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?
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!
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.
Fall is a great season to visit Hilton Head Island. The pace is a little slower, the air a little cooler and the prices a little lower :). Another great reason to travel here in the fall is to enjoy the annual concert series held at Shelter Cove Harbour that features local musicians, some of the best food in town and one of the island’s most magnificent views.
On Thursday evenings from September 11-October 23, Shelter Cove Harbour presents Music & Taste on the Harbour from 6-9 p.m. Each event will feature live music from different local bands right along the marina with plenty of dancing as the sun sets over Broad Creek. Look for performances from Target the Band, The Chilly Willy Band, The Headliners and more.
Two featured Shelter Cove Harbour restaurants will also set up around the famed Neptune Statue with light appetizers and drink specials for purchase throughout the evening. Participating restaurants include Bistro 17, ELA’s Blue Water Grille, La Fontana, Scott’s Fish Market, San Miguel’s and the new Mediterranean Harbour Bar & Grill.
The event kicks off September 11 at 6 p.m. with The Headliners and food and drink stations from all participating Shelter Cove restaurants. Admission to all of the events is free, and donations of canned food will be accepted for the Deep Well Project, a nonprofit organization that helps people in emergency situations.
Bring an empty stomach and your dancing shoes and get ready to enjoy Hilton Head Island at its fall finest.
There is no shortage of ways to have fun with your friends on Hilton Head Island, but here’s one way you may not have heard about: a Hilton Head party fishing boat. Gather a big group of up to 60 family and friends together and get ready to explore the beautiful marshes and waterways of Broad Creek while competing to reel in the biggest catch.
Available out of Shelter Cove Harbour across from Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, the Captain Hook is a 70-foot boat that can be chartered by groups. Billed as the “largest and most comfortable party fishing boat on Hilton Head Island,” the Captain Hook has a full galley, enclosed cabin, shaded sitting areas for fishing, two clean restrooms and plenty of room to catch some rays on the top deck.
Choose which type of Hilton Head fishing charter you’d like to enjoy aboard Captain Hook, including inshore shark fishing, offshore wreck fishing or night shark fishing with HarbourFest fireworks on Tuesday nights. The trips range from 3 to 5 1/2 hours and start at $53/person and $43/person for children 12 and younger for a three-hour tour. The cost includes bait, tackle, rod and reel rental, instructions and fish cleaning. A fishing license is not required.
Plan to bring your own small cooler (beer in cans is allowed) or purchase food on the boat, including hot dogs, pizza, cheeseburgers, candy, beer, water and soda. The food bar is cash only. You can also buy T-shirts onboard as a souvenir of your trip! Plan to wear shorts or long pants, a T-shirt, swimsuit, jacket, hat, and sneakers or boat shoes. No flip flops, please.
To schedule your Hilton Head party fishing charter, give us a call at 843-785-1700. Have a blast!
If you like to fish, but are looking for an even bigger adventure, try shark fishing. Captain Miles Altman and Bayrunner offer shark fishing charters out of Shelter Cove Marina throughout summer, a great time to hunt for sharks.
Around Hilton Head Island you can find many different types of sharks like Atlantic sharp nose, blacktips, spinners, dusky, lemon, bull and tiger sharks. Captain Miles says that at times in the summer, it’s hard not to catch one! “You haven’t been to Hilton Head until you have caught a shark,” he says.
Captain Miles says sharks can be lots of fun to catch, and kids especially will enjoy the battle and later bragging rights. What kid wouldn’t love to share a picture of his freshly caught shark with all his or her friends?
Blacktips and spinners like to add an aerial aspect to the battle, says Captain Miles, while bulls and tigers offer a brutish slugfest guaranteed to leave you with some sore muscles. Expect to have a bent rod by the time you’re finished!
Check out this video of a huge 10-foot tiger shark caught in Hilton Head after a two-hour fight.
Fishing with Captain Miles is a great experience, as he’s been trolling the waters of the Atlantic for more than 40 years and knows just where to find the best Hilton Head sharks.
The Bayrunner is a 24-foot boat that holds four people for a 3-hour evening shark fishing excursion. Book your shark fishing charter by calling us at 866-650-4130. W can’t wait to see your pictures!
Kick back, relax and get on island time at the second season of Parrot Palooza, an island-themed summertime show at Shelter Cove Harbour. Taking the stage Thursdays June 19-August 9 from 7-9 p.m. is popular local entertainer Shannon Tanner with his Jimmy Buffet Tribute band Shan Tan & the Oyster Reefers.
Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to boogie down to your favorite Buffet and other Caribbean and island tunes. Listen for songs like “Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season,” “The Island Song,” “Secret of Life” and “Coast of Marsielles.”
Shannon Tanner is best known for his family-friendly show for the past 26 years at HarbourFest at Shelter Cove Harbour. You can catch that show – and his famous beanie hat – Monday-Wednesday & Fridays through Labor Day at 6:30 & 8 p.m.
Parrot Palooza was a hugely popular event when it started its inaugural year last summer, filling Shelter Cove with large crowds! Be sure to enjoy some of the best Hilton Head Island waterfront dining at one of seven Shelter Cove restaurants, including the brand new La Fontana Waterfront Grill & Pizzeria and Mediterranean Harbour Bar & Grill. You might even be able to snag an outdoor seat and enjoy dinner and the show at the same time!
Don’t miss Parrot Palooza on your Hilton Head vacation this summer! It’s free and open to the public and all ages are welcome. Catch ya in Margaritaville!
For more information about booking your Hilton Head summer vacation, visit www.palmettodunes.com or call 866-650-4130.
A must-do on any Hilton head vacation is a boat charter. You just simply have to see Hilton Head Island by water and enjoy its plentiful fishing. Just across the road from Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is a deep water marina at Shelter Cove where you can find a variety of Hilton Head fishing charters from offshore fishing to shark fishing and crabbing.
Here’s a few that you can choose from on your visit to Hilton Head Island:
Hop aboard the Bayrunner, a 24-foot boat holding a group of four, and head out with a captain with more than 40 years of experience trolling the waters of Hilton Head. Learn how to hook a catch, reel it in, clean it and cook it. Watch their video:
Gullah Gal & True Grits
The 34-foot Gullah Gal and True Grits hold up to 6 people each for anywhere from a 3-hour to a 10-hour fishing excursion. You’ll head about 15 miles from shore to find monster sharks (up to 1000 pounds!), barracuda, sting rays and more, as well as enjoy wildlife like dolphins, eagles and osprey.
Board the brand new 26-foot Finatic with 10 of your closest friends for the fishing adventure of a lifetime! They offer 3-hour trips and have a dolphin guarantee, ensuring that you’ll see one of these friendly creatures. They specialize in shark fishing and also offer a Tuesday night HarbourFest fireworks cruise.
A great activity for kids, crabbing on the Crabber J takes you to Broad Creek where you’ll learn how to catch a blue crab and then release it. Whoever catches the most wins the world-famous Crabber J T-shirt! Each trip is an hour and 45 minutes. Call them directly at 843-422-5110 to book.
To book a Hilton Head fishing charter, give us a call at 866-650-4130. Here’s hoping you reel in a big one!