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.
Shelter Cove Harbour, Palmetto Dunes’ waterfront marina and entertainment district, offers many wonderful choices for dining and more than 150 waterfront tables! Choose from six restaurants, serving everything from Mediterranean to Mexican and Italian to seafood – all with fantastic views.
Here’s a round-up of current special offers available at these Hilton Head restaurants to enjoy when you visit Palmetto Dunes this fall:
San Miguel’s Mexican Café
Gather the girls for an afternoon margarita or bring the family for some fish tacos at San Miguel’s. Enjoy a daily happy hour, plus live entertainment from 5:30-9:30 p.m. nightly.
Mediterranean Harbour Bar & Grill
Did you know you could see belly dancing on Hilton Head Island?! You can at Mediterranean Harbour Bar & Grill on Fridays throughout October and November from 7-9 p.m. They’re also currently offering a dinner special of $29.95/person that includes the soup of the day or side salad, the chef’s special entrée and a dessert.
La Fontana Waterfront Grill & Pizzeria
La Fontana is a great place to watch football while you’re visiting Hilton Head. The new Italian restaurant has six big screen TVs, an outdoor bar and plenty of drink specials.
At gourmet restaurant Bistro 17, be an early bird and get a special deal. Those who choose to dine with them between 5 and 6 p.m. get 15% off, plus a free glass of house wine.
Scott’s Fish Market
Scott’s Fish Market has a different deal every day. For example, on Tuesdays get a free bottle of wine with the purchase of two main course entrees, while on Thursdays join in their Lobster Love Fest! On Saturdays and Sundays, they host a special football lunch from 11:30 a.m. -3 p.m.
ELA’s Blu Water Grill
A favorite of celebrities, ELA’s waterfront restaurant has live entertainment Thursday-Sunday evenings and features a Sunday brunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., also with live music.
Now, you’ve got six different places to try, all offering some great fall dining deals and fantastic views! While you’re there, be sure to enjoy Shelter Cove’s outstanding shopping , as well as Music & Taste on the Harbour Thursdays through Oct. 23 for free live music, dancing and small bites from Shelter Cove restaurants.
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!
The days of summer are long gone with memories of your beach vacation fading by the day. It’s time to stoke that vacation fever and step out of your fall funk with a group golf getaway to Hilton Head Island. The weather has never been better with 70-degree sunny days and our courses are newly aerified and in great shape.
Palmetto Dunes offers a number of ways you and your buddies can join us for a Hilton Head golf trip to play all three of our varied Hilton Head golf courses, each of which has been named a South Carolina golf course of the year.
With our Ryder Cup group golf package for groups of 12 or more, you can join in the same competitive spirit of this popular world golf event with your friends. It includes three nights of accommodations, three rounds of golf, team shirts, breakfast, free range balls and yardage books, discounts at our Hilton Head golf pro shops and resort restaurants. Beginning October 15, 2014, rates start as low as $529/person for the package!
Another option is our Stay & Play Group Golf Package for groups of 12 or more, which provides you with three nights of accommodations, three rounds of golf and the standard resort discounts and priority access that you receive when booking through Palmetto Dunes. Rates for this package starting October 15 are just $479/person.
Just think, for roughly $500, you could have a much needed getaway and time on the green… You just need to find 11 other friends who feel the same way!
For more information about any of our group golf vacations, give us a call directly at 866-650-4130. As soon as you reserve your group, you can start dreaming of your time on Hilton Head Island!
Afraid Hilton Head Island prices are beyond your reach? Think again! Palmetto Dunes, especially in the off season, which includes the holidays, may be more economical than you thought.
From October 2014-March 2015, we have rates for a two-bedroom resort view villa starting at only $159/night! And unlike a traditional hotel room, you get a full villa with many of the amenities of home like a full kitchen and dining area and a washer/dryer, which makes packing so much easier. Our villas also have TVs, wireless Internet access and many have porches, balconies or decks to enjoy Lowcountry views, as well as gyms, pools and elevators. Additional bedrooms and ocean views are available for a higher starting rate.
Plus, when you book through Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, you get even more value for your nightly rate, including two free hours of tennis daily and 20% off resort dining and items at select retail outlets. Our guests also receive preferred rates and priority access to our three championship Hilton Head golf courses and golf lessons, Hilton Head tennis clinics, Hilton Head bike rentals, kayak rentals, fishing charters and more.
Got a pooch who wants to join you at the beach? No problem! We offer several Hilton Head pet-friendly accommodations during this season.
Always dreamed of spending the holidays watching the waves crash after your turkey dinner or opening gifts? These prices remain the same during Thanksgiving or the December holiday break, too – an amazing deal!
Fall and winter are wonderful seasons to visit the island with much milder temperatures than you’ll find up north and all the same fun Lowcountry activities available. Take a look at our recent blog on 7 Fall Activities to do on Hilton Head Island.
Let us know if we can get that $159/night rate locked in for you and your family! Give us a ring at 866-650-4130 and browse our Hilton Head vacation rentals to find the perfect vacation home for your visit.
Sports fan? Can you think of a better spot to enjoy game day than enjoying food and drink specials with amazing views of an oceanfront golf course just outside the window? That’s what you’ll find at Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers and Pizza restaurant at the Robert Trent Jones golf course at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort.
Designed to be sports friendly for football fans and beyond, the restaurant offers lots of big screen TVs, showing different games, and daily food and drink specials along with happy hour every day from 4-7 p.m. Eat your fill of wings, nachos and sliders while sipping cocktails and a variety of brews.
If you’re looking for a spot to root for your favorite college football team, enjoy fall-off-the-bone ribs 2 for 1 on Saturdays. On Sundays, when the NFL takes the spotlight, try our 2-for-1 wings and $2 sliders. On both days, you’ll find $15 buckets of domestic beers.
You can even bring the kids, as we offer a family-friendly environment and full kids menu. As the air gets a little crisper in winter, we even set up an outdoor fire pit for socializing during half-time and pre- and post game.
Got a group headed to your house or vacation home to cheer for the home team? Big Jim’s offers party packages and platters starting at $30 so you can leave all the cooking to us! Just give us a call at 843-785-1165.
Big Jim’s is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. View the full menu.
Looking to get spooked this Halloween on your vacation to Hilton Head Island? You’ll definitely want to make a stop at a famous landmark that just happens to be located right here at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort.
The Leamington Lighthouse, or the Hilton Head Rear Range Lighthouse, is located within the Arthur Hills golf course and legend holds that there have been a Hilton Head haunting or two within this historic structure.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the lighthouse was built between 1879 and 1880 to help guide ships into Port Royal Sound. It originally included a keeper’s house, forward beacon (whose light could be seen from 15 miles away) and rear lighthouse; however, only the rear lighthouse remains standing along with a water cistern and brick oil house.
The lighthouse was taken out of service and abandoned during the 1930s, but during World War II, it was used as a lookout post for enemy ships entering the sound. It is one of the few surviving lighthouses in South Carolina and the only one of its type remaining in the state. Greenwood Communities and Resorts, the parent company of Palmetto Dunes, restored the structure in 1985 and opened the grounds to the public. It’s now an iconic landmark for those playing the Hills Hilton Head golf course.
The tale goes that in 1898 as a major hurricane swept through the area, the lighthouse keeper died of a heart attack as the storm raged, but his 21-year-old daughter kept the light burning after his death. However, she died just three weeks later.
Ever since, there have been reported sightings of a female ghost in a long blue dress on dark, rainy nights. Let us know if you see her….
Whether you’re looking for a casual burger or a more upscale meal, you’ll find it at Shelter Cove Harbour, which is home to a variety of Hilton Head restaurants all close to the marina and many offering a waterfront view.
Centrally located on the island across from Palmetto Dunes, Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina is a Mediterranean style shopping and entertainment district with activities for all ages from fishing and kayaking to jet packing and parasailing. When it comes to dining, patrons have a great selection from Italian to Mediterranean and beyond.
Shelter Cove Harbour restaurants include:
La Fontana Waterfront Grill & Pizza
Curb your craving for Italian at La Fontana whose owners and chefs hail directly from Naples, Italy. La Fontana serves authentic Italian cuisine and pizzas and features a patio and outdoor bar for enjoying the views.
Mediterranean Harbour Bar & Grill
Experience fresh Lebanese cuisine right in the midst of the Lowcountry at Mediterranean Harbour Bar & Grill, which opened in summer 2014. The restaurant is known for its healthy selections, which include steaks, lamb, seafood and vegetables, as well as gluten-free and vegetarian options. It also has an outdoor bar with marina views.
One of the most popular spots in Shelter Cove Harbour is San Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant. During the warmer months, this Hilton Head Mexican restaurant often has live music and it offers outdoor seating, as well. You’ll want to be sure to try a margarita at San Miguel’s and, of course, their fish and shrimp tacos!
Scott’s Fish Market
One of the most established restaurants at Shelter Cove Harbour is Scott’s Fish Market, which has been around for more than 20 years. Located marina-front right next to the iconic Neptune Statue, the restaurant has a large outdoor dining area and specializes in seafood, steaks and pastas.
ELA’S Blu Water Grille
A hot spot for celebrities visiting the island, ELA’s is a fine dining Hilton Head restaurant with a beautiful water view. Paula Abdul and Jane Seymour have each been spotted dining at the restaurant. ELA’s is known for its fresh catch seafood, steaks and wine selection.
Another gourmet establishment at Shelter Cove Harbour is French restaurant Bistro 17. Entrees at Bistro 17 include duck confit, rack of Colorado lamb, steak frites and wild salmon. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily and it has a newly expanded dining area overlooking the water.
Which Hilton Head restaurant is your favorite at Shelter Cove Harbour? Which would you like to try next?
Named the best golf course in South Carolina for 2014, the George Fazio golf course is the only public Par-70 course on Hilton Head Island. With tree-lined fairways on the front nine and tighter shots requiring strategic positioning on the back nine, the Fazio course can be both a challenge and delight.
The final four holes of Fazio are especially tough, including three well-bunkered par 4s and the par-3 17th over water, which is our featured hole.
Described as “one of the finest par 3 holes on Hilton Head Island,” the 17th hole plays over water and has out of bounds creeping in from the left. If your shot is short, it will land in the water, so consider the wind. The only smart play on this hole is to the middle of the green.
Our advice: If you’re lucky enough to find the putting surface, take your two putts and move on.
The hole plays 230 yards from the gold tee and 122 yards from the green tee.
To watch a flyover of this hole so you can strategize before your tee time, visit the George Fazio course on www.palmettodunes.com and click on hole 17.
How have you done on the Fazio 17? Share your stories and your scores!
Book a tee time for the Fazio course and if you book online in advance, you can save up to 30%!
The fall forecast for Hilton Head Island? AWESOME! We want you to come on down and enjoy the mild weather, Carolina sunshine and great activities that make autumn a wonderful time of year to visit Hilton Head Island.
Here are 7 of our favorite fall activities on Hilton Head Island and at Palmetto Dunes:
1. Music & Taste on the Harbour – Is there anything better than live music outdoors with a beautiful view? We put it all together at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, located just across Highway 278 from the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. Every Thursday, through October 23, Shelter Cove will feature live music from local bands along with light appetizers and drink specials from Shelter Cove restaurants. It’s a free event, so don’t miss the fun!
2. Fishing – It’s hard to top fall fishing on Hilton Head Island. The red fish are especially abundant, because they spawn, forming large schools, during fall. We have more than 6000 red fish, ranging in size from 1-40 pounds, stocked in our 11-mile inland lagoon, so you’re bound to catch one. If you’d like to have some “reel” fun, head out with Captain Trent Malphrus, who knows all the right spots, on one of our Hilton Head fishing charters!
3. Biking – With the milder temperatures, it’s a great time to hop on a bike and explore the 25 miles of paved bike paths within the resort or venture beyond to the more than 50 miles of paved paths across the island. Stop by Hilton Head Outfitters for the perfect bike rental, options for kids and all the bike accessories you’ll need.
4. Kayaking – Another great activity for all ages here at the resort is kayaking or canoeing. Enjoy a peaceful paddle in our lagoon system and take in the beautiful natural surroundings and golf course views. Hilton Head Outfitters rents kayaks and canoes, including singles and doubles for families who want to bring along young kids. You can also fish from our kayaks and canoes.
5. Beachcombing – Autumn can be the perfect season to search for shells. The beaches are not as crowded and the sun isn’t beating down on you quite so much. Keep your eye out for various shells, shark teeth and even the occasional Native American artifact! Here are more beachcombing tips for Hilton Head Island.
6. Golf – Challenge your best friends to a round – or several rounds – of golf at our three varied, championship Hilton Head golf courses. We offer lots of benefits for groups, such as stocked beer, logoed merchandise and access to our TripCaddie app that lets you track scores and even award trophies! Get a group golf quote here.
7. Tennis – You can work up a sweat playing tennis at one of our 25 courts in a hurry, but in fall you won’t be quite as soaked. Enjoy some of the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center fall tennis tournaments like the Banana Open Challenge, take a Hilton Head tennis clinic offered daily or try our Cardio Tennis class for a real calorie-burning workout!
What activity are you most looking forward to this fall on Hilton Head Island? If we can help you plan your fall Palmetto Dunes vacation, visit our new website at www.palmettodunes.com or give us a call at 866-650-4130.