F (9°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Hilton Head Island in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Tampa as well as Hilton Head Island. Most visitors come to Tampa for the beaches and the activities around the city during these months. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to Hilton Head Island because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

Tampa is a little warmer than Hilton Head Island in the spring. The temperature in Tampa is usually 71°F (22°C) in April, and Hilton Head Island stays around 67°F (19°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 Tampa this time of the year. In the spring, Tampa often gets more sunshine than Hilton Head Island. Tampa gets 299 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Hilton Head Island receives 275 hours of full sun.

Tampa usually gets less rain in April than Hilton Head Island. Tampa gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Hilton Head Island receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Tampa 71°F (22°C) 
    Hilton Head Island 67°F (19°C)

Typical Weather for Hilton Head Island and Tampa

Tampa Hilton Head Island
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 48°F (9°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 52°F (11°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 58°F (15°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 73°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 80°F (26°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.9 inches (200 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (164 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 77°F (25°C) 5.6 inches (141 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)


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Tampa vs. Hilton Head Island Travel Comparison

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