5 Amazing Tennis Courts On Hilton Head Island

If there’s one thing tourists know about Hilton Head Island SC besides its wealth of gorgeous beaches, it’s the island’s plethora of world-class tennis facilities. Unfortunately, though, because of how hugely popular tennis has become in the area, many lesser-quality tennis facilities have popped up in an attempt to cash in.

Thats why I’m here.

Using the knowledge I’ve gained over my many years of living in Hilton Head (along with the insights I’ve gleaned by talking with local tennis players), I will lay out in detail the Tennis Courts you absolutely must check out the next time you’re in Hilton Head Island SC.



5 amazing tennis courts in hilton head

Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center

The Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center is an award-winning tennis facility complete with 23 clay and 2 Nova ProBounce courts. Six of these are lighted for all you nightbird tennis fanatics. The center prides itself on its outstanding instructional programs, which have perfect options for every skill level.

If for no other reason, you should book your next tennis vacation at Palmetto Dunes based on their exceptional accolades. To name a few, they were:

  • • Ranked among the “50 Greatest US Tennis Resorts” by Tennis Magazine
  • • #2 in the word for events and instruction programs
  • • #3 in the world for kids tennis programs
  • • #5 in the world overall by Tennis Resorts Online

PalmettoDunes.com
6 Trent Jones Ln
845.785.1152

Van Der Meer Tennis Center

Van Der Meer is a popular oceanfront tennis center offering 17 hard courts. Four of these are covered and lit, making them perfect for playing at night or in less-than-perfect weather (as rare as that is). Like Palmetto Dunes, Van Der Meer also offers daily instruction for all skill levels.

One interesting selling point for Van Der Meer Tennis Center is the fact that they have the only indoor and covered courts on Hilton Head Island. Legendary tennis coach Dennis Van Der Meer, from whom this facility gets its name, also designed their instructional programs. So make sure to stop here on your next trip to Hilton Head and experience some truly world-class tennis instruction.

VanDerMeerTennis.com
19 De Allyon Ave
843.785.8388

Hilton Head Island Tennis

HHI Tennis is a beach and tennis resort that’s been in business for over 60 years and shows no signs of slowing down. It offers programs and lessons for every skill level and all ages.

Whether you’re just hitting the ball around while on vacation or are coming to Hilton Head specifically to feed your tennis passions, you can’t go wrong visiting this facility.

If you’re not already sold, here are a few more reasons to visit:

  • • Hilton Head Island Tennis was ranked in the “Top 50 US Tennis Resorts” by Tennis Magazine.
  • • Ranked in the “Top 5 Tennis Resorts In The Carolinas”.

HiltonHeadIslandTennis.com
40 Folly Field Rd #10S
843.301.2113

Sea Pines Racquet Club

The Sea Pines Racquet Club is one of the US’ most highly respected tennis resorts. It features state-of-the-art facilities and instruction from world-class tennis champions.
In terms of amenities, they offer 21 clay courts (4 of which are lit for playing at night), a 1,800-seat stadium, and a full-service pro shop.

The classes at Sea Pines are taught under the careful direction of Stan Smith, a former US Open and Wimbledon champion – how’s that for accolades?

SeaPines.com
5 Lighthouse Ln
843.363.4495

Smith Stearns Tennis Academy

The Smith Stearns Academy is another tennis instruction facility led by the world-famous tennis champion Stan Smith.

It was originally created to help younger athletes prepare for advanced levels of competition (both collegiate and professional). But don’t let that scare you away, because the academy offers programs for every skill and age level.

If you’re serious about improving your tennis game while on vacation, there’s simply no better choice than Smith Stearns. You’ll be learning from the most prestigious and skilled coaches the tennis world has to offer, and all from the gorgeous location of Hilton Head Island SC.

SmithStearns.com
1 Lighthouse Rd
843.363.4789


So now that you’ve got a good idea of the top tennis courts on Hilton Head Island, the only thing left is to check them out on your next vacation!

Have you been to any of the Tennis Courts we mentioned here? We want to hear from you! Let us know everything you loved (or hated) about the courts via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!


Guide To Private Tennis Courts On Hilton Head Island

guide_to_private_tennis_courts_on_hilton_head_island
Playing Tennis in Hilton Head Island Is Fun!

Hilton Head Island is a place well-known for many things. From the island’s unrivaled beaches to its renowned golf courses, visitors are never far from a great time. What may surprise some first timers though, is the world-class Tennis courts found here.

In fact, almost all of the private tennis courts listed here have been featured in Tennis Magazine’s “Top 50 Greatest US Tennis Resorts”! How’s that for a little known gem?

With so many world-class tennis courts on Hilton Head Island, the only real problem is figuring out where to play. This article with serve to recommend some of our personal favorites, and give you the information you need to decide which private tennis court is the perfect choice for you.

Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center

Let’s start off our list with a tennis facility that was not only in Tennis Magazine’s Top 50 Greatest US Tennis Resorts, but was ranked #2 in the world for tennis instruction and events. Palmetto Dunes has 23 clay courts and 2 state-of-the-art Nova ProBounce courts. If you’re interested in playing at night, no fear – the facility has 6 courts which are lighted for night play.

Van Der Meer Tennis Center

The next on our list is special because it has the only covered and indoor courts in the Hilton Head Island Area. Van Der Meer boasts 17 hard courts, 4 of which are well-lit for night play. This is the home of the Van Der Meer Tennis Academy, which hosts many well-established tournaments and events throughout the year.

Hilton Head Island Tennis

Our next great private tennis resort came in #5 in Tennis Magazine’s Top 50 Tennis Resorts of the Carolinas. Hilton Head Island also boasts a full-service Tennis Pro Shop with all the latest tennis merchandise.

The Sea Pines Resort Racquet Club

Our final private tennis resort on our list ranked #1 in Tennis Magazine’s list of the top U.S Tennis programs. Sea Pines Resort Racquet Club has 21 clay courts, as well as 4 lit courts for playing at night. The resort has a 1,800 seat stadium court, which is lucky because they host professional and amateur tennis tournaments all year long. Members of the Club are given two full hours of complimentary tennis per day.

Best Places to Get Tennis Lessons In Hilton Head

Continuing on with our series on the great tennis options in Hilton Head is our newest post on the best places to get a tennis lesson in Hilton Head.

If you’re visiting the Hilton Head area, you’ve likely caught wind of their world-class tennis facilities.  But with so many options, it can be hard to find the perfect choice for you.  This list is all about tennis lessons, and will give you a peek into the best places to improve your skills in Hilton Head SC.

Sea Pines Racquet Club

Let’s start our list with the internationally-renowned Sea Pines Racquet Club.  This tennis facility is run by the former US Open and Wimbledon world champion and former US Olympic Men’s Coach Stan Smith – hows that for credibility?  With over 40 years in the business of giving tennis lessons, Sea Pines offers a large variety of teaching clinics, instructional programs, and tennis vacation packages.  In fact, it was ranked as one of “America’s Top Tennis Destinations” by Tennis Magazine.  The Club has 21 clay courts, 4 of which are lit for night play.  Sea Pines offers private and group lessons for all skill levels.

Van Der Meer Tennis Academy

The next spot in Hilton Head to get tennis lessons on our list is Van Der Meer Tennis Academy.  The academy, which has been open since 1979, was created by Dennis Van Der Meer and is the spot where many of the world’s best tennis instructors got their start.  You can even choose to become certified by both/either of the major tennis organizations by taking a test after completing one of their courses.  Van Der Meer has tennis clinics during the week that are 15, 18, or 20 hours.  On the weekend they offer 10 and 12 hour versions, all of which include video analysis, stroke development, and refinement for basic and advanced skills.  The cost of the clinics ranges from $312 – $425.

Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center

Another great place to get tennis lessons is the famous Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center.  When it comes to accolades, Palmetto Dunes has got them all.  To name a few:  they were ranked among the “50 Greatest US Tennis Resorts” by Tennis Magazine, #2 in the World for “Tennis Instruction and Events”,  and #5 in the World overall by Tennis Resorts Online.  The center has 23 clay and 2 Nova ProBounce courts, 6 of which are lighted for playing at night.  The “walk-on” rate at Palmetto Dunes is $20, but you could also book a tennis vacation package like the “3 Nights, 2 Clinics” package, where you get to stay at the resort while getting world-class tennis instruction.

Port Royal Racquet Club

The next to last option on our list is the Port Royal Racquet Club.  This club, which opened back in 1985, was also included in Tennis Magazine’s “Top 50 Greatest US Tennis Resorts”.  Besides that, it was included in Tennis Resorts Online’s annual “Top 75 Tennis Resorts in the World” – that’s impressive!  Port Royal Racquet Club has 10 Har-Tru and 4 Nova hard courts.  They offer private lessons for $58 per hour, and group rates of $23 per hour/person.

Smith Stearns Tennis Academy

Finally, we come to the last but certainly not least important pick on our list – Smith Stearns Tennis Academy.  This is another tennis academy run by former #1 player in the world and former USTA Director of Coaching Stan Smith.  Billy and BJ Stearns, one of the world’s top tennis coaches and former top internationally ranked player respectively, run the academy along with Smith.  SSTA is unique in that was designed for individual player development, specifically to train junior players for collegiate and professional tennis.  The academy is found within the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head.

Guide To Public Tennis Courts On Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is known far and wide for its spectacular golf courses and wide sandy beaches but if you talk to the more active residents and visitors to the island, you’ll likely hear them raving just as loudly about the outstanding tennis courts that dot the island.


A year-round mild climate and over a hundred courts on the island make Hilton Head Island one of the top tennis vacation destinations on the east coast.


In this first in a series of articles about the best places to play tennis on Hilton Head Island, we’ll take a look at the public tennis courts located around the island.  These courts, as the name suggests, are open to the public.  




Chaplin Community Park

The Chaplin Community Park has plenty to offer, but tennis players get excited when they see its six well-maintained courts.  These lighted courts are available for an $8 per hour rental fee between Memorial Day and Labor day, and at no charge for the rest of the year.  Visit the Island Recreation Association’s website to reserve a court.



Cordillo Courts

For convenience, it’s hard to beat the four hard courts located just off Pope Ave.  The Cordillo Courts are just steps away from Coligny Plaza, the premier shopping district on Hilton Head Island.  It’s easy to imagine playing a few matches in the morning and walking across the street to grab a coffee, smoothie, or sandwich as one of the many shops in the area.  The Cordillo Courts are lighted and do not require visitors to schedule a court time.



Hilton Head High School and Hilton Head Middle School

Looking to mix it up with the kids?  Kidding, of course, we all know they would win.  If you feel like a throwback to your high school domination of the courts, the local school district has you covered.  There are six courts located on the high school campus and four more next door at the middle school that are open to the public.  During the school year, courts are available in the evenings and over the weekend.  During the summer, these courts are available anytime on a first come first serve basis with user fees.

Hilton Head Recognized As A Bike Friendly Community

One of the biggest reasons visitors and residents alike chose Hilton Head Island is the chance to enjoy the magnificent low country landscape found on and around this coastal paradise.  More and more locals and guests are discovering a better way to enjoy their surroundings.  Rather than speeding around in a car, Hilton Head Islanders are choosing the human powered transportation of a bicycle.  


While the thrill of cruising around the island on a bike has been common knowledge locally for years, Hilton Head Island is beginning to get a little national recognition for its bikeability. This summer when the League of American Bicyclists gathered to make their list of the best communities for cycling, Hilton Head made the list of the top 25 bicycle-friendly communities in the U.S.


While Hilton Head had been given a silver-level status by the organization in the past, the community took an exciting step forward this year by winning gold-level status as a bikeable community.  As one of only 21 gold-level bike-friendly communities in the country and the only one located in the Southeast, Hilton Head is quite proud of this honor.  


As with any award, this one comes as the result of lots of hard work by the town and it’s residents.  Everyone involved has been putting in plenty of time to make Hilton Head a bike-friendly community.  Two specific initiatives stand out as reasons the town was given gold status this time around.

Chamber Of Commerce Bike And Dine Week
One of the most exciting events of the year for the cycling community On Hilton Head Island is the annual Bike and Dine Week sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.  After realizing years ago that residents and visitors to the island can get nearly anywhere they needed to go by bike, the Chamber decided to encourage folks to get out and take a ride to their favorite dining spots.  Many restaurants have gotten behind the initiative by offering discounts to those who show up on a bike.


Building An Extensive Network Of Bike Trails
What would a bike friendly town be without a great network of trails?  Cyclists of all ages and skill levels have come to see the nearly sixty miles of bike paths and shared roadways as a vital part of their daily lives.  These paths take cyclists into the center of town for dinner and entertainment as well as out through the forests and marshes of the island.  Visitors have no fear of getting lost thanks to the kiosks located all along the paths with an island-wide map on one side, and a local route map on the other.  


Didn’t have room in the car for your bikes on this years vacation?  Hilton Head Island has you covered with plenty options for bike rentals.  Check out one of these great local companies on your next vacation for bike sales, rentals, or service.


Hilton Head Island has worked hard to earn its gold status, and it sure does show.  A leisurely bike ride, or a quick pedal into town for supplies really is one of the best ways to get the most out of a vacation to Hilton Head.  The next time you come to town we hope you put down those car keys, strap on a helmet and take your bike out for a spin.  

3 Fabulous Ways To Enjoy The Waters Around Hilton Head Island

There is something soothing about being out on the water.  The rhythmic motion of the waves and the beauty of nature has a way of putting the mind at ease.  As the name suggests, Hilton Head Island is surrounded by water, including acres of marshland, a number of local creeks and rivers, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the mighty Atlantic.  Visiting the island and want to get off of dry land but don’t know how?  We put together a list of some of our favorite ways to get out on the water.

Cruising
Take a peaceful sail on the protected waters of the Calibogue Sound and Intracoastal waterway in one of HHI Sailing’s two sturdy catamarans.  Stable boats and inland waters make this a great trip for anyone with seasickness concerns.  HHI Sailing is located in Palmetto Bay Marina.
No big groups here!  Commander Zodiac takes a max of 6 guests on each of its cruises.  Focusing on the unique ecology of the low country surroundings, knowledgeable captains point out dolphin, countless waterbirds, and plenty of other coastal wildlife on these fun-filled adventures. Commander Zodiac is located in South Beach Marina.


Fishing Charters
Capt. Hook runs one of the largest fishing boats on the Island and goes the extra mile to make things easy for guests.  Rods, reels, bait, tackle, help cleaning your catch, and ice to keep it fresh are all included in the cost of a charter. All you need to bring is yourself!  Captain Hook’s Party Boat is located in the Shelter Cove Marina.
For the best inshore fishing in the area get in touch with Captain Dan.  His thirty years of experience means he really knows how to put his customers onto the fish.  Captain Dan specializes in redfish but has been known to go after Cobia, Tarpon and shark when the time is right.  Contact Captain Dan through his website to schedule a trip.


Human Powered
Looking for a more natural way to get out on the water?  Trade loud engine noise and crowded boat decks for a peaceful paddle in a Kayak.  Let Dave take you on a tour of the marshes you won’t soon forget.  Along with the beautiful scenery, guests will get up close and personal with blue crabs, shrimp, dolphin, and much more.  Kayak Hilton Head is located on Broad Creek.

A mash up of surfing and kayaking, standup paddleboarding is a great way to enjoy the water, while getting a fantastic workout.  It won’t take long to understand why paddleboarding has exploded in popularity over the last few weeks.  H20 offers beginners classes for first timers (don’t worry, you’ll pick it up quickly).  More experienced paddlers can rent a board hourly and have the freedom to explore the marshes of Hilton Head Island on their own.  H2O Sports is located at the base of the Harbour Town Lighthouse.

Vital Tips To Planning The Perfect Hilton Head Beach Wedding

A wedding is always a special day.  Friends and family getting together to celebrate the union between two loving individuals.  Just the idea is enough to make some folks tear up.  Every couple has a picture in their heads of their perfect wedding day.  For many that picture involves a romantic ceremony on the beach with sand between their toes, and the sound of the surf in the background.  


Legal Requirements


Hilton Head Island is packed full of beach wedding venues, but we will get to all of that shortly.  First of all, a couple planning a beach ceremony on the island need to get the legal arrangements out of the way.  


Getting a marriage license in Beaufort County is a simple, but vitally important step that must be taken care of first thing.  Both individuals must show up to apply in person at one of two locations with a valid government ID like a drivers license.  Visit The Beaufort County Courthouse at 102 Ribaut Rd. in Beaufort (open Monday-Friday 9 am-4pm Monday-Friday), or the satellite office located at 539 William Hilton Pkwy. on Hilton Head Island (open 9 am-4pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday).  Keep in mind that there is a 24-hour waiting period between the application and when you get the license, so plan ahead!


Couples should also plan to get a permit allowing them to hold a ceremony on the beach issued by the Town of Hilton Head Island.  The application is available online and should be submitted at least 30 days before the planned date of the Ceremony.  


Where to have the ceremony


Couples planning a beach wedding on Hilton Head Island frequently end up going to one of the big resorts and just letting the staff plan their wedding for them.  While this is certainly an option, it can be an expensive, and possibly impersonal one.  


Luckily for couples to be, the beautiful beaches on Hilton Head Island are all public.  This means as long as you have a permit, you can set up add have your perfect wedding anywhere you please. Simply invite your guests to one of the many public beach accesses and get started with the ceremony.   


Honeymoon On Hilton Head


After a successful wedding comes the honeymoon.  One of the benefits of planning a beach wedding on Hilton Head Island is having the opportunity to stay on island for the honeymoon.  Rather than spending a whole day of travel before starting the holiday some couples decide to spend their honeymoon right here on the island.


Hilton Head Island offers plenty of activities for the couple who decided to spend a few days relaxing after their wedding.  Spending time on the miles of lovely beaches is always high on the list of activities for any vacationing couple but if you’re looking for something more, Hilton Head Island offers plenty of options.  

With over 20 championship golf courses and more than 300 tennis courts on the island, the happy couple looking for some activity has plenty of choices.  For a slightly less organized way to get moving, many visitors take to the 50 miles of public paths and nature trails that wind their way around the island. From shopping and spas to kayaking and cycling, the Honeymooning couple is sure to find something they will enjoy.

The Best Seafood Restaurants in Hilton Head

Any visit to Hilton Head Island would be lacking if it didn’t include a healthy dose of Lowcountry cuisine and its signature seafood.  Similar to the New Orleans and Cajun styles of cooking, Lowcountry dishes trace their roots to the Caribbean and Africa.  The addition of the product of local saltwater marshes and brackish estuaries makes Lowcountry cuisine something special.

While you may be itching to dig into piping hot bowl of Frogmore stew, chances are you don’t plan on spending much of your beach vacation cooking.  Thankfully, plenty of first-rate chefs have set up shop in Hilton Head and the surrounding area, making all the best lowcountry dishes available with no cooking required.

While you’re enjoying the beautiful beaches and world class golf on Hilton Head, don’t forget to indulge in our unique food in a few of the best restaurants in the area.

A Lowcountry Backyard

As the name suggests, enjoying a meal out back at A Lowcountry Backyard feels like home, except someone is cooking for you!  Hold out for a table outside to get the full backyard experience including a fire pit and some of the friendliest service in town.  Enjoy old standbys like shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes, or experiment with something new like the James Island Benedict.

The Sea Shack

Image from Yelp

This is the kind of place the locals like to keep to themselves.  Judging by the line that forms during peak times, it seems that they have been unsuccessful.  Rather than put on a fancy show The Sea Shack devotes its energy to turning out consistently excellent seafood and southern favorites.  The Oyster po-boy is a real crowd pleaser, and even picky kids will find something to love on the Guppy Menu.

Hudson’s Seafood House On the Docks

Image from Yelp

Looking for dinner with a view that almost rivals the food?  Stop by Hudson’s Seafood House On the Docks where every table offers views of Port Royal Sound.  Thanks to the location next door to one of the islands last two fishing fleets, fresh local seafood makes its way from boat to table daily.  To take advantages of the fresh catch, order Neptune’s Seafood Platter for a selection of oysters, scallops, shrimp, crap, and seasonal fish.

Skull Creek Boathouse

Image from Yelp

This waterfront location on the banks of Skull Creek serves up great Lowcountry options and plenty more.  For the full experience enjoy an original drink at the open-air Bayou Bar, soaking up the stunning sunset over the water.  Next on the menu, order some appetizers from the Dive Bar, a raw bar serving oysters, shrimp, ceviche, and even sushi.  Finally, enjoy a main course chosen from a menu of first-rate seafood.

A quick word about ordering seafood.  As with any ingredient, the key to the best taste is eating during the peak season.  While you should always ask your server what’s fresh before ordering, it’s helpful to have an understanding of what’s in season before you head out for dinner.  Take a look at this guide to South Carolina seafood seasons before ordering to ensure you’re getting the freshest product.

  • Shellfish including clams and oysters are in season during the fall, winter, and spring.
  • Local shrimp has two seasons.  Brown shrimp are harvested between May and August while white shrimp is in season between September and December.
  • When if comes to fish, peak season depends on the species.  Just ask your server what is fresh for a recommendation.
  • Enough talk, get out there and eat some seafood!

    Top Rated Golf Courses in Hilton Head

    Hilton Head Island, known for many things; sun, surf, sand and amazing resorts among them, is famous for its spectacular golf courses.  With 24 world class golf courses spread across its 40 square miles, choosing can be quite a chore.  From courses designed and played by the masters to great values at public courses, we decided to put together a list including a few of our favorites.
    Image from Flickr
    When Jack Nicklaus first dipped his toes into course design in collaboration with the legendary Pete Dye, the result was this must play course.  Uniquely shaped greens, a few well-placed bunkers, and plenty of lagoons favor the player who can make all the shots rather than the one with the longest drive.  Prices at Harbour Town Golf Links range between $200-$260 and it has a rating of 75.6.

    Heron Point

    Image from Flickr
    Opened in 2007, with a slight touch up completed over the summer of 2014,  the second Pete Dye course on the list is ranked number 11 on the 2014 GOLF Magazine “Best Courses Near You” list.  With seven sets of tees, this course can play long, short, and everywhere between, making it a great choice for groups with different skill levels. Prices at Heron Point Range from $90-$160 and it has a rating of 75.2.

    Robert Trent Jones Course at Palmetto Dunes Resort

    Image from GMTA
    Generous fairways, an inviting layout, and occasionally maddening bunkers led this gem to be named South Carolina’s Best Golf Course of the Year in 2003.  Jones puts the Atlantic winds to great use, allowing them to roll across the fairways, changing the course from shot to shot.  Prices at the Robert Trent Jones Course range from $95-$195 and it has a rating of 72.6.

    Old South

    While not technically on Hilton Head Island, Old South is well worth the short trip across the bridge.  This public course provides a excellent value thanks to its great location along the saltwater marshes of McKay’s Creek.  Golfers enjoy the fantastic views and the chance to see plenty of wildlife including birds of prey, deer, and even the occasional alligator.  Prices at Old South range from $55-$95 and it has a rating of 72.7.

    The Country Club of Hilton Head

    Located on the land facing side of the island, this Reese Jones designed course embraces the beauty of the South Carolina lowlands it inhabits.  Its location along the Intracoastal Waterway and plenty of Live Oaks really give this course a sense of place.  The water on nearly every hole, deep pot bunkers, aggressively contoured fairways give players plenty of chances to challenge themselves.  Prices at The Country Club of Hilton Head range from $89-$118 and it has a rating of 73.8.

    Shipyard Golf Club

    If it’s variety you’re after, the Shipyard Golf Club is a great choice.  There are three nine-hole courses, the Clipper, the Galleon, and the Brigantine, that can be played in three different eighteen hole combinations.  The well-protected greens demand that the player bring their best short game when Playing Shipyard. Prices at Shipyard Golf Club range from  $69-$129 and has ratings ranging from 69.4-73.2.
    With these amazing choices, we’re sure you’ll have no problem finding the right course for your foursome the next time you visit Hilton Head.

    Soft Shell Crabs Are Here, But Hurry!

    Soft Shell Crabs Are Here But Hurry….

    Because They Won’t Last Long!

    Right now on Hilton Head Island the delicious local blue crabs are going through the molting process, meaning they have outgrown their old shells and must shed them so their bodies can grow. During this very short period when the crabs shed the old shell  their entire body is soft and edible. In a matter of hours the crab’s shell will start to harden. The entire process takes place each spring when the local water temperature rises to around 59 degrees and stays there over the course of a few weeks. It is during this time when local restaurants scramble to find a supply of the soft shell crabs for their hungry patrons.

    Hudson’s General Manager, Andrew Carmines, with blue crab

    This year Hudson’s Seafood decided to take matters into their own hands. With the help of Carolina crabber Rob Rowe they built a flow-through system in the old packing house section of the restaurant located on Skull Creek on the north-west end of Hilton Head Island. With this on-site system the restaurant should be able to process, sell, and serve around 6,000 soft shell crabs to their customers.
    Rob Rowe and the restaurant’s General Manager, Andrew Carmines, watch over the crabs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When a crab starts to molt it literally backs out of its shell. During this time the crab is vulnerable to attacked by the other crabs so Rob and Andrew have to separate the molting crabs from the others. Its hard, long work but Rob says, “I’ve been doing this for over 15 years and it is always exciting to see the final stage with they back out of their shells.”

    (tanks can hold up to 200 crabs each at one time)
    (crabs in one of the holding tanks)
    (Crabs back out of their old shells)
    Hudson’s Chef, Patrick Ward,  is enthusiastic about working with the soft shell crabs. Ward says, “We are going to create crisp, locally driven dishes to enhance the flavor of these unbelievably fresh crabs.” Some of the dishes will include pan sauteed soft shell crab with summer sweet corn succotash and heirloom tomato jam, lightly fried soft shell crab sandwich with chilled ice box cucumbers, and Panko breaded soft shell crab with chorizo stuffed squash blossoms and pickled ramps.
    Don’t miss out on this wonderful treat….it’ll be next year before you get another chance!
    (soft shell crab sandwich)
    (come out and enjoy a soft shell crab dinner)