(HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.) – Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, a 2,000-acre beachfront resort, has once again landed top honors for its family-friendly atmosphere. In the November issue now on newsstands, Travel + Leisure placed Palmetto Dunes at No. 23 in its list of World’s Best Family Resorts for 2013, making it the highest ranking South Carolina resort. The awards are based on a survey of the magazine’s readers.
Palmetto Dunes has a history of recognition for its many and varied family activities across the resort. In 2003, Travel + Leisure named the resort the No. 1 Family Resort in the U.S. and Canada. Its three award-winning golf courses have received numerous honors over the years, including South Carolina Golf Courses of the Year, the Robert Trent Jones course No. 10 as a South Carolina dream hole and Top 25 Best Family Golf Resorts. TennisResortsOnline.com has also lauded the resort year after year for its junior tennis programs, ranking it No. 4 in the world, and last year, Tennis magazine named it the No. 1 tennis resort in the Carolinas.
“We see the joy in families’ faces as they experience all the fun activities we have to offer here at Palmetto Dunes, so we are incredibly pleased that the readers of Travel + Leisure have ranked us as one of their favorite family resorts in the world,” says Brad Marra, assistant vice president of resort operations for Greenwood Communities and Resorts, the owner of Palmetto Dunes. “Whether it’s reeling in a trophy redfish, learning how to properly swing a golf club or riding the waves on a surfboard, Palmetto Dunes has so much to offer families year round.”
Palmetto Dunes offers a host of family-friendly activities from golf and tennis to surfing and fishing. Kids can learn to play golf at one of the resort’s three golf courses through the Little Swingers program for ages 4-7. The Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy also offers a variety of junior instructional programs for ages 6-18, and families can learn the sport of golf together as part of Family Golf School. Additionally, kids younger than 10 play golf free after 4 p.m. when accompanied by a parent paying regular rate at all three courses. The Robert Trent Jones course also offers permanent junior tees, and the George Fazio course has markings of 150 yards or less.
The Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center offers shortened tennis courts for players 10 and younger per new regulations from the U.S. Tennis Association. They have 27 junior tennis programs each week between March and Labor Day and during holidays. Popular clinics include the Short Shots Clinic, which combines tennis fun with motor skills development for ages 4 and 5, and the Super Shots Clinic, which incorporates in-depth instruction on each stroke with fun activities for ages 5 through 8.
Palmetto Dunes offers 5 miles of paved bike paths within the resort, and many families choose to rent bikes from the resort’s onsite outfitters, Hilton Head Outfitters, during their vacation. They can bike from the beach to dinner to their vacation home to the General Store and even across the street to Shelter Cove Harbour via a special passageway beneath Highway 278. A new mobile app lets families reserve their bike rentals right on their phone.
Fishing is another popular activity for families, and the resort offers inshore and offshore fishing charters through Hilton Head Outfitters. Shark fishing and crabbing are both family favorites. The resort’s 11-mile inland lagoon is also ideal for kayaking and canoeing as a family, and Outfitters offers both kayak and canoe rentals. During the summer, kids can learn to surf at the resort’s daily Surf School.
Families can choose to stay at one of the many homes and villas located within the resort during their Hilton Head vacation. The resort has a vacation rental program and offers a variety of options from 1-bedroom villas to 6-bedroom homes for multi-family travel. Views include golf courses, the 11-mile inland lagoon, the Atlantic Ocean and more. Guests who book through the resort enjoy special discounts on resort activities, including two hours of free tennis court time daily.
Each summer, thousands of families converge on Shelter Cove Harbour for HarbourFest, which celebrated its 25th year in 2013. Family-friendly performer Shannon Tanner, known for his colorful beanie hat, sings crowd favorites and signs his fans’ beanie hats with inspirational messages. Many parents saw Tanner as children and now return with their own families. On Tuesday evenings and on July 4th each year, the night sky lights up with fireworks over Broad Creek, and Shelter Cove offers an assortment of family-friendly activities and entertainment like Cappy the Clown, bounce houses, face painting and more.
There are also several kid-friendly dining options within the resort, including Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers & Pizza at the Robert Trent Jones golf course and the oceanfront Dunes House, open to resort guests and property owners. Both restaurants offer kids menus.
For more information about the resort, accommodations or activities, visit www.palmettodunes.com or call 877-567-6513.