One of the best features of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is our stunning lagoon system. It’s perfect for paddling and exploring, and provides incredible views and wildlife experiences. Did you know our lagoon network is man made? It even helped save the beach itself! We owe so much of all there is to see and do at Palmetto Dunes to the lagoon system that we thought it deserved its own place in the sun!
The lagoon system was created in the 1970s to address two major issues at the resort: shallow waterways and an eroding beachfront. Due to receding tides and ground seepage of water through the then narrow dune zone, the 150-foot wide beach was too waterlogged at low tide to be of use. At high tide the 3-mile long beach would almost disappear! Can you imagine Palmetto Dunes without the dunes? Or a Hilton Head Island vacation without the beach? No thanks!
The resort enlisted the help of world-renowned Danish engineer Dr. Per Bruun to find a solution to their damp dilemma. His answer was to dredge 2 million cubic yards of sand, to create the 11-mile saltwater lagoon system, and transport it to the beachfront. The sand was then sculpted into the picturesque 11-foot dunes you see today. What started out as a marshy area no one could enjoy was crafted into a stunning new beach that was 4 to 5 feet higher and 120 to 150 feet wider than before!
These 11 miles of new waterways gave Palmetto Dunes so many more activities and attractions to offer our guests that it’s no surprise we’ve been named No. 1 Family Resort in the U.S. and Canada by Travel + Leisure Family. The calm waters make the lagoon system perfect for beginners to try water sports like kayaking and canoeing. Don’t fret if you’re a more experienced paddler, it’s an amazing trip for all skill levels! Hilton Head Outfitters has all the rentals and gear you need to set out on a fun-filled lagoon excursion.
The lagoon system is home to otters, turtles, and alligators, as well as over 40 species of birds. Make sure your camera or phone is waterproof so you can get some great wildlife shots! You can get a sneak peak of our three golf courses by boat too! Arthur Hills, George Fazio and Robert Trent Jones courses can all be seen as you make your way through the lagoon network.
We can’t forget fishing! From Hilton Head Outfitters you can charter a guided fishing tour led by experienced and entertaining captains. Quiet electric skiffs won’t scare away your inevitable big catch and come stocked with snacks and refreshments. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a family looking to spend some quality time together, a fishing excursion on the lagoon should definitely be on your to-do list when you visit Palmetto Dunes!
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the beauty of the lagoon system by land, too. Go for a cycle or a stroll through semi-tropical vegetation and get back to nature. Bicycles are available for rent from Hilton Head Outfitters and are one of the best ways to see the island. If you’ve got little ones in tow you can even rent a jogging stroller to get around.
Now that you’ve earned an appreciation of our lagoon system and all it has to offer, it’s about time to start planning your stay at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort!