1. TAKE THE PHOTO HORIZONTALLY
Hold your camera or phone in a horizontal position. This way, you can capture more stunning Hilton Head scenery and then crop for Instagram if you need to.
2. KNOW YOUR CAMERA
Whether you have the latest and greatest professional camera or simply your cell phone, know the tool you are working with.
Digital cameras have tons of setting options to allow you the best photo possible. Read your camera’s manual to make the most of each photo.
Who needs a fancy camera when you always have your phone on hand? Your smartphone can take beautiful pictures too! Learning the settings of your camera and how to use them makes taking brilliant photos a snap!
3. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Don’t hesitate to get dirty! How cool would a picture of the waves rolling in be if it was taken from the sand instead of standing at the water’s edge? Think outside the box to find unique camera angles that capture an image in an unexpected way.
4. DON’T BE AFRAID OF THIRD-PARTY APPS
Explore your phone’s app store for a variety of camera apps and photo editors. Apps allow you to tweak the brightness, colors and sharpness of your image, and often have cool filters too! Change a photo from good to great with the help of a little “studio work”. Some of our favorites are: VSCOcam, Camu (iPhone only) and PicsArt.
5. FOCUS YOUR SHOT
Most mobile cameras allow you to focus the photo by pressing your finger on the screen where you want to center the focus. This can be a helpful tool when trying to take a portrait of the family before an awesome kayaking trip with Hilton Head Outfitters, or to kick it up a notch and focus on the condensation of your perfectly frozen drink at the Dunes House. Making the focal point of your photo stand out makes for excellent pictures.
6. LIGHTING IS ESSENTIAL
Is there anything more beautiful than watching your kids nap on the beach as the sun sets after a long day of playing in the ocean? Can anything outdo the view on Jones Hole 10 as the sun climbs into the sky? It’s important to think of the lighting when you’re capturing these memories with your camera. Is the light in front or behind you? Is it harsh and casting shadows or causing a soft glow? We love soft lighting, like at sunrise and sunset; the silhouettes are uncanny.
7. BECOME ONE WITH NATURE
Hilton Head Island is a beautiful place. Capture Hilton Head Island wildlife with some nature shots! Clouds, birds, gators, sunrays, and even rainstorms make for stunning imagery. Make use of a good zoom lens to capture the detail of bird in the distance, or use burst mode or a faster shutter speed to get the perfect shot of a gator as it shoots by. Walk, kayak, or ride your bike, and make the time to take it in.
8. TAKE A BIG BITE
Apps like Instagram have us drooling over delicious food all the time. Why not add some foodie shots into your vacation album? Try framing one of Big Jim’s mouth-watering burgers, or snap a shot of your buddy taking the first sip of a cold beer after 18-holes on Hills.
9. MIND THE RULE OF THIRDS
Placing the subject of your photo off-center is an example of the rule of thirds and can often make for a more interesting photo. Many cameras and phone cameras have grid functions to help you align your focal point (think 18th green flag).
10. CHECK YOUR FRAME
Nothing can ruin a photo like a stranger strolling through your special moment or one of the kids picking their nose during your family portrait. Check the frame to make sure your photo is capturing exactly what you want. When in doubt – take another!
11. CLEAN THE LENS
It’s important to clean the lens of your camera - especially when using your phone. Post bike ride you might have some glistening sweat to clear, or after a Palmetto Dunes General Store visit you might need to rid the lens of the legendary cinnamon roll icing. A clean lens means clarity and sharpness in your pics.
12. LET GO!
Forgo the filter! Don’t suck in for your bathing suit photo! Who cares if Tommy has ice cream stains on his brand new shirt? The best part about being on vacation is relaxing and experiencing new things with your loved ones. So let loose! Sometimes the best photos are taken when no one is paying attention, and instead they are just enjoying their time at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort.
Have a photo tip to share? Comment below! Want to share your favorite vacation photos with Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort? Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @PalmettoDunesSC and “Like” us on Facebook. Say cheese and use the hashtag #PalmettoDunes!
We know that your dog is part of the family. So if you’re heading to Palmetto Dunes this winter, bring your furry friend with you!
From one-bedroom condos to spacious villas we have incredible Palmetto Dunes properties that are pet-friendly and have enough room for everyone to enjoy their time on Hilton Head Island!
We think your dog is going to love Hilton Head Island as much as you do! Hilton Head beaches are dog friendly in the mornings and evenings, so grab your leash and head to the beach! There’s no better way to start the day than with a seaside stroll with your pooch.
If your dog loves to be surrounded by action, head to the boardwalk at Shelter Cove Harbour. Between the restaurants, shops and bustling activity, there will be no shortage of new sights and smells for you and your dog to discover!
So grab your pug or your poodle, or dachshund or doodle and head to Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort! Check out all of our dog friendly vacation rentals here.
(photo credit: moonlightproductions)
Before arriving to Hilton Head Island, turn to PackPoint, a free travel packing list organizer and packing planner perfect for every family on the go! Eliminate the worry of forgetting the essentials (from your favorite waterproof mascara to the baby’s favorite pacifier) and keep yourself from over packing car with non-essentials. Once your build your packing list in the app, you can share with your friends and family in case they need help packing too! You can even select the types of activities you are participating in during your vacation and PackPoint will help you choose the right items, even taking weather into consideration.
Download in Apple App Store
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Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you have probably already heard of or have already downloaded Instagram. This free photo sharing and editing tool will take your Hilton Head Island vacation photos to the next level! Not only can you share your awesome experiences and photos from your trip, but you can follow Hilton Head Island accounts for great suggestions of what to do, where to eat and what you need to see.
Follow these Hilton Head Island Instagrammers for the inside scoop:
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Download the Hilton Head Island Compass app to build your own custom Hilton Head Island experience! The app serves as an interactive map to find activities, restaurants and special offers nearby. You can also search for activities to create your own itinerary with restaurants, beaches, shopping and everything in between. Check-in to receive exclusive deals from your favorite places. Make sure to review Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort’s golf courses, Tennis Center, Hilton Head Outfitters, Big Jim’s and the Dunes House.
Download in Apple App Store
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Enhance your ultimate golf vacation with the free Palmetto Dunes Golf App! The app allows you to receive notifications with exclusive offers and tee time specials. You can book your tee time directly from the app! During play, take advantage of the interactive scorecard, GPS system, hole descriptions, playing tips, live tournaments and leader board, course tours, Facebook sharing and even order lunch from the food & beverage menu.
Download in Apple App Store
Download in Google Play
The best part of vacationing on Hilton Head Island is enjoying the natural beauty of the beaches, shady bike paths and endless walking/jogging trails. More and more, people want to stay active while on vacation and “Charity Miles” provides an added bonus! “Charity Miles” is an app available for iOS and Andriod and donates money to a charitable cause on your behalf for every mile that you run, walk or ride your bicycle. Now, you can burn calories, spend quality time with your family and donate to a great cause simultaneously! You do not have to solicit donations, just launch the app, pick a charity and hit the ground running (or the beach walking, or the pavement walking)!
Download in Apple App Store
Download in Google Play
Palmetto Dunes is the perfect place to vacation, whether you love to sit back and relax or are an outdoor adventure junkie! Here’s our list of Palmetto Dunes adventures that you cannot miss.
Whether you’re looking to try fishing for the first time, or are an adept angler, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time sport fishing off the coast of Hilton Head Island. Sea bass, mackerel, barracuda, red fish and even sharks have been caught on our fishing expeditions! Head to Shelter Cove Marina to set off on your fishing adventure.
Explore the ‘Outback’ by Kayak
If you think Hilton Head Island is beautiful on land, wait until you’ve seen it from the water. Rent a kayak and head out to explore the 11-miles of lagoons on the island. Or, if you’re feeling truly adventurous, why not take advantage of our Outback tour, where you’ll head to Page Island, a stunning secluded area that will put you right in the thick of Hilton Head wildlife.
Make a Splash
Now that you’ve been out on the water, it’s time to try skimming on top of it! Grab the family or a group of friends to board the Centurion for a day full of wakrboarding, wakesurfing, wakeskating, waterskiing, kneeboarding and tubing. Just call the Shelter Cove Marina Ship’s Store at 843-842-7001 to book your adventure today.
Hit the Surf
Learn to hang ten with professional instructors at the Hilton Head Outfitters’ Surf School! You’ll be ready to brave the waves after our 90 minute session and then it’s time to get out there and catch a few! Already know the basics? You can rent surfboards from Hilton Head Outfitters too.
It’s no secret that bikes are the best way to get around Hilton Head Island. Make your own adventure by renting a bike and hitting the road. See what wildlife you can spot, whether it’s dolphins off shore, pelicans on the beach, gators in a lagoon, or deer in a field. When you’re biking around Hilton Head Island, you never know what you’ll discover next!
So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Palmetto Dunes, and let the adventure begin!
Fall is almost here and the weather is cooling off. But that doesn’t mean the fun is stopping! Autumn is the perfect season to enjoy sports and outdoor activities at Palmetto Dunes Resort. We created a fun infographic to show how much fun you can have this fall!
One of the most unique things about Palmetto Dunes is our lagoon. Did you know that it’s 11 miles long? The waters are calm, making kayaking or canoeing a great family activity. Your kids will have so much fun spotting the different kinds of wildlife.
There are 3,000 bikes at Hilton Head Outfitters, including one with your name on it. Book ahead, and have it delivered to your vacation home or villa. Talk about easy riding! You can ride your bike along the three miles of pristine beachfront at our resort – or just grab a chair, a good book, and relax.
If golf is your game, fall is a great time to visit! Our 54 holes of golf can keep you entertained for days. Book online in advance to save up to 30%!
After all that kayaking, golfing and biking, you’ve probably worked up an appetite! Luckily, there are 11 different restaurants to try out while you’re here. Sample the frozen cocktails at Dunes House, stop by the General Store for their famous fried chicken, or have a romantic date night at HH Prime.
That’s not all! Did you know that the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center boasts the most courts of all of Hilton Head Island? Tennis fans love our 23 clay and two Nova ProBounce courts, our daily round-robin tournaments, and our world-renowned tennis instruction!
What are you waiting for? The perfect fall adventure awaits. Here’s one more number: Call 1-877-567-6511 to get started!
August around Hilton Head Island’s Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is one of the most popular times of the year — and for good reason.
Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder and we know that opinions are like … well … let's just say everyone has one. But if you were to suggest that August on Hilton Head Island and around its renowned Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is your favorite month of the year, you would most assuredly not be alone.
What’s not to like about August in the Lowcountry? The dog days of summer have come and gone, and temperatures on the island have locked themselves in the pleasant 80s during the day, and the 60s at night, perfect weather for golf, tennis, beach, biking — you name it. Meanwhile, the kids are back at school or they are headed that way soon, so the hustle and bustle of the summer months on Hilton Head have given way to nothing but soothing relaxation.
Little wonder Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head is one of the most popular vacation resort venues for today's active families and for groups ranging in size up to 250 or more. Offering a wide variety of South Carolina vacation rentals, the revered oceanfront vacation resort is nestled in the heart of the South Carolina Lowcountry and was named the No. 1 Family Resort in the United States and Canada by Travel + Leisure Family magazine. Forbes magazine ranked it among the Forbes Top 10 Luxury Family Resorts.
Speaking of awards, the Robert Trent Jones Course at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort was recently joined by the Hills Course among the 30 selected for the 2015 “Best You Can Play” list by the South Carolina Golf Rating Panel. The South Carolina Golf Panel is composed of 125 golf enthusiasts that represent a diverse range of occupations, handicaps, and backgrounds.
The Jones Course, which boasts one of only two oceanfront holes on the island, was named South Carolina’s 2003 “Golf Course of the Year.” Not to be outdone, in 2009, the Hills Course earned the same honor. Last but not least, the underrated Fazio Course completed the resort’s hat trick last year when it was named 2014 “South Carolina Golf Course of the Year.”
In May, Palmetto Dunes became the first resort in the Carolinas and along the East Coast to offer the revolutionary new “Golf Bike,” allowing golfers to enjoy PD’s trio of award-winning courses playing by pedaling from hole to hole versus taking a golf cart or hoofing it. Palmetto Dunes received nine of the first 100 Golf Bikes delivered, giving golfers the ability to play at the speed of a cart while getting paid back with fun and fitness.
Palmetto Dunes is currently offering a number of attractive stay-and-play packages during the month of August and extending into the fall. The Golf Stay and Play Package, for instance, features outstanding resort accommodations on Hilton Head Island plus two or three rounds of golf on your choice of three championship courses. This Hilton Head Island golf vacation package is completely customizable with accommodations and activities. Or with Palmetto Dune’s multi-round special, golfers can enjoy the ultimate Hilton Head Island golf vacation when they tee off at the three championship golf courses at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort for up to 15% off per round by booking multiple rounds.
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort caters to golfers of all levels, having installed permanent junior tees on its Robert Trent Jones golf course, while the George Fazio golf course caters to juniors with markings of 150 yards or less. In addition, kids play free at the Robert Trent Jones Hilton Head golf course and the Arthur Hills golf course after 4 p.m. with an adult paying regular rate.
For more information about Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, its many golf packages and Family Golf Program, call 877-567-6513 or visit www.PalmettoDunes.com.
We don’t know about you, but we’re not ready to say goodbye to summer. There are still plenty of beach days left here on Hilton Head Island!
But if you can’t make it to Palmetto Dunes, here’s the next best thing: affordable beach-inspired decor! These summery printables for the home let you add a little coastal flair to your decor, without breaking the bank. They’re FREE!
Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment with your email address below, and we’ll send you ten fabulous prints that are inspired by Lowcountry living.
What are you waiting for? Print off your new pieces of art, pour yourself a sweet tea, and pretend you’re relaxing at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort.
What do you get when you cross ping-pong and tennis? America’s fastest growing sport, Pickleball! This game is easy to learn and fun to play and is now available at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. Recognized as the “#1 Tennis Center in the Carolinas” by Tennis Magazine and considered one of the best tennis resorts in the country, the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center strives to maintain its esteemed reputation by hosting USTA sanctioned tournaments, local charity tennis tournaments, daily round robins, a variety of lessons and clinics, fitness programs, carry the latest in tennis merchandise and apparel and keep up with the latest trends in the tennis world.
The staff at the tennis center was thrilled to learn that everyone from tennis enthusiasts to families were jumping at the opportunity to play this fun sport with a silly name. Now, the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center is home to four pickleball courts, rental equipment and pickleball merchandise. For guests and visitors wanting to give pickleball a shot, pickleball courts can be rented by the hour and rental equipment for a set of four players will only set you back $10. Palmetto Dunes also has a pickleball machine available to rent for those who want to get ahead of the competition.
For those who are interested in learning more about the strokes, strategies and rules of pickleball, Palmetto Dunes offers a beginner’s clinic from 8:30 – 9:30 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings for $20 and on Sunday from 10:00 - 11:00 am. Immediately following this informative and fun lesson from 9:30 – 10:30 am, beginner pickleball round robins allow players to test their skills and master the game of pickleball. Round robin participation is only $10 per player or you can book a “Daily Double” package that includes both the beginner’s clinic and a spot in the round robin for only $25. Palmetto Dunes offers a variety of tennis and pickleball vacation packages for the ultimate Hilton Head Island escape.
Whether you are serious about the game of tennis or looking for something new to try, come visit the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center to see why we think pickleball is such a “BIG DILL”! For more information or to make a pickleball reservation, please call 843-785-1152.
Everyone loves fireworks; it is hard to imagine someone who cannot associate the magic of fireworks to a childhood memory, favorite holiday or great story. Often, when people recount their favorite fireworks memory, they remember their family’s summer vacation and the Tuesday night fireworks at Shelter Cove for HarbourFest Summer Celebration. After 27 years of sending fairy dust into the sky and watching everyone’s eyes light up, we figured it might be fun to give you the inside scoop.
How much really goes into setting up a fireworks show? You just light the fuse and let them do their thing, right?
HarbourFest and Tuesday night fireworks begin in mid-June and continue through mid-August, but planning for the event begins immediately following the closing night of HarbourFest. Applications & Permits with a variety of law enforcement entities involved are required to stage such an event. We work closely with the Town of Hilton Head Island Fire Department, Beaufort County Sherriff’s office, the South Carolina State Fire Marshal’s office, SC Department of Natural Resources, etc. Once all the logistic & planning details are approved, the Tuesday night fireworks events are given the green light. The Shelter Cove HarbourFest event has been fortunate to have the continued and generous support of Greenwood Communities and Resorts, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, the Shelter Cove Harbour Merchants Association, the Town of Hilton Head Island & local business sponsors for many years and has received funding to help offset the cost of producing the shows, security, traffic management and facilities maintenance. This additional funding has helped sustain and keep this event going even through the economic downturn.
With six to eight months of planning complete, it is show time (literally!). Preparation for a Tuesday night fireworks show begins around 2:00pm with fireworks scheduled to shoot at dusk (usually 9:00-9:30pm). As is the case with all outdoor events, weather and safety conditions play a huge part in the execution of the event. Here in the South Carolina Lowcountry, afternoon thunderstorms are a frequent occurrence. The daily weather conditions and forecast are tracked constantly and they dictate when and if we can set-up a show.
On the show dates, the Fire Marshal & Marina Dockmaster are called by the pyrotechnic company to alert them of their arrival time at the designated location. Once the crew and marina team are assembled, a safe zone clearance of 50 feet is created around the area and boat where the fireworks are being moved. The pyrotechnic company and crew can then begin to transport more than 500 pounds of fireworks (the July 4th show generally exceeds 1,000 pounds of fireworks and entails an 8-10 hour set-up time) onto a boat which is then driven to the barge that is positioned outside the Shelter Cove Marina in Broad Creek.
The loaded vessel leaves the marina and makes the trip to the barge just a few miles away. All of the fireworks are then offloaded onto the barge, individually wired and covered, if necessary, in case of inclement weather. The fireworks crew then gets back on to the boat to shoot the fireworks remotely from a safe 100 yard distance from the barge. Two additional boats must secure the perimeter of the barge for additional safety measures until the end of the fireworks show.
The entire loading, unloading and set up process takes four to five hours, weather permitting. As mentioned, factors like rain, wind, lightening and even heat advisories can disrupt the set up of the show and cause a show delay or cancellation. Simply put, if there is a threat of severe weather or any inclement weather during the set-up or firing of a fireworks show, our staff has no choice but to delay or cancel the show.
We have faced nights where we had to cancel a show at 4:00pm because the fireworks crew cannot set up in thunder and lightning conditions. But when the weather clears and it is sunny and nice by 6:00pm, people want to know why on Earth the fireworks were cancelled. The answer? Safety. The safety of our staff and guests is our main priority and is not something we take lightly.
Trust us when we say there is no one more disappointed than our staff when a fireworks show is forced into cancellation. We speak to residents and visitors every week who tell us that the Tuesday night fireworks at HarbourFest is the event they look forward to the most every summer with their family. We hate to let these folks down, but unfortunately, sometimes the weather just doesn't cooperate.
We hope that by explaining the process of Tuesday night fireworks, guests, visitors and locals will gain a better understanding of the reasoning behind a cancelled show. No matter, the magic occurs every Tuesday night, mid-June to mid-August! … Weather permitting. : )
Summer is in full swing, and we love following along on your adventures! If you’re staying at Palmetto Dunes, tag your Instagram photos with #PalmettoDunes. There were so many great posts in June, it was nearly impossible to choose just five to highlight.
Instagramer @stillscapes shared this photo of one of San Miguel’s famous margaritas! What’s your vacation cocktail of choice? With seven different dining options at Shelter Cove Harbour, the options are plentiful!
Hold on… let me take a selfie! After all, you’ll want to remember the family fun you have at Palmetto Dunes. Instagramer @sheiswoven snapped this photo of her “canoe crew” while exploring our lagoon system.
Did you know that you can book canoes & kayaks online before your vacation? It’s true! Visit Hilton Head Outfitters for more info.
Why do Palmetto Dunes guests take the best sunrise and sunset photos? Because Hilton Head Island is home to the best sunrises and sunsets! Instagramer @mrs_gabby_photos snapped a pic of the gorgeous pink and purple sky while she was strolling along Palmetto Dunes Beach.
One of the best things about staying at Palmetto Dunes is being surrounded by nature. Twitter user @AroundIndy woke up to find these new friends right in his vacation home’s backyard!
Last but not least, we had to share this photo that Twitter user @TotalGolfTravel shared of the iconic Robert Trent Jones course! If you’ve golfed there before, we bet you know which hole this is. Take an online hole-by-hole tour!
Stay tuned for more guest photography from July! In the meantime, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at Instagram.com/PalmettoDunesSC.