Bluffton, South Carolina, has always been a charming destination for those seeking a taste of Southern hospitality and exquisite cuisine. With each passing year, the culinary scene in this Lowcountry gem continues to evolve and surprise. Set alongside the banks of the May River, and with its close proximity to Palmetto Bluff, Hilton Head and Savannah, this up and coming small town is quietly becoming a culinary destination of its own. We’re excited to introduce you to some of the the top restaurants that have opened their doors in Bluffton, including the remarkable Okàn, fast becoming Bluffton’s most coveted dinner reservation in 2023.
Introducing Okàn, the restaurant that’s been the talk of the town since it opened in spring 2023. Okàn brings a unique cuisine to Bluffton that follows the culinary journey of West African-rooted cooking and a blend of Southern flavors, creating an unforgettable dining experience. Okàn’s Executive Chef, Bernard Bennett has been recognized as a “2023 Semifinalist for Emerging Chef” by the James Beard Foundation.
Located on Calhoun Street, Okan’s interior is a fusion of modern design with traditional elements, creating a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The menu at Okàn takes you on a taste journey that focuses on the foods and flavors that came to the Lowcountry through the enslavement of African Americans and the dishes that are a nod to their West Africa heritage. Okàn knows how to surprise and delight your taste buds. Don’t forget to try their craft cocktails, expertly paired with the dishes, to complete your dining adventure.
Located on May River Road in Bluffton, Farm offers a locally-sourced menu and a distinctive dining experience at this rustic-yet-modern, Lowcountry eatery. The seasonally inspired, ever-evolving dishes created by Chef Brandon Carter pay homage to the small local farmers, fishermen and artisan producers who provide the restaurant with its fresh produce, seafood and food products.
The Bluffton Room
Named in the “Top 10 Places to Dine in Bluffton” by The Culture Trip this contemporary American cuisine will not disappoint! They’ve ditched the idea of classic dining by providing table-side preparations in an intimate setting, both indoor and outdoor, paired with service beyond anything you’ve experienced before. The intimate and vibrant atmosphere of the dining room and open-air bar has earned this restaurant rave reviews from diners and critics alike. Enjoy classic American cuisine, tableside preparations and crafted cocktails for dinner. Gracious service, well crafted cocktails, and table-side preparations evoke the feeling of a lively dinner party.
The Pearl Kitchen & Bar
Located at 55 Calhoun Street in the heart of the historic art district of Bluffton, The Pearl Kitchen and Bar brings a refreshing new approach to the dining experience focused on a complete sensory experienceWith an outstanding wine list, handcrafted drinks, fresh locally sourced produce, and certified steaks, it’s no surprise that this is one of Bluffton’s most popular spots to dine at. Enjoy drinks by the outside fire pit before or after dinner.the freshest of ingredients prepared in a manner that will excite, entice, and keep you coming back for more.
May River Grill
Located on May River Road, the menu at this local favorite is heavy on fresh seafood from the local waters. Throughout its 15 year history, the May River Grill has earned the accolades of Wall Street Journal, South Carolina Living, Taste Magazine, and Bluffton Today. Top picks include Daufuskie-style crab cakes, scallops meunière, seafood pasta pomodoro, stuffed shrimp and bone-in scored flounder.
Stay in Luxury
Plan to stay in luxurious comfort within the Palmetto Bluff resort where your vacation can include a fun-filled day spent exploring historic Bluffton. A stay booked in our portfolio of luxury vacation homes offers the breathtaking lowcountry backdrop of Palmetto Bluff’s centuries-old oak trees, majestic pines and vast waterways. Palmetto Bluff is a lush, lowcountry resort community nestled within 20,000 acres of Bluffton’s stunning wildlife. With its scenic landscape and resort style amenities, Palmetto Bluff has both a quaint, small-town feel and a sense of understated luxury. Our collection of vacation rentals in Palmetto Bluff features incredible amenities and superb locations. Let our Concierge team plan a fishing charter for you and your friends, or have a private chef waiting to cook your catch-of-the-day while you sit around the fire pit with a cocktail, telling stories of the big one that got away. And, while you’re there, why not plan a southern-style happy hour on the porch, or travel by private water taxi to explore the Bluffton Farmers Market? With our Guide to Exclusive Experiences, these are just some of the ways you customize your stay for an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind vacation – and we have a team of people ready to help you plan it all.
Charleston, South Carolina, is a city steeped in history, culture, and southern charm. While the Holy City itself offers a plethora of attractions, there’s a world of adventure waiting in and around the coastal lowcountry, and even the mountains of the South Carolina Upstate. If your visit to Charleston is a month long or longer, why not take some time to explore some of the charming towns that are just a short drive away. There are a variety of day trips you can take, venturing to nearby small towns like Georgetown, Camden, Savannah, Beaufort, and Asheville NC. Each of these destinations offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural experiences, making them perfect for a day of exploration.
Drive Time: Approximately 1.5 hours
Things to Do: Stroll Front Street along Georgetown’s historic waterfront, explore the Rice Museum, and enjoy fresh seafood at local restaurants.
History: Located half-way between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, Georgetown boasts a rich maritime history and played a vital role in the rice and indigo trade during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall for pleasant weather, but year-round access makes it a great destination anytime.
Drive Time: Approximately 2 hours
Things to Do: Discover historic sites like the Kershaw-Cornwallis House, take a scenic walk along the river, tour the nearly century-old Springdale Race Course, dive into equine history and lore at The Steeplechase Museum, visit a working horse farm or experience the Carolina Cup Steeplechase held every spring.
History: A town with a storied equine heritage, Camden boasts the highest density of horses in all of South Carolina, with a thriving equestrian community. Camden is steeped in Revolutionary War history and served as a major British garrison during the war.
Best Time to Visit: Spring for the Carolina Cup horse race, or anytime to soak in its historic charm.
Drive Time: About 2 hours
Things to Do: Take a leisurely walk in Forsyth Park, explore the historic district, stroll the waterfront along the Savannah River and enjoy the sumptuous Southern cuisine.
History: Savannah is known for its well-preserved antebellum architecture, and it played a significant part in the Civil War.
Best Time to Visit: Spring and early fall when the weather is mild and the city is in full bloom.
Drive Time: Approximately 1.5 hours
Things to Do: Visit historic homes like the Thomas Hepworth House, tour the charming downtown, and explore the waterways of the Port Royale Sound.
History: Overlooking the Beaufort River and the Port Royale Sound, Beaufort is one of the oldest towns in South Carolina and played a role in the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War.
Best Time to Visit: Spring and early summer for comfortable temperatures and lush lowcountry scenery.
Drive Time: Around 4 hours
Things to Do: Explore the Biltmore Estate, hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and enjoy the vibrant arts and music scene.
History: Asheville is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and has a rich Appalachian heritage and a robust music scene. Famously known for its reputation for those seeking an “artsy” lifestyle, the River Arts District and West Asheville are full of restaurants and vibrant street art.
Best Time to Visit: Fall for stunning foliage, but for the hiking enthusiasts Asheville offers something special year-round.
When to go
The best time to embark on these day trips depends on your preferences. Spring and early fall offer mild weather, blooming landscapes, and fewer crowds, making them ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. However, each destination has its unique appeal, so you can plan your day trips based on your interests and the local events happening throughout the year.
Where to stay
Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply experiencing the warm hospitality of these charming towns, the day trips from Charleston, SC, offer a delightful escape. If you’re considering spending a while in Charleston, SC, there’s no better choice than booking a longterm rental from our luxury portfolio. As you settle in to explore our charming city, you can rest assured that we’ll be there every step of the way to ensure every need is met. Whether you choose to stay on Folly Beach by the water or in the heart of downtown Charleston, you’ll have everything you need to make your space feel like home. Browse our long-term vacation rentals to find your ideal home away from home.
As the vibrant hues of autumn take over the landscape, Charleston, South Carolina, emerges as an enchanting destination for a fall weekend getaway in 2023. With its historic allure, captivating architecture, and a delightful blend of culture and relaxation, Charleston offers a splendid escape that promises a memorable experience. From exploring the cobblestone streets of historic downtown to basking in the mild October weather and indulging in beachside activities, this charming city has it all.
One of the highlights of visiting Charleston in the fall is the delightful weather. By October, there’s a good chance that the stifling summer heat has subsided, giving way to milder temperatures that are perfect for exploring the city on foot. With highs ranging from the mid-70s to low 80s°F (24-28°C) and pleasantly cool evenings, you can comfortably enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about the sweltering heat. Pack a light jacket or sweater for the evenings, and you’ll be all set to enjoy Charleston’s fall ambiance.
Lace up your shoes and head out for a stroll
Stepping foot in historic downtown Charleston is like entering a living history book. As you wander through cobblestone streets lined with colorful antebellum houses, you’ll be transported back in time to an era of Southern elegance and charm. The historic district is brimming with well-preserved architecture, quaint shops, and an abundance of. Take a guided walking tour to learn about the city’s rich history, from its role in the American Revolution to the Civil War and beyond.
Step inside a hidden garden
A celebration of architecture, history and gardens, this beloved event takes you inside some of Charleston’s most iconic historic homes and intricate gardens. Each year, for one month only, the Preservation Society of Charleston invites you to get up close and personal with some of Charleston’s oldest and most exquisite homes. During “The Fall Tours: Architecture, History and Gardens” you can step inside private homes and gardens, ordinarily closed to the public, and walk through history.
Take a step back in time
Aside from the taking in the sights and sounds of historic downtown Charleston by foot, Charleston is also a hub for cultural experiences from incredible art galleries to world-class museums. The Charleston Museum is notable as the oldest museum in the United States. The Gibbes Museum of Art showcases Southern art and Lowcountry history, offering a unique perspective on the region’s artistic heritage.
In early 2023, Charleston, celebrated the opening the International African American Museum as a fitting addition to its historic landscape. Situated at the Gadsden Wharf, where countless enslaved Africans disembarked, the museum stands as a powerful testament to resilience and history. The museum’s compelling exhibits narrate the African American journey, from the depths of the Middle Passage to the heights of cultural contributions. Through immersive displays, interactive installations, and personal stories, visitors gain profound insights into the rich tapestry and enduring legacy of the African American experience.
Slip on your flip flops and head to the beach
No trip to Charleston would be complete without spending time at its pristine beaches. Head to Folly Beach or Isle of Palms, where you can sink your toes into the soft sand, soak up the sun, and listen to the soothing sound of the waves. Cast a line from one of the popular fishing piers, or even try your hand at paddleboarding or kayaking. As the sun sets over the ocean, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking display of colors that paints the sky. You’ll find great dining options offering up coastal fare at both of these oceanfront communities.
Located on the iconic fishing pier of Folly Beach, Pier 101 serves up family friendly plates for the whole group. Sit inside or outside on the pier, enjoy ocean views, sea breezes, and watch the sky dance in vibrant colors as the sun sets over the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll find some of Folly Beach’s top restaurant’s located along Center Street, including Taco Boy, Jack of Cups, Rita’s Seaside Grill or Lost Dog Cafe. Head over to Dolce Banana Cafe for ice cream and frozen treats and for the cherry on top of a fun night on Folly, take a cone of your favorite flavor for a stroll on the beach.
Isle of Palms
This island paradise just a short drive from downtown Charleston is a favorite among kiteboarders who flock to Breach Inlet where the winds are reliably brisk year round. In addition to six miles of beaches, Isle of Palms includes a quaint downtown retail and dining district along Ocean Boulevard. Popular restaurants and cafes along this stretch of the island offer a wide variety of delicious seafood and other local specialties, including Coda del Pesce, Coconut Joes Beach Grill, Acme Lowcountry Kitchen and the locally loved Sea Biscuit Cafe, that serves up only breakfast, but is well worth the wait!
Nothing says fall in the South like a coastal fair
The October weather makes this the perfect time to celebrate fall at the fair, and there’s plenty for everybody to do at this favorite, family-friendly fair. Held in nearby Ladson, SC, just an easy 25 minute drive from the downtown Charleston peninsula, this is a fun-filled, small town fair filled with food, rides and entertainment. From the recognizable ferris wheel, to fiddler competitions, 4-H events, arcade games and cotton candy, The Coastal Carolina Fair is a fun-filled destination for kids – big and small alike.
Stay in Luxury
A fall weekend trip to Charleston, SC promises a blend of historic charm, cultural richness, and coastal beauty. With its historic downtown, captivating museums, mild October weather, and inviting beaches, Charleston beckons travelers to experience the very best of the Lowcountry. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply seeking relaxation by the sea, Charleston is the ideal destination to create lasting memories against the backdrop of a picturesque Southern fall. Book a stay at any of our luxury vacation homes in the heart of Downtown Charleston or on Folly Beach, Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island and be that much closer to having your toes in the sand. The team at Luxury Simplified Retreats goes above and beyond to offer guests an outstanding experience with beautiful beach rentals and unparalleled concierge services. Browse our Experience Packages to consider making your trip especially unique, then sit back, relax, and leave all of the planning to us.
Roughly two hours or so from Charleston down Hwy 17 gets you to Palmetto Bluff, or “The Bluff ” as it’s affectionately known. Charlestonians have their getaway places. In the summer it’s often to the mountains of North Carolina and in the fall there is simply no better place to be than The Bluff, located in Bluffton SC. This lowcountry getaway, drips old southern charm, offering up hospitality at the highest level and catering to a crowd that appreciates an outdoor-centric, sporting lifestyle. In Palmetto Bluff, this resort getaway designed for relaxation, time has the uncanny ability to actually feel like it is slowing down.
The South Carolina Lowcountry
Palmetto Bluff is 20,000 or so acres of old southern woodland stand, deer hunting tracks and timberland turned in to a resort and a surrounding planned community. The whole place is on a physical bluff some 20 feet above the May River almost guaranteeing a steady pleasant breeze, even in mid-summer. Like many of the exclusive resort communities along the coastal Carolinas it has its mix of permanent residents, returning vacation home owners and travelers in search of a unique (but still upscale) vacation experience, in a similar manner to many of the other Barrier Island communities. Kiawah without the opulence or the traffic, Defuski but with more polish. While it has its own resort within the development providing a superb range of amenities, the true appeal to the majority of vacationers is a stay in one of the luxury vacation rentals dotted throughout the resort and the chance to experience the lowcountry like a local.
A Love for the Outdoors
So just what does a vacation look like at Palmetto Bluff? A typical day might look something like this. Sleep late, enjoy quiet mornings with coffee on the porch, play with the children, and bicycle everywhere. Eat breakfast late, swim, read, converse and contemplate. Take the kids to explore an adventure-filled treehouse. Palmetto Bluff has two magical treehouse creations that would make even the Swiss Family Robinson envious.
The first is tucked away in the live oaks in Moreland Village, alongside the May River, With 55 steps, and unlimited views at the top, this 5-story tree house was designed to blend in with the surrounding Palmetto Bluff landscape. The second is 3-stories of climbing fun, featuring a spiral staircase, a slide, a wooden boardwalk, and a rope ladder. Fish from the Moreland Dock, or just about everywhere, or watch enormous Blue Herons fishing for themselves or Egret colonies roosting at dusk.
The idyllic town square, Wilson Village, includes quaint shops, and restaurants, from Melt ice cream shop, dishing up twelve signature southern ice creams, to Octagon or The River House serving up exceptional lowcountry cuisine. There are old ruins to explore, nature trails, guided tours, golf courses, shooting classes, gyms and conservancy lessons. You can cruise the river into Bluffton proper or Savannah a little further off, or even kayak the river and its surrounding tidal creeks joined by the occasional frolicking dolphin.
You can roast s’mores at sunset and listen to live music play until bedtime, gaze at the stars and listen to the frogs. Crisp fall evenings call for cocktails around the fire pit, or a crackling fireplace on the porch.
All of this with a backdrop of just incredible lowcountry beauty. Shady tree-lined streets with ancient live oaks heavy with Spanish moss. Scenic views of the May River include the Grace, a perfectly restored 1913 motor yacht, tied up to the dock at Wilson Village waiting for afternoon excursions that include drinks at sunset, or the meandering Inland Waterway that makes a journey through many of Palmetto Bluffs neighborhoods. Marshes and tidal creeks teeming with trout, redfish, crabs and shrimp that beckon for exploration and a day spent fishing.
Plan your Palmetto Bluff Getaway this Fall
You’re sure to enjoy your stay in Palmetto Bluff when your trip includes all the comforts offered in our Luxury Simplified Retreats vacation homes. Our collection of rentals features incredible amenities and superb locations. There are so many things you can do on the property and the scenic, breathtaking backdrop of the Lowcountry surrounds you in Palmetto Bluff, with gorgeous oak trees, vast waterways and a laid-back, serene lifestyle. But why not experience a vintage voyage in a 1930’s Bentley, or travel by private water taxi to explore the Bluffton Farmers Market? With our Guide to Exclusive Experiences, these are just some of the ways you customize your stay for an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind vacation – and we have a team of people ready to help you plan it all.