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Sea Pines, Forest Beach or Palmetto Dunes?

Austin
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Sea Pines, Forest Beach or Palmetto Dunes?

We are a family with 3 kids (ages 6-10) and will be vacationing in HH in early July. We would like to stay oceanfront at a place with a pool. Based on reading posts here, it looks like Sea Pines has the most things we want to do like biking nature trails/beach, water sports (wave runner, kayak, etc), walking/biking to kid friendly shops/restaurants, horseback riding, watching dolphins, etc. We are not a big tennis/golf family. However, the thing that seems to be missing is a nice beach to swim/jump waves at there. The only beachfront villas left are at Beachside Tennis at South Beach, and that area does not look swimmable. We were told we could easily ride bikes to nicer beaches in Sea Pines along the Atlantic side from there. Wondering if that is true? We are also considering S. Forest Beach in the Coligny Plaza area (Sea Crest/Shorewood/Ocean One). It looks convenient to everything, but are worried about excessive crowds there. And, we are considering Palmetto Dunes for the nice beaches (Barrington Ct. and Windsor II), but are worried there won't be as many other things to do there without getting in the car & fighting traffic. Any thoughts on what may be best for our interests? I know they are all nice, but perhaps something may be better for what we want to do. Thank you for any help!

Wausau, Wisconsin
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1,497 posts
223 reviews
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1. Re: Sea Pines, Forest Beach or Palmetto Dunes?

I think you'll get a lot of positives for Sea Crest at Forest Beach. Your comment about staying out of the car is easily accomplished as that resort is central to about everything. I can't speak to the crowds in early July as we head there in March and September, but Coligny beach / Plaza is also quite popular with the weekenders and day tripers. We find going a little north or south of the public beach the crowds thin out considerably. Forest beach is our favorite spot on the island particularly when we have the young people along.

Ohio
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2. Re: Sea Pines, Forest Beach or Palmetto Dunes?

Hilton head beach villas on south forest beach would be the ideal spot for you. It is 1/2 mile south of Coligny circle, it is far enough so you don't get the crowds that go to Coligny beach and it is a small complex' only 30 units so you don't get the crowds of by Ocean One. It is close enough to Coligny that you can take a morning stroll to java joes for you morning coffee. We have rented a unit through vrbo.com

Columbia, SC
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288 posts
21 reviews
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3. Re: Sea Pines, Forest Beach or Palmetto Dunes?

I'm going to cast my vote for Palmetto Dunes. There are plenty of bike trails, you can rent kayaks, and enjoy beautiful uncrowded beaches. You should be able to bike under the highway over to Shelter Cove for shopping and restaurants but if it's a bit too far for the kids you can always use the Dunes Buggy for transportation to Shelter Cove. We stayed in PD for a week last year and only used our car to drive to dinner on two nights. We were able to bike everywhere else, including Shelter Cove to watch the fireworks.

Austin
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4. Re: Sea Pines, Forest Beach or Palmetto Dunes?

Do you know anything about Shorewood and Beachwood vs Sea Crest? If we don't want all of the crowds at the pool and beach, but still the convenience of Forest Beach, would you recommend one over the others? Also, is the Forest Beach area as pretty as Sea Pines/PD or is it more commercial ? Thank you!

ohio
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404 posts
22 reviews
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5. Re: Sea Pines, Forest Beach or Palmetto Dunes?

We have stayed at Shorewood and liked it very much. The beach was not crowded since it is farther away from the public access areas. It is also within walking distance of Coligny. We rented our condo through vrbo.

atlanta
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4,253 posts
44 reviews
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6. Re: Sea Pines, Forest Beach or Palmetto Dunes?

I have stayed at all three locations....

I won't do Palmetto Dunes again except for conventions or if I trade in Marriott points. I just don't find the resort keeps me "entertained" since there's no real beach house and not enough bike trails for me.

I love Sea Pines, but it's hard to find a small unit within walking distance to the beach.

Last year we did S Forest Beach and I think we are hooked. We got there, parked the car and walked everywhere. We both loved it!

Bridgewater
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799 posts
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7. Re: Sea Pines, Forest Beach or Palmetto Dunes?

I'm not sure what you mean by 'no real beach house', but I would think the Dunes House would fit that bill. It's got the parking lot, bike racks, public toilets, outdoor showers, and the restaurant on the patio deck. There's also the Disney House, but not everything there is for public use.

I'm also surprised about not enough bike trails as I think Palmetto Dunes has one of the most.

www.palmettodunes.com/pdf/TrailsMap.pdf

Shelter Cove (the harbor part of Palmetto Dunes) has the shopping, restaurants, boat trips, fishing, fire works, theater, and nightly entertainment. Golf, tennis, kayaking, canoeing, and of course the sea and sand are all right there in the resort. I've often walked from Shelter Cove to the Dunes House and I'm senior.

Hilton Head, South...
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8. Re: Sea Pines, Forest Beach or Palmetto Dunes?

I have to agree with TURU. One thing he forgot to mention is the DUNES BUGGY. This Van will pick you up at your hotel,villa, or home, and take you to shopping, and restaurants and back at no charge to you.

In my "Sticky" PLANTATIONS at the top of the forum, I mention that Palmetto Dunes is the beach oriented resort. They have many more oceanfront complexes than any other area, with the exception of South Forest beach, though in most cases these villas are nicer than most you can find at SFB.

I really can't understand the comment made by another poster that Palmetto Dunes is not beach friendly. Just the opposite is true.

Stan (hhiguy)

atlanta
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4,253 posts
44 reviews
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9. Re: Sea Pines, Forest Beach or Palmetto Dunes?

I really did not find the beach house at Palmetto Dunes appealing. It is kind of like you are a 2nd class citizen to the Disney folks IMHO.

It is just my view but I rank Palmetto Dunes lower then other options.

Edited: 05 May 2014, 23:00
Bridgewater
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799 posts
7 reviews
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10. Re: Sea Pines, Forest Beach or Palmetto Dunes?

If you are referring to the Disney Beach House, I would agree. There they do cater to their Disney customers. But the Dunes House I found nicer than Disney, and it also has the outside patio, food and drinks. Did you check out the Dunes House or just Disney?

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