A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America West Palm Beach vs. Hilton Head Island for Resorts, Beaches, Families, and Couples

Should you visit West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island?

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

Should I visit West Palm Beach 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.

West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is a vibrant, fun-filled, and diverse beach area. It's also popular because of the beaches, nightlife, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a relaxing, peaceful, and beautiful coastal town. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include food, beaches, and shopping.

West Palm Beach and Hilton Head Island: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island?

Visitors will usually find more to do in West Palm Beach than Hilton Head Island, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. West Palm Beach is better known for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches, while Hilton Head Island is more popular for its food, shopping, and impressive beauty. West Palm Beach is well known for its nice resorts, a lively boardwalk, great seafood, and fun watersports. Also, West Palm Beach is famous for Rosemary Square. Hilton Head Island is well known for its long sandy beaches, many golf courses, popular tennis camps, and accessible bike trails.

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

Is the Food Better in West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

West Palm Beach
Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a popular place for its local flavors and cuisine. However, West Palm Beach is not known for its local cuisine and restaurants.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Hilton Head Island. 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.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in West Palm Beach. Oceanfront restaurants usually have a great view and offer local and fresh seafood. There are also many local restaurants concentrated around Clematis Street and CityPlace districts.


Is West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island Better for Nightlife?

West Palm Beach
Hilton Head Island

West Palm Beach is a very popular place for its evening party scene. However, Hilton Head Island is lacking in good options for nightlife.

West Palm Beach has a large number of nightlife venues. With rooftop bars and clubs, oceanfront venues, and plenty of nightlife options downtown, this city rivals most places when it comes to nightlife. The nightlife scene is particularly active during spring break, when university students head to town.

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 West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island Better for Resorts?

West Palm Beach
Hilton Head Island

West Palm Beach is terrific for its luxury resorts. Also, Hilton Head Island is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its resorts.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, West Palm Beach is a perfect choice. All of the major names are present including the Hilton, Marriott, and Four Seasons.

Hilton Head Island is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. 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.

Is West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

West Palm Beach
Hilton Head Island

West Palm Beach is a very popular place for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Hilton Head Island is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

There is a nice variety of marine life that makes scuba diving and snorkeling great in West Palm Beach. Check out Phil Foster Park in Rivera Beach. It's a man-made reef that is surprisingly clear.

Hilton Head Island is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island Better for Beaches?

West Palm Beach
Hilton Head Island

West Palm Beach is terrific for the beach. Also, Hilton Head Island is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its beaches.

With world-famous beaches, West Palm Beach is a very popular vacation destination. From bustling beaches with a boardwalk to quieter, more relaxing beaches surrounded by parkland, there are are number of options in the area.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Hilton Head Island. 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 the Shopping Better in West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island?

West Palm Beach
Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a popular place for shopping. However, West Palm Beach is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Hilton Head Island. The area has upscale shopping with designer names and local venues. Popular shopping areas include Shelter Cove Town Center and Harbor Town.

West Palm Beach is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island Better for Families?

West Palm Beach
Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is very popular for its kid-friendly activities. Also, West Palm Beach is not as popular, but is still a nice beach area for its family-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.

West Palm Beach is a very kid-friendly beach area. Animal lovers will appreciate the zoos and aquariums in the area. Check out McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary, Manatee Lagoon, the Palm Beach Zoo, and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.


Is West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island Better for Couples?

West Palm Beach
Hilton Head Island

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

West Palm Beach makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples will enjoy kayaking, dining out, or simply relaxing on the beach. It's fun to spend a day exploring the botanical gardens and an evening wandering around Clematis Street.

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 West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

West Palm Beach
Hilton Head Island

West Palm Beach is very good for times when you don't have a car. However, Hilton Head Island is lacking in good options for its public transit.

West Palm Beach has some public transit options. There's a downtown trolley, a commuter trail line (connecting West Palm Beach, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale), and a bus system with about 30 lines.

Public transit is limited or non-existant 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 West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island a more walkable city?

West Palm Beach
Hilton Head Island

West Palm Beach is very good for its ease of walking around. However, Hilton Head Island is lacking in good options for its walkability.

West Palm Beach is a somewhat walkable beach area. West Palm Beach has a surprisingly walkable area and it's possible to explore the downtown area on foot.

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 West Palm Beach Worth Visiting? and Is Hilton Head Island Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Hilton Head Island or West Palm Beach?

How long in West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island?

Both West Palm Beach and Hilton Head Island have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, West Palm Beach has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in West Palm Beach than Hilton Head Island. In general, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for West Palm Beach, and 5-7 days is enough time in Hilton Head Island.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach.


  • How many days in West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island? Ideal Length of Stay
    West Palm Beach 3-7 
    Hilton Head Island 5-7

One day in West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island?

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife when visiting the fun-filled destination of West Palm Beach. This beach area offers something for everyone. Most people visit for the beaches. 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.

The family-friendly destination of Hilton Head Island offers food and shopping. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island?

West Palm Beach is a popular place to visit. Visitors enjoy the nightlife and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the fun-filled beach area of West Palm Beach. Most people visit for the beaches. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

The coastal town of Hilton Head Island offers shopping and food. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island?

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife when visiting the destination of West Palm Beach. This is a popular place to visit for five days. Most people come for the beaches. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people visit for the beaches. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that West Palm Beach has to offer.

Hilton Head Island is a great place to explore. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. This coastal town offers something for everyone. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.


A week in West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island?

West Palm Beach is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this beach area makes for a great vacation. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. It offers something for everyone. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

The resort-filled coastal town of Hilton Head Island offers shopping and food. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. For many, it makes a great getaway for one week. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, and The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Hilton Head Island or West Palm Beach?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in West Palm Beach is $330, 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 West Palm Beach and Hilton Head Island in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    West Palm Beach $234
    Hilton Head Island $129
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    West Palm Beach $468
    Hilton Head Island $258
Compare Hotels in West Palm Beach and Hilton Head Island

Looking for a hotel in West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach


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: West Palm Beach Hotel Prices and Hilton Head Island Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    West Palm Beach $49
    Hilton Head Island $34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in West Palm Beach

Also for West Palm Beach, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • One Way Palm Beach International Transfer: $72
  • Palm Beach to Palm Beach Cruise Port - Departure Private Transfer: $41
  • Palm Beach Port to Palm Beach Airport (PBI) - Departure Transfer: $41
  • Palm Beach International Airport: Transfer to Palm Beach: $70
  • Departure Private Transfer: Palm Beach to Palm Beach Airport PBI in Luxury SUV: $109
  • Cruise Port of Palm Beach to Palm Beach hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $83
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Palm Beach Airport PBI to Palm Beach in Luxury SUV: $109

Is it cheaper to fly into West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island?

Prices for flights to both Hilton Head Island and West Palm Beach 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
    West Palm Beach $66
    Hilton Head Island $60

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in West Palm Beach

For West Palm Beach, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Mornings in the Market Food Tour: $75
  • Mornings in the Market Food Tour: $75
  • Downtown West Palm Beach Food Tour: $85
  • Downtown Food Tour: $85
  • Prohibition Dinner & Drinks Tour: $101
  • Food Tour of Historic West Palm Beach Neighborhoods: $101
  • Prohibition Dinner & Drinks Tour: $101
  • Historic Neighborhood Food Tour: $101

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 Sunset Dinner Cruise: $106
  • Sunset Hibachi Dinner Cruise : $115

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    West Palm Beach $19
    Hilton Head Island $23

Tours and Activities in West Palm Beach

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for West Palm Beach.

  • 2-Hour Guided Snorkel Tour of Phil Foster Park, Blue Heron Bridge: $55
  • 3 Hour Cruise & Swimming Excursion off Peanut Island Park: $77
  • Beginner Scuba Diving Experience With Videos in West Palm Beach: $99
  • Bulk Candy Store Tour: $13
  • Christmas Light Cruise from Jupiter: $75
  • Clear Kayak Eco Tour in Jupiter, Florida: $75
  • Clear Kayak Tour in Jupiter: $79
  • Experience Peanut Island Adventures: $50
  • Flamingle Happy Hour Cruise: $40
  • Guided Haunted Ghosts Tour in Stuart By US Ghost Adventures: $26
  • Guided Jet Snorkel Experience, Free Videos in West Palm Beach: $69
  • Guided Mermaid Snorkel Experience, Free Videos in West Palm Beach: $89

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:

  • #1 Historical Horse Drawn Carriage Tour: $35
  • 2-Hour Hilton Head Guided Kayak Nature Tour: $45
  • 90 Minute Hilton Head Dolphin Tour: $48
  • 90 Minute Hilton Head Dolphin and Nature Cruise: $45
  • 90 minute Hilton Head Sunset Dolphin Cruise: $55
  • Aerial Adventure High Ropes Challenge Courses: $69
  • Beaufort City Minibus Tour: $35
  • Beaufort Gullah Heritage Tour: $49
  • Daufuskie Island Daily Round Trip Ferry Tickets: $54
  • Daufuskie Island Guided History Tour from Hilton Head: $115
  • Daufuskie Island History and Artisian Tour: $95
  • Hilton Head 90 Minute Full Moon Cruise: $64

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    West Palm Beach $39
    Hilton Head Island $26


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between West Palm Beach and Hilton Head Island, we can see that West Palm Beach is more expensive. And not only is Hilton Head Island much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Hilton Head Island would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Hilton Head Island 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 West Palm Beach would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in West Palm Beach than you might in Hilton Head Island.

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


Which is Bigger, West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island?

West Palm Beach has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Hilton Head Island. When comparing the sizes of West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both West Palm Beach and Hilton Head Island. The beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to West Palm Beach this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Hilton Head Island for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences.

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

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Hilton Head Island this time of the year. In West Palm Beach, it's very sunny this time of the year. West Palm Beach usually receives more sunshine than Hilton Head Island during summer. West Palm Beach gets 316 hours of sunny skies, while Hilton Head Island receives 267 hours of full sun in the summer.

Hilton Head Island receives a lot of rain in the summer. West Palm Beach gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, West Palm Beach usually receives less rain than Hilton Head Island. West Palm Beach gets 6.5 inches (166 mm) of rain, while Hilton Head Island receives 7.9 inches (200 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    West Palm Beach 82°F (28°C) 
    Hilton Head Island 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to West Palm Beach as well as Hilton Head Island. Also, many visitors come to Hilton Head Island in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

West Palm Beach is a little warmer than Hilton Head Island in the autumn. The daily temperature in West Palm Beach averages around 78°F (25°C) in October, and Hilton Head Island fluctuates around 68°F (20°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 West Palm Beach this time of the year. In the autumn, West Palm Beach often gets more sunshine than Hilton Head Island. West Palm Beach gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Hilton Head Island receives 223 hours of full sun.

West Palm Beach receives a lot of rain in the autumn. West Palm Beach usually gets more rain in October than Hilton Head Island. West Palm Beach gets 8.7 inches (222 mm) of rain, while Hilton Head Island receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain this time of the year. Keep in mind that June to November is the hurricane season in West Palm Beach.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    West Palm Beach 78°F (25°C) 
    Hilton Head Island 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island in the Winter?

Both Hilton Head Island and West Palm Beach are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to West Palm Beach in the winter for the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Hilton Head Island for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months.

In the winter, West Palm Beach is much warmer than Hilton Head Island. Typically, the winter temperatures in West Palm Beach in January average around 65°F (19°C), and Hilton Head Island averages at about 48°F (9°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in West Palm Beach. West Palm Beach usually receives more sunshine than Hilton Head Island during winter. West Palm Beach gets 243 hours of sunny skies, while Hilton Head Island receives 176 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, West Palm Beach usually receives less rain than Hilton Head Island. West Palm Beach gets 2.6 inches (66 mm) of rain, while Hilton Head Island receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    West Palm Beach 65°F (19°C) 
    Hilton Head Island 48°F (9°C)

Should I visit West Palm Beach or Hilton Head Island in the Spring?

Both Hilton Head Island and West Palm Beach during the spring are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to West Palm Beach for the beaches during these months. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Hilton Head Island because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

In April, West Palm Beach is generally a little warmer than Hilton Head Island. Daily temperatures in West Palm Beach average around 74°F (23°C), and Hilton Head Island fluctuates around 67°F (19°C).

In Hilton Head Island, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in West Palm Beach. In the spring, West Palm Beach often gets more sunshine than Hilton Head Island. West Palm Beach gets 300 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Hilton Head Island receives 275 hours of full sun.

West Palm Beach usually gets more rain in April than Hilton Head Island. West Palm Beach gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Hilton Head Island receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, June to November in West Palm Beach is the hurricane season.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    West Palm Beach 74°F (23°C) 
    Hilton Head Island 67°F (19°C)

Typical Weather for Hilton Head Island and West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach Hilton Head Island
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 65°F (19°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm) 48°F (9°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Feb 66°F (19°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm) 52°F (11°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 70°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 58°F (15°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
Apr 74°F (23°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
May 78°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm) 73°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 8.1 inches (207 mm) 80°F (26°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 6.5 inches (166 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.9 inches (200 mm)
Aug 83°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (164 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 9.8 inches (250 mm) 77°F (25°C) 5.6 inches (141 mm)
Oct 78°F (25°C) 8.7 inches (222 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 72°F (22°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm)
Dec 67°F (20°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)