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Benefits of booking

  • Up to 15% off resort dining, bike rentals, golf and more!

  • Complimentary Tennis & Pickleball court time when available.

  • Save more when you stay longer! Ask our vacation rental experts.

  • Palmetto Dunes Rentals are exclusively for 3 – 7+ nights.

  • For last-minute stays arriving today, please call for availability.

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Book Vacation Rentals & Activities

Reserve a vacation rental

* Required Fields

Benefits of booking

  • Up to 15% off resort dining, bike rentals, golf and more!

  • Complimentary Tennis & Pickleball court time when available.

  • Save more when you stay longer! Ask our vacation rental experts.

  • Palmetto Dunes Rentals are exclusively for 3 – 7+ nights.

  • For last-minute stays arriving today, please call for availability.

Top 11 Things to Do on Vacation in Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

Planning Your Vacation
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mom holding son eating ice cream on the steps of the General Store

1. Have an ice cream cone at the Palmetto Dunes General Store located in the heart of Palmetto Dunes 

vanilla ice cream cone with the entrance of the General Store in the background

This Hilton Head Island institution, the Palmetto Dunes General Store, since 1979 stands as the centerpiece of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

take out box of breakfast from The General Store including a hash brown, biscuit, eggs, bacon, and sausage
candy aisle and beverage aisle of The General Store
fried chicken at the hot bar of The General Store

The centrally located G-store serves up just about anything you could possibly want or need during your vacation. 

boys with ice cream and slushies outside of the General Store

Along with countless scoops of ice cream, mouth-watering breakfast and lunch sandwiches, world-renowned cinnamon rolls, and fried chicken that has been voted Hilton Head Island’s best, the G-store is everyone's favorite place to find Hilton Head souvenirs, t-shirts, hats, beach toys, convenience items and more — or just to relax and socialize on the porch. 

exterior of the entrance of The General Store

2. Go on a dolphin or nature tour at Shelter Cove Marina

dolphin fin and tail poking out of the water

Take a Hilton Head dolphin tour, see memorable sights and enjoy watching dolphins frolicking as you cruise through the Hilton Head Island waterways. Bottlenose dolphins are a common resident of Hilton Head Island’s salt marshes and inlets, so the entire family can learn about the social behavior, feeding habits and more of these magnificent creatures. 

guests aboard a nature dolphin cruise with a blue and white awning on the boat

Nature cruises are the best way to enjoy the South Carolina Lowcountry waterways. Off these shores, along with the dolphins, you’ll have the chance to witness egrets, herons, osprey, bald eagles, pelicans, and perhaps even sharks. Create your own amazing adventure or choose from the time-tested favorites offered at the award-winning Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina

a boat cruises between boats at the marina with the sun setting in the background

3. Play a virtual course or golf games together at the Toptracer Range

row of Top Tracer computers show casing the virtual golf technology at Toptracer Range

Palmetto Dunes made history a few years ago by becoming the Southeast’s first resort to feature a Toptracer Range. Now, the covered, high-tech golf driving range that allows guests to compete against friends, play virtual courses and receive instant shot feedback has become one of the resort’s most popular amenities. 

golfers practicing their swings at the Toptracer driving range

Embracing the state-of-the-art technology used during televised PGA Tour events to track the shots of the game’s best players while also providing ways for all types of golfers to have fun and improve, the new amenity became an instant game-changer. Sign up to hit balls from underneath a sun- and rain-blocking awning in the Toptracer Range’s 14 hitting bays while enjoying food and beverage service. There’s also a VIP area for larger groups from eight to 10 players. The Toptracer Range quickly became so popular that Palmetto Dunes added lights so guests could continue to play golf and have fun in the evenings. 

4. Experience HarbourFest Fireworks and Live Entertainment this summer at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina 

Shannon Tanner singing in front of a large group of kids under the HarbourFest pavillion

HarbourFest is a weekly summer celebration with live music & entertainment, arts & crafts, kids’ activities and Tuesday night fireworks. Hilton Head HarbourFest features the beloved Cappy the Clown, singer/songwriter Shannon Tanner, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band and so much more family friendly entertainment.

fireworks over the marina at Shelter Cove Harbourfest

Enjoy the extravagant Hilton Head firework shows over the Shelter Cove HarbourFest grounds on Tuesday nights all summer long through August 20. Or, for a truly memorable experience, there's something extra special about seeing the HarbourFest fireworks explode over the water from the aboard the Holiday — an 80-foot, double deck cruise ship that includes a snack bar, restrooms, and open and indoor seating areas. There’s good reason this is Shelter Cove Marina’s most popular fireworks cruise, meaning there’s limited availability, so book your cruise now. Note: Shelter Cove Harbour is accessible by car, foot, bicycle or the convenient Dunes Buggy (seasonal shuttle), and provides an eclectic array of shopping and dining experiences

5. Bike on the beach in Palmetto Dunes or rent a kayak through Hilton Head Outfitters to paddle through the calm 11-mile lagoon

Palmetto Dunes is a 2,000-acre resort bounded by three miles of Atlantic Ocean beach on one side and a sheltered Intracoastal Waterway marina on the other, so there is a cornucopia of outdoor activities to enjoy during your vacation.

father and son in a yellow kayak in the Palmetto Dunes Lagoon

The resort’s award-winning Hilton Head Outfitters & Bike Rentals provides a wide variety of outdoor activities, equipment rentals, and fun-filled adventures, including biking, kayaking, canoeing, surfing, fishing (catch and release only), and even cornhole — meaning guaranteed fun for the whole family! Palmetto Dunes itself offers nearly five miles of paved bike paths ideal for exploring (along with more than 80 miles of trails intertwined from one end of Hilton Head Island to the other) and Outfitters also can provide beach-cruising bikes, accessories and equipment. Outfitters is located directly along the banks of Palmetto Dunes’ scenic, 11-mile lagoon filled with turtles, 40 species of birds, and some of the plumpest fish on the island. The stunning, man-made lagoon system is ideal for kayaking and canoeing, and provides incredible views and wildlife experiences. Helpful hint: Go in the morning or early evening when it’s not too hot! 

6. Play a round of golf at the Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course 

aerial view of the sunrise over the 10th and 11th hole of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course

All three of the championship courses at Palmetto Dunes were created by legends of the game and each have been named “South Carolina Golf Course of the Year” by peers and players alike. All three layouts are Audubon certified for their commitment to providing a safe home for wildlife, and in addition, each course offers different grasses on their greens — Champion Bermuda on Jones, Tifdwarf Bermuda on Hills and Diamond Zoysia on Fazio — to further broaden your golf experience. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Course signature par-5 10th hole plays out to the Atlantic Ocean and throughout the resort’s 11-mile lagoon system. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson cut their competitive teeth collegiately at the Arthur Hills Course, playing over dune lines, water hazards and thick stands of palmettos, while the George Fazio Course is the Hilton Head’s lone par-70 layout, with perhaps the best four-hole finish on the island.

7. Shop Stylish Golf and Vacation Apparel for the Whole Family 

racks and tables full of golf apparel under modern roofing of the Robert Trent Jones Pro Shop

Shop apparel and accessories at the resort’s Robert Trent Jones, George Fazio & Arthur Hills Golf Pro Shops, Tennis & Pickleball Center Pro Shop, Shelter Cove Marina Ship’s Store and Southern Tide at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina. The trio of pro shops at Palmetto Dunes tee up quite possibly the finest golf and resort-wear collection anywhere in the Lowcountry, including a dazzling array of Travis Mathew, Peter Millar and other popular lifestyle pieces, including PD’s own custom line of signature apparel by Smith and Quinn. Same for the Tennis & Pickleball Center Pro Shop, which is Hilton Head Island’s largest racquet sports dealership. Shop all the latest equipment and clothing styles — including top brands such as Nike, Prince, Babolat, Wilson and more — so you look and feel like a pro. 

Ship's Store exterior at the marina

And just across Hwy. 278 are Shelter Cove Marina Ship’s Store, which has you covered head to toe, sunrise to sunset, with everything you need for your fishing trip, boat tour or water sport from clothing, fishing gear, drinks and snacks and more, and Southern Tide at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina — a coastal lifestyle retailer with an array of apparel and accessory products for men, women, and kids, and a brand that embodies a Southern state of mind, adventurous spirit, and premium style.

8. Experience Palmetto Dunes Dining at Alexander’s, Big Jim’s or the Dunes House 

table and chairs with red umbrellas on the new deck of the Dunes House restaurant

Foodies, take your pick: Dine oceanside at the Dunes House, enjoy some of the best pub food on the island at Big Jim’s or step it up a notch with locally sourced delicacies including fresh seafood at PD-owned-and-operated Alexander’s Restaurant & Wine Bar. The Dunes House is open for lunch and dinner, and features an entirely outdoor kitchen offering fresh grilled hamburgers, wraps, hot dogs, Hilton Head Island’s tastiest fish tacos, and other fabulous dishes. (Friendly reminder that that the Dunes House parking lot is for Palmetto Dunes visitors and guests with valid passes.) 

chef at The Dunes House holding up two chicken salads

Big Jim's BBQ, Burgers & Pizza restaurant, located at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner serving signature Southern dishes. Big Jim's offers a kid's menu, wine and beer menu, take-out orders and catering, along with an expanded outdoor seating overlooking the Jones course — the perfect place to watch all of your favorite sports year-round!  

the Alexander's Restaurant & Wine Bar exterior sign with the sun shining in the background

Or treat yourself to an unforgettable meal at Alexander’s, an upscale seafood restaurant and wine bar in Hilton Head, featuring seasonally-inspired cuisine, locally-caught seafood and many locally-sourced ingredients. Local knowledge: Try one of the succulent seafood specials that you won’t find anywhere else. 

9. Do catch-and-release fishing on a fishing charter out of Hilton Head Outfitters 

two boys fishing on the edge of a boat in the Palmetto Dunes Lagoon

Hilton Head Outfitters offers a variety of exciting inshore fishing charters nearshore and offshore out of Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, which are fun for beginner and amateur anglers. You can also charter a guided, inshore fishing tour of the resort’s 11-mile lagoon system — and some of the most diverse marine life the island has to offer — led by experienced and entertaining captains. The Palmetto Dunes lagoon system is a nursery to a variety of saltwater fish species, including giant redfish, trout, bluefish, black drum, flounder, and even tarpon. Embark on an inshore fishing charter in a quiet, electric skiff that can accommodate up to three adult anglers or a family of four (two adults and two children ages 12 and under). Catch-and-release fishing in the lagoon is allowed (very popular with kids) and light tackle and fly fishing for the beginner to the most experienced of anglers is also offered. This adventure is ideal for families who want to spend the day together on the water.

10. Take a Hilton Head Surf Lesson with Native Son Adventures

little girl surfing

Surfing on Hilton Head can be easy and enjoyable for all ages. The island’s calm waters and one- or two-foot waves are perfect to learn, particularly with the expert guidance of Native Son Adventures. Captain Byron has spent more than three decades creating the ultimate hands-on surfing experience that is perfect for all skill levels. (Byron’s dad, “Hurricane” Hampton Sewell, was well known up and down the East Coast for being a true waterman and pioneer surfer of his era.) Surf classes start with a surf-style yoga warm-up to get the blood flowing and the mind clear. Next, you’ll dive into ocean education, water safety, and some surfing history — and then the fun really begins!

aerial view of the empty beach and ocean in the morning at Palmetto Dunes

11. Take a Hilton Head Surf Lesson with Native Son Adventures

Dreaming of being a boat captain? Shelter Cove Marina has a new fleet of luxury pontoon boat rentals for your cruising pleasure!

The spacious Aloha Pontoon can accommodate up to 12 of your favorite people and is equipped with all the bells and whistles, allowing you to enjoy your day on the water. Our team at Shelter Cove Marina will make sure you feel confident going out and exploring the waterways of Hilton Head Island! Be sure to stock up at the Ship's Store as well for all your boating necessities.

The best part of a vacation at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island? If you aren’t quite able to experience everything in one trip, that just means more memories to be made next time!

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