Hilton Head Island is known for its beautiful beaches, delicious Lowcountry cuisine, and rolling golf courses as far as the eye can see. But the island offers so much more than that, with gorgeous scenery, exciting adventures, and lots of nature to explore. Read our list of the best ways to experience Hilton Head’s beauty up close and make the most out of your next Palmetto Dunes vacation!
1. Nature Cruises at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina
What’s more exciting than exploring nature and all of the beautiful wildlife species Hilton Head Island has to offer? Take the chance to get up close and personal with sightings of egrets, herons, osprey, bald eagles, pelicans, and bottlenose dolphins on one of Shelter Cove’s Nature Cruises!
These cruises offer one of the best ways to enjoy the South Carolina waterways. Make the most of your vacation and witness the true coastal beauty of the island for yourself.
2. Biking Around the Island
They say the best way to truly experience a place is on two feet, or perhaps even better, two wheels. Get lost on your next vacation with a bike rental from Hilton Head Outfitters. Palmetto Dunes alone offers nearly 5 miles of paved bike paths perfect for exploring, while Hilton Head offers more than 80 miles of trails that intertwine from one end of Hilton Head Island to the other, making it easy to explore. You can even bike on the beach for some gorgeous views. Veer off the beaten path and see more of the beauty of the island, while experiencing the beach, wildlife, and more!
3. Spot A Bottlenose Dolphin
Spot a bottlenose dolphin in its natural habitat on a Dolphin Cruise with Shelter Cove. The common local residents of Hilton Head can be seen frolicking in the water right before your eyes! While you’re at it you’ll get the chance to learn all about their social behaviour, feeding habits, and more.
4. Kayak Through the Palmetto Dunes Lagoon
The Palmetto Dunes lagoon is arguably one of the best places to view wildlife on the island and it’s a great place to experience total serenity. Take a scenic kayak ride at your own pace on the 11-mile inland lagoon system with its assortment of wildlife and large variety of fish. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be surrounded by gorgeous trees and relaxing calm waters! The lagoon is a must-see location if you want to have a relaxing and personal experience with nature.
5. Spend A Day Sailing
Just because you’re being adventurous and experiencing nature, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice relaxation! Set sail on the sea to take in Hilton Head Island’s picturesque scenery on pristine ocean blue waters. Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina offers many wonderful sailing charters to choose from. Spend your day with the wind in your hair and the beauty of our breathtaking seascapes; it’s experience you’re sure not to forget anytime soon.
6. Fishing Charters
Whether you’re alone, with friends, or with your family, a fishing charter is a great way to get close to the Island’s marine life while partaking in a fun daytime activity. Hilton Head Outfitters offers a variety of fishing charters on our famous Palmetto Dunes Lagoon Waterway. The lagoon is home to a variety of saltwater species which holds giant redfish, trout, bluefish, black drum, flounder and even tarpon. Come out and see what new species you can catch on your next visit.
7. Two-Person Catamaran Rides
Nothing says summertime quite like some fun on the water. Experience the thrill of speeding along the Atlantic Ocean with the Shelter Cove Catamaran Rides. You’ll have the chance to drive your own 2-person catamaran boats around the Hilton Head waterways, while getting info from guides who are well-trained and know the water like the back of their hands. Get off of dry land on your next adventure and see the island from a different perspective.
8. Surf’s Up
Sometimes experiencing the beauty of a place is all about being close to nature and what it has to offer! With surf lessons on Hilton Head Island you’ll get the chance to be connected with the ocean and experience terrific views of the beach and water! Catching waves can be easy and enjoyable for all ages with our guided, experienced instructors. Lessons are taught on the beach at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, with plenty of time slots, making it an easy vacation outing to enjoy.
9. Fireworks Cruise
After a busy day of exploring the island, unwind with an activity that will allow you to kick back and relax, while being exposed to some beautiful views! Set out on for a Fireworks Cruise on the water at night, as the sky lights up with fireworks reflecting over the ocean. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the view. A Fireworks Cruise is the perfect end to any day spent on Hilton Head Island.
10. Relax on the Beach
No list of Hilton Head Island would be complete without mentioning our pristine and gorgeous beaches. The island is known for its beaches, and Palmetto Dunes alone boasts three miles of beachfront, meaning there’s plenty of land for you to explore. See the beautiful sunrises and sunsets that captivate visitors, sit under the warm sun, smell the fresh ocean air, and perhaps even collect some seashells while you’re at it.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and explore—and don’t forget to share your photos with us using #PalmettoDunes on social media.
With gorgeous and pristine beaches, delicious dining, and an array of family-friendly activities, Palmetto Dunes is the perfect vacation destination to kick back and have some much-needed fun. There are endless options for family-friendly adventures so we compiled a list of our favorites to help make your vacation planning stress-free and, more importantly, fun for the whole family!
1. Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina Boat Tours
With a number of fun and exciting Boat Tours to choose from, Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina has a list of options that your family is sure to love! Whether it be spotting beautiful bluenose dolphins frolicking in the water, watching fireworks under the summer sky, having your kids dress up as pirates to search for lost treasure, or spotting the island’s gorgeous wildlife on a nature cruise, there’s something for everyone. The only hard part will be choosing which one!
Surf lessons on Hilton Head Island are perfect for the whole family, and a great excuse to spend your vacation soaking up the sun and smelling the fresh ocean air. Lessons are taught throughout the week just in front of The Dunes House, making it easily accessible right from your vacation rental. The lessons teach the basics of surfing and ocean safety, while creating a fun and exciting experience for everyone. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your family, a surfboard, and hit the water!
3. Palmetto Dunes Lagoon Fishing Charters
Fishing is fun for the whole family, especially on the Palmetto Dunes Lagoon, which is home to a variety of saltwater fish species. Hilton Head Outfitters offers fishing charters led by guides on a quiet boat which can accommodate up to four people. So, if you’re looking for a peaceful day on the water and want to learn the art of catch and release, this is the perfect day adventure for you and your loved ones!
Plan your fishing excursion.
4. Tennis or Pickleball
Whether you and your family have played tennis or pickleball in the past, or its your first time, we’ve got a number of options to ensure you have a great time on the court. If you’ve booked a vacation rental with Palmetto Dunes you can get access to two hours of free court time when they’re available with each night of your stay! Or, there are lessons and junior tennis programs for those looking for a more competitive edge. Either way, you’ll love spending time bonding with your family while getting active and learning a new skill.
5. Canoeing and Kayaking
We can’t seem to get enough of all of the exciting water sports that are offered at Palmetto Dunes! Hilton Head Outfitters offers a number of canoe and kayak rentals, so why not venture out on an 11-mile long adventure right on the Palmetto Lagoon? With two-seater kayaks available for rent, and the minimum age being five, it’s a great way for you and your kids to get active and enjoy Hilton Head’s beautiful natural surroundings. So, come out and enjoy a true laidback, Lowcountry experience.
6. Beach Days
Would any list be complete without mentioning a fun family day spent on one of Hilton Head’s gorgeous beaches? The Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort boasts three miles of pristine beachfront for your enjoyment. Whether you and your family will be swimming, collecting shells, or building sandcastles, a day spent under the sun on a gorgeous beach will provide vacation memories that will last a lifetime!
Does this list have you itching to plan a family getaway? Check out our vacation packages, or call our reservations team at (855) 450-4861.
Today, more than 3,000 people will enjoy golf at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort or on one of Hilton Head Island’s nearly two-dozen championship golf courses. Eighteen of the courses are open to the public and seven have been ranked among the nation’s Top 100. All three golf courses at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort have been awarded the South Carolina “Golf Course of the Year.”
Palmetto Dunes Director of Instruction Doug Weaver, a former PGA Tour professional and a member of the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame, invites you to play or take a lesson today for a number of reasons.
This is the time to play, Doug says, because the average temperature in May is 84 for a high and 63 at night. Humidity is low and the breeze is refreshing. The average rainfall is only 3 inches so leave your umbrella in the car.
The sunrise is at 6:30 AM and tee times start at 6:45 AM, so you can be back to the group and go to the pool or beach for the rest of the day. The sun sets close to 8:30 PM, so you can go to the beach or fish all day and then start later and come play while watching the birds do their final fishing then bedding down in the rookery. Also, the deer will come out and watch you as they graze.
More than 500 people will take golf instruction on the island today. Doug says they will experience:
Doug Weaver and the rest of the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort team cordially invite you to play golf this week so you can make your own discovery of this wonderful game for a lifetime. Come join Doug and his staff every Monday from 4-5 PM at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course and enjoy the hands-on, interactive class and demonstration that will introduce you to the game of golf with a smile on your face.
Spring has sprung, the sun gets warmer with every day, the birds are chirping, flowers are in bloom. This is a beautiful time of year to be on Hilton Head Island, and the perfect time to brush the dust off those clubs and get swinging in preparation for the best season of the year: golf season!
We spoke with the golf pros at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort to get some tips on how to get ready for the upcoming golf season so that you can get right back into the swing of things on your next golf getaway.
Tip #1: Loosen Up
If you’ve been away from the greens all winter long, you’re probably tempted to head straight for the driving range, but before you do make sure you warm up to reduce the risk of injury. Try some arm and leg swings and dynamic torso swings, followed by a series of practice swings, warming up from a half swing to full swing before you even tee up. It’s also a good idea to stretch before and after your round whenever you golf, but especially for the first few rounds of the year.
Tip #2: Get Your Equipment Up to Par
Your golf gear should help, not hinder. So take inventory of what you have and what you might need. Give your grips a good clean, or even get some new ones! (You won’t believe the difference a properly sized grip can make). Get your wedges tested for loft and bounce. You could even book in with SwingFit when you first arrive at Palmetto Dunes to get a full club and swing analysis!
How are your golf shoes holding up? Is it time for a new pair—or at least some new cleats? Why not do a quick spring cleaning of your golf bag, replenishing anything that is running low and wiping out last year’s grime.
Tip #3: Practice Your Grip
Now's the time to reacquaint yourself with your golf clubs so relax, grab your clubs and practice your grip. Take care to notice your stance, where you're tense, and spend some time practicing some swings until you're back to feeling perfectly comfortable.
Tip #4: Putt ‘Er Up
You don’t need a golf course to practice your putting—a crucial part of your game—so take the time to work on your short game before your season starts. Start practicing your putt from two feet and gradually increase your distance, or consider using some putting aids to help you regain and improve your accuracy and consistency.
Tip #5: Find Your Touch
Putts aren’t the only swing worth practicing; you can also reacquaint yourself with chipping and pitching using some simple practice exercises and one-handed drills. While you practice your swings, pay attention to your fundamentals—breaking down your swing to build it back up again will have you starting your season off strong.
Tip #6: Stay In Shape
Maintaining a base level of fitness in the off-season can make a world of difference once you get back on the greens. If you like to walk (or bike) your courses, keep your cardio up with regular walks, jogs, or bike rides. Keeping your glutes and core strong will do wonders for your drives—and comfort level—when you get back at it. Exercises like deadlifts, squats, and Russian twists are excellent for maintaining stability in these areas.
Tip #7: Set Some Goals
As we all know too well, golf is a game of patience. So before you launch into the golf season, consider making the time to come up with some realistic, measurable goals to work on over the summer. Throughout your golf season, why not start tracking your stats by recording not only what you shot, but why you shot a particular number. Use your scorecard or a golf app to track stats like number of fairways hit, number of putts, so you can start to really see where your strengths (and weaknesses) lie.
Tip #8: Start Planning!
Find the golf package that is right for you and start planning your Hilton Head Island golf getaway! Here at Palmetto Dunes, not only do we have three award-winning golf courses for you to play, our incredible golf instructors offer clinics, lessons and golf academies throughout the week (and year!).
Tiger Woods is healthy again and back on the prowl. The ageless Phil Mickelson is playing some of the best golf of his illustrious career. Two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson dominated the recent Match-Play Championship. Young guns such as Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth can strike at any time. Not to mention uber-talents like Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler.
If you can’t tell, those of us at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort are excited about the 2018 golf season. We look at the Masters and, of course, the RBC Heritage of Golf on our own Hilton Head Island, as the true start of the season.
Tiger, Phil and many other members of the PGA Tour have honed their talents at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort during the years — all part of Palmetto Dunes’ rich history, celebrated in 2018 with our 50th Palmetto Dunes’ rich history, celebrated in 2018 with our 50th anniversary anniversary!
Palmetto Dunes visitors can “get their plaid on” during the Heritage Golf Tournament, which will be played on Hilton Head Island the week following the Masters, April 9-15. The Heritage of Golf Stay & Play Special includes three nights, two rounds of golf, tournament badges and more.
(*Based on availability and pricing subject to change. Pricing above based on quad occupancy in a 2 bedroom villa. Valid for stays between April 7-16, 2018. Must book by March 31st, 2018. May not be combined with any other offer.) Call (866) 744-7558 to get a package quote today.
Need help with your swing while you’re here? Schedule a lesson at Hilton Head Island's No. 1 Golf Academy and the second-best instructor in the state of South Carolina, Doug Weaver. The Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy offers nine distinct programs, seven teaching pros and game-changing instruction. Join us each Monday for a free golf clinic at the Jones Course. Ask questions of Weaver, a former PGA Tour player and his talented staff. Unsure which golf school is right for you? Contact Doug Weaver at DWeaver@PalmettoDunes.com or call (866) 744-7558.
One of the best things about Big Jim’s is that not only is it one of the best family friendly restaurants in Hilton Head Island, it feels like a family restaurant. The staff is friendly and welcoming, the food is made with love and care, and it serves up classics.
Whether you’re celebrating a great round out on one of our golf courses, grabbing a beer and watching the game, or indulging in a “Wine Down Wednesday” glass, or a delicious meal for the whole family to enjoy, Big Jim’s offers something for everyone.
Not only that, it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, no matter when hunger strikes! And even though the property rentals at Palmetto Dunes have full kitchens, it can be nice to take a vacation from cooking. Big Jim’s has you covered! Call up (or order online) for some take out, or if you’re serving a crowd, request delivery.
We can’t talk about a restaurant without talking about its food, and when we’re talking about Big Jim’s we’re talking about three things: BBQ, burgers and pizza. Of course, that’s only a sampling of what’s on the menu, but if you’re a first timer, it’s a good place to start! The ribs are slow smoked for fall-off-the-bone, finger-lickin’ good flavor (and on Thursdays they’re two for one all day long!). The pulled pork sandwich is a classic Lowcountry lunch choice, and Big Jim’s comes served with tangy coleslaw, fries, and a pickle. Of course, if it’s a classic burger you’re craving, the Big Jim’s Cheddar Burger can’t be beat. The BBQ Chicken pizza uses Big Jim’s signature barbecue sauce and smoky chicken to make a perfect pizza pie, or get creative and make your own using the many pizza-topping options available.
Located next to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, Big Jim’s is at the heart of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. Even though there is plenty of parking, it’s an easy ride from your rental home on your Hilton Head Outfitters bike. The spacious, sunny patio has fantastic views of the Robert Trent Jones driving range and 18th hole, and the interior is comfortable and casual.
Why Big Jim’s?
Big Jim’s is more than a restaurant name! It celebrates an important figure in the history of Palmetto Dunes. Jim Self was one of the original investors in Palmetto Dunes back in 1979. He saw the property’s potential and just knew that he could turn it into a beloved Hilton Head Island vacation destination. Funnily enough, Jim’s nickname was actually “Little Jim” for most of life, thanks to his small stature—he was only 5’7” — but once he had grandchildren, he managed to get them to call him “Big Jim” and the name stuck!
Big Jim Self had many talents, including sport fishing, golf and cooking! From his killer barbecue sauce to famous Tennessee-style coleslaw, friends and family knew that when they sat down at Big Jim’s table, they were in for a delicious, Southern meal. Luckily for you, little has changed at the restaurant that bears his name.
Feeling hungry yet? While you’re planning your Hilton Head Island vacation, don’t forget to add Big Jim’s to your list! Have you already visited this Palmetto Dunes hot spot? Tell us your favorite thing to order in the comments.
No matter the season, we know you’ll fall in love with tennis at Palmetto Dunes! The Tennis Center at Palmetto Dunes serves up fun for all ages with a wide variety of programs including clinics, events, and lessons so no matter what your skill level is, you’ll love playing at Palmetto Dunes! Don’t believe us? Here are four reasons to fall in love with tennis at Palmetto Dunes.
1: Quality Courts
Our Tennis Center at Palmetto Dunes has 23 clay courts (and that’s not even including our pickleball courts!) for you to choose from. This means that even with our daily clinics, lessons, and round robins, there’s still room for casual one-on-one or doubles play.
2: Award-Winning Pros
Not only are our courts top notch, but our staff is aces! Recently, we were delighted to welcome Eric Wammock as our head tennis pro. Like many of the tennis pros at Palmetto Dunes, Eric brings decades of experience with him, including some time spent playing professionally. Whether you’re attending a group clinic or have signed up for a private lesson and no matter who you work with at Palmetto Dunes, you’ll be in the hands of a friendly, patient, experienced professional who can certainly take your game to the next level.
3: All The Time You Need
Six of the courts at Palmetto Dunes are lit for nighttime play and our tennis center is open seven days a week. So when you’re vacationing at Palmetto Dunes Resort you can play as many games, sets, and matches as you please! If you really want to take advantage of court time on your vacation, check out our tennis vacation packages!
4: Exciting Tournaments
At the Tennis Center at Palmetto Dunes, we like to put the results of your tennis instruction to the test with regular tournaments that welcome players of all levels. Check out our tournament schedule and get your game face on! Although we play to win, we also have a whole lot of fun!
Ready to fall in love with tennis at Palmetto
Dunes? Call 855-450-4861 to start planning your Palmetto Dunes vacation.
The question has been popped and you said yes! Now it’s time to start planning the day of your dreams. Where to start? Hilton Head Island, of course! With miles of beautiful beaches, gorgeous ocean backdrops, sunny skies, and stunning venues that accommodate groups both large and small, it’s the perfect place to exchange vows.
Next up: Planning the details of your big day. Lucky for you, at Palmetto Dunes we make weddings both beautiful and easy! Follow our wedding day countdown to help prepare for your picture-perfect oceanfront wedding.
This year, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is turning 50. Hole-in-ones, finally catching a wave, saying, “Yes”, saying, “I Do”; trying new foods, new sports, making new friends—a lot of special memories have been made over the past five decades.
So to celebrate, we’re collecting 50 stories to share. From restaurants, to landscapes, to golf technology, shops, vacation rentals, and more, Palmetto Dunes is always evolving. Life in Lowcountry has always been sweet and the activities, sites, events, and festivals at Palmetto Dunes, Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina, and Hilton Head Outfitters make it exciting, too! It’s no wonder that so many return to Hilton Head Island for their Palmetto Dunes vacation year after year.
Things have changed a lot since 1968, but one thing has remained the same; Palmetto Dunes is a friendly, welcoming place that guests, staff, and residents enjoy day in and day out. So join the conversation! We want to hear from you what has made Palmetto Dunes so special over the past 50 years. Visit palmettodunes50.com and share your memories, vacation photos, and special stories about Palmetto Dunes then and now—and to check out the rich history, culture, and people that have made Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort the place it is today.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and love is in the air! Celebrate in style with some of our favorite and most romantic places in Hilton Head Island that make for a perfect date night.
There are so many couples’ activities on Hilton Head Island; it’s hard to pick just five! When it comes to planning the perfect date night for your valentine, Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina is an ideal place to start.
For a table for two with a view head to ELA’s Blu Water Grille. Treat yourself to a cocktail and dine as the sun sets over the water. From now until February 18, they’re even offering a stunning special Valentine’s Day meal with gorgeous entrées like Steak and Scallops with Champagne and Butter Sauce and a sinfully delicious sea salt caramel cheesecake for dessert. We can’t think of a more romantic backdrop for you and your loved one!
True romantics know that there’s more to date night than wining and dining. Make the evening special with a Sunset Cruise from Shelter Cove Marina. With nothing but the fresh air, the open water, the stunning sky, and each other, you’ll enjoy a memorable date as the sun dips below the horizon.
For a whole new kind of water view—not to mention an impressive meal—head to Alexander’s Restaurant. Cozy up by the fireplace and order oysters on the half shell to start the meal off right. With beautiful signature dishes like Filet Mignon and Jumbo Scallops, you really can’t go wrong with this menu.
Of course, what makes a date night special is the person you’re spending it with! When it comes to romantic things to do in Hilton Head Island, nothing beats a walk on the beach at sunset. Our stunning three-mile beachfront sets the scene for romantic excursion that’s really, all about the two of you. With the sounds of the waves and the spectacular sky, we wouldn’t be surprised if you fell in love all over again!
For even more romance, consider booking one of our Hilton Head romantic getaway packages! Because the only thing better than one date night is three in a row.