When you're planning your annual beach trip, you want everything to go just perfectly so you'll have wonderful family memories for years to come. But with kids of different ages and sometimes grandparents along for the trip, too the planning part can be slightly challenging.
Here are 8 secrets from the staff at Palmetto Dunes for planning the perfect family beach vacation:
1) Choose a villa or home rental
Over and over we hear from families who stay at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort how much they love staying in our Hilton Head vacation rentals and homes. Families can spread out instead of being cramped in a hotel room and enjoy some down time between activities. Plus, you have access to a full kitchen and a washer and dryer, which makes packing so much easier.
2) Reserve early
Be sure to reserve your Hilton Head beach vacation as soon as you can to ensure you get your first choice of Hilton Head vacation rentals, as well as the best rates. That also goes for our Hilton Head bike rentals, kayak rentals, tee times at our three championship Hilton Head golf courses and more, especially during busier seasons.
3) Sign up for our emails
Looking for a deal? You're sure to find the best ones if you subscribe to our emails. We regularly share inside tips and savings just for our past guests and subscribers. You'll be the first to know about the latest offers and events at the resort.
4) Check the events calendar
Before you arrive – or even plan your vacation – check to see what's going on at the resort on our events calendar. We have activities year-round, but if you have a specific event or activities for a certain age group in mind, you can plan your visit around that schedule. During summer, enjoy HarbourFest at Shelter Cove, and during spring and fall, there's Music & Taste on the Harbour. We also regularly host golf and tennis clinics, summer surfing lessons, live music at the oceanfront Dunes House restaurantand more.
5) Don't over-schedule
When you come to Hilton Head Island, there's so much to do, you can wear yourself out! We highly recommend choosing just one main activity per day, such as golf, tennis, a nature cruise or kayaking, and allowing plenty of time for relaxing at your vacation home or villa. That's what makes it a vacation!
6) Get bikes
Hilton Head Island is the perfect place to ride your Hilton Head bike rentals. With 50 miles of paved paths to explore, there's always somewhere new to go. You'll be happy you're not sitting in traffic, and you'll get a firsthand view of our beautiful scenery. Plus, you're getting exercise, too! Safely ride to the Dunes House, the General Store, the Tennis Center or any of our 3 golf courses within Palmetto Dunes. You can also pedal through our safe passageway under the highway to Shelter Cove Harbour.
7) Learn a new skill
Why not come back from vacation with a new skill? Palmetto Dunes offers ample opportunity for learning a new skill or sport. Take a class at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, hone your golf skills at our three varied golf courses, each of which has been named the South Carolina course of the year, or take a lesson at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center. Learn to surf during the summer with our Hilton Head surfing lessons or take a Hilton Head fishing charter and learn how to fish from the Lowcountry experts. Crabbing is another great activity for all ages!
8) Go grocery shopping
Since you're staying in a vacation home or villa, you have access to a full kitchen, and it's incredibly handy to be able to pop back for a snack or enjoy breakfast in the villa before you head out for the day. Head to the new Kroger or Whole Foods close by upon your arrival or use a Hilton Head grocery shopping service like Hopper Shopper or Grocery Run and have your rental stocked before you even arrive!
What are your tips for a great beach vacation? We want to hear them!
For more information about booking your family beach vacation at Palmetto Dunes, visit www.palmettodunes.com or give us a call at 866-650-4130.
What’s your favorite resort in the south? We hope it’s Palmetto Dunes! It seems that it is for many of you, as Conde Nast Traveler just announced we landed at No. 13 on their Reader’s Choice Top 25 Resorts in the South. South Carolina dominated the list with seven resorts, including us, represented.
For the Reader’s Choice Awards, Conde Nast Traveler asked nearly 77,000 readers to vote on their favorite cities, hotels, resorts and cruise lines to help inspire others about the best places to travel around the world.
To determine the rankings for the awards, which began back in 1988, the magazine hires a research firm to tabulate the results. In order to be eligible for an award, a candidate must receive a minimum number of responses.
Readers are asked to judge each individual candidate on a set of criteria relevant to their category, based on a standard five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair and poor. The mean average determines the final score and thus ranking.
Why is Palmetto Dunes a top U.S. resort? Let us count the ways! Golf, tennis, 3 miles of beach, a beautiful inland lagoon system, shopping, dining, fishing, kayaking, bike riding and the list goes on…
Why do you think Palmetto Dunes is one of the best resorts in the south?
If you’ve got some folks in your family who simply adore Hilton Head, why not give them a little taste of the island as their holiday gift? We’ve got 5 ideas for the Hilton Head lovers in your life:
1) Golf flag – For the golfers in your family, why not give them a fun reminder of their rounds at Palmetto Dunes? Come shop in one of our Hilton Head golf pro shops for a flag with the name of one of our golf courses or we’re happy to ship it to you. Why not reserve them a future golf round, as well?
2) Beach-themed ornament – Christmas tree ornaments can be fun reminders of people and places near and dear to your heart. That’s why you should have an ornament representing Hilton Head on your tree. The Palmetto Dunes General Store always has some cute ones in stock – be it Santa riding an alligator or climbing a palm tree J.
3) Hilton Head vacation – Want to see the family go bananas on Christmas morning? Let them unwrap a gift that tells them they’ll be vacationing to Hilton Head Island next spring or summer! Go ahead and book your Hilton Head vacation home and include a few pictures for them to ogle along with a sample itinerary of biking, golfing, playing tennis, kayaking, fishing and more!
4) Palmetto Dunes logoed gear – Our new online store makes it easy to order something and have it sent direct to you without ever having to step outside the door. Choose from a variety of apparel all printed with the Palmetto Dunes logo, including fleece jackets, hats, polos and even robes.
5) Palmetto Dunes Gift Card – For the people you just don’t know what to get, why not a Palmetto Dunes gift card? They can use it at any-resort owned property for goods and services, such as accommodations for vacation rentals, meals at the Dunes House or Big Jim’s, rounds of golf, tennis lessons, bike rentals or even surfing lessons next summer! Buy online.
Which of these Hilton Head Island gifts would you like the most this holiday season? Do you think your family would enjoy receiving them?
If we can help you plan your Hilton Head vacation or ship gift items direct to your doorstep, give us a call at 866-650-4130.
While many plan their beach getaways during the busier spring and summer seasons, we think fall and winter is the perfect time for seaside retreat, especially with your significant other!
As the weather gets cool up north, it’s incredibly uplifting and refreshing to head to warmer climes, even if just for a brief respite. It can lift the spirits and give you endurance to make it through the rest of the cold winter months!
Hilton Head Island and Palmetto Dunes make for great winter and holiday escapes for couples. Plan to take a long weekend away from the kids during holiday break or any weekend you can get away. Just picture in your mind’s eye strolls on the beach, waterfront gourmet meals, and long bike rides, stopping to have a picnic under the palms.
Palmetto Dunes offers many activities for couples. Choose from any or all of the below:
1) A round of golf at any of our 3 championship Hilton Head golf courses
2) 2 hours of complimentary tennis court time daily with a Palmetto Dunes vacation home or villa
3) Golf or tennis lessons
4) Paddle our 11-mile inland lagoon system in a double kayak or canoe from Hilton Head Outfitters
5) Rent bikes from Hilton Head Outfitters and explore the 50 miles of paved paths on Hilton Head Island
6) Have a massage or Hilton Head spa service at Ocean Tides Spa at the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort or Spa Soleil at Hilton Head Marriot Resort and Spa
7) Enjoy a gourmet meal with a waterfront view at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina. Choose from restaurants ranging from French and Italian to Mediterranean and Mexican.
We offer a variety of romance packages that combine accommodations with many of these activities. For more information about a couples’ holiday getaway, visit www.palmettodunes.com or call us at 866-650-4130.
by Captain Miles
Fall is a special time here in the Lowcountry for many reasons, the weather is better, the crowds thin...and the bull redfish swarm inshore waters. The bulls, 20 pounds upwards to the 50 pound mark are here or offshore all year, but this time of year they come close in big numbers with catches of 20 or more fish in a trip not at all uncommon.
The strength of these fish is incredible, rivaling any other fish its size short of an amberjack or tuna. I usually fish heaby spinning reels with 50 pound braid and even with a heavy drag they will strip line off at an alarming pace, and do it several times in a battle. I have fished lighter tackle but the lengthly battle takes a toll on these big fish and they must be released, the law being everything over 23 inches must be returned to the water.
The smaller redfish also invade the creeks this time of year offering the best light tackle sport available. Shrimp, live or dead, cut mullet and menhaden all are favorite baits when fishing inshore. The "slot" or keeper size is 15-23 inches and by SC law you may keep three fish per person. Not only are redfish a blast to catch, but they are delicious. Before Chef Pail Prudhomme introduced "blackened redfish" these fish were locally known as spot tail bass or puppy drum. Officially, their proper name is red drum. Coloration is usually a deep burnt orange or copper across the back with a single spot at the base of the tail. Some fish have multiple spots from the tail to the middle of the fish. A strong and broad tail and thick shoulders give it all the horsepower it needs to make your day.
Good conservation and our local mariculture center have provided some of the best stocks of redfish I have seen in forty years of fishing this area. Al Stokes and his crew at the Mariculture Center have been boosting the local population with their work for years. The proof is in the pudding whether you want to light tackles redfish in the creeks or chase the big bulls, now is the perfect time.
At Wine Tasting Wednesday, every Wednesday in October from 5-7 p.m. at the inside room, guests can try new wines paired with sumptuous cheeses while enjoying a beautiful oceanfront view.
The event is $10 per person first come, first served and will include different wines each week. For example, on October 15, featured wines will be:
Wine distributors will also be on hand to answer your most burning wine questions J.
Come enjoy wine and cheese on your fall Hilton Head vacation! Stroll over or ride your bike from your Hilton Head vacation home and meet us at the Dunes House. See you there!
Afraid Hilton Head Island prices are beyond your reach? Think again! Palmetto Dunes, especially in the off season, which includes the holidays, may be more economical than you thought.
From October 2014-March 2015, we have rates for a two-bedroom resort view villa starting at only $159/night! And unlike a traditional hotel room, you get a full villa with many of the amenities of home like a full kitchen and dining area and a washer/dryer, which makes packing so much easier. Our villas also have TVs, wireless Internet access and many have porches, balconies or decks to enjoy Lowcountry views, as well as gyms, pools and elevators. Additional bedrooms and ocean views are available for a higher starting rate.
Plus, when you book through Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, you get even more value for your nightly rate, including two free hours of tennis daily and 20% off resort dining and items at select retail outlets. Our guests also receive preferred rates and priority access to our three championship Hilton Head golf courses and golf lessons, Hilton Head tennis clinics, Hilton Head bike rentals, kayak rentals, fishing charters and more.
Got a pooch who wants to join you at the beach? No problem! We offer several Hilton Head pet-friendly accommodations during this season.
Always dreamed of spending the holidays watching the waves crash after your turkey dinner or opening gifts? These prices remain the same during Thanksgiving or the December holiday break, too – an amazing deal!
Fall and winter are wonderful seasons to visit the island with much milder temperatures than you’ll find up north and all the same fun Lowcountry activities available. Take a look at our recent blog on 7 Fall Activities to do on Hilton Head Island.
Let us know if we can get that $159/night rate locked in for you and your family! Give us a ring at 866-650-4130 and browse our Hilton Head vacation rentals to find the perfect vacation home for your visit.
The fall forecast for Hilton Head Island? AWESOME! We want you to come on down and enjoy the mild weather, Carolina sunshine and great activities that make autumn a wonderful time of year to visit Hilton Head Island.
Here are 7 of our favorite fall activities on Hilton Head Island and at Palmetto Dunes:
1) Music & Taste on the Harbour – Is there anything better than live music outdoors with a beautiful view? We put it all together at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, located just across Highway 278 from the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. Every Thursday, through October 23, Shelter Cove will feature live music from local bands along with light appetizers and drink specials from Shelter Cove restaurants. It’s a free event, so don’t miss the fun!
2) Fishing – It’s hard to top fall fishing on Hilton Head Island. The red fish are especially abundant, because they spawn, forming large schools, during fall. We have more than 6000 red fish, ranging in size from 1-40 pounds, stocked in our 11-mile inland lagoon, so you’re bound to catch one. If you’d like to have some “reel” fun, head out with Captain Trent Malphrus, who knows all the right spots, on one of our Hilton Head fishing charters!
3) Biking – With the milder temperatures, it’s a great time to hop on a bike and explore the 25 miles of paved bike paths within the resort or venture beyond to the more than 50 miles of paved paths across the island. Stop by Hilton Head Outfitters for the perfect bike rental, options for kids and all the bike accessories you’ll need.
4) Kayaking – Another great activity for all ages here at the resort is kayaking or canoeing. Enjoy a peaceful paddle in our lagoon system and take in the beautiful natural surroundings and golf course views. Hilton Head Outfitters rents kayaks and canoes, including singles and doubles for families who want to bring along young kids. You can also fish from our kayaks and canoes.
5) Beachcombing – Autumn can be the perfect season to search for shells. The beaches are not as crowded and the sun isn’t beating down on you quite so much. Keep your eye out for various shells, shark teeth and even the occasional Native American artifact! Here are more beachcombing tips for Hilton Head Island.
6) Golf – Challenge your best friends to a round – or several rounds – of golf at our three varied, championship Hilton Head golf courses. We offer lots of benefits for groups, such as stocked beer, logoed merchandise and access to our TripCaddie app that lets you track scores and even award trophies! Get a group golf quote here.
7) Tennis – You can work up a sweat playing tennis at one of our 25 courts in a hurry, but in fall you won’t be quite as soaked. Enjoy some of the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center fall tennis tournaments like the Banana Open Challenge, take a Hilton Head tennis clinic offered daily or try our Cardio Tennis class for a real calorie-burning workout!
What activity are you most looking forward to this fall on Hilton Head Island? If we can help you plan your fall Palmetto Dunes vacation, visit our new website at www.palmettodunes.com or give us a call at 866-650-4130.
If your dog likes Hilton Head Island just as much as you do, we’ve got good news! Palmetto Dunes currently has several Hilton Head vacation homes and villas available seasonally for dogs up to 40 pounds -- and their owners J.
Beginning October 1 through March 31, Palmetto Dunes has several select villas and homes fit for you and Fido -- at additional charge. Choose from the following:
1868 St. Andrews Commons – With golf course and lagoon views, this first-floor villa has one bedroom, a private patio and all new furnishings and decor.
43 Hickory Cove – Close to the beach, this 3-bedroom town home overlooks the pool and sleeps up to 10 (not including dogs :)).
5 Midstream – This beautiful 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom Hilton Head vacation home comes with its own pool and spa, screened porch and lagoon view.
Keep in mind that if you do bring your pooch along for the trip that there are some restrictions for pets on the beach. During peak season, there are times when they are not allowed on the beach or must be on a leash. Generally, during the season that we offer pet-friendly Hilton Head rentals, pets can be on the beach if they are under positive voice control.
Let us know if you have any other questions about bringing your pup along with you to Hilton Head. For more information about our pet-friendly vacation rentals, give us a call at 866-650-4130.
Hilton Head Island and Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort continue to pile on awards from national media and others, recognizing the island as a top place for visitors.
Here are just a few of some of the most recent recognitions for 2014:
Southern Hospitality City, ConventionSouth magazine – Readers of the magazine, which covers meetings and venues in the south, voted the island as tops for southern hospitality.
Top 15 US Destinations on the Rise, Fodor’s - Fodor’s Travel named Hilton Head as one of the top up-and-coming U.S. destinations
Best Islands in the U.S., Travel Channel – The popular television network selected Hilton Head Island as one of the 22 best U.S. islands.
Top 10 Tennis Resort in the World, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort – TennisResortsOnline.com, which ranks tennis resorts around the world each year, selected Palmetto Dunes as one of the world’s top 10 resorts.
George Fazio golf course, South Carolina Golf Course of the Year – The South Carolina Board of Directors of the National Golf Course Owners Association named our Hilton Head golf course, the third and final of our three championship golf courses, the South Carolina Golf Course of the Year.
America’s Buzziest Beach Towns, Yahoo! Travel – Yahoo! Travel featured Hilton Head Island as their No. 10 “Buzziest Beach Town,” which indicates our popularity on social media.
Top 10 Best Island in the U.S., 10Best.com – Readers of USA Today’s 10Best.com voted Hilton Head Island as one of the top 10 islands in the United States.
Top 10 Best Carolina Beaches, USA Today – The newspaper noted the island’s marsh grasses, blue-green water, white sands and scenic vistas in its ranking of North and South Carolina beaches.
It’s clear there’s a lot to love about Hilton Head Island and Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort! If we can help you plan your fall or winter getaway to our lovely island, just give us a call at 866-650-4130.