Nature and Climate

Kick your sandals off and dig your toes into the sugary white sand while a cool Atlantic ocean breeze caresses your face. Take a walk down a long pier and watch the sea grasses change color with the tides as dolphins playfully put on a show. Stroll past groves of pine, palm and spanish oak trees as you head toward the 18th green of a world class golf course. You can delight in these experiences twelve months a year, when you visit Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA.

Hilton Head Island is considered a gem on Atlantic's southern east coast. The sub-tropical climate is truly one of the main reasons so many people have chosen this island paradise for their special getaways, second homes or primary residences. The average daytime temperature is 75°∆, with an evening temperature settling in at a comfortably cool 55°∆. The average ocean temperature is 69°∆ and we get a little over four inches of rainfall per month to keep our flowers blooming year round. The winters are mild, allowing your thirst for golf, tennis, fishing or possibly some windsurfing to be quenched any month of the year. If you are visiting us in the winter, bring a light jacket. If you are visiting us during the summer, a swimsuit and a pair of shorts will suffice. Always bring your golf clubs, tennis racket and sun glasses.

We take special pride in our island. As residents, we realize that this is a special place in which we live, and take special measures to make sure it stays that way. A healthy amount of money and effort goes into renourishing our beaches. A percentage of our visitors lodging fees goes towards these important efforts. Things like additional sand, vegetation planting along the dunes and sand fencing are all part of the renourishment process, and help to keep the Hilton Head Island Beaches some of the most beautiful and well maintained in the world.

Our climate is well suited to a number of interesting and sometimes eye catching animal friends. Birdwatchers will have plenty to observe, starting with the Piping Plovers, Sanderlings and Sandpipers that are easily visible along the shoreline. Egrets can be seen primarily in the lagoons and marshes, while an Ibis might stand in the way of you and your next shot at the golf course. Because of the excessive wetland drainage in Florida, more and more endangered Wood Storks are making Hilton Head Island their home. And perhaps the most eye catching fowl you will see are the Comorants and Anhingas. They will stand on the water's edge or a pier post with outstretched wings as they search for their next meal.

Deer are plentiful, so plentiful they are often considered a nuisance. Be careful driving at night, when the deer are out and inevitably trying to cross the road you are on.

The loggerhead Turltle is another endangered animal that uses our beaches to lay eggs during late spring and early summer. The babies hatch a couple of months later, and use the light of the moon and stars to get back to the ocean. We take this special event very seriously, and have no lights rules along the beach during hatching season. Our beaches are patrolled so that disturbance to this struggling species is at a minimum.

Our island mascot has to be either the dolphin or the alligator, depending on whether you like friendly or infamous animals. There are about 200 residents dolphins in the waters around Hilton Head, with many more passing through all the time. A dolphin tour is a must while visiting the island. Many will come right up to the boat, and often times the tour guide will know them by name.

Alligators. We love them. We respect them. This mysterious animal that has managed to elude extinction can be found mainly in the lagoons. During spring and fall, you will often spot a °ģgator sunning himself on the shore. They often make their way onto golf courses, staying close to the water and providing a great distraction if you are having a bad golf game. Alligators will not harm you if you do not aggravate them, and adults are too big for them to carry away. Just remember that feeding alligators is illegal (and really stupid) here.

Our commitment to maintaining an ecologically sensitive community is evident everywhere you look. When you drive onto Hilton Head Island, you will notice there are no billboards, no bright colors and no garbage, anywhere. Our city guidelines ensure that all structures and signage blend in with the natural beauty of the island. When developer Charles Fraser decided to build on Hilton Head around fifty years ago, he made sure to set the standard for an enviromentally sound community, and it has maintained that standard ever since. A most notable observance to our visitors - no streetlights on William Hilton Parkway, the main thoroughfare on the island. We want you to experience in the time you are here what we experience and treasure every day on this island. Paradise with modern benefits.

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