Palmetto Dunes

Get to Know: CaptainTrent Malphrus

Trent MalphrusIf you’re looking for a fishing guide, lesson and just someone to talk fish with, Trent Malphrus, we like to call him “Captain Trent,” is your man! He’s been fishing since he could walk and started working as a guide when he was 12 years old.

Growing up on Hilton Head Island, Trent had some of the best fishing surrounding him and he literally knows every nook and cranny of our waterways. We’re so pleased to say he truly believes the best Hilton Head fishing is in our 11-mile lagoon system!

February is a tough month to catch inshore fish so we’re thrilled that March is only a few days away! Trent says that March is just the beginning of some of the best fishing for the year. The longer days and shorter nights lets the fish know spring is on its way and the water begins to warm up slowly but surely.

What Trent is most interested in is all the live bait still left in the creeks. Since the winter was not cold enough for the bait to migrate to warmer water, they have remained here in Hilton Head’s creeks. What he does know is that our lagoon system will start to see Black Drum, Red Fish and Speckled Trout, all for you to catch!

The lagoon system in Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort holds some of the biggest trout on the east coast and there’s a lot of them. Trent’s largest catch ever was in the lagoon, a Red Drum that weighed in more than 50 pounds!

Captain Trent has worked with people of all ages and can help anyone reel in a big one. When his son was just 3 years old, Trent helped him snag a Red Trout and Black Drum. His oldest client was a 91-year-old fly fisherman who caught three Tarpon, which Trent says was an amazing experience.

Want to know more about Trent? Head over to Hilton Head Outfitters and set up a fishing excursion with him. It’s well worth it! 

Wildlife Abound in Hilton Head

Hilton Head wildlifeThe people of Hilton Head have worked hard to preserve the beautiful beaches and landscape and it’s apparent in the amount of wildlife that inhabit our Island. From the ocean to the lagoon to the marsh, there are amazing creatures that love Hilton Head as much as we do! Let us give you a sneak peek into some of the wildlife you could come across on your next vacation.

Birds Galore

When you get off your plane or out of your car, look to the sky and you’re sure to see birds everywhere. From seagulls to the beautiful ibis, Hilton Head is full of winged friends. Shelter Cove Harbour and other piers will have brown pelicans waiting to glide above the water looking for a small fish dinner. While sun tanning or playing on the beach, you’re likely to see large birds like ospreys or even bald eagles.

Spot a Gator, But Leave Him Alone

One of the beset known reptiles on Hilton Head is the alligator. They mainly live within lagoon systems so we’ve seen quite a few here at Palmetto Dunes, but if you leave them alone, they won’t bother you. You might even see one lazing in the sun off the side of one of our golf courses.

A Rainbow of Fish

The lagoon is also full of large, beautiful fish, such as red fish, trout, bluefish, black drum, flounder and even tarpon. The smooth, calm waters of the lagoon system make fishing and crabbing excursions fun and successful at the same time.

The Friendly Dolphin

Head into the big water on one of our dolphin cruises to catch a glimpse of their majestic beauty. Many of our dolphins are very people friendly and may swim alongside the boat or come up to the boat for a bite to eat. We’ve even heard tales of dolphins coming right up to people in our marsh creeks. You could swim with dolphins without even planning it! But always remember, they are wild animals.

Turtles and More

During the spring and early summer, if you walk the beach at night you might see a loggerhead momma turtle waddling up to the dunes creating a nest for her babies. Hilton Head has laws to protect the little guys and to make sure they have a safe hatching season and can make it to the ocean.

There are plenty more animals on the Island, like deer, frogs, toads and plenty of crustaceans. So the next time you’re here, take a minute to look around you and enjoy all the wildlife surrounding you on our beautiful island.

Let’s Go Shopping at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina

Shelter Cove Harbour and MarinaThere’s some great shopping throughout Hilton Head but within Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort there are some must see shops.

Shelter Cove Harbour doesn’t just host HarbourFest, Shannon Tanner and summertime fireworks; it’s also the home of a variety of interesting shopping. Located on beautiful Broad Creek, the waterfront shopping at Shelter Cove Harbour makes for a fun day! Here are some of the stores you need to peruse the next time you’re in town.

Clothing and Accessories

Camp Hilton Head- This cute store has great Hilton Head hats, tees and beach bags. If you’re looking for a vacation souvenir, this is the place.

Neptune’s Kids- Carries a wide variety of clothing, games and gifts for kids of all ages. Your children will surely fall in love with this store.

Taffeta- If you’re looking for a beautiful outfit for a special night out or want to check out the latest fashions from Europe, come on in.

Home and Garden

Christmas on the Harbour- Get in the holiday spirit year round with some of the best Christmas decorations like ornaments, nativities and holiday stem wear.

Neptune’s Niche- Unique home and garden accessories as well as a selection of glassware, artwork, jewelry, woodwork, ironwork, pottery and textiles by Lowcountry artists.

Art and Photography

The Golf & Boat Club/ Bolton Smith Gallery- Original artwork by R. Bolton Smith and resort wear.

LaBelle Image Fine Art Gallery- A popular art gallery featuring original work by artist Richard Riverin and unique art to complement the existing décor of your home.

Legacy Design Photographers- Looking to capture your family vacation memories? The team at Legacy can create beautiful images of your children, engagement photos or family reunions!

Nash Gallery- This gallery showcases some beautiful wood, metal, glass, ceramic and handmade jewelry from North American artists.


Salon Shelter Cove- If you’re looking for a new do, a blow out or even a Keratin treatment while in town, this salon will help you out. Walk-ins welcome!

Shelter Cove has something for everyone and we hope you spend a day walking in the sun from store to store enjoying the day. Don’t forget that there are also 7 wonderful restaurants for you to sit and have lunch and dinner! What’s your favorite store in Hilton Head?

Wake up in Hilton Head with a Great Cup of Coffee

coffee on Hilton Head Close your eyes and imagine yourself waking up to no alarm clock, throwing on your flip flops and sitting on your porch to enjoy your morning with a hot cup of coffee. Doesn’t that sound pretty amazing? We know that even on vacation many enjoy starting their morning off with a great cup of “joe” and we want to help you find the perfect coffee shop on Hilton Head.

For those of you who don’t want to leave Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, we totally understand and that’s why our homes and villas come with a coffee pot in them. You bring your favorite brand of beans and let the coffee pot do the rest. If you’d like to take a little morning walk or bike ride, The General Store serves up a great cup of coffee, and if you’re the first to check-in on Foursquare in the morning, you could get your cup for free! Both hotels located in Palmetto Dunes also have wonderful breakfast buffets and plenty of coffee.

If you’d like to get out and about in Hilton Head, here are some great local coffee shops to try:

  1. Frosty’s in Shelter Cove Harbour doesn’t just serve Italian Ice and fudge, they also pour a great cup of coffee.
  2. If you’re a Starbucks addict, you can get your fix on Hilton Head! There’s one in the Piggly Wiggly on Shelter Cove Lane, as well as bigger stores with seating and WiFi on either end of the island, including one at 430 Highway 278 and the other at 11 Palmetto Bay Road.
  3. Pino Gelato won Hilton Head’s Small Business of the Year award in 2010 and they’re still going strong! Beyond amazing gelato, crepes and cannolis, they serve espresso and coffee drinks!
  4. If you’re headed to Coligny Plaza, try Java Joe’s, Sweet Carolina Cupcakes or Ronnie’s Bakery at Coligny! All three locations serve up a mean cup of joe.

We hope to help you wake up each morning of your Hilton Head vacation with the best jolt possible. Do you have a favorite coffee shop here in Hilton Head that we didn’t mention? We’d love to hear! 

Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center is Number One!

Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center The March issue of Tennis Magazine named Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center the No. 1 Tennis Center in the Carolinas and we couldn’t be more thrilled! The magazine considers the quality of tennis instruction, number of courts and clinics provided in determining the rankings. They also take into account the lodging, dining and other amenities that are included with your tennis vacation.

Our 25 courts -- 23 clay and 2 Nova pro bounce , 7 of which are lighted for night play -- made it to the top spot beating out several resorts in North and South Carolina. Beyond the quality and number of courts, Tennis Magazine called out our wide variety of tennis lessons and clinics. From our Junior Programs, such as our Short Shorts Clinic, to our Daily Round Robins, we have lessons and programs for the whole family. Plus, last year, we added a shortened court for children’s play to follow new tournament regulations.

Between February and November, our tennis center will play host to nine tournaments, bringing some amazing talent to Hilton Head Island.

Beyond all the courts, classes and tournaments here at Palmetto Dunes, we also offer two hours of free tennis court time daily to all our resort homes or villas guests, in addition to giving them the best deals on activities within the resort.

We’re so proud of our wonderful tennis team and look forward to hosting you for the perfect Hilton Head tennis vacation at the best tennis resort in the Carolinas! 

10 Insider Tips from the Palmetto Dunes Team

Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront ResortFrom the golf course to where to eat and drink we’ve compiled tips and information from the staff at Palmetto Dunes to help you get the most out of your visit to our resort.


  1. Golf shots at Palmetto Dunes Resort feel different than in many parts of the country for two reasons: the grass is different and so is the soil.” – Doug Weaver, Head of Golf Instruction
  2. “When putting on Bermuda grass at Palmetto Dunes Resort, you have to consider the grain of the grass, which is influenced by slope, sunset and nearby water. Lessons with the instruction staff can lead to significantly improved putting.”  – Doug Weaver, Head of Golf Instruction


  1. “Guests at the resort don’t have to travel with their racquets. Our demo racquets are available for use in all our clinics, lessons and round robins and can even be rented for personal play.” - Brian Kiggans, Head Tennis Professional
  2. “Starting the first Monday in March, the Tennis Center begins their Monday Night Pro Exhibitions at 5:30 p.m. During that time, we offer a discount on retail merchandise in the Pro Shop. Starting the first Tuesday in March, the Tennis Center kicks off Demo Days at 2 p.m. and demo day discounts are offered as well.” – Jackie Reynecke, Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center


  1. “It’s 5 o’clock and you’re on the beach; just walk directly up to The Dunes House and enjoy a beachy cocktail. No shoes required!” –  Chris Fleury,  Director of Food & Beverage
  2.  “You have to try the fried chicken, green beans and macaroni at The General Store. They cook all items fresh each morning!” – Frank Gaston, The General Store and Hilton Head Outfitters
  3. “The grill at the Arthur Hills Course makes Liz’s homemade New England clam chowder daily! It’s delicious.” – Amelia Johnston, Marketing Coordinator


  1. “When the weather is warm, the best time to go fishing is in the morning; you’re bound to get more bites. Also, a great tip for fishing inshore during the colder months is that the first quarter and last quarter moon produce more fish.” – Captain Trent Malphrus , Palmetto Lagoon Charters
  2. “When you book your accommodations through Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, you get the best deal on the whole island on golf, bikes, tennis, kayaks and so much more.” – Karen Morris, Director of Sales


  1.  “Visit the Rotunda, also known as the Welcome Center. We have an on-site concierge available seven days a week to answer all your Hilton Head questions.” – Jennifer Carlin, Revenue Manager

If you’ve never stayed with us before, feel free to ask us any questions you have by emailing or you can “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and we’ll answer your questions there.

Do you have a great tip for visiting Palmetto Dunes? 

Wine and Dine at the 27th Hilton Head Island Wine and Food Festival

Hilton Head Wine and FoodIn just a few weeks, Hilton Head Island will be sipping some of the best wines around. March 5-10 is the 27th Annual Hilton Head Island Wine and Food Festival and it’s now one the largest tented wine events on the East Coast. For six days winos and foodies will invade the island to sample amazing Lowcountry dishes and outstanding wines.

The Festival kicks off March 5 with a “Great Chefs of the South Wine Dinner.” There will be a few of these throughout the week with time and location coming soon. Can you imagine anything better than talented local chefs pairing each course with a different glass of wine?!

If you’re interested in expanding your wine knowledge, then Friday night’s Grand Tasting and Silent Auction is perfect for your palate. Proceeds from the silent auction benefits educational opportunities for students in the hospitality programs of study at the University South Carolina Beaufort and the Technical College of the Lowcountry through the John T. and Valerie Curry Educational scholarship fund.

Saturday, March 10 wraps up the fun with the big Wine and Food Festival from Noon to 3 p.m. The Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn will turn into a wine lover’s dream with the opportunity to mingle with winemakers, sample hundreds of wines, listen to live music and snack on some amazing hors d’oeuvres. Admission is $45 and includes access to all tastings and a souvenir wine glass.

Start planning your Hilton Head trip to Palmetto Dunes for this awesome event. We’d love to see  you here to enjoy spring-like weather, fine wine and delicious food! 

Palmetto Dunes is Gearing Up for Spring and Summer in Hilton Head

We’ve heard from so many of you who are already counting down the days, weeks or months until you hit the beaches here in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Spring break is right around the corner for most and summer will be right behind! We’re getting just as pumped as y’all about the beach season and to get you even more in the mood, we’ve come up with a list of must-do activities while you’re visiting us at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort.

One of the most beloved Palmetto Dunes locations, The Dunes House, plans to re-open in late February, just in time to feed the spring breakers and summer vacationers the best fish tacos and drinks around with an unbeatable oceanfront view.

March not only brings us the spring breakers but also the Tennis Welcome Exhibition and Happy Hour and Demo Days.  Every Monday night at 5:30 p.m., we get our employees and guests together to enjoy cocktails and lemonade while watching our tennis pros play on Centre Court. If you really enjoy tennis, then our Tuesday 2 p.m. Demo Days is the perfect way to test the newest equipment and ask our pros any technical questions you may have.

Summertime brings lots of activities unique to Palmetto Dunes like stand up paddle boarding and our amazing surf school. Learning to paddle board can be tough in the ocean waves so we provide lessons on our calm 11-mile lagoon system!

Our surf school has taught tons of people to hang-10 over the past few years and it’s back this year to teach a whole new crew. Even if you’ve never even attempted to stand on a board, our instructors will have you surfing before you know it. Just check out these young surfers.

Summer wouldn’t be complete without HarbourFest at Shelter Cove Harbour and nightly performances by Shannon Tanner, a Hilton Head summer tradition that families return to enjoy year after year.

We can’t wait to see you all this year and hope you’ll enjoy all the Palmetto Dunes classics, while also trying a new activity or event! Oh, and you might have so much fun that you see fireworks! 

Sail Away in Hilton Head with Palmetto Dunes

Sailboat Hilton HeadWhen most people think about Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort they think about the beautiful beaches, three amazing golf courses, miles of paved bike paths and exceptional tennis. While we’re incredibly proud to be known for all of these activities, we also want you to take advantage of our many sailboat charters out of Shelter Cove Harbour just across the road. We have two exquisite sailboats and three fun filled cruises that will please the whole family.

The Schooner “Welcome”  offers a variety of options, including a relaxing sunset cocktail and hors d’oeuvres cruise ideal for catching the marsh breeze and enjoying the amazing views of Hilton Head. For those interested in the wildlife surrounding our island, the Eco Cruise is for you. Hitting the seas each afternoon allows you to encounter a wide variety of marine wildlife like sea turtles, marsh birds and majestic dolphins. Finally, the “Welcome” provides a fun-filled family experience with the Pirates Adventure Cruise. Sail the high seas with a pirate as your guide while learning to hoist the sails and steer the ship. Ahoy matey, it’s a good time indeed!

If you’re looking for a more private sailboat charter, we have the smaller 40-foot “Special-K”. Take your time sailing around Hilton Head Island with an experienced captain and crew. Whether you’re interested in learning more about how to sail or you want to surprise your spouse with a romantic private ride, the “Special-K” is a great choice.

The next time you’re in Hilton Head consider taking an adventure to the high seas and come aboard one of our fabulous sailboat charters!