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.
The slight, almost imperceptible tug on the rod tip signaled the sheepshead had taken the crab in his mouth. Pulling back gently to tighten the connection I waited for the second tap. At this point, history has taught me that it may be too late, the crab crushed and the fish gone, but there it was, another light tap!
Setting the hook quickly the classic tug and war battle was on. Bending the rod double on surging runs and taking drag, the sheepshead did his best to return to the structure below. After several minutes we finally had color, the black and white striped master bait thief was close. But they never give up easy and the fish took line again and headed for the depths.
Back and forth he went until finally the fish was close enough to slide the net under. Weighing around eight pounds, the sheepshead was mostly grown, while weights in the double digits are possible, few are caught over the ten pound mark.
Sheepshead are present year round in the low country but March is a banner month for this fishery. A member of the snapper family, they rank in my list of favorites to catch Difficult to hook due to their feeding habits, a real scrapper when it comes to fighting and last but definitely not least- they are delicious on the plate. A large set of teeth, almost human like, are used to crush barnacles, crabs and other hard shell critters.
The preferred bait for most anglers are fiddler crabs. The most common rig is a fish finder rig, a sliding sinker rigged above a short leader with the hook at the end. Dropping the crab over structure until the sinker hits bottom, then reeling the sinker up a foot or so allows the angler, if he’s lucky, to feel the light tap or tug when the sheepie takes the crab in his mouth. Only seconds pass before the sheepshead crushes the crab, spits the hook and then he’s on his way. Needless to say you need a good supply of fiddlers if you want to seriously sheepshead fish. Fresh clams and live shrimp are also productive baits.
One of the things I like most about March is that sheepshead are the harbingers of the season. They kickstart our local season, keeping us busy until the cobia show in late April and May, but that’s another month and another story. Now it’s time to catch the sheepies!
P.S. A note for our guests and residents of northern origin, these are not the same fish as the freshwater species you know from back home.
There is so much to do when visiting us this spring! For those of you counting down the days until you arrive to gorgeous Hilton Head Island and Palmetto Dunes, we’ve compiled a spring to-do list for you. See how many you can complete and let us know:
What’s missing from our Palmetto Dunes To-Do List? Is there anything your family cannot leave the resort without doing?
To book your Palmetto Dunes vacation this spring, visit www.palmettodunes.com or call us at 866-650-4130.
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort was recently the centerpiece of a Golfing World video during which on-air reporter Cara Robinson explores Hilton Head Island, checking out much of what the area has to offer, both on and off the golf course.
Cara’s visit includes hands-on seafood preparation instruction from Andy Love, executive chef at the Old Oyster Factory, as well as enjoying a massage at the Westin Resort’s Heavenly Spa.
But the video’s highlight comes in the tall, lanky form of Palmetto Dunes’ always-entertaining Golf Professional Clark Sinclair, who steals the show during his lengthy segment with Ms. Robinson.
Filmed while the duo tackled the beautiful, challenging 13th hole on the Robert Trent Jones Course, Sinclair mentioned the numerous renowned golf course architects represented locally, not only at Palmetto Dunes — which features designs from not only the great Trent Jones, but also George Fazio and living legend Arthur Hills — but around Hilton Head Island as well.
Ms. Robinson asked Sinclair which of the three Palmetto Dunes layouts was most suitable to beginning golfers. Sinclair told her that each of the three Palmetto Dunes layouts was player-friendly IF the golfer selected the proper tee box from which to play.
“The Palmetto Dunes golf courses are all amenable to everyone, depending on which tees you play,” Sinclair said. “Some (golfers) consider the Hills the most challenging of the layouts for beginners, but it is still a short course. The other two courses are good for everyone depending on which tees you select.”
“They are all in good shape as you can see,” Sinclair added. “They are a lot of fun for everyone.”
Near the end of his segment, Clark provides Cara a nice, experienced read on her putt, allowing the show’s host to secure a par on the hole.
“Welcome to Palmetto Dunes,” says the smooth Sinclair.
“I want to play with you more often,” Cara replies with a laugh, “if I get a par on every hole.”
There is always one or two in every golf group: The nattering naybob of negativity. The buzzkill. The constant complainer. The guy (or gal) who, no matter how hard you work to arrange a perfect trip, they are always going to find a problem.
Fortunately Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort has got you covered by offering the appropriate elixir to silence the most irritating of whiners.
Here are a half-dozen complaints you may have received from Mr./Mrs. Nattering Naybob — and the perfect answer from Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort.
When you're at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, you roll over in your luxurious accommodations and as soon as you can shake a stick, you’ll be on the tee box of one of our three award-winning layouts. Palmetto Dunes experienced a three-peat when its George Fazio Course was named the 2014 South Carolina Golf Course of the Year. The honor also means all three of the Palmetto Dunes golf courses have been named as South Carolina’s Course of the Year. In 2003, when renovation work by Roger Rulewich was completed on the Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course, it was named it the year’s South Carolina Golf Course of the Year, an accolade the Arthur Hills Course corralled in 2009.
Palmetto Dunes does not cater to the advanced golfer only. Permanent junior tees at the Jones Course allow younger golfers and beginners to tackle a beautiful, 2,625-yard layout, while the Fazio Course also caters to juniors, with markings of 150 yards or less on the course. Indeed, novices, juniors, men and women alike can learn from some of the best golf instructors in the sport at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort.
Culinary repetition is certainly not a problem at Palmetto Dunes. Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers & Pizza is a family-friendly restaurant located at the Robert Trent Jones golf course clubhouse. Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Big Jim’s serves signature Southern dishes, including barbeque, gourmet burgers and grilled pizza, as well as soups, salads, seafood, steaks and ribs. It also offers a kid’s menu, as well as a wine and beer menu. The restaurant has big screen TVs, expanded outdoor seating overlooking the Jones course, a fire pit, Happy Hour specials from 4-7 p.m. daily and live entertainment seasonally on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 6-9 p.m.
Play More. Do More. Get More. That’s the promise Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort fulfills every day for thousands of vacationers, golfers, tennis players, beach lovers, groups, and nature lovers. Palmetto Dunes has been a favorite vacation destination for decades, providing one of the richest vacation experiences in the country with more award-winning activities than any other resort in the Southeast.
Ranked the No. 1 family resort in the United States and Canada and one of the Top 25 World’s Best Family Getaways by Travel + Leisure magazine, Palmetto Dunes features activities and experiences for every member of the family. In 2013 the resort’s Tennis Center — ranked among the 50 Greatest Tennis Resorts since 1975 by Tennis Magazine — was named one of the Top 10 Tennis Resorts in the World by TennisResortsOnline.com, which also ranked Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center No. 4 for junior tennis programs.
Palmetto Dunes and offers canoe or kayak rentals, as well as bike rentals, beach chairs, loungers, umbrellas, coolers and boogie boards. Fishermen may select a fly rod or light tackle to go after large redfish, trout, bluefish, flounder and black drum. The calm waters of the 11-mile inland lagoon system that runs through Palmetto Dunes present countless opportunities for fishing, bird watching and enjoying the beauty of nature. Guided paddling trips led by trained interpretative naturalists provide an introduction to the habitat of herons, osprey, dolphins and fiddler crabs. Outfitters guides also provide kayak lessons for beginners.
When you're planning your annual beach trip, you want everything to go just perfectly so you'll have wonderful family memories for years to come. But with kids of different ages and sometimes grandparents along for the trip, too the planning part can be slightly challenging.
Here are 8 secrets from the staff at Palmetto Dunes for planning the perfect family beach vacation:
1. Choose a villa or home rental
Over and over we hear from families who stay at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort how much they love staying in our Hilton Head vacation rentals and homes. Families can spread out instead of being cramped in a hotel room and enjoy some down time between activities. Plus, you have access to a full kitchen and a washer and dryer, which makes packing so much easier.
2. Reserve early
Be sure to reserve your Hilton Head beach vacation as soon as you can to ensure you get your first choice of Hilton Head vacation rentals, as well as the best rates. That also goes for our Hilton Head bike rentals, kayak rentals, tee times at our three championship Hilton Head golf courses and more, especially during busier seasons.
3. Sign up for our emails
Looking for a deal? You're sure to find the best ones if you subscribe to our emails. We regularly share inside tips and savings just for our past guests and subscribers. You'll be the first to know about the latest offers and events at the resort.
4. Check the events calendar
Before you arrive – or even plan your vacation – check to see what's going on at the resort on our events calendar. We have activities year-round, but if you have a specific event or activities for a certain age group in mind, you can plan your visit around that schedule. During summer, enjoy HarbourFest at Shelter Cove, and during spring and fall, there's Music & Taste on the Harbour. We also regularly host golf and tennis clinics, summer surfing lessons, live music at the oceanfront Dunes House restaurantand more.
5. Don't over-schedule
When you come to Hilton Head Island, there's so much to do, you can wear yourself out! We highly recommend choosing just one main activity per day, such as golf, tennis, a nature cruise or kayaking, and allowing plenty of time for relaxing at your vacation home or villa. That's what makes it a vacation!
6. Get bikes
Hilton Head Island is the perfect place to ride your Hilton Head bike rentals. With 50 miles of paved paths to explore, there's always somewhere new to go. You'll be happy you're not sitting in traffic, and you'll get a firsthand view of our beautiful scenery. Plus, you're getting exercise, too! Safely ride to the Dunes House, the General Store, the Tennis Center or any of our 3 golf courses within Palmetto Dunes. You can also pedal through our safe passageway under the highway to Shelter Cove Harbour.
7. Learn a new skill
Why not come back from vacation with a new skill? Palmetto Dunes offers ample opportunity for learning a new skill or sport. Take a class at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, hone your golf skills at our three varied golf courses, each of which has been named the South Carolina course of the year, or take a lesson at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center. Learn to surf during the summer with our Hilton Head surfing lessons or take a Hilton Head fishing charter and learn how to fish from the Lowcountry experts. Crabbing is another great activity for all ages!
8. Go grocery shopping
Since you're staying in a vacation home or villa, you have access to a full kitchen, and it's incredibly handy to be able to pop back for a snack or enjoy breakfast in the villa before you head out for the day. Head to the new Kroger or Whole Foods close by upon your arrival or use a Hilton Head grocery shopping service like Hopper Shopper or Grocery Run and have your rental stocked before you even arrive!
What are your tips for a great beach vacation? We want to hear them!
For more information about booking your family beach vacation at Palmetto Dunes, visit www.palmettodunes.com or give us a call at 866-650-4130.
What’s your favorite resort in the south? We hope it’s Palmetto Dunes! It seems that it is for many of you, as Conde Nast Traveler just announced we landed at No. 13 on their Reader’s Choice Top 25 Resorts in the South. South Carolina dominated the list with seven resorts, including us, represented.
For the Reader’s Choice Awards, Conde Nast Traveler asked nearly 77,000 readers to vote on their favorite cities, hotels, resorts and cruise lines to help inspire others about the best places to travel around the world.
To determine the rankings for the awards, which began back in 1988, the magazine hires a research firm to tabulate the results. In order to be eligible for an award, a candidate must receive a minimum number of responses.
Readers are asked to judge each individual candidate on a set of criteria relevant to their category, based on a standard five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair and poor. The mean average determines the final score and thus ranking.
Why is Palmetto Dunes a top U.S. resort? Let us count the ways! Golf, tennis, 3 miles of beach, a beautiful inland lagoon system, shopping, dining, fishing, kayaking, bike riding and the list goes on…
Why do you think Palmetto Dunes is one of the best resorts in the south?
Fall is a special time here in the Lowcountry for many reasons, the weather is better, the crowds thin...and the bull redfish swarm inshore waters. The bulls, 20 pounds upwards to the 50 pound mark are here or offshore all year, but this time of year they come close in big numbers with catches of 20 or more fish in a trip not at all uncommon.
The strength of these fish is incredible, rivaling any other fish its size short of an amberjack or tuna. I usually fish heaby spinning reels with 50 pound braid and even with a heavy drag they will strip line off at an alarming pace, and do it several times in a battle. I have fished lighter tackle but the lengthly battle takes a toll on these big fish and they must be released, the law being everything over 23 inches must be returned to the water.
The smaller redfish also invade the creeks this time of year offering the best light tackle sport available. Shrimp, live or dead, cut mullet and menhaden all are favorite baits when fishing inshore. The "slot" or keeper size is 15-23 inches and by SC law you may keep three fish per person. Not only are redfish a blast to catch, but they are delicious. Before Chef Pail Prudhomme introduced "blackened redfish" these fish were locally known as spot tail bass or puppy drum. Officially, their proper name is red drum. Coloration is usually a deep burnt orange or copper across the back with a single spot at the base of the tail. Some fish have multiple spots from the tail to the middle of the fish. A strong and broad tail and thick shoulders give it all the horsepower it needs to make your day.
Good conservation and our local mariculture center have provided some of the best stocks of redfish I have seen in forty years of fishing this area. Al Stokes and his crew at the Mariculture Center have been boosting the local population with their work for years. The proof is in the pudding whether you want to light tackles redfish in the creeks or chase the big bulls, now is the perfect time.
Sip wine seaside at a new event offered at the beachfront Dunes House restaurant, open to Palmetto Dunes resort guests and property owners.
At Wine Tasting Wednesday, every Wednesday in October from 5-7 p.m. at the inside room, guests can try new wines paired with sumptuous cheeses while enjoying a beautiful oceanfront view.
The event is $10 per person first come, first served and will include different wines each week. For example, on October 15, featured wines will be:
Wine distributors will also be on hand to answer your most burning wine questions J.
Come enjoy wine and cheese on your fall Hilton Head vacation! Stroll over or ride your bike from your Hilton Head vacation home and meet us at the Dunes House. See you there!