Palmetto Dunes or Sea Pines Rental - Which Hilton Head Vacation Spot Is Right for You?
Choosing whether to spend your Hilton Head Vacation in a Sea Pines rental or a Palmetto Dunes rental is much like debating which is better – chocolate or peanut butter – there is no wrong answer, because both are great!
Unfortunately, we can’t blend the two together like a candy bar and get the best of both worlds, but we CAN help you decide which vacation rental location best suits your taste. Read on to learn about the features of each of these communities.
Palmetto Dunes Vacation Rentals - An Exclusive Oceanfront Resort Located Mid-Island
Located at what’s known as “mid-island”, Palmetto Dunes is located on 3 miles of pristine beach, and directly across the street from Shelter Cove Marina. In addition to the beach and water activities available, the resort is known worldwide for its golf and tennis facilities. With a Palmetto Dunes Vacation Rental, here are some of the things you can find:
- Golf – The golfers of the group can choose from these 3 world-class golf courses, and instruction is available at the Robert Trent Jones Course:
- Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course
- Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes
- George Fazio Course
- Tennis & Pickleball – If your favorite activity involves a racquet or paddle, head to Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center, an award-winning facility that makes this resort a tennis lover’s dream. 23 tennis courts, including 6 that are lighted for evening play, 8 pickleball courts, energetic and helpful staff, daily round-robin tournaments and a wide variety of instruction options make Palmetto Dunes a world-class tennis resort, ranked among the “50 Greatest U.S. Tennis Resorts” by Tennis Magazine
- Beach – If you’re a beach lover, you’ll want to spend all of your time on the 3 miles of sun-kissed beach. You can catch the free “Dunes Buggy” shuttle to The Dunes House, a public access beach facility, and rent umbrellas, beach chairs, stand-up paddle boards or surf boards. Beachside, there is a great selection of condo rentals that will have you close to the beach and the ocean.
- Biking – Choosing the perfect rental bikes and accessories for each member of your party will be a breeze! Palmetto Dunes boasts the largest selection on the island, which includes beach cruisers, children’s bikes, tandems, tag-a-longs, carts and kiddie seats. Bikes make it easy to cruise along the beach or to nearby shopping.
- Fishing & Boat Tours – At Shelter Cove Marina across the street you can find any type of charter or fishing adventure you can think of, including Inshore/Near Shore & Offshore charters, marina fishing, sport crabbing, shark fishing, nature and dolphin tours, dinner cruises, and even a Party Fishing Boat tour on the “Captain Hook”. If it’s a Tuesday evening during the summer, you may even be able to catch the HarbourFest fireworks!
- Water Sports – Directly across the street from Palmetto Dunes is Shelter Cove Marina - home to many additional water-related activities, including Kayaking & Canoeing on the 11-mile inland lagoon system, Surf Lessons, and Sail and Power Boat Rentals.
Regardless of whether your favorite thing is the beach, golf, or tennis, there’s a great selection of Palmetto Dunes condo rentals (aka “villas”) to choose from to get you and your family close to the action.
Sea Pines Vacation Rentals - Featuring Harbour Town, Sea Pines Preserve & Lawton Stables
The Sea Pines Plantation is located at the south end of the island, and in fact IS the southern third of Hilton Head Island. Within this iconic resort, founded in 1956 by Arthur Fraser as the first private plantation community on the island, you can find Harbour Town Marina and its famous lighthouse, as well as the Harbour Town Golf Links, home of the annual PGA Tour RBC Heritage Golf Tournament, and 3 other world-class golf courses. The requisite boat tours, cruises and charters, watersports, kids activities, dining and entertainment can all be found between the 2 gates, and the Sea Pines vacation rentals are plentiful. You’ll be able to find the perfect size rental house or villa near your favorite part of the plantation.
Other highlights of this classic vacation spot include:
- Lawton Stables – You can take a guided trail ride through the lush forest preserve, or visit the animal farm and say hello to goats, sheep, donkeys, miniature donkeys, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits and a llama. There are pony rides for the kids, a gift shop where you can purchase horse-related items including Breyer horses, and you can even book a pony party for a birthday or special occasion.
- Sea Pines Preserve – This area has been protected since 1970, and over 600 acres is dedicated to wildlife and nature. Within the Preserve is the famous Sea Pines Shell Ring, built over 4000 years ago by Indian Moundbuilders. You’ll be able to enjoy this area on your own by foot, or take a horseback, fishing or wagon tour. Bridges and boardwalks, as well as fishing docks provide many places to admire the marshes and other scenery, which will likely include alligators. Please do NOT feed alligators or disturb any other wildlife, and follow all rules to keep this area beautiful.
- Tennis – Sea Pines has over 100 tennis courts, and is home to the South Beach Racquet Club and Sea Pines Racquet Club.
- Shopping – Enjoy a day perusing over 20 high end Harbour Town Shops, boutiques and galleries that surround the yacht basin. You can stroll between stores, admiring the scenery that includes luxurious yachts, enjoying the breeze coming off of Calibogue Sound, or perhaps relaxing in one of the red rocking chairs lining the harbor.
- Beach – Because Sea Pines is at the “toe” of the boot that forms Hilton Head Island, you have access to 5 miles of beach, and one of the biggest attractions is the newly-refurbished Sea Pines Beach Club. There’s plenty of parking for cars or bikes, outdoor showers & foot wash stations, restrooms, changing rooms, as well as a surf shop, an oceanfront lounge and dining, including the Surfside Market where you can grab a fresh salad or sandwich for a quick bite to eat before heading back out to the sand.
A vacation in the Sea Pines Plantation will be a relaxing and luxurious experience that can be spiced up to your liking by throwing in some its unique offerings.
SO…now that you know a bit more about each of these world-class resorts, you can go about deciding which one is best for you and your family. No matter which you choose, we know you’ll be booking a vacation that will meet and exceed all of your expectations!