How to Host a Dinner Party at Your Vacation Rental

The Food

Food is the star of any dinner party. And while the menu doesn’t have to be complicated, it should be delicious. Luckily, that isn’t hard to accomplish at Palmetto Dunes! Whether you take advantage of your vacation home’s gourmet kitchen or have your event catered, take this opportunity to introduce your guests to some Southern staples like rice, grits, and produce paired with local crab, shrimp, and fish. For a signature drink, you can’t go wrong with a classic mint julep.

Tip: Our motto is to always keep it simple, especially when you’re on vacation. When planning your menu look for things that can be prepared plenty in advance.



When planning a dinner party, the atmosphere you create contributes to the experience almost as much as the meal itself. But with a beautiful backdrop like Hilton Head Island, you don’t have to go to great lengths to decorate. Gather what you can from your vacation home, and pair it with table linens, placemats, napkins, and name cards brought from home.

Tip: For any special must-have items, order them ahead of time to your vacation home. This will allow you to avoid bringing cumbersome décor items with you, and save time and energy once you arrive.


dinner party

If there is anything you can do for your table setting, it is a great centerpiece. The island has a variety of florists who can help you bring any vision to life. Classic Southern style is all about a simple elegance so your florals do not need to be elaborate or expensive.

Tip: When choosing your flower arrangement, avoid anything too tall that will prevent conversation over the table.


From the start to finish, you want your dinner party guests laughing and having a great time—so be sure to have some activities in your back pocket. Whether its conversation starters or pre-planned games, this will avoid any unexpected lulls in the evening and have your guests leaving your party with great memories.

Tip: For a Lowcountry flare (and a delicious appetizer), we suggest teaching your guests how to shuck an oyster. Learn how to here!


The one thing great dinner parties have in common is a great playlist. When selecting the soundtrack to your evening, pick songs that complement the mood that you want to create. Since you’re serving Southern, why not add some tunes from local musicians to your list!

Tip: It’s easy to forget to hit the play button, so get into the party mindset by turning on the tunes before guests even arrive. This will give you time to test the volume and speaker position.

Article courtesy of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort and