Bluffton — One of South Carolina’s Best Kept Secrets
by Rachael Provost
Filled with antebellum homes and Spanish moss-draped oaks, historic churches and screened-in porches, it’s a place you would almost expect not to exist anymore. But the secret is out, and Bluffton’s Lowcountry flavor and scenic setting on the banks of the May River instantly draw you in. To many locals, Old Town Bluffton is “the last true coastal village of the South.” And, it’s waiting to share its story with you.
In Bluffton, you can park your car and switch to a slower, more leisurely mode of transportation: your own two feet. The town is compact and walkable, beckoning you to stroll under the gnarled limbs of the oak tree canopy and slip into Bluffton time. You don’t want to miss anything, so grab a map from any merchant and get to know the sights, sounds and smells of the town.
Inevitably, you’ll end up on Calhoun Street, the main hub of activity in Old Town Bluffton. You may find yourself at the farmer’s market on a Thursday afternoon, full of fresh vegetables and handmade crafts, or browsing through one of the many art galleries. Creativity and inspiration flourish here, and the town is made up of working artists. Whether it’s ironwork, photography, painting or pottery, you’ll find over 250 artists represented in the art galleries and shops that dot the streets, and the buildings where you can admire their masterpieces are works of art themselves. With a sense of self preservation, the town’s old buildings have been repurposed and renovated, and new buildings are modeled after what already existed, keeping the town rooted in its historic past.
Pretty soon you’ll realize that Bluffton is more than just a charming town filled with friendly people and good conversation. Bluffton is a way of life, and it’s a lovely day, every day.
- Cahill’s Market & Chicken Kitchen wants you to experience a taste of true Southern comfort food and welcomes the opportunity to have you join them for a delicious home-style meal. There’s a relaxed country atmosphere and a market featuring fresh produce.
- Corks Wine Company boasts a large wine selection, delicious small plates and live music, making it the perfect place for small or large gatherings.
- May River Grill is the perfect place for a pleasant atmosphere and fresh food. Find a table and enjoy a plate of delectable crab cakes and so much more.
- Pepper’s Old Town’s shrimp on a grit cake sounds delicious—eat it and much more in a barn with a unique history.
- Red Fish Bluffton specializes in cuisine where an eclectic blend of seafood, steaks, fresh local fruit and vegetables are combined with Lowcountry specialties using home-grown produce and an extensive wine list.
Top Things To Do
- Bluffton Farmer’s Market Fresh fruits, veggies, flowers and homemade crafts can be found each Thursday afternoon on Calhoun Street in the
center of town.
- Heyward House Enjoy a guided tour through one of only eight antebellumstructures remaining in Old Town.
- May River Winding through the Old Town area, glimpse bottlenose dolphins, marshes, sea birds and spectacular views.
- May River Theatre Co., Inc. Catch all kinds of performances throughout the year to entertain both locals and visitors alike.
- Rose Hill Mansion Take a walking tour of the most beautiful plantation house in the Lowcountry.