26 Hilton Head Island

PopulationMetro: 215,302
There’s a lot to love about this boot-shaped sea island in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, which is home to 40,000 lucky residents who get to play in the sea, sun, and sand year-round.

There’s a lot to love about this boot-shaped sea island in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, which is home to 40,000 lucky residents who get to play in the sea, sun, and sand year-round.

But there’s more to Hilton Head than just the beautiful beaches—the city also boasts unbelievable bike trails and cultural opportunities like the Coastal Discovery Museum, which educates visitors and locals alike on the area’s ecological history and significance of the island.

Unsurprisingly given it’s an island, the biggest industries in Hilton Head are accommodation and food services, but there’s also work in construction, retail, and manufacturing. The work force is well educated and prosperous, coming in at #8 on our list for educational attainment and #3 overall on household income, which is a staggering $72,569 a year (about $13,000 more than the average American income).

CITY PERFORMANCE
Place
Place 56
Product
Product 23
Programming
Programming 29
People
People 70
Prosperity
Prosperity 50
Promotion
Promotion 28

There’s no shortage of ways to have fun while you’re in Hilton Head, considering you’re surrounded by beaches to explore and wildlife to see. Beyond the beaches, there’s also iconic lighthouses, fishing, and golfing to keep you busy while you’re visiting or staying for the long haul. Given all this, it’s not hard to believe Hilton Head ranked #7 on our list for TripAdvisor reviews.

Hilton Head is a natural playground for those who love to get in the great outdoors, which is why it ranks at #6 overall in our Place category and #5 on our subcategory of parks and outdoors. Whether you’re exploring the Sea Pines Forest Preserve or simply enjoying the views at Islanders Beach Park, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy the scenery.

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