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.
There’s a good chance that when you plan a vacation getaway to the exclusive resort of Palmetto Bluff, located in Bluffton, South Carolina, it just may be one of the most remarkable destinations you’ll ever experience. Nestled along the banks of the May River, Palmetto Bluff is home to lush forests, pristine wetlands, marshes and miles of trails. This picturesque backdrop offers a stunning array of natural beauty, from forests thick with loblolly pines, to inland waterways, lagoons and tidal creeks, ancient oak trees draped in Spanish moss and river views. Here’s a closer look at what you can plan to explore during your stay:
It’s all about the Outdoors
Planning a trip to this breathtaking resort should include an itinerary that means you are exploring everything this extraordinary resort has to offer – outdoors. The 20,000 acre resort was designed as both a luxe vacation destination and a private enclave of neighborhoods for families who desire a lifestyle designed for the sportsman and sports lover both. From fishing excursions on the May River to horseback riding and golfing, Palmetto Bluff offers a plethora of activities for residents and guests to enjoy. The resort also boasts an impressive 13-mile trail system for hiking and biking, allowing visitors to explore the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. For the water-lover, The May River provides endless opportunities for fishing, boating, kayaking, and canoeing, you can even book a boat tour to nearby Dafuski Island, the exclusive island getaway that can only be reached by boat.
Palmetto Bluff is home to a variety of shops, from the upscale boutiques of Wilson Village to the immersive art experience that awaits at FLOW Gallery + Workshop, home to Palmetto Bluff’s Artist in Residence program curated collection of southern artists. There are also plenty of special events and festivals, and The Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, whose mission it is to educate visitors and to protect the lush maritime forests and winding tidal creeks that are vital to the South Carolina lowcountry.
Explore a Treehouse
If your vacation includes children, or a group that’s simply “young at heart,” The resort boasts two incredible tree houses to explore and take in the views. One is centrally located in an area nearby to Wilson Village. There’s a small zip line that younger children will love, especially if they haven’t tried zip lines before. The other is located at Moreland Landing in the Moreland Village community.
Have a Bite to Eat
Foodies will appreciate the dining options available at Palmetto Bluff, including several restaurants and bars serving up a variety of cuisines. There are 8 restaurants within the Palmetto Bluff resort – Buffalo’s, Cole’s, Fore & Aft, Canoe Club, Octagon, Canteen, River House, and Hush (a cleverly hidden speakeasy lounge) plus a cute little ice cream shop, Melt. In Wilson Village, there is a selection of both fine dining and casual restaurants, from the variety of ice cream flavors offered up at Melt ice cream shop, to the upscale Southern-inspired cuisine at the Buffalo’s Restaurant and the mouth-watering cuisine served at Octogan, located within the resort’s hotel. Some other notable restaurants include the River House for an intimate culinary experience, or the popular Canteen eatery located in Moreland Village.
Porching & S’mores
“Porching” becomes a verb that is the hallmark of the south, and it’s alive & well in Palmetto Bluff! Head to River House in the late afternoon for tea or lemonade, and find a comfy spot on one of the gracious porches, or stay at home and enjoy this decidedly southern tradition hosted by our guest Concierge team.
At sunset, head to the fire pits in Wilson Village for some serious S’mores and incredible May River views. Depending on the time of year, you’ll experience a selection of flavored marshmallows like mint, caramel, and chocolate along with the classic flavor and milk and dark chocolate wafers for melting.
Take a Day Trip
While Palmetto Bluff is an attraction in and of itself, there are also plenty of nearby attractions to explore. The charming town of Bluffton is just a short drive away and offers a variety of art galleries, antique shops, and restaurants. With its scenic waterfront, walkable historic downtown, a list of upscale of shops and restaurants that grows longer every year, and a popular Farmer’s Market you’ll be sure to find something that makes for a memorable time exploring this quaint southern town.
Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, are also within driving distance, both steeped in history and offering some simply incredible shopping and dining, each making for a incredible day trip you should add to your itinerary.
Stay in Luxury
The resort community of Palmetto Bluff offers an incredible vacation experience for anyone seeking relaxation, adventure, or a little bit of both. With the spectacular backdrop of the surrounding lowcountry, luxurious accommodations, world-class culinary offerings, and a wide range of activities, you’ll never run out of things to do. And, with nearby attractions such as Bluffton, Savannah, and Charleston, your vacation can be as varied as you want it to be. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Palmetto Bluff has something for everyone. Explore our portfolio of luxury vacation rentals in Palmetto Bluff. Book your stay with Luxury Simplified Retreats today and let our Concierge team help you to start planning the vacation of a lifetime.
There are few places that offer a vacation for the sportsman and outdoor lover that deliver breathtaking scenery and untouched landscape, while still respecting the nearly 20,000 acres of pristine land that make up the luxurious Palmetto Bluff resort development. Created in a way that honors the land, the dedication to wildlife and land conservancy is much of the overarching mission at Palmetto Bluff.
This secluded location, near the coastal South Carolina island getaway of Hilton Head, Palmetto Bluff feels like a place where time moves at a slower pace and vacation days feel endless. This part of the lowcountry offers jaw dropping vistas, with its expanse of maritime forests, tidal estuaries, winding waterways, and arching oaks draped with Spanish moss. Home to an array of flora and fauna, there’s something to be discovered every step or bike pedal along the way.
Palmetto Bluff has two distinctly different town centers — Wilson Village, the charming town center that overlooks the May River to the north and Moreland Village four miles south. They’re connected by water, starting along the May River in Wilson Village and then via Cauley’s Creek as it flows into Moreland Village. There are boats that you can rent, that motor around the Inland Waterway, a meandering freshwater estuary that winds throughout the resort and many of its neighborhoods.
Whether you are staying in Wilson Village or in Moreland Village each have their own distinctive feel and each boasts restaurants and activities within walking distance. Wilson Village, the charming town square of Palmetto Bluff, is like a page from a small town storybook. Here you can find an ice cream parlor called Melt, plus many of the iconic landmarks that make Palmetto Bluff so memorable including the Chapel, the “old ruins,” the Post Office, the River House and the dock where the Grace is moored.
By Land or By Water
Mornings at Palmetto Bluff are best spent on a bike, enjoying the quiet along the miles of trails. The leisure Maritime Trail takes you through the Lowcountry forest while the Long Leaf Pine Trail winds through pine uplands. With 32 miles of coastline, this is a perfect place to rent a kayak or canoe…or use that bicycle!
Midday might find you lounging by the pool or booking a dolphin Cruise to nearby Dafauski Island, accessible only by boat. The powerboat-based Dolphin Discovery Tour covers a wide area and highlights the habitat of local bottlenose dolphins while the Full Tide Discovery Tour is a favorite among photographers because it explores some of the more remote islands.
Afternoons are decidedly meant to be spent on the porch. “Porching” is after all, an actual activity at Palmetto Bluff – and considered an authentic Southern tradition. As the resort explains, “In the South, we’re accustomed to taking a break in the afternoon to relax and pause the day.”
Nights spent under the Stars
As the day winds down, almost on cue, the pinks and violet hues of dusk bring out the twinkling of fireflies, and ease into evenings meant for cocktails around the fire pit and nights under the stars. There are a host of dining options in Palmetto Bluff from Buffalo’s in the heart of Wilson Village, Octagon, or the River House, and to Canteen, a quaint and casual sandwich shop located Moreland Village. Renting a private vacation home in Palmetto Bluff gives you the freedom to enjoy casual meals at home, or sumptuous dinners cooked by a private chef and plenty of porch time with a glass of wine.
Gather with family and friends for delectable takeout from Flame Food Truck. Take a sunset cruise on The Grace, Palmetto Bluff’s very own restored 1913 60-foot antique motor Hinckley yacht. Later in the night in Wilson Village, you’ll find s’more carts nearby to make your own s’mores over the fire.
When it comes to outdoor activities, you are spoiled by the variety of choices. Take a hike or get out onto the water. Play a game of pickleball, tennis, or golf. There are eight tennis courts, two bocce courts, a basketball court, a bowling alley, six pickleball courts and the May River Golf Course Palmetto Bluff’s 18-hole, Jack Nicklaus Signature design.
For the Kids
Fishing from any of Palmetto Bluff’s many docks is a fun-for-the-entire-family activity, and a chance for kids to try their hand at reeling in “the big one.”
Kids can take climbing a tree to a whole new level, and the Mount Pelia treehouse in Wilson Village is particularly fun: It has a zip line, a rope swing, and a boardwalk. Or, you can climb with your kids at sunset to the top of the five-story tree house along Cauley’s Creek.
Our team can help plan for your kids ages five to 12 to participate in a private art lesson with a member of Bluffton’s Art Conservancy.
Plan your Lowcountry Retreat
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.