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If you’re looking for a day trip or weekend excursion to experience the best of the South Carolina lowcountry, Downtown Bluffton, SC offers both small-town southern charm and the sophistication that comes with being close to the desirable resort destinations of Hilton Head and Palmetto Bluff. With its scenic waterfront, walkable historic downtown, a wide variety of shops and restaurants, and a popular Farmer’s Market you’ll be sure to find something that makes for a memorable trip. Popular annual events in Bluffton include Mayfest, which originally started in 1978 and unites local artisans and musicians to celebrate local culture, and the Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival, which features original art, kayak tours, a 5K run and plenty of fresh, local seafood.
Here are some of the top reasons to spend a day exploring Downtown Bluffton:
Charming Boutiques and World Class Dining
From boutique stores to quaint cafes and upscale restaurants that line Calhoun Street, Boundary St. and Promenade St., you’ll find something for everyone in Downtown Bluffton. Located on Church Street, the renowned Bluffton General Store offers up housewares, gifts and locally made goods. Locals and visitors alike vie to secure reservations at top restaurants including The Pearl Kitchen & Bar, Farm, Burnt Church Distillery. Options to experience world class cuisine in Bluffton continue to grow, with the 2023 James Beard nomination for “Emerging Chef” awarded to Chef Bernard Bennett, of Ọkàn, with a much anticipated opening for the restaurant set for March 2023.
Gullah Cultural History
Bluffton’s rich history includes origins steeped in the Gullah Culture and many of the locals have deep roots in Bluffton that go back centuries. In remote rural areas in the Lowcountry, the Gullah people continued to practice their traditional culture with little influence from the outside world well into the 20th Century. The Gullah people now organize cultural festivals every year in towns up and down the Lowcountry including the annual Gullah Celebration held every year in February.
Old Town Bluffton
Downtown Bluffton is home to some of the oldest buildings in the area, including the Old Town Bluffton Historic District. Here you will find the Heyward House, circa 1841, at 70 Boundary St. and Bluffton’s Church of the Cross, located at 110 Calhoun St., along the shores of the May River. This Carpenter Gothic-style church was built in 1857 and was added to the National Register in 1975. Today, the church is open to the public for tours and church services.
The Allure of the May River
Downtown Bluffton is situated along the May River. This incredible waterway winds through the coastal lowcountry, from the Port Royale Sound of Beaufort the the Callibogue Sound of Hilton head. The pristine waters of the May River provide some of the best fishing in this region of coastal South Carolina, including largemouth bass, red drum, spotted sea trout, flounder, sheepshead, black drum, tarpon, jacks, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and more. A day spent on the water is a good day and the crew at May River Excursions has an ample fleet of available fishing charters, both inshore and river, and some of the top fishing guides in Bluffton and the surrounding waterways.
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. Our collection of vacation rentals in Palmetto Bluff features incredible amenities and superb locations. A stay booked in our portfolio of luxury vacation homes offers the breathtaking lowcountry backdrop of Palmetto Bluff, with gorgeous oak trees, vast waterways and a laid-back, serene lifestyle. 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.
The breathtaking resort of Palmetto Bluff offers an endless array of experiences and amenities for those who love a sporting, outdoor-centric lifestyle. Fishing is one of the top activities for resort visitors who enjoy casting a line while exploring the scenic waterways in and around Bluffton, SC. From the sun-drenched shores of the May River to the tranquil waters of the Calibogue Sound, Bluffton offers some of the best fishing in the state. The beautiful coastal waters of the lowcountry offer an abundance of fish and wildlife, creating a paradise for anglers. The May River is home to an abundance of fish species and provides a fun and rewarding fishing experience for anglers of all ages and experience levels.
SPOTTED SEA TROUT, FLOUNDER, SHEEPSHEAD, TARPON
The May River is home to a diverse array of fish, including largemouth bass, red drum, spotted sea trout, flounder, sheepshead, black drum, tarpon, jacks, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and more. Anglers looking for a challenge should try their luck with the larger game fish, such as tarpon and cobia. Redfish are a popular target species among anglers, and they can be caught year-round in waterways in and around the lowcountry, but the optimal time to target these species is in the fall. These fish are known for their hard-fighting spirit, making them a great challenge for anglers of all experience levels. For red drum and spotted sea trout, anglers should target the shallow, grassy areas of the river, as these fish tend to feed on small baitfish in these areas.
Speckled trout are another popular target species, and they can be caught in the spring and fall when the water temperature is cooler. You can also find largemouth bass, spotted sea trout, and black drum. These fish are usually found in the deeper, slower moving sections of the river.
For those looking to catch largemouth bass, the May River is a great spot. The river is full of deeper pools with plenty of structure for bass to hide, making them easy to target. The best time to fish for largemouth bass is in the spring and summer months, when the water is warmer and the bass are more active.
ANY DAY SPENT ON THE WATER IS A GOOD DAY
The natural beauty of the river, with its lush marshlands, mangroves, and estuaries, provide a stunning backdrop for any angling excursion. Looking for a day of fishing with a knowledgeable guide that knows the intricacies of the waterways and some of the best places to cast a line? We highly recommend the crew at May River Excursions who have an ample fleet of available fishing charters, both inshore and river, and some of the top fishing guides in Bluffton and the surrounding waterways. For those who prefer to fish from the shore, the banks of the May River are lined with docks and piers, including the Moreland Dock located in Palmetto Bluff’s Moreland Village, offering plenty of opportunities for a successful catch. There are a variety of spots to cast your line, from the deeper waters of the river to the shallows of the estuary and the vast marsh and tidal creeks.
If you’re looking to cast your line when you’re vacationing in Palmetto Bluff you’re in for a treat. Fishing along the May River is not just about catching a big one, it is also about enjoying the backdrop of the surrounding tidal marsh, the abundance of coastal wildlife and the breathtaking beauty of the South Carolina lowcountry.
STAY IN LUXURY
You’re sure to enjoy your stay in Palmetto Bluff when your trip includes all the comforts offered with a stay booked in our portfolio of luxury 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. 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.