If you follow along regularly, you know that my parents spend half the year in Bluffton, South Carolina – a town situated on the May River, about halfway between Hilton Head and Savannah, GA. My parents reside within the resort community of Palmetto Bluff (the site of my 2014 nuptials), but over the years, I’ve grown very fond of the small downtown of Bluffton. Since we first started visiting in 2007, Bluffton has evolved tremendously. It’s now home to trendy boutiques and an abundance of restaurants. I ventured up to the Bluff a few weeks ago for some quality time with the parentals, and spent a good bit of time off-property on this visit. While I could easily spend a weekend (or even a week) just exploring the Palmetto Bluff property, I thought I’d share my favorite things to do in the historic town of Bluffton.
Where to Eat:
There was a time when the closest place to get a good meal off of Palmetto Bluff property meant driving into Hilton Head or Savannah, but Bluffton now boasts several great options offering everything from a chic, modern steakhouse to a trendy taco joint to an upscale oyster bar. Here are a few of my family’s favorite haunts.
- The Old Town Dispensary: My favorite place to enjoy a juicy burger, sip some cocktails, and listen to live music al fresco.
- The Bluffton Room: I love the bar that opens to the outside, overlooking Bluffton’s main square. The Bluffton Room is a more formal option – I typically dine on “the baby” – a 6 oz. filet served with the veggie and potato of the day.
- Agave Sidebar: A tiny open-air bar serving up Tex Mex specialties. I like the street corn and the tuna tacos.
- Calhoun Street Tavern: We visited this newer spot for the first time last weekend for lunch. I chowed down on a grouper po’ boy accompanied by a cold glass of chardonnay while we listened to some live music outside over lunch.
- The Farm: This cute little farm-to-table spot serves up a traditional southern “meat and three” at lunchtime – you can choose between three proteins, and then choose three sides or a side salad to accompany. I had a yummy pulled pork sandwich paired with a mixed green salad topped with roasted butternut squash, candied walnuts, picked red onions, and goat cheese.
Where to Shop:
- Gigi’s: A long time favorite for things like denim, Kendra Scott jewelry, Michael Stars sweaters, and Dolce Vita shoes.
- Mameem & Maudie: A cute (but crowded) gift shop with everything from baby clothes to holiday decor to inexpensive baubles.
- Maluka: A relative newcomer to the scene, I scored a sleeveless Current/Elliott tee embellished with cactuses, an open-knit sweater, and an over-sized initial necklace on my recent trip.
- Abode: I love to browse this well-curated home boutique for serious #inspo.
Things to Do:
- Festivals: There are a few festivals throughout the year, but my favorite is the Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival in October.
- Boat excursions: Since the town is situated on the idyllic May River, boating is something of a way of life. We like to take a boat from Palmetto Bluff to get to Bluffton, or we venture to nearby Daufuskie Island for some lowcountry seafood and live music.
- Farmer’s market: I love a good farmer’s market, and the Historic Bluffton Farmer’s Market on Thursdays does not disappoint.
GET THE LOOK: