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.
Over the last month, we had several travel bloggers visit the resort with their families and they blew up social media with all the fun they had! We wanted to share a recap of their families’ activities and outings to give you an idea of what you and your family can enjoy the next time you’re on the island.
For this post, we wanted to share the adventures of Malise Terrell with Carolina Mama and her family of four, including two teenage boys, who visited in early November. They were pleased to find weather warm enough (68 degrees!) for several dips in the ocean.
The Terrells enjoy tennis, so they decided that some evening tennis court time would be just what they needed after their drive from North Carolina. Their family played after dark on our lighted courts, which just require a token from the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center to operate.
They also headed to the beach with some fishing rental gear from Hilton Head Outfitters to see what they could reel in. No catches this time, but they enjoyed the view and the time together!
Biking was a top activity for the family, using Hilton Head bike rentals also from Hilton Head Outfitters, which were waiting for them when they arrived at their vacation villa. The crew took a ride down the beach and up to the beachfront Dunes House, as well as explored the resort.
The Terrell family loved their Hilton Head vacation rental and Mom was especially fond of her comfy chair and quiet spot for reading, as well as the gorgeous master bath at newly-renovated 714 Barrington Park just a short walk from the beach.
Of course, our favorite picture had to be the boys holding light sabers on the beach, perfect timing with all the talk of the new Star Wars trailer and very controversial new light saber!
Follow Malise on Instagram to see all of her pics and call us at 866-650-4130 to book your own family getaway to Palmetto Dunes!
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?
The holiday season is upon us and we’ve got many fun events in the works for those of you considering a Hilton Head holiday getaway. Who can blame you for wanting to gather with your family on our beautiful island with the beach just outside your door?
Hilton Head Island offers all the traditional seasonal activities, as well, like visits with Santa, plentiful holiday shopping and delicious restaurants with seasonal offerings. Here’s just a few of the events you can look forward to throughout November and December:
Santa Claus is Comin’ to Shelter Cove!
Bring the little ones across the street from Palmetto Dunes to Shelter Cove Harbour on Friday, November 28, to see Santa as he makes a quick stop at the beach to find out what every little boy and girl would like under the tree this year.
Santa arrives at noon via a fire truck where he’ll be stationed at Neptune Statue for some great Instagram-worthy Christmas pics! The fun starts long before Santa arrives around 11 a.m. with holiday music, a moon bounce house, a kiddy train ride around the marina and special offers and sales from Shelter Cove merchants.
Santa will hang around until 2 p.m. before leaving our mild beach weather to head back to the snowy North Pole.
Shelter Cove Harbour offers outstanding Hilton Head shopping with a beautiful view. Stroll through our many boutiques and shops for one-of-a-kind items like local ornaments at Christmas on the Harbour and amazing artwork from Nash Gallery. The newest store to open at the Harbour is Seasons, which features women’s apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry and resort wear -- the perfect spot to find dazzling outfits for upcoming holiday parties!
Throughout the weekend after Thanksgiving and all during the holiday season, Shelter Cove stores will offer sales and specials to cover all of your holiday shopping needs.
It’s Oyster Roast Season!
As we like to say here in the Lowcountry, any month ending with an “r” is the perfect month for an oyster roast, but things really get in full swing in November and December. The Dunes House, open to resort guests and owners at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, hosts an annual oyster roast for our dear friends and family each November.
This year’s event will be Saturday, November 29 from 2 p.m.- 7 p.m. Come shuck some oysters and eat them your favorite way – with lemon, hot sauce or however you prefer! We’ll also have beer specials and a full menu, and did we mention the fantastic ocean view?!
We finally made it to spring break! Say goodbye to the bad winter weather and hello to warm sunny South Carolina skies. If you’re headed down our way for spring break, we’ve got some great suggestions for kids to enjoy here at the resort. From golf to swimming to fishing and more, there’s no time for video games or for getting bored here on Hilton Head Island.
Here’s our list of top spring break activities for kids on the island:
1) Swim -- What child doesn’t love to jump in the water and splash away? We figure that’s probably the first thing they’re going to want to do when they arrive, so we put it first on the list. Depending on the weather, if the ocean waters are a little too cool yet, hit the pool at your Hilton Head vacation rental, some of which are heated, and should be plenty warm in the sun.
2) Ride a bike – Our next suggestion that kids will love is riding their bike. We’re sure they’re already used to it at home and now they’ve got an entirely new area to explore. We recently replaced most of our bike paths, which number 5 miles within the resort alone. Instead of driving your car, ride your bike to the beach, to lunch, to golf, you name it! Get your Hilton Head bike rentals and all the gear you need at Hilton Head Outfitters.
3) Learn a new skill – Palmetto Dunes offers wonderful junior programs for both golf and tennis. Not only will kids and teens stay active and keep their minds firing, they’ll come home from Hilton Head Island proud to show their friends what they’ve learned. Watch these fun videos about our Little Swingers golf class and junior tennis clinics.
4) Explore nature – Nature is all around you on Hilton Head Island from the moss-draped live oak trees and colorful azaleas to shore birds and plentiful fish. Rent double kayaks and put an adult with each child for a peaceful kayak through our calm 11-mile lagoon system. See who can spot the most birds!
5) Reel in a big one – We have lots of great fishing around Palmetto Dunes, including our fair share of “monster” fish. Take a Hilton Head fishing charter on our lagoon and see if you can reel in Elvis, the giant red fish, or head out into the ocean for some exciting shark fishing for the whole family.
6) Go crabbing – This one may surprise you, but crabbing in Hilton Head is one of our favorite activities for families because everyone can get involved. Our charter, the Crabber J, teaches you how to catch a crab and then awards their world-famous Crabber J T-shirt to the person who catches the most!
What do you think your kids will enjoy the most on their Hilton Head Island spring break?
If you still need assistance booking a Hilton Head vacation villa or would like to book any of the above, please contact us at 866-744-7558.
Here in Hilton Head where most days the skies are blue and the weather is mild, there is plenty to do to keep active during the winter months. Here are our top 10 winter activities on Hilton Head Island:
1) Polish your golf game – Our Hilton Head golf academy offers a variety of classes for golfers all winter long. Learn to play more carefree like Bubba Watson, improve your mental golf game or enjoy daily 50-minute clinics on different skills. See our winter golf academy schedule. Or just head out for a round with some pals. Winter is a great time to play golf in Hilton Head, as the crowds of summer are long gone, making for better pace of play, and temperatures are mild.
2) Ride a bike! – With some 50 miles of paved bike paths on Hilton Head Island, there’s no excuse not to get out and enjoy the beauty of our island. Hilton Head Outfitters offers Hilton Head bike rentals for every member of your family, including cruisers, kiddie carts, tag-a-longs and child seats.
3) Get in a cardio workout by playing tennis – Tennis gets the blood pumping for sure and the milder weather makes for more comfortable outdoor play. Try a Hilton Head tennis lesson from our Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center or take it up a notch with our Cardio Tennis class offered during the winter months on holidays.
4) Shop! – There are plenty of unique boutiques and stores on Hilton Head to make sure you head home with a one-of-a-kind souvenir of your Hilton Head vacation. Try Shelter Cove Harbour waterfront shops or shop our Hilton Head golf pro shops and tennis pro shop for some great finds.
5) Kayak or canoe the lagoon – Plan to rent a kayak or canoe from Hilton Head Outfitters and head out mid afternoon, when the weather should be at its warmest. Enjoy a peaceful tour of our 11-mile inland lagoon system, take in the wildlife and see Palmetto Dunes in an entirely new way.
6) Take a walk on the beach and look for shells – With fewer people visiting Hilton Head in the winter, you’ll enjoy a quiet stroll and have a better chance of finding some great shells. Keep your eye out for dolphins in the surf and see what kind of treasures have washed ashore. Here are more tips onbeachcombing in Hilton Head.
7) Catch a redfish! – Fall and winter are some of the best times to catch a “big red” and our team of fishermen can help you do it. Whether you take an offshore or inshore Hilton Head fishing charter, learn to fish from the pros and see if you can earn bragging rights to a trophy red.
8) Eat oysters – Here in the south, we say that months ending in “r” are the best ones to eat oysters, so before December winds down, take this last opportunity! There’s a fine art to eating an oyster (or you can just slurp it down, of course J) whether you enjoy it with a touch of lemon, hot sauce or just plain!
9) Go birdwatching – The birds are out in winter, and in fact, during Hilton Head’s last Christmas bird count they totaled up more species than ever before! Grab some binoculars and head out on a kayak in the lagoon or a Hilton Head boat tour to Daufuskie Island or Pinckney Island Wildlife Refuge for some great birdwatching. More Hilton Head birdwatching tips in the Hilton Head Outfitters blog.
10) Do nothing! After you’ve done our top 9, why not relax, unwind and do nothing :)? Kick back in your Hilton Head vacation rental from Palmetto Dunes and enjoy an ocean or palm tree view. Grab a good book, a cup of coffee and rest. Ahhh….
Palmetto Dunes offers plenty of packages to help you work in all of these things from our Monthly Stay & Sports Membership to our Spa Packages to Hilton Head tennis packages and Hilton Head golf packages. If we can answer any questions or book you a stay or tee time, please give us a call at 866-744-7558.