Rentals in Hilton Head SC Archives - Sunset Rentals Vacation Blog

Top 7 Reasons To Stay In Palmetto Dunes Resort Area

Hilton Head Island was named the #1 Island in the U.S. and Canada in Travel+Leisure World’s Best Awards for 5 consecutive years! The award-winning Palmetto Dunes is one of the most well-known and popular resort areas of Hilton Head, nestled mid-island on 2,000 acres of lush oceanfront landscapes with world-class amenities, 3-miles of pristine Atlantic coastline, luxury oceanfront accommodation, and bike paths leading to the top attractions and iconic landmarks on Hilton Head Island.

Palmetto Dunes central location in the heart of the island makes it the ultimate Hilton Head vacation destination for families looking to stay close to the action (and the beach!). Whether you’re a nature lover, beach-goer, adventure seeker or sportsman, this highly-desirable Hilton Head plantation offers solace, excitement and island experiences for all types of travelers.

1. PALMETTO DUNES BEACH ACCESS


Palmetto Dunes is a beach lovers paradise with 3 miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches all within a short walk or bike ride from your Palmetto Dunes vacation rental. Spend your vacation in an oceanfront home or villa in Palmetto Dunes with private beach boardwalks or ride your bike or the seasonal Dune Buggy to the Disney Beach House or Dunes House with bike racks, restroom facilities, and an oceanfront bar and restaurant for a quintessential island-style beach day. 

Take a bike ride or stroll along the shoreline, rent a surfboard to play in the waves, build sandcastles or simply soak up the warm sun and Lowcountry charm of Palmetto Dunes.

2. PALMETTO DUNES 11-MILE LAGOON SYSTEM


Rent a kayak or canoe and escape into nature on the Palmetto Dunes Lagoon System. The inland waterways weave for 11-miles through the plantation with an abundance of wildlife, over 40 species of birds, rewarding fishing spots and boat launches to get on the water. Hilton Head Outfitters are located near the General Store and are your one-stop shop for outdoor activities and rentals, and Sunset Rentals selection of lagoon-front villas offer the ultimate retreat for a nature escape in Palmetto Dunes. 

3. GOLF COURSES IN PALMETTO DUNES


Palmetto Dunes is a dream destination for golfers and is home to three of the best courses you can play in South Carolina, and one of only two oceanfront golf holes on Hilton Head Island. 

Play a challenging and scenic round on three world-class golf championship golf courses: the top-ranked Robert Trent Jones course with ocean views, the challenging George Fazio Golf Course with new state-of-the-art greens, and the Arthur Hills Course, one of South Carolina’s most unique and scenic golf layouts in lush, Lowcountry landscapes on the south shores of Palmetto Dunes Resort Area.

The Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy has outstanding private golf instruction and group clinics with programs for all levels and the three Palmetto Dunes championship courses all feature welcoming clubhouses with on-site golf shops, Srixon golf club rentals (and shipping services!), and relaxed dining experience for a memorable golf vacation on Hilton Head, the Golf Island!

4. TENNIS & RACQUET CLUBS IN PALMETTO DUNES


Hilton Head is one of the top tennis destinations in the US! The Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center ranks among the best tennis resorts and was recently named the “Pickleball Resort of the Year” by Racquet Sports Magazine.

The award-winning sports center features 19 clay tennis courts (four lighted for night play), 24 dedicated pickleball courts (all lighted for night play), professional instruction for tennis and pickleball, and seasonal clinics for all ages. Palmetto Dunes promises the best pickleball and tennis vacation you’ve ever had!

5. WATER ACTIVITIES AT SHELTER COVE HARBOUR & MARINA


Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina lies on Broad Creek at the entrance to Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort – a premier waterfront destination for shopping, dining and endless activities on the Lowcountry waterways. The colorful marina is lined with rentals of every kind from high-speed power boats, jet skis and catamarans to fishing pontoons and luxury sailboats.

Whatever level of adventure sparks your wanderlust, you’ll find it at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina. Captain your own boat or choose from a selection of saltmarsh paddle tours, dolphin discoveries, fishing charters, eco-tours, party boats, pirate adventures or picture perfect sunset cruises in the awe-inspiring Lowcountry waterways, marshlands and creeks.

6. SHOPPING & RESTAURANTS IN PALMETTO DUNES (and nearby!)


The waterfront promenade along the Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina has a selection of shops, galleries, outdoor patios with live music and marina views, and award-winning restaurants with the best seafood on Hilton Head Island! The nearby Shelter Cove Town Center is an open-air Mediterranean style village that lures shoppers, foodies and families with a selection of over 30 shops and restaurants, a rooftop bar for nightlife on Hilton Head, and a community park overlooking Broad Creek, host to year-round events and Hilton Head’s famous HarbourFest

From delicious breakfasts at the General Store and signature southern BBQ on the golf course to laid-back oceanfront snacks and cocktails at the Dunes House and fine dining and wine pairing at Alexander’s, the Palmetto Dunes resort area will meet all dining requirements for your Hilton Head vacation.

Palmetto Dunes is centrally located mid-island on Hilton Head Island so you’re only a short bike ride from outstanding beachfront shops and restaurants at Coligny Plaza and waterfront delights at Harbour Town in Sea Pines Resort.

7. EASY TO GET AROUND PALMETTO DUNES


Palmetto Dunes has a 5-mile network of well-maintained paved bike trails throughout the plantation and connecting to the other resort areas of Hilton Head Island. Load up the bike ride or speak with a Sunset Rentals vacation specialist about our state-of-the-art bike rentals and complimentary Vayk Gear rentals at select Palmetto Dunes vacation homes and villas. There is no fee to bike the trails in Palmetto Dunes.

The Palmetto Dunes Buggy is a seasonal free shuttle service that serves the beaches, golf clubs and tennis facilities in the Palmetto Dunes resort area, as well as Shelter Cove Marina & Town Center. The buggy runs from 8am to 9pm daily from April through September with an on-call service to take you where you need to go within the plantation!

Palmetto Dunes Private Beach & Golf Vacation Home Rentals


There are many perks to staying in a private home on vacation – Gather the whole crew under one roof, enjoy space and privacy away from the crowds, large gourmet kitchens, spacious master suites, full laundry rooms for convenience (it doesn’t end on vacation!), intimate waterfront docks on the lagoon, private beach boardwalks, heated pools and spas just for you, and the list goes on!

Our selection of luxury vacation homes in the Palmetto Dunes resort area are located throughout the plantation – beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean, on the world-class Robert Trent Jones Golf Course and waterfront on Palmetto Dunes 11-mile lagoon system – with luxury amenities to suit even the most distinguished guests.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Hilton Head Island?


Hilton Head Island is a destination for all seasons! Our beautiful barrier island is nestled on the southern tip of the South Carolina coastline with a balmy sub-tropical climate, an average of 215 sunny days a year, and mild temps to enjoy our pristine beaches, serene waterways, untouched nature preserves and award-winning golf and tennis facilities year round. Every season brings new experiences, unique adventures, seasonal events and laid-back Lowcountry living on Hilton Head.

Winter: December, January & February

Average Temperatures: 40-70o F


The winter season is the quietest time of year for tourists on Hilton Head Island and makes for an idyllic low season beach vacation, romantic winter getaway or warm weather snowbird escape. January is the coldest month of the year with highs in the mid-60s and lows down to 40oF, but rarely dipping below. 

The water is too icy for swimming but it’s the perfect season for sightseeing Hilton Head, easy golf tee times, sunrise beach strolls, sunset cruises, fishing charters for exceptional sports fishing, horse riding and wildlife spotting in Sea Pines Forest Preserve, and hanging out at Hilton Head’s winter festivals.

Be sure to book your stay with Sunset Rentals to enjoy the top winter events on Hilton Head Island. Experience a warm coastal Christmas with family festivities, New Year’s Eve in Harbour Town, a sub-tropical Snow Day in January, or end the winter seafood season indulging in all you can eat oysters at the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival in February.

Spring: March, April & May

Average Temperatures: March 60-70o F | April 60-70o F | May 70-80o F


A glimpse of spring weather has arrived, the flowers are blooming, and the weather is fine! Spring is a wonderful time of year to get a taste of summer of Hilton Head Island without the crowds, and with temperatures warming up for the beach, shoulder season rental rates, and vacation discounts.

You’ll need a coat for morning beach walks or patio dining on the waterfront, but the temps are warm during the day and shorts and tees are all you need to hike or bike the trails, tee off on a championship golf course or visit the top sights on Hilton Head Island. Be sure to pack your swimwear (and sunscreen) for beach picnics or a chilly dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

Kick off the spring season at the weeklong Hilton Head Wine & Food Festival , join golf pros and champions from around the world at the RBC Heritage PGA Golf Tournament in Sea Pines Resort or if you’re keen to get on the water, plan a trip later in May when Hilton Head’s seasonal attractions and water sports outfitters start to open up for the summer season.

Summer: June, July & August

Average Temperatures: 80-90o F


Hilton Head Island is a pristine, warm and sunny coastal town so expect summer crowds! This is the most popular season to visit Hilton Head so be sure to book your vacation rental, beach gear, attraction tickets, and outdoor activities in advance to avoid disappointment and start planning your summer vacation activities with Sunset Rentals Ultimate Guide to Summer on Hilton Head Island.

In the summer months the temperatures reach the high-80s and often the 90s (with water temps in the mid-80s) so be prepared for hot, sunny days and wonderful tropical thunderstorms that bring refreshing and quick summer showers, a welcome reprieve from the heat and humidity!

For the ultimate summer vacation and island style living on Hilton Head, stay with Sunset Rentals. Our vacation homes and villas are located in the top resort areas of Hilton Head near world-class golf and tennis, shopping & dining, live entertainment and Hilton Head’s HarbourFest, a family-friendly celebration and weekly fireworks all summer long at Shelter Cove.

Fall: September, October & November

Average Temperatures: September 70-80o F | October 60-70o F | November 50-60o F


After schools go back, the crowds start to thin and cooler temperatures cruise in – but the warm, sunny beach days continue well into October with highs occasionally in the 80s. We’re back to shoulder season on Hilton Head – seasonal water activities have closed, summer traffic has disappeared, the beaches are quieter, and it’s the best season to get a great deal on your dream vacation home!

October and November have the lowest rainfall and are the best months for getting outdoors on Hilton Head Island. Book a tee time or hit the tennis courts at our world-class facilities, hike or bike the trails with prime birdwatching, beachcomb and build sandcastles along the shoreline, or brave the cooler waters for a tranquil SUP sunset.

If you’re planning a Hilton Head vacation with your pooch, the pet-friendly beaches are open all day during low season from October to February (unlike the summer months) and there are plenty of pet-friendly rentals, restaurants and activities on Hilton Head.

October marks the start of seafood season and our favorite Lowcountry tradition, Oyster Roasts! Harvest and host your own oyster roast to shuck & slurp with friends and family at home or plan your vacation around the family-friendly Hilton Head Oyster Festival at Shelter Cove in November, a celebration of Lowcountry tradition, local music and the freshest, flavorful oysters you’ll ever feast on! End the fall season at the Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance in November, a 3-day classic car experience with over 500 classic cars, motorcycles, boats and aircraft on display.

A Guide to Hilton Head Island Beaches and Nature Preserves

Spend any season in our slice of paradise and you’ll understand why Hilton Head is the “Top Island in the Continental US” and continually voted one of the best vacation destinations in the world! Cross the bridge from Bluffton, step back in time in iconic Lowcountry landscapes, and experience luxury island style living among the unspoiled wildlife refuges, nature preserves and award-winning tropical beaches on Hilton Head Island.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND NATURE PRESERVES


Hilton Head’s wildlife refuges, natural preserves and historical parks feature in our Top Sights to See on Hilton Head Island. Raised wetland boardwalks and trails for hiking, biking and horse riding weave through coastal habitats with ancient dunes, wildlife and wildflowers, beautiful birdlife, and rentals, activities and guided tours for all ages to escape in an untouched natural setting, equally as alluring as our beautiful beaches.  

  • Sea Pines Forest Preserve
  • Audubon Newhall Preserve
  • Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
  • Coastal Discovery Museum
  • Mitchelville Freedom Park

THE BEACHES OF HILTON HEAD ISLAND


Hilton Head Island boasts 12 miles of unspoiled, sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean on the South Carolina coastline. Pinch yourself, you’re not dreaming! Our beaches are consistently voted among the best beaches in the USA and the world and are easily accessible by scenic bike rides, old-school trolleys and oceanfront rentals throughout the unique resort areas of the island. 

Hilton Head Island offers a unique beach vacation for every type of traveler. Whether you’re seeking a secluded stretch of sand, wildlife cruises and eco-tours, thrilling aquatic adventures, or a fun island vibe with sundowners and live music on the sand, you can experience it all on Hilton Head! Here’s our guide to beaches in the top resort areas of Hilton Head Island.

FOREST BEACH AREA

The Forest Beach Area is the “Hilton Head Hot Spot” located on the south end of Hilton Head between Shipyard and Sea Pines, and anchored by Coligny Plaza for shopping, dining and live entertainment to break up your day on the beach. 

Coligny Beach Park: The award-winning Coligny Beach Park is the most popular beach on Hilton Head and is centrally located an easy bike or trolley ride away from your vacation home. There’s excellent amenities, entertainment for the kids, summer rentals for beach and ocean activities, and the legendary Tiki Hut on the sand to end your day island style.

Alder Lane Beach: Alder Lane Beach is slightly away from the crowds, a mile south of Coligny Plaza on South Forest Beach Drive. The beach is less crowded with summer lifeguards for families, restrooms, outdoor showers and handicap matting for easy beach access.

SHIPYARD BEACH CLUB

The Shipyard Plantation is the smallest plantation on Hilton Head nestled oceanfront between Sea Pines Resort and Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. While you’re only a short walk or bike ride from Coligny Beach and the Dunes House in Palmetto, guests of Shipyard have exclusive access to five-star amenities, an oceanfront deck, and a wide stretch of sandy beach at the oceanfront Shipyard Beach Club.  

SEA PINES BEACH CLUB

The Sea Pines Resort Area dominates the southern end of Hilton Head Island with 5 miles of sandy beaches along the Atlantic coastline, and private beach access to Sea Pines guests only. Ride your bikes to the boardwalks, hop on the Sea Pines Trolley to the Beach Club or stay oceanfront with a private boardwalk to a secluded stretch of beach. The Beach Club is a true island retreat with an oceanfront beach bar and restaurant, world-class amenities, and picture perfect white sands dotted with blue umbrellas and beach-goers soaking up the sun.

PALMETTO DUNES BEACH

The Palmetto Dunes Resort Area boasts 3-miles of pristine oceanfront beauty with wide sandy beaches, gentle ocean waters and super easy public beach access along Mooring Buoy, Ocean Lane and Dunes House. Ride your bikes, hop on the free Dunes Buggy or arrive early to find a parking spot at the oceanfront Dunes House, the perfect place to end your beach day with cool cocktails, fish tacos and ocean views in the laid-back beach bar and restaurant.  

MID-ISLAND BEACHES

As you head north from Palmetto Dunes, the beaches are quieter, and you’ll find hidden gems perfect for swimming, surfing, bodyboarding, beach picnics, and a scenic, fun-filled family day at the beach. 

Burkes Beach: For a pet-friendly beach day on Hilton Head, make your way to Burkes Beach. Burkes Beach is located next to Chaplin Community Park with parking, biking trails, sports courts, a playground, a dog park and trails to a wide, sandy, lifeguarded beach. 

Driessen Beach: Driessen Beach is another mid-island gem next to Burkes Beach at the end of Bradley Beach Road. A wooden boardwalk leads through a natural forest to a covered picnic pavilion, outdoor showers and restrooms, a water station and a beautiful stretch of shoreline with seasonal lifeguards for the kids to play safely in the ocean. 

Folly Field Beach: If you’re looking for the local hangout, you’ll find them away from the crowds at Folly Field Beach on Starfish Drive. Folly Field Beach has all the amenities of Coligny for a beach day and is the best place to learn to surf on Hilton Head! Go on, rent a board and ride the waves!

PORT ROYAL PLANTATION BEACHES

Staying in Port Royal gives you access to 19 beach walk paths on the historic Port Royal Sound and the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean. Islanders Beach Park is just north of Folly Field Beach and is one of the best family-friendly beaches on Hilton Head with a shady park and pavilion for picnics, a large playground, and a boardwalk to a wide, uncrowded beach. For shells, shorebirds and complete seclusion head to Fish Haul Beach Park overlooking the Port Royal Sound. This off-the-beaten path gem boasts untouched natural beauty with a boardwalk and observation deck for birdwatching, enchanting nature trails and a secluded shoreline (not recommended for swimming!).


Book Your Next Hilton Head Island Vacation with Sunset Rentals!

Sunset Rentals have been welcoming vacationers to Hilton Head Island since 1993, some have made it their home and many return year after year. We offer complimentary beach gear packages in select rentals, and we know where to stay & play on Hilton Head Island!

Quintessential Things to Do in Hilton Head, SC

Quintessential Things To Do In Hilton Head, SC

From idyllic beaches and exhilarating water sports to historic sites and museums and everything in between, Hilton Head, SC, has plenty of activities for travelers. Ranked as a top-five continental island, read on for a list of some of the best things to do in Hilton Head:

Enjoy The Beach

Hilton Head has been recognized as one of the top 10 family beaches in the United States! Travelers can enjoy activities such as swimming, sunbathing, fishing, crabbing, paddle boarding, and more on over 12 miles of beach. Some of the island’s most popular beaches include Burkes Beach and Coligny Beach.

Discover Fashionable Finds

Bring a piece of your vacation home with you! There are plenty of opportunities for shopping at Hilton Head’s trendy boutiques. For our money, Birdie James and Southern Tide Signature Store are two must-stops for avid shoppers.

Play a Round (or Several) at Amazing Golf Courses

Home to 33 golf courses, book a tee time at the legendary courses at Palmetto Dunes and Sea Pines. Many travelers look fore-ward to taking advantage of the award-winning courses and the incredible views that they offer.

Meet Hilton Head’s Most Famous Residents

Get out on the water to meet our most famous residents, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, in their natural habitat. Dolphins aren’t hard to find on Hilton Head Island, and there are plenty of dolphin tours available that help visitors get up close and personal with these beautiful and playful creatures. 

Check Out the Coastal Discovery Museum

The Coastal Discovery Museum is a fun and educational experience for the whole family! In addition to the exhibits in the museum building that will teach you the fascinating history of Hilton Head Island, you can also book a variety of guided tours. Explore on horseback, on a kayak, or by foot, and let the Coastal Discovery Museum be your guide.


Beautiful Vacation Rentals in Hilton Head, SC

After a day of fun-filled activities, relax at one of Sunset Rentals’ unique rental spots. We offer a variety of vacation rentals, ranging from large homes to villas, on some of the premier locations on the island.