The 12th Annual Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival is just around the corner and we can’t wait. This week-long culinary and cultural festival is for foodies and families alike, featuring local chefs, seafood, musicians, and more. Here’s what we’re looking forward to.
Seafood is undoubtedly the star of the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival, but the chefs slated to appear at this year’s event are a close second! We’re proud of our very own Executive Chef Sean Carroll who will be cooking up a storm at the sold out James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour alongside some of the industry’s best, like chef, author, and sustainability advocate Barton Seaver, Anthony Lamas, owner of the acclaimed Seviche restaurant in Louisville Kentucky, and award-winning Chef Victor Albisu.
Here on Hilton Head Island, we like to think that our Southern etiquette makes us the best kind of host, and the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival is the perfect example! Get ready to be a part of the family as you barbeque with some of the region’s best pitmasters, set out to sea for a day of fishing, hang at a good old fashioned oyster roast, or pig out at the Saturday Seafood Festival.
Not only are the events at this year’s Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival promising to be delicious, they’re shaping up to be a toe-tapping good time! From country blues to Motown, to good old-fashioned rock and roll, Lowcountry’s favorite live bands are headed to the Seafood Festival and we can’t wait to dance the night away!
The best part of the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival is the food, of course! And we can’t wait to try every last bite. We’re particularly looking forward to the Lowcountry Supper at Alexander’s. Executive Chef Sean Carroll is preparing a beautiful five-course meal including decadent dishes like roasted shellfish velouté, snowy grouper with winter succotash and Charleston rice, and a biscuit doughnut, each paired perfectly with delectable wines.
What are you waiting for! There are still tickets available for many of these once-in-a-lifetime events, and our HHI Seafood Vacation Packages gives you access to all the action while enjoying all of the amenities of a Palmetto Dunes vacation rental. Come see for yourself why the Hilton Head Seafood Festival is one of the best things about visiting Palmetto Dunes at this time of year.
We are happy to be awarded the 2019—WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards for the 4th time. We are honored by your support and thrilled to know Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort represents the top wedding professionals nationwide for excellence in quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism within the wedding industry.
Winners of the Couples’ Choice Awards are selected solely based on their reviews, so thank YOU for trusting us with your special day and taking the time to let our work shine. Hear what one of our recent 2018 brides has to say:
"What a beautiful night for a wedding. Courtney and Devon did an amazing job. We had a beautiful ceremony on the beach with our reception at the Dunes House. Courtney and Devon were there every step of the way. From our initial decision to have our wedding at Palmetto Dunes to the day of the event. The reception was beautiful with the lights, lanterns and table decorations. I appreciate everything they did for us including the last minute heaters which was not a problem for them. Thank you again for making our day so amazing. Love, Eileen and Gill."
Planning a wedding? Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort provides the perfect Hilton Head Island wedding setting. Our expert team at the resort can customize your wedding to make your dreams a reality. At Palmetto Dunes, we offer spectacular wedding venues, world-class cuisine, superior accommodations and array of exciting amenities including golf, tennis, kayaking and more. We have everything on site as a convenience to you and your guests for a complete wedding experience. Our event team is ready to help you create the perfect, memorable wedding of a lifetime.
On Hilton Head Island and throughout the pleasantly temperate South Carolina Lowcountry, there are very few weeks during the calendar year that we find ourselves unable to “tee it up” due to cold weather.
But at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, we understand that many of our visitors arrive here from frigid, winter-weather locales. And while we are playing golf in short-sleeved shirts, they are stuck inside, dreaming of their next sunny round.
Longtime Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver knows golf — particularly Lowcountry golf — as well as anyone. The former PGA Tour player grew up on Hilton Head Island and starred for a local high school team before taking his talents to Furman University, where he played alongside fellow future PGA Tour player Brad Faxon. In 2017, Doug was selected for induction into the Lowcountry Golf Hall of Fame.
His colleagues have voted Doug as Golf Digest magazine’s No. 2 Instructor in South Carolina and he has been named the Hilton Head Island PGA chapter's “Teacher of the Year.” In addition, Doug has served as the golf coach for all three area high schools and he hosted a local TV golf show for more than a decade.
For those looking to work on their golf game when the weather isn’t cooperating, here are three “action steps” suggested by Doug:
1. Swing in a designated safe area. Do not focus on mechanics. Feel the stretching and suppleness while you imagine striking excellent golf shots. Keep reminding yourself that dreams really do come true.
2. Practice your putting to a cup that makes a tingling sound. Try it with your eyes closed or your eyes on the cup, like Jordan Spieth. Put on snow gloves and practice your putting. This will teach you to hold the putter softly. How did you do?
3. Ponder your mental patterns from last year’s golf season. Have you ever lost your temper and acted out of character? Does your attitude determine your enjoyment for the round, or do the results determine the attitude?
Doug also recommends two additional tools that helped him on his path to the PGA tour, as well as participating in a pair of U.S. Open Championships.
1. Doug’s Concentration Score Card
Answer “Yes” or “No” to the questions below:
IF you had 3 No’s or more, then proceed to the second tool….
2. Doug’s Mental Golf Workshop
Has your handicap index been going up and you are searching for a fix? You may have tried a few strategies only to find that the index goes up more — because as we know, “analysis leads to paralysis.” Go to this link and peruse the site.
If you choose to participate, Doug will follow up with an email, then a phone call. Doug is trained to help you apply the successful mental strategies for your specific game.
One of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort's popular attractions is the complimentary, interactive Monday golf exhibition and clinic, where participants experience Doug’s effective and entertaining style. To sign up for one of our free, Monday clinics at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort or any of its other world-class golf instruction programs, call 866-744-7558.
In January, a group of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort golf representatives made their annual, four-day pilgrimage from Hilton Head Island down to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida for the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show.
Our crew joined some 1,000 golf brands and companies, and more than 40,000 industry professionals who descended from around the world to attend the industry’s global summit for the business of golf.
Pictured from left: Samm Wolfe, Stephen Arnold, Brad Marra, Sharin Moran, Clark Sinclair
The Palmetto Dunes team reported seeing plenty of cutting-edge golf innovations during the Show, including our very own Club Car Tempo Walkers — autonomous golf caddie units that the resort introduced late last year — along with the Finn Cycle, a motorized scooter constructed to carry a golf bag, and an amazing array of Full Swing Simulators.
But one of the most unique developments on the sprawling floor of the PGA Show — and particularly exciting for us at Palmetto Dunes — was that for the first time, paddle-sport vendors also showed off their wares.
Organized by the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) in conjunction with the PGA Show, the inaugural Racquet & Paddle Sports Conference brought together racquet and paddle sports brands, professionals and industry leaders. Events included an exhibit pavilion, with demo courts, at the northern end of the Convention Center.
One particular focus of the conference was on pickleball — which, with more than three million players, has become one of the country’s fastest-growing sports.
At Palmetto Dunes, we love pickleball, a big part of the reason the award-winning Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center — named the top tennis resort in the Carolinas by Tennis Magazine — doubled in size late last year, expanding from eight pickleball courts to 16.
“I think the inclusion of paddle sports at the Show was one of the coolest things we saw down there,” said Palmetto Dunes VP of Resort Operations Brad Marra. “It was particularly exciting to see pickleball displayed so prominently.”
During the PGA Show, legendary golf instructor Hank Haney, Tiger Woods’ former coach, made an appearance and described himself as a pickleball “fanatic.” He took up the sport three years ago, and has taken lessons and competed in tournaments.
Haney even built a court at his house. He says he plays three hours a day during the summer. “It’s so addictive,” Haney said on Thursday during the PGA Show, prior to playing an exhibition match. “I just love it.”
“In three to four years, pickleball will be bigger than golf and it won’t even be close,” Haney told GOLF Magazine. “If you have a retirement community in the U.S., and you don’t have a pickleball court, you might as well be out of business.”
In addition during the 2019 PGA Show, it was announced that the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) was forming a multi-year, strategic alliance to co-locate NGCOA’s annual Golf Business Conference with the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, beginning in 2020.
“We were particularly happy to hear the PGA Show is merging with the NCGOA show next year,” Marra said. “This will help get the NCGOA annual conference back to the size it used to be.”
Hosted by NGCOA for more than 30 years, the Golf Business Conference is the industry’s largest meeting specifically for golf course owners and operators. The event typically conducts nearly 40 classes and workshops on the most critical areas of golf course operations, a casual golf outing for attendees and sponsors to network, and an awards banquet to recognize some of the most significant contributors to the golf industry.
Next year, the conference will be held at the Orange County Convention Center Monday through Wednesday, Jan. 20-22, 2020.
Pictured from left: Stephen Arnold, John Daly, Samm Wolfe
In 1965, as a way to entertain their children during the summer, a trio of fathers residing on Bainbridge Island, Washington invented the game that has since become known as “pickleball.”
Congressman Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum fashioned handmade equipment, and based the simple rules on the existing sports of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong.
According to the USA Pickleball Association, in 2016-17 the number of active players grew by more than 12 percent, most of the growth coming from the Baby Boomer set. About 75 percent of core pickleball players are 55 and older. At The Villages in Sumpter County, Florida — America’s largest retirement community — there are more than 100 pickleball courts.
Last year, our award-winning Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center doubled in size, expanding from eight pickleball courts to 16. In addition, Palmetto Dunes hired Sarah Ansboury as its Pickleball Touring Professional and Director of Pickleball Instruction. A nationally ranked tennis player, Ansboury has been a pioneer in the pickleball explosion of the last few years.
“Sarah Ansboury’s expertise and hard work conducting 40 PPR (Professional Pickleball Registry) workshops in less six months were integral to the rapid growth of the sport of pickleball,” said PPR CEO Dan Santorum. He added that PPR set a record at the end of 2018 with more than 1,000 members — easily becoming the world’s largest organization of pickleball coaches. PPR now has members in all 50 sates and is set to expand beyond its current 11 countries.
(Sarah Ansboury, Palmetto Dunes' Touring Professional and Director of Pickleball Instruction)
Now, the synergies between golf and pickleball are becoming evident, as many PGA Tour and LPGA Tour stars — as well as premier golf instructors — compete on the pickleball court. Former USGA executive director David Fay calls the bourgeoning sport, “terrific,” and adds: "I took one lesson and feel like I got it."
Among the tour pros who have caught the pickleball bug is Daniel Summerhays. When he built his house in Fruit Heights, Utah, Summerhays put in a half basketball court. Wanting to see what else he could play on the court, he came across pickleball, which he had played in high school.
Pickleball quickly became Summerhays’ non-golf sport of choice. “It's very competitive and fast, so it stimulates your brain, but we won't get hurt playing it,” he told Golf Digest.
Summerhays plays with friends and even competes in some amateur events. He also plays with his wife and kids, and he travels on tour with his paddles.
Fellow PGA Tour pros Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Ricky Barnes and Patton Kizzire have also picked up the sport.
Says Summerhays: “When I'm leaving a tour event, one of the first things I do, besides looking forward to spending time with my family, is to text my pickleball group asking where the game is the next morning.”
Unlike tennis, racquetball and many other sports, pickleball has a short learning curve; you don’t need months of lessons to participate in a fun game. It also is less running compared to tennis. However, at the same time, it can be very competitive and addicting for all ages, as well as an excellent, fun family activity.
Pickleball is a social sport and it is relatively inexpensive to enjoy. Rackets cost about $50.
Pickleball can be played as both a singles and doubles game, and can be played inside or outdoors, on a court that uses the dimension of a doubles badminton court, along with a modified tennis net. A pickleball court is 20 feet by 44 feet for both singles and doubles. A non-volley zone called the “Kitchen” extends 7 feet back from the net on each side. Games are usually played to 11, win by two, and only the server can score. Often a total of three games are played, typically taking no more than an hour and a half.
Guests can choose a soup or salad, entree and dessert from Alexander’s most popular menu items — all for $30 per person.
Modeled after successful restaurant weeks in New York and other cities, last year’s 10th annual Chamber Restaurant Week featured 70-plus of the area’s top, award-winning restaurants. Participating restaurants offer specially priced or prix fixe menus, signature dishes, new entrées and old favorites.
Whether it is a place that has never been tried or the area’s newest hot spot, Restaurant Week is the best way for foodies to dine their way through the Lowcountry.
Located in the entryway to Hilton Head’s venerable Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, at 76 Queens Folly Road, Alexander’s is an upscale seafood restaurant and wine bar, featuring seasonally inspired cuisine, locally caught seafood and many locally-sourced ingredients. The menu pays tribute to many classic Lowcountry and Alexander’s favorites such as stuffed flounder, shrimp and grits, and Wiener schnitzel.
Alexander’s is open for early dining and dinner, seven nights a week. Reservations are highly encouraged, though walk-ins are welcome. Reserve online at www.AlexandersRestaurant.com or call (866) 921-6639.
Alexander’s Restaurant Week Dinner
Saturday, January 26 – Sunday, February 10
THREE COURSE Prix Fixe • $30++ per person
First Course (Choice of One)
Entrée (Choice of One)
Dessert (Choice of One)
This year was an exciting one. We celebrated Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort’s 50th Anniversary, HarbourFest’s 30th Anniversary, got some awesome new Pickleball courts and an amazing new Pickleball Pro. Countless golf tournaments, some enviable holes-in-one, and so much more! Cheers to another year of Palmetto Dunes! Count down the top ten photos we shared and get inspired for your 2019 Hilton Head vacation.
This beautiful photo taken by @tarawhitphoto has so many of our favorite things: warm South Carolina sunshine, winding bike baths, and tall trees, and (of course) a Hilton Head Outfitters bicycle.
Just close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the waves on the beach at Palmetto Dunes, expertly captured by Instagrammer @lcr266.
Saved you a seat! This photo, taken by @eluceroveler just screams summer at Palmetto Dunes, don’t you agree?
There’s no time quite like family time at Palmetto Dunes — especially when it’s time spent walking the beach at sunset. This photo by @dunesrealestate is simply stunning.
The path to happiness, are we right? We can see why this serene beach view captured by @peeps on Instagram was one of your faves.
The beach is so popular at Palmetto Dunes, it’s a rarity to find it empty during the summer months! This sunset shot by @thehollyday_ beautifully captures the beach’s natural splendor.
It’s always such a treat to see Palmetto Dunes from a different perspective. Thanks to some handy drone work, this video shared by Instagrammer @treygeiger gives us a birds-eye view of the beach.
The Dunes House on a warm summer’s day…Does it get any better than this? Learn all about our favorite beachfront restaurant.
If you think the view from The Dunes House is beautiful during the day, wait until you see it at dusk!
Our top photo of the year is this candy sky taken by @pelicanharbourside in February. Isn’t it gorgeous? Here at Palmetto Dunes, we're lucky enough to be on three miles of beach. From the looks of top ten photos of 2018, y'all can't get enough of our beautiful beach views, and with photos like these, we can't blame you.
There are few things we love more than seeing all of the incredible photos y’all share of your vacations at Palmetto Dunes, so keep ‘em coming! We can’t wait to see what adventures you get up to in 2019. Happy New Year!
As 2018 comes to a close, newly engaged couples are starting to daydream about their big day in 2019. If you’re planning a Lowcountry celebration, there is one thing we know for sure—guests are bound to have a heckuva good time. After all, there are so many reasons to say ‘I do’ at Palmetto Dunes.
Here are the trends taking wedding planning by storm in 2019:
Destination weddings have become a great option for couples who want to spend the whole weekend with their closest friends and family instead of just one night—and this trend is only going to grow in the new year. One of the best things about a destination wedding at Palmetto Dunes is all of the amazing activities to enjoy during your wedding weekend, giving everyone the chance to create countless lasting memories together.
Photo Credit: hairbymaddiewoff
It should come as no surprise that one of the biggest influences in bridal trends this year is the Royal Wedding. Expect to see hints of Meghan Markle’s simple and classic aesthetic when you’re wedding dress shopping. Whether it’s an oceanside ceremony or a celebration under our sleepy oak trees, we think that this is a perfect look for your big day.
While sit-down dinners will always be popular for weddings, couples will continue to take the food they serve to the next level in the new year. Expect to see themed food stations instead of one buffet—imagine an oyster shucking station to the left and a Lowcountry boil to the right. Now that’s a true Southern wedding!
Gone are the pastels of years past, next year’s weddings will be awash with hues as bright as the eye can see—think vibrant purples, greens, and blues. With the striking colors of our seaside and our lush landscape, Hilton Head Island the ideal backdrop for this new, bold aesthetic—if we do say so ourselves!
When it comes to entertainment, couples are going the extra mile to treat their guests. From live music and art displays to interactive food and drink stations, couples are looking for new and unusual ways to entertain guests and 2019 sees no stopping of it. Our wedding specialists can give you the inside scoop on the unique options Hilton Head Island has to offer!
In 2019, we will see a new spin on transportation, with couples making more memorable wedding entrances and exits. From boats to bikes, and everything in between (well, almost everything!), we’ve got countless options to bring this trend to life at Palmetto Dunes.
Thinking about planning your own destination wedding? Learn more about exchanging your vows at Palmetto Dunes!
In the early days of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, the subject of technology wasn’t mentioned much when it came to golf. Goes to show how everything changes with time. Fast-forward five decades. Nowadays, golf technology is all the rage. And as always, Palmetto Dunes has remained ahead of the curve.
The most recent example of Palmetto Dunes’ commitment to technology is the introduction of the “Tempo Walk” by Club Car, a fleet of autonomous golf caddie units that provides resort golfers the enjoyment of walking one of PD’s three golf courses, while also enhancing play, and fostering health and wellness.Tempo Walks are available for rental from $25 per round per person at all three golf courses.
The Tempo Walk offers state-of-the-art wireless technology including GPS yardage and hands-free remote control to maneuver easily around the course. Palmetto Dunes has 12 units available for golfers.
“We are delighted to introduce this enhancement to the Palmetto Dunes golf experience,” said Palmetto Dunes Director of Golf Clark Sinclair.“ It is already generating quite a buzz from our resort guests and our staff also enjoys using the technology.”
Constructed with a durable aluminum frame, Tempo Walk contains a lithium ion battery, which holds a 36-hole charge. It moves up to 7 mph and weighs 95 pounds. Additional technology features include a USB port and touchscreen tablet with GPS yardage. Traditional golf car offerings — a cup holder, cooler, divot repair and sand bottle — are also included.
“Tempo Walk is the perfect blend of tradition and technology, bringing a new golf experience to the course; one that will excite golfers and provide a fun, healthy experience for 18 holes,” said Mark Wagner, president of Club Car. “The Tempo Walk further underscores our commitment to move the game of golf forward, particularly for the thousands of golf courses that attract a significant number of health-conscious walkers and are looking to generate a new revenue stream for their operation.”
Palmetto Dunes also boasts a state-of-the-art fleet of golf carts produced by Club Car. The fleets at Palmetto Dunes include golf carts equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS), as well as USB ports to charge cell phones and play music devices — all designed to suit a golfer’s enjoyment and functionality.
You can also try out our 4-person golf carts now available at Palmetto Dunes for groups and families.
In addition, SwingFit arrived at Palmetto Dunes in 2016, its state-of-the-art technology housed at the Robert Trent Jones clubhouse. SwingFit is a true, custom club fitter and club maker. They are also brand agnostic to fit all major manufacturers of clubs.
“We don’t play favorites,” said SwingFit Owner and Lead Fitter Chris Wycoff. “This allows us find the ideal combination of shaft and club head for each golfer. It’s pretty rare someone needs one brand all the way throughout their bag. We can mix and match. You can have the best fit in the world, but if the build isn’t exactly right, the performance won’t equal.”
Wycoff became a Mizuno Top 100 fitter in 2014 and has been included on Golf Digest’s list of the 100 Best Club Fitters in America for the past three years. He is also a member of the International Clubmakers Guild and is FlightScope and Gears Golf certified.
Wycoff said technology is imperative when it comes to finding the right clubs for every golfer. SwingFit’s data-driven fittings are performed by experienced fitters and leverage SwingFit’s extensive matrix of club heads and shafts.
“At SwingFit, we go far beyond the simple loft, lie, length and flex,” Wycoff said. “We incorporate the different shaft profiles. We’re going to test for weight. We’re going to test the shaft — how it’s loading and unloading — so it’s going to give you the right combination of performance and give you repeatable, consistent distance gains, along with improvements in consistency and accuracy by giving you the right feedback to improve your swing.”
SwingFit follows the Palmetto Dunes creed: Give your guest everything they desire to not only have the most memorable visit possible, but also to learn some new information about themselves and develop through the wonders of technology.
“We fit hundreds and thousands of people every year,” Wycoff said. “Our passion is helping find the right equipment for golfers so they can play better golf and have more fun.”
Little wonder Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort was named No. 12 “Best Resort in the South” in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2018 Readers' Choice Awards and to the Top 25 World’s Best Family Getaways by Travel + Leisure.
For more information about the latest and greatest golf technology at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort and many of the resort’s extensive offerings please call 877-567-6513.
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island continues to demonstrate its commitment to the up-and-coming sport of pickleball.
The award-winning Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center has doubled in size recently, expanding from eight pickleball courts to 16. The new courts at the renowned, mid-island Hilton Head resort were unveiled in October.
Along with its 16 pickleball courts (all lighted for night play), the Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center — which has been named the top tennis resort in the Carolinas by Tennis Magazine — boasts 21 clay tennis courts including four lighted for night play and a beautifully well-stocked, 1,800-square-foot tennis pro shop — Hilton Head Island's largest.
The Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center offers year-round dream vacations for racket enthusiasts of all skill levels.
“We added pickleball to our offerings at Palmetto Dunes after seeing how popular the sport had quickly become among all ages,” said Palmetto Dunes Director of Tennis & Pickleball John Kerr. “Now, having seen how popular pickleball is for our resort guests, we wanted to provide them bigger and better facilities.”
In June, Palmetto Dunes hired Sarah Ansboury as its Pickleball Touring Professional and Director of Pickleball Instruction. A nationally ranked tennis player, Ansboury has been a pioneer in the pickleball explosion of the last few years. She discovered pickleball in 2014 and was instantly hooked.
Ansboury entered her first national pickleball tournaments in 2015 and earned Gold and Silver at the September 2015 Tournament of Champions. In late 2017, she medaled four times at the USAPA National Tournament including winning a gold medal in the Women’s Doubles Open with her friend and partner, Gigi LeMaster.
Ansboury and her mixed doubles partner Tyson McGuffin, recently captured a bronze medal at the National Mixed Open.
In September, the first Ansboury Academy was held at Palmetto Dunes followed by an Island Rec Center Pickleball tournament being hosted at Palmetto Dunes.
In addition, Palmetto Dunes has played host to pickleball clinics conducted by some of the world’s top players, and the resort also offers weekly clinics and round robins.
One of America’s fastest growing sports in terms of popularity, pickleball is a fun sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong. Pickleball can by played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net, and can be played as doubles or singles.
All ages and skill levels can play the game. The rules are simple and pickleball is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.