Hilton Head vs Myrtle Beach for Vacation [2023]: An Honest Comparison to Help You Choose!

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Hilton Head vs Myrtle beach for vacation?🏖 If you are planning a spring break, family vacation or a honeymoon to these popular beach vacation destinations on the Atlantic coast for the first time then you are bound to have this question.

Both Hilton Head and Myrtle beach boast miles of pristine white sand beaches, oceanfront hotels and restaurants, mouthwatering seafood, Golf courses, and many activities on and off the beach, but they also offer a quite distinct experience in their own way. So, which beach destination is cloud nine?

If you are looking for a tranquil, sophisticated, and neon-free island beach vacation with a championship-level Golfing experience in a truly natural setting, then Hilton Head is the place for you.

For those who crave a livelier, action-packed, and wild beach city vacation experience with plenty of amusement parks and shopping options, then Myrtle beach is your cloud nine. 

ParametersHilton HeadMyrtle Beach
Cost of a7-day Trip💵$2724(For Couples)$1942(For couples)
Known for👍Immaculate beaches, World-class Golf courses, luxurious resorts, fine dining restaurants, Biking trails60 miles of coastlines with 14 beaches, the Mini-Golf capital of the world, oceanfront hotels, excellent seafood, Diverse shopping malls, Theaters, Amusement parks 
Beaches🏖Public and Private beaches with moderately livelier as well as laid-back vibe, Good for swimming, surfing, snorkeling and other activitiesMostly public beaches with wild party vibes and fun activities on the beach, Good for swimming, surfing and snorkeling
Activities🏄🏼‍♂️Golfing, Surfing, Fishing, Snorkeling, Wildlife tours, Shopping, Exotic spas, Cultural museumsSurfing, Snorkeling, Shopping, Fishing, Golfing, Water parks, Entertainment centers and Private Cruises
Popular Tourist Attractions🏛Coligny beach, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, Gullah museum, Coastal Discovery Museum, Harbor town Myrtle Beach Ferris Wheel, Myrtle beach, Broadway at the beach, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle beach, The Market Common, Barefoot landing
Best Place to Stay🏨Sea Pines Resort, Coligny beach, Burkes beachThe Market Common, South Myrtle beach (Budget hotels), Central Myrtle beach(Nightlife), North Myrtle beach (For families)

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Hilton Head vs Myrtle beach in 2023: Which is better for a vacation?

What is Hilton Head known for?

Hilton Head

Hilton Head Island, located along the South Atlantic Coast is best known for its world-class golf courses, immaculate white sand beaches, abundant wild and marine life, luxurious oceanfront resorts, fascinating historical architecture, and adventure activities on and off the beach.

This small adorable little island is noted for its pure natural attractiveness and takes pride in being the most “eco-friendly community,” seeking to keep a neon-free island with strict restrictions on the height and number of buildings that can be developed on the island.

🏖 Related post: Tybee Island vs Hilton Head for vacation? An honest Comparison to Help You Choose!

What is Myrtle Beach known for?

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, also known as ‘The Grand Strand,’ is known for its 60 miles of white powdery coastlines with azure blue Atlantic waters, beautiful sunsets, oceanfront hotels and restaurants, vibrant nightlife, amusement parks, and a variety of shopping centers that cater to your every desire.

🏖Related post: Myrtle Beach vs Virginia Beach: Which is the Best Beach City for a Vacation?

What is the best month to visit Hilton Head?

April through May, as well as early September through late November, are good times to visit Hilton Head. Winter is a wonderful time to visit Hilton Head because to the lower lodging costs, while summer delivers more pleasant sunny weather ideal for golfing and swimming.

What is the best month to visit Myrtle Beach?

From June to August, the greatest time to visit Myrtle Beach is when the weather is ideal for sunbathing and beach delight. September to early November is a good time to visit Myrtle Beach if you want a more laid-back experience with less crowds and reduced accommodation rates.

Hilton Head vs Myrtle Beach: Beaches🏖

Both Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach have miles of sugary white coastlines with turquoise-blue Atlantic waves, beachfront resorts, facilities, and plenty of exciting beach activities and sightseeing options to make your beach vacation more wholesome.

Hilton Head

Hilton Head Island has 12 miles of pristine white sand coastlines with azure blue Atlantic waters and exudes a more tranquil and laid-back vibe because most of the beaches on the island have retained their true natural charm, demonstrating Hilton Head’s dedication to preserving the island’s natural beauty.

Best beaches on Hilton Head🏖
Coligny beach
Coligny beach
Photo Credit: Ron Cogswell via Flickr

Frequently referred to as one of the best beaches in the United States, the Coligny beach is the epicentre of the beach party.

Coligny beach is the liveliest beach in Hilton Head, boasting white sand and azure blue waters, swaying palm trees, oceanfront resorts and restaurants, a playground, modern amenities, and beach activities.

Burkes beach
Burkes beach

For those seeking a more serene, laid-back, and secluded beach experience, the private resort Burkes Beach offers a more refined beach experience with miles of white coastline and a picture-perfect biking trail.

Burkes Beach is especially popular among surfers because of its barrel waves, which make surfing a pleasurable experience for both pros and absolute beginners.

Pet owners, in particular, will enjoy their time on Burkes beach with their furry companion, as it is frequently referred to as one of Hilton Head’s best pet-friendly beaches.

Sea Pines beach
SeaPinesBeach: Tybee island vs Hilton Head

The Sea Pines beach is ‘The Beach’ for families and couples alike, boasting lifeguards, restrooms, bars, picnic tables, showers, activities for kids, food market, shopping malls, and fine dining options. It is located on Sea Pines plantation, a resort and residential community beach.

Entry is restricted to residents and community members only, but a moderately priced pass allows access to this well-equipped beach.

Folly Field beach
Folly Field beach

The Folly Field beach in Hilton Head is a hidden gem with miles of sugary white coastline, amenities, lifeguards, sand showers, parking spaces, and activities, making it ideal for a laid-back family or romantic beach experience.

Locals love Folly Field Beach for its surfing, boogie boarding, swimming, and breathtaking sunsets.

Fish Haul Beach Park

The Fish Haul Beach Park, also known as Mithchelville Beach, is a secluded beach located along the Mitchellville Road that exudes a tranquil beach vibe more in tune with nature.

The Fish Haul Beach Park is particularly popular among both locals and tourists as a great place for beachcombing, wildlife observation, walking, and watching the spectacular sunset paint the horizon in vivid colours.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, on the other hand, has 60 miles of gorgeous white coastline with 14 beaches, each offering a distinct experience.

Myrtle Beach, as a beach community, is substantially larger in size than Hilton Head and has a more lively party mood, with more commercialized beaches than Hilton Head.

Being a beach city, Myrtle Beach is more than just a beach vacation destination. Locals and tourists love Myrtle Beach not just for its beaches but also for its exuberant malls, pubs, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife making it one of the most visited cities in South Carolina

Best beaches on Myrtle beach🏖
Myrtle beach
Myrtle Beach

How can we not mention the legendary ‘Myrtle Beach,’ named after the city of Myrtle Beach itself, and with the unmistakable ‘Biggest Ferris Wheel on the East Coast🎡 ‘.

Myrtle Beach has everything a beach city could want, including a party atmosphere, luxurious oceanfront resorts, restaurants, and boutique-style shops, as well as an endless list of beach activities ranging from flying high on the tallest ride in North America at Funplex to exploring the spectacular sea life at Ripley’s Aquarium.

North Myrtle beach
North Myrtle Beach

If you want to get away from the rush and bustle of Myrtle Beach and spend your time lounging on the beach, soaking up the sun, or swimming in the warm Atlantic ocean, North Myrtle Beach is the place to be.

North Myrtle Beach is made up of four smaller beach communities: Cherry Grove, Windy Hill, Ocean Drive, and Crescent Beach, all of which have a relaxed beach town ambiance.

If you want to get away from the sun and the beaches, North Myrtle Beach has a wide range of world-class entertainment options, including movie theatres, local breweries and pubs, and wonderful shopping areas.

🏖 Related post: Is North Myrtle Beach Safe to Travel? Everything You Need to Know!

Surfside beach
Surfside beach

Surfside Beach is the most popular with couples and families with children. Surfside Beach is the most family-friendly beach in Myrtle Beach, with 1.8 miles of beautiful shoreline, warm waters, and low waves, with lifeguards on duty 24 hours a day.

Litchfield beach
Litchfield beach

Litchfield Beach is a terrific spot to relax in a calm coastal town atmosphere and treat yourself to a fantastic round of golf at one of the world-class golf courses that surround the beach.

If you become tired of lying in the sun, you can engage in exciting beach activities such as swimming, kayaking, surfing, and fishing.

Pawleys island
Pawleys Beach

South of Myrtle Beach, across the causeway, is a little island that stands in stark contrast to the crazy party scene atmosphere of Myrtle Beach’s high-rise skyscrapers.

Pawleys Island is a real tropical paradise that oozes solitude and exhibits pure natural appeal, with 6 miles of unspoiled and pristine sugary soft sands and brilliant blue waters.

Pawleys Island is also a great place to go kayaking, surfing, crabbing off a crab dock, and sea shelling.

Hilton Head vs Myrtle Beach: Golfing experience

For places that pride themselves on their state-of-the-art Golf courses and a long Golfing legacy, apart from their dreamy coastlines, it can be a tough choice to choose between the two, especially if you are a Golfing enthusiast.

So, if you are looking forward to enjoying an amazing round of Golf on your beach vacation, then which place is the best for you?

If you looking for a casual golfing experience on a vacation with your buddies or your family, along with plenty of activities to enjoy on and off the beach, good shopping coupled with a lively nightlife scene, then Myrtle Beach is surely right up your alley.

If you are really looking forward to one the best and most sophisticated Golfing experiences of your life with championship level Golf courses at the backdrop of a laid-back and splendid natural beauty coupled with an upscale vibe, then without a doubt choose Hilton Head over Myrtle Beach any day.

For a detailed guide on Hilton Head vs Myrtle Beach’s Golf courses check out this blog.

Things to do in Hilton Head⛳️

Hilton Head activities
  1. Kayaking
  2. Beach Ecology Trips
  3. Bird-watching
  4. Stand Up-Paddle Boarding
  5. Bottlenose Dolphin spotting
  6. Biking Trails (60 miles of picturesque paved pathway for biking and Horse riding. Also known as one of the ‘Most Bicycle-Friendly Community’ in the US)
  7. Wildlife Tours
  8. Explore one of the finest art galleries in South Carolina
  9. Enjoy a round of Golf (Hilton Head is known as a ‘Golfing Paradise’ with 20 Championship level Golf courses)
  10. Treat yourself by shopping at one of the many upscale shopping centers in Hilton Head
  11. Climb the Harbor Town Lighthouse (Most popular tourist attraction in Hilton Head offering spectacular views of the surrounding vistas)
  12. Visit Harbor Town (Shopping street with boutique style shops, home decors and an assortment of unique eateries)
  13. Coastal Discovery Museum (For true nature enthusiasts. Learn about local flora and fauna)
  14. Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge (Wildlife Spotters Paradise with hundreds of plant and animal species)

Things to do in Myrtle Beach🏄🏼‍♂️

Myrtle Beach activities- Hilton Head vs Myrtle Beach
  1. Hit the beach 
  2. Explore marine life at Ripley’s Aquarium (Great place to learn and enjoy about marine life with interactive marine exhibits)
  3. Satisfy your inner nerd at Wonderworks (Must visit science museum for kids and adults alike to enjoy several science exhibits)
  4. Pirates Voyage Dinner and Show (Enjoy a thrilling Pirate show while munching on mouthwatering seafood)
  5. Enjoy the spectacular views of Myrtle beach skyline from the ‘Biggest Ferris Wheel on the East Coast’.
  6. Stroll through Brookgreen Gardens
  7. Learn about Jet Aircraft at Warbird park
  8. Enjoy thrilling water slides and disco at Myrtle Waves water Park
  9. Go shopping at Barefoot Landing
  10. Visit the Hollywood House of Wax

Hilton Head vs Myrtle Beach: Nightlife🍺🙌🏼

Cabo nightlife

Hilton Head

Hilton Head’s nightlife is more easygoing and quiet, much like its laid-back and beautiful beaches. Hilton Head Island is devoid of neon signs and high-rise buildings, reflecting the island’s commitment to preserving the balance between mother nature and humanity.

If your idea of a perfect vacation nightlife includes lounging by the waterfront bars sipping exotic cocktails and enjoy the views, then Hilton Head is the place for you.

Myrtle Beach

In contrast to Hilton Head, Myrtle Seaside, as a beach city, is known for its young and active wild party culture. In Myrtle Beach, nightlife consists of people dining and drinking to the sounds of live music at bars, pubs, and dance clubs.

Myrtle Beach has it all, whether you want the wildest party atmosphere drinking and dancing to loud EDM music or a low-key night out sipping your martini on the beach.

Hilton Head vs Myrtle Beach: Shopping Scene🛍


Your trip to these two South Carolina beach resorts would be incomplete if you did not indulge in some souvenir buying.

Both Hitlon Head and Myrtle Beach have wonderful shopping scenes that include antique stores, boutique style shops, and unique art businesses where you can support the local art community by purchasing some of their spectacular artwork.

In comparison to Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, as a beach city, has a more variety and larger shopping scene. Myrtle Beach caters to all types of travellers, from those on a tight budget to those willing to spend a fortune.

Hilton Head, a barrier island and one of the most popular island vacation destinations in the United States, features a more affluent shopping scene that caters mostly to tourists seeking a more elegant and distinctive shopping experience.

Best places for shopping in Hilton Head🛍

  1. Shelter Cove Towne Center
  2. Village at Wexford
  3. Harbour Town
  4. Coligny Plaza Shopping Center
  5. Main Street Village

Best places for shopping in Myrtle Beach🛍

  1. Broadway at the beach
  2. Barefoot Landing
  3. Tanger Outlets
  4. The Market Common
  5. Coastal Grand Mall

Hilton Head vs Myrtle Beach: Accommodation options🏨

Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach both offer world-class beachfront lodgings with an abundance of amenities such as restrooms, beach showers, parking spots, picnic sites, and designated pet-friendly hotels and places.

The majority of Hilton Head’s beaches are part of community resorts or residential communities, and access to the majority of the island’s beaches is private, catering to a more intimate and elegant beach vacation experience than Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach welcomes 15 million visitors annually, making it one of the most popular beach holiday destinations in the United States.

As a beach city, Myrtle Beach offers numerous oceanfront accommodations as well as condos, villas, and magnificent resorts located within walking distance of the beach.

Below table shows the average cost of accommodation for couples per night in Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach.

Accomodation type/ Place Hilton HeadMyrtle Beach
Budget $86$60
Mid-range $206$141


Hilton Head is an obvious choice for couples on a honeymoon or who love to have a laid-back island vacation with unspoiled natural beauty, exquisite golf courses, and casual nightlife.

Myrtle Beach is the ‘party destination’ of South Carolina. So it goes without saying that if you love a loud and vibrant beach-going experience with lots of activities on and off the beach for you and your kids to enjoy and a casual mini-golfing experience then Myrtle Beach is your cloud nine.

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About the author
James Williams
James has been travel lover since childhood. Reading and traveling have been spiritual experiences for him. Learning about new places, cultures, and ways of life and sharing his own experiences and learnings has always been his passion.

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