Just a stone’s throw from Hilton Head, South Carolina, Bluffton, has all the charm of a small country town in the south. While many just drive through on their way from one destination to another, it is worth stopping & spending the day in this hidden low country gem. Here are just some of the things to do in Bluffton, SC.
History of Bluffton, South Carolina
Bluffton was settled in the early 1800s and became the summer retreat for those looking to get away from the harsh summer heat in inland South Carolina.
The breeze by the river and shade from the oaks made the area desirable.
Soon, Bluffton became a town where farms would sell their good and the river acted as an access point to other places in the area.
When the Civil War broke out, the Union set fire to Bluffton believing that the town was a hotbed of rebel activity. The majority of the town was destroyed, leaving less than 15 homes and 2 churches.
Over time, the residents returned and Bluffton has become the hidden gem of the Low Country known for its laidback vibe, and motto, “Bluffton State of Mind.”
5 Things to Do in Bluffton, SC
1. Tour the Heyward House
One of the original Bluffton homes left intact is the Heyward House which now is the official welcome center and town museum.
Constructed in 1840, the home is named for the family who lived there through the late 19th century.
The Southern Colonial Farmhouse remains as it once was with slave quarters and a summer kitchen.
You can take a docent-guided tour Monday-Friday, 10 am to 4 pm and Saturdays, 11 am-2 pm.
2. Visit the Historic Church of the Cross
Erected in 1854 along the May River Bluff, this church is listed on The National Register of Historic Places due to its architecture.
The building is made of weathered Carolina pine with beautiful arched windows and lattice shutters. The windows (shipped from England) have a beautiful pink hue.
Docents are available on the Historic Church property to give guided tours Monday -Thursday from 11 am – 2 pm.
3. See the The Garvin-Garvey House
Located in the “Old Town” district of Bluffton, South Carolina, this Lowcountry house was built in 1870.
It is believed to be one of the earliest known Freedman homes owned along the May River.
4. Take a May River Excursion
If you are traveling with your kids, one fun thing to do in Bluffton is to take a May River excursion. This tour company specializes in tours on the water and has everything from dolphin tours to crabbing excursions.
Families will love the private excursion to a local sandbar to hunt for shark teeth & shells. Along the way, you might even get to see the local Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins.
5. Enjoy some South Carolina BBQ
One thing everyone coming to South Carolina should try is Carolina BBQ. South Carolina BBQ has its own style of sauce called Carolina Gold.
The main ingredient in South Carolina BBQ sauce is Mustard.
While not for everyone, you will find an array of different sauces if mustard isn’t your thing!
As you can see, spending the day in Bluffton, South Carolina will give you the opportunity to see some really amazing places.
Have you been to Bluffton? What is something you really enjoyed doing there?