Voted the No. 1 Island in the U.S. by readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler, Hilton Head Island welcomes some 2.61 million visitors annually to its sunny shores, and Bluffton has been named numerous times as a top Southern Town by Travel + Leisure and Southern Living. But the Lowcountry is far more than just a premier golf and beach vacation destination.
The South Carolina barrier island is a vibrant, year-round community with established neighborhoods, businesses, schools, faith organizations and municipal facilities supporting a population of more than 39,800. The majority of its residents are highly educated with 52.8 percent holding a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 36 percent in the country as a whole.
They are also more affluent. The annual median household income is $73,972 with the median value of owner-occupied homes between 2014-2018 topping $469,000. While an estimated 35.5 percent of residents are 65 and older, the island has lured a growing number of families.
In neighboring Bluffton, 15.5 percent of the town’s 25,500 residents are 65 and older while 25 percent are younger than 18. The median household income is $74,695 with a median home value of $266,200.
Many of the area’s residents were once happy vacationers who longed for the relaxed quality of life they experienced during their island getaway. With its subtle signage, low-level lighting and subdued architecture, Hilton Head provides a spectacular natural environment to live with easy access to the beach and unparalleled recreational amenities attractive to both families and retirees.
Equally important, all the necessary infrastructure – hospitals and medical facilities, schools, parks, recreation programs and arts and entertainment venues – is available, allowing residents to enjoy an out-of-the-ordinary life in an extraordinary place.