Oysters are practically a way of life in the Lowcountry! Whether you’re eating them on the half shell, à la Alexander’s, or roasted, there’s no denying that they’re simply delicious. There’s a saying here on Hilton Head Island that any month that contains the letter “r” is oyster season, which means we’re right in the thick of it!
Our local oysters are salty and sweet; with a unique flavor you won’t find anywhere else. Make sure to sample some local oysters the next time you’re at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, and in the meantime, read up on how to shuck an oyster like a pro!
1. Place the oyster curved-side down and find the hinge where the top and bottom shell meet.
2. Wedge your oyster knife into the hinge at a 45-degree angle by wiggling it back and forth and pushing it in until it feels “stuck.” Then continue to wiggle and rotate the knife back and forth until the oyster releases and its shell pops open.
3. Carefully run the oyster knife along the top of the shell to cut the muscle and loosen the meat.
4. Next, run the knife gently underneath the oyster, taking care not to cut the oyster or spill too much of its juice, to release it from the bottom of the shell and clear out any debris or shell fragments.
5. Add your topping of choice, be it a squeeze of lemon or a dash of hot sauce, and enjoy!
What’s your favorite way to eat oysters? What do you think is the best oyster dish on Hilton Head Island? Tell us! And don’t forget to share photos of all of your Hilton Head adventures with the hashtag #PalmettoDunes.
While the weather may not seem to suggest it, the autumn season is upon us. With this change in season comes a myriad of changes ranging from our guests to activities throughout Hilton Head Island and our resort.
At Alexander's Restaurant, the Fall season offered Chef Sean Carroll an opportunity to present a new menu. Alexander's Restaurant Chef Carroll shares, "I was really excited when it came time for me to make some changes to our menu. The new season opens up a different avenue of ingredients and flavors. Since my primary sources are local growers, farmers and fisherman, what's available in our area factors into the culinary experiences we can provide for our guests."
Guillermo Carrera, Alexander's Restaurant Manager adds, "We're excited to welcome back our Fall season guests. For those that have been coming year after year, this will be their first visit in a while since the restaurant was not open last Fall. The team is ready to introduce them to the new Alexander's and look forward to forging new long-term guest relationships."
Here's a peek at some of the new dishes on the menu:
Autumn Greens Salad (pictured above) features mixed greens with tart cherries, roasted butternut squash, candied pecans, feta cheese with a charred orange vinaigrette.
Braised Beef Short Rib (pictured above) slow cooked low and slow for 4 hours in red wine, carrot, celery, onions, spices, beef stock, chicken stock and herbs. The short ribs are accompanied by creme fraiche whipped potatoes, baby spinach, roasted tomato, garlic and a "red eye" veal glace. Garnish includes a large beer battered onion ring and parsley.
Grilled Bone-In Pork Chop entree includes a grilled 12 oz bone-in pork chop that has been brined in apple cider for 18 hours and accompanied by collard greens, Geechie Boy grits and espresso BBQ jus. Garnish includes scallion grass, micro greens and toasted bread crumbs.
The updated Fall menu also brought on some new desserts including a Homemade Apple Cobbler (Granny Smith apples, maple syrup and vanilla ice cream), Toasted Almond "Eclair" (pate choux, whipped cream, coffee ice cream and chocolate sauce) and Pistachio Chocolate Marquise (dark and white chocolate with pistachio geniose).
You’ve got the ring, you’ve picked the date, and you’ve got a rough idea of your headcount. Now it’s time to choose your dream wedding location. Unmatched in its beauty and charm, Hilton Head Island is the perfect place to bring your venue visions to life.
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort offers a golf course nestled amongst sleepy oak trees, casual beachfront scenery, and elegant banquet spaces—all ready and willing to serve as the setting for your lowcountry wedding.
From intimate gatherings to grand affairs, here are our top places to say “I do” at Palmetto Dunes:
With beautiful views of the ocean and sounds of waves lapping the shore, the beaches in Hilton Head Island are a breathtaking backdrop for your wedding. Perfect for parties of all sizes, a beach ceremony is a simple, elegant way to surround your guests with nature’s beauty. After your oceanfront ceremony, celebrate at any one of the other venues at Palmetto Dunes.
The Dunes House
With sweeping views of the ocean and a variety of options for your wedding ceremony and reception, it’s no surprise that The Dunes House is our most popular wedding venue. Its 800-square foot beachfront location, with an adjoining 1,000-square foot deck, is easily customized for a casual reception or a lavish lowcountry event of up to 200 guests. Whatever you choose for your special day, your guests will love the seaside scenery of The Dunes House.
Centre Court Pavilion & Ballroom
Steeped in the charm of the Old South, the Centre Court Pavilion & Ballroom offers a beautiful location as well as event services and amenities to make your special day both effortless and enjoyable. This bright and airy venue has 1,628-square feet of space including a grand ballroom, a covered open-air dining pavilion, and a Southern porch—all perfectly suited for wedding ceremonies and receptions of up to 150 people.
Arthur Hills Golf Course
The award-winning Arthur Hills Golf Course provides an outstanding wedding venue for you and your guests. The championship course offers a stunning setting, surrounded by rolling greens and shady oak trees, to exchange your vows. After the first kiss, you and your guests can celebrate al-fresco or in the shade of a tent, both full of Southern charm.
No matter where you choose to say “I do” at Palmetto Dunes, your wedding will leave an impression that lasts a lifetime.
Hilton Head Island is food-lover’s paradise. While the Island is only 12 miles long, it’s home to more than 250 restaurants. The bounty of choices can be overwhelming, so we thought we’d help you narrow down your options, depending on what you’re in the mood for. Here are ten of the best Hilton Head restaurants and eateries:
1. Where To Go For Date Night
One of Hilton’s Head’s hottest spots, the Lucky Rooster is the perfect pick for date night, whether you’re just getting to know someone, or you’re leaving the kids with the babysitter. The Lucky Rooster’s décor is intimate without being stuffy (you can draw on the paper tablecloth) and the farm-to-table cuisine is inventive and ever-changing. For a touch of whimsy, be sure to order one of their delicious tiki cocktails.
Photo Credit: @luckyroosterhhi
2. Where To Take The Kids
Big Jim's BBQ, Burgers & Pizza
A family favorite for guests and visitors alike, with beautiful views of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. In addition to lots of choices on their pleasing kids menu, as the name suggests, Jim’s has a wide selection of appetizers, burgers, made-to-order pizzas, and BBQ that’s sure to please the whole crew. Looking for more family dining options on Hilton Head Island? Check out this family-friendly restaurant round-up.
Photo Credit: @ellebruiser
3. Where To Eat On A Budget
Stu’s Surfside Subs
Stu’s Surfside Subs sells delicious hot and cold submarine sandwiches, ideal for grabbing on your way to or from the beach near Coligny Plaza. Made-to-order, these subs won’t break the bank. Enjoy a custom creation, or order one of their local specialties like the Harbor Town Classic or The Islander.
Photo Credit: @stusurfsidesubs
4. Where To Splurge
Charlie’s L’Etoile Vere
For a night of decadence on Hilton Head Island, head to Charlie’s L’Etoile Vere, also commonly called The Green Star. The restaurant has been a mainstay since 1982. Specializing in French cuisine, on the menu you’ll find delicacies like escargot a la Bourguignonne, Rack of Lamb, Local Swordfish, and more. Their wine list has an extensive selection of old-world wines as well as selections from California and Oregon.
Photo Credit: @preppy_islander
5. Where To Eat Great Seafood
Alexander’s Restaurant & Wine Bar
You’ll find delicious seafood at Alexander’s Restaurant and Wine Bar in Palmetto Dunes. Appetizer selections include oysters, crab cakes, and popcorn calamari. For main dishes, you can choose between flounder that’s stuffed with crab, diver scallops, and grilled grouper. There’s also plenty of land-based choices for anyone in your party averse to seafood.
Photo Caption: @alexandershhi
6. Where To Go For Great Meat
For anyone who prefers ‘turf’ to ‘surf’ HH Prime—located inside the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort in Palmetto Dunes—is the place to go. Mouthwatering steaks are their specialty, with USDA Prime Grade beef. Watch your filet mignon or bone-in ribeye be grilled for you from the open show kitchen. For extra decadence, top your steak with some of their foie gras butter.
Photo Credit: @snryan45
7. Where To Eat Breakfast
Is there a better place to go for breakfast than a classic diner? We don’t think so! This Island staple is great for a quick, but filling meal. Pancakes, French toast, eggs, and bacon, you’ll find all of your breakfast favorites here. A few quick tips to help your first trip go smoothly: it’s cash only, and self-serve, when you come in select what you want to eat, write it down and hand it in.
Photo Credit: @lauren.gilliss
8. Where To Eat Lunch
The Dunes House
For a delicious, al fresco beachside lunch in Palmetto Dunes, look no further than The Dunes House. On the menu– all cooked in the outdoor kitchen–you’ll find all your favorite lunchtime classics like grilled burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and wraps. The house specialty is their fish taco, topped with a delicious black bean relish. The Dunes House is open to Palmetto Dunes resort guests and property owners.
Photo Credit: @lovethislifeblog
9. Where To Go For Dessert
Hilton Head Social Bakery
French flair meets Southern Charm at this delightful bakery. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a mouthwatering selection of French classics like pain au chocolat, eclairs, macarons, and mille-feuille. American classics include cinnamon buns, NY-style cheesecake, and bread pudding.
10. Where To Go For Lowcountry Classics
Hudson on the Docks
Situated right on the dock of Skull Creek, Hudson’s prepares delicious Lowcountry cuisine, with an emphasis on locally caught seafood. From appetizers including fried green tomatoes and crab cakes, to mains of local shrimp and grits or blackened flounder and peanut butter pie for dessert, you can enjoy a meal full of Lowcountry classics.
Photo Credit: @michaelhrizukphotos
Did we whet your appetite? We’d love to see where (and what) you ended up eating. Tag your Hilton Head food photos on Instagram with #PalmettoDunes. Happy eating y’all!
There are few things as exciting as going on vacation, but whether you’re looking for a family getaway, golf buddy trip, or a romantic couples’ retreat, planning the perfect getaway can be stressful. Where to stay? What to eat? How can you make sure everyone has a memorable and wonderful time? Luckily for you, there’s something for everyone on Hilton Head Island, and the villas and vacation homes in Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort are the ideal home base for your dream Lowcountry vacation. Don’t believe us? Here are 10 reasons to stay in a villa at Palmetto Dunes Resort.
Palmetto Dunes villas have up to four bedrooms, and many have a luxurious balcony, patio, backyard, or pool area too! This is ideal for families and larger groups (did someone say Bachelorette party?) as everyone has the room to enjoy him or herself comfortably.
Dining out is a blast—especially when you’ve got an impeccable list of restaurants to choose from—but it can be nice to have a home-cooked meal, even when you’re on vacation! A full kitchen allows you to prepare as much or as little food as you like. It’s great for stocking up on simple breakfasts and on-the-go snacks, or spending quality time cooking beautiful meals.
Spice up your stay by choosing a rental villa with a style that suits your own, or is entirely different from what you’re used to at home! From casual beachside decor to contemporary furnishings and everything in between, you’re sure to find the villa that is perfect for you and your travel companions.
4. The Great Outdoors
A beautiful view is one thing (and boy do our villas have them!) but being able to step outside and truly take it in is another. From simple patios to spectacular decks, the outdoor spaces our villas provide invites the beautiful nature of Hilton Head Island indoors.
5. Five-Star Service
Take advantage of all the perks when staying at Palmetto Dunes Resort! Our guest services team is happy to help you with any request, be it housekeeping help, rental bikes, or recommending take out places!
Palmetto Dunes General Store
Anyone who has visited the South will tell you that we are a friendly bunch! Staying in a villa allows you to experience some Lowcountry hospitality by being a part of a neighborhood of other guests and locals who love Palmetto Dunes! Don’t be surprised if you leave Hilton Head with some memories and some new friends, too!
Not only does the space of a 1, 2, or even 4-bedroom villa give everyone the room they need to relax and enjoy their Hilton Head vacation, it affords you the privacy of separate sleeping quarters as well as your own private dining and living areas. Some villas even have their own pool, or access to a community pool, so you can swim and sunbathe in a relaxing, exclusive environment.
8. Perfect for Pups
Your dog is a part of the family just like anyone else, and our pet-friendly villas allow your furry friend to come along for a Hilton Head vacation, too! Many villas have immediate outdoor access as well, so you can take Spot out for a walk without a spot of bother. Select vacation rentals are dog friendly between October 1 and March 31 for an additional charge.
9. Save on Longer Stays
If you’re planning a weeklong trip for a summer vacation, winter holiday, or annual getaway, a villa makes perfect sense. You can truly have a comfortable place to call home, hang up your clothes, even do laundry if you need to! Not to mention, many of our rental villas and vacation homes offer weekly rates.
10. An Immersive Experience
One of the best things about traveling to a new destination is getting to experience what life is like in a different place. To truly get a taste of Lowcountry living, live like a local! Staying in a villa is the best way to get a sense of what life is like on Hilton Head Island.
Do we have you convinced? Browse our villa rentals. We’ve got dozens to choose from! You can select based on location, travel dates, or size. If you have any questions about our villas, or to book, contact our vacation planners at 866-744-7558.
Photo via GolfConversations.com
Among the pantheon of renowned golf course architects, Arthur Hills may not be as well known as some of his contemporaries — names like Robert Trent Jones, Pete Dye or Tom Fazio — but Hills’ body of work during a career spanning six decades ranks up there with anyone.
His work at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is a perfect example. Opened in 1986, the Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes is 6,651 yards of rolling landscape. Taking full advantage of the natural beauty of this South Carolina sea island, his spectacular layout represents a careful blend of beauty and challenge.
True to the resort’s name, palmettos and dunes are scattered throughout the golf course, along with mature, Spanish-moss-covered live oaks. The tree-lined fairways and an ocean breeze add more teeth, while water hazards also come into play on more than half of the 18 spectacular holes.
When they were in college, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson honed their golfing skills on the Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes. President Bill Clinton, who annually began visiting Palmetto Dunes during the late 1990s, called the Arthur Hills Course his favorite of the resort's three outstanding golf courses. The Hills Course is a mainstay among the South Carolina "Best You Can Play" and was previously named the Palmetto State’s “Course of the Year.”
Now 87 years young, Hills has designed more than 200 new golf courses around the world and has been called upon to refine or renovate more than 125 others including some of the country’s most renowned clubs such as Congressional, Oakmont, Oakland Hills and Inverness. Twenty-eight Hills-designed courses have been selected as USGA, PGA, LPGA, NCAA and PGA of America tournament venues.
Down-to-earth, personable, friendly and willing to share his wisdom, Hills is a past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. He was voted the “Architect of the Year” in 1991 and 1998, and was Boardroom Magazine’s “Architect of the Year” in 2002. A proficient golfer back in his day, Hills was the captain of his Michigan State golf team and won the 1950 Ann Arbor City Championship. He was voted into the Ohio Golf Hall of Fame in 1993.
"My design philosophy comes from a very traditional or historic approach to the game," Hills said. "I’ve always admired the more traditional courses like Pinehurst No. 2, Shinnecock Hills, Cypress Point, Seminole, Prairie Dunes, Inverness and Merion."
Hills' design objectives include the nature of the land that minimizes earth moving. "We also always keep in mind the strategy of the game and the elements that provide beauty in a golf course — textures and colors, shadowing and framing," he says.
Hills has also written about designing golf holes from the green complex back to the tee, not from tee to green. Shot angles, interesting grasses and plants, gently plateaued greens, waters and views also come into the design work.
"All of these subtleties help us build a fair and balanced course which is both aesthetically pleasing and strategically sound," Hills said.
The next time you play the Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes, enjoy the knowledge that you are playing a design by one of history’s best — and most underrated — golf course architects.
What a fantastic summer it’s been at Palmetto Dunes! From outdoor adventures and family fun to “par”-fect golf rounds and perfect beach days, there really is no place better than Hilton Head Island to enjoy the best summer has to offer.
For the past 12 weeks we’ve been able to see summer at Palmetto Dunes through your eyes with our #PDSummer Instagram Challenge. Stunning sunrises, breathtaking beach waves, water adventures, and so much more! You captured everything that makes a summer vacation on Hilton Head Island so great, and we loved seeing each and every photo.
Congratulations to all of our winners, including our grand prize winner Allyson H., and thank you to every single one of you who entered our Summer Instagram Challenge this year.
Here are some #PDSummer photos that we loved. Which one is your favorite?
Between winding bike paths and safe roads, and the friendly bike rental service at Hilton Head Outfitters, the best way to get around at Palmetto Dunes is on two wheels.
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Hilton Head Island is the perfect place for a family vacation! And by the looks of the photos y’all shared, your families love the beach at Palmetto Dunes.
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Hilton Head Island is filled with stunning wildlife, and you captured some of Palmetto Dunes’ local creatures beautifully.
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Your beautiful photos of Palmetto Dunes beach never ceased to blow us away!
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As we know, the fun doesn’t stop when the fun goes down at Palmetto Dunes! From Harbourfest to starry night skies, you captured it all.
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Don’t let the end of our Summer Instagram Challenge stop you
from sharing your Hilton Head vacation photos with us! Tag your photos with
#PalmettoDunes. And if you simply can’t wait until next summer to visit us
again, check out our
vacation packages and start planning your next trip.
If you think Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort offers plenty of fun on land, wait until you experience it on the water. From a leisurely sail to a custom cruise, and everything in between, the perfect day on the water is waiting for you on Hilton Head Island.
Find out what type of boating excursion best suits you:
There’s nothing more relaxing than setting sail on the sea to simply take in Hilton Head Island’s picturesque scenery. Cruising our blue waters surrounded by nature, you can’t help but discover the true definition of low country life on a leisurely catamaran tour.
Making memories with your kids is what family vacations are all about and that’s not hard to do with a family outing on the water. After all, who doesn’t love hitting the high seas for a day of fun in the sun? For a truly memorable family adventure, you can’t go wrong with Shannon Tanner’s Excellent Pirate Expedition!
The beautiful waters of Hilton Head Island are home to a variety of wildlife, making an ocean excursion a must for animal lovers. Off our shores, you’ll have the chance to cross seeing egrets, herons, Osprey, Bald Eagles, pelicans, bottle nose dolphins, and sharks off your bucket list. Aboard the Dolphin Seafari, you may even spot a mermaid!
There’s no better place for a fun-filled fishing adventure than Hilton Head Island, and no better way make it happen than a Palmetto Dunes Fishing Charter. Whether you’re an avid angler or a fishing newbie, you’ll love casting a line for your next big catch—which could be sea bass, mackerel, barracuda, red fish, or even shark!
If you want a more custom adventure on the water, we’ve got you covered! Rent a boat and find your inner sailor as you cruise through Hilton Head Island’s vast waterways in style. Or sit back and relax under the experienced hand of a fully equipped captain and crew on a chartered sailboat.
Running on sand is more challenging than running on pavement, but it can make for a fantastic workout! The beach at Palmetto Dunes is ideal for running in many ways. It’s 3 miles long, which makes for a good 30-minute run, plus it has smooth sand, next to no rocks, and is relatively flat. So take your next jog through Palmetto Dunes off the trails and onto the beach!
The best time for a beach run is when the tide is low. The wet, packed sand the water leaves behind is firm and sturdy—much closer to pavement than its soft, dry neighbor. Check for tide times and weather conditions (or sneak a peek at The Dunes House’s webcam!)
Running on loose sand provides a unique kind of resistance training, and you’ll definitely feel it—particularly in your lower legs. You need more force to run on sand so it can take up to 1.6 times more effort (and consequently burn that many more calories, too). Don’t worry if you’re not running at your usual pace. Remember, you’re working so much harder! A slower pace allows you time to focus on your form.
If you’re new to beach running it’s also best to try your first few runs with your sneakers on. Running barefoot is more challenging than you may think! Your feet are used to support, and to the added cushioning your running shoes provide. You’ll more than likely feel the difference in your ankles, Achilles heel, and the top or arch of your feet should you try running on the beach barefoot. If you do want to try it, take it easy. Build strength in your feet gradually, starting with short 15–20 minute runs and increasing incrementally as your feet and body adapt and strengthen.
Photo credit: Brenda C.
Don’t forget to put on some sunscreen and wear some sunglasses. There’s rarely any shade on the beach and waters of the ocean reflect a lot of sunlight, which can make it quite bright when you’re running next to the waves. Some runners recommend prepping your feet with a bit of Vaseline to avoid and chafing or blisters should you get some sand in your shoes.
calming about running on the beach, especially if you leave your earbuds at
home in your vacation rental. The sound of the waves lapping on the shore
creates a relaxing natural rhythm that’s the perfect background noise to a
If you’re looking for more than a casual jog, an easy way to beef up your beach run is with a zig-zag drill. After a good 10-minute warm up on wet, hard sand, zig up to dry, soft sand for a one-minute sprint, before zagging back to the hard sand for a one–two-minute recovery. See if you can get 10 sprints in before cooling down with another 10-minute jog on the packed, wet sand.
And don’t forget: There’s no better way to reward yourself for a jog well done than refueling at The Dunes House! Carb-load with a tantalizing plate of nachos, or keep it light with a sandwich wrap. See you on the beach!
Many couples dream of a island wedding (rain or shine!) or a wedding on a beach with the sound of the rolling waves in the background as they make their vows. The wedding events & catering team at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort help brides and grooms make their dreams come true every year. Here's what some of them recently said:
I couldn't be happier with my wedding at Palmetto Dunes. We had originally booked the Dunes House for the ceremony and reception but due to rain had to switch the Center Court at the last minute. The rain was touch and go all day and our coordinator Courtney was wonderful with communicating our options and ensuring us that everything would be perfect either way we went. The set up at center court was beautiful! I gave Courtney a lot of decor and she and the staff laid everything out to perfection! The food was delicious- all of our guests raved about it! We had a very long engagement and Courtney was responsive and helpful through every step of the process. I had such a wonderful experience and would recommend Palmetto Dunes to everyone looking for a beautiful place to have a wedding!
As the mother of the groom for a destination wedding, I would HIGHLY recommend Courtney Daley and her staff at Palmetto Dunes! We were able to easily plan the entire wedding from Ohio because of Courtney and Lindsay. They were always prompt and professional in their replies. They were always able to answer questions and to make suggestions regarding vendors. The venue itself was absolutely beautiful as the happy couple was married on the beach and the food for the reception was delicious. Courtney and her crew handled all of the details and made it so that the bride and groom (and the rest of us!) could enjoy the big day.
A happy bride and groom from Ohio said...
Courtney and Palmetto Dunes Dunes House made the wedding of our dreams possible! We are from Ohio and we're planning a destination wedding, and Courtney made it as easy and stress free as possible. I would highly recommend this location for your wedding!
For more information about Weddings at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort call 843-686-9142 to speak with a wedding planner. Or submit a request for proposal and discover the possibilities!