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I visit several Hilton Head vacation rentals each year. My husband and I photograph weddings, family gatherings and beach sittings. We take pictures on location so every year we meet customers in their Hilton Head condo or home rentals. Some of them are quite magnificent but in order for you to pick the best place for your family is to consider location first. I also have one very important advise for everyone.

Rent ocean front!!!!!

There is nothing like to be lulled to sleep by the sound of ocean waves and there is nothing that even compares close to opening your eyes in the morning to the view of the ocean. Yes, ocean front costs more but this is because it is worth every penny you spent. For years I was saving money by not renting the ocean front villas but once I did I realized what I missed!

But now let me show you around the island!

Let's start with the first group of Hilton Head vacation rentals: Palmetto Dunes-my favorite plantation.

Dunes in October

We visit Palmetto Dunes many times every year for different reasons: meet and photograph our customers, dine in Alexander's, shop and have a casual yet delicious breakfast or lunch in General Store, rent a kayak and have a water ride through the lagoons or rent a bike and go around this friendly plantation on 2 wheels.

Golf and tennis are at hand.

There are three excellent Golf Courses in Palmetto Dunes:

George Fazio Course

Arthur Hills Course

Robert Trent JonesOceanfront Course

Golfers consider all three of them an ultimate golfing experience. Different in design and unique but all of them challenging.

So if you are a golfer and a beach lover at the same time - Palmetto Dunes Resort would be absolutely a vacation rental to consider.

For tennis players or learners - Palmetto Dunes Tennis offers 25 tennis courts and tennis instructions for any level in Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center. We are talking one of the best tennis centers on the Island.

The second group of Hilton Head vacation rentals to consider is South Forest Beach.

South Forest Beach - we're talking action. You would be close to Coligny shopping center (shops, restaurants, grocery store). Some call it downtown of Hilton Head. From most South Forest beach vacation villas, you can even walk to Coligny. This is a definite advantage because instead of using your car you can just walk or bike and get places. We stayed in Holiday Inn and enjoyed leaving our car parked and forgotten.

Coligny offers one of the most interesting souvenir stores but I am covering that on a different page. There is also a very nice public beach entrance. It has just been totally remodeled and opened in 2009. So while you are walking through Coligny or having lunch, dinner or drinks, you can also take a peek at the beach or have a walk there without going back to your villa.

South Forest Beach is for anybody but if you are coming with teenagers I would definitely stay there to give them some freedom and independence especially if they don't drive yet but are old enough to explore by themselves.

But let's not forget Folly Field, one of the most popular Hilton Head vacation rentals areas on the island. Our third group so far.

Folly Field was the first thing I heard about Hilton Head. So, of course I rented a villa on Folly Field in one of the ocean front resorts "The Island Club". I didn't know what I was renting because there was no internet back then. But when I arrived to the Island and found my vacation rental, I was happy with my over the phone choice. Actually I went back to the same place quite a few times.

There are other choices on Folly Field, some are also ocean front but too big for my liking, some are across the street so you have to walk to the beach (definitely not to my liking!).

Sea Pines Plantation, the oldest and the largest gated community on Hilton Head.

Sea Pines Plantation is the destination for a large group of our visitors. Needless to say we are talking Hilton Head Golf paradise!

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