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Get Road Trip Ready: Plan Your Bluffton Getaway

Published on Jul 02,2024 By Bluffton Insider

Located just 25 minutes off I-95, the quaint town of Bluffton, South Carolina, somehow feels like a world away. This picturesque small town on the banks of the May River is positively brimming with history, culture, and authentic Southern charm. Inviting accommodations, boat-to-table dining experiences, and a beautifully preserved Old Town make Bluffton an ideal road-trip destination, with a little something to delight every sort of visitor.

So grab your favorite snacks, buckle up, and set a course for the ultimate open-road adventure to the Heart of the LowcountryTM.

Experience Genuine Southern Hospitality

Planning your unforgettable Bluffton road trip starts with finding the perfect place to stay. Thankfully, you’ll easily find accommodation options to suit every getaway style, from charming inns and stately manors to quaint cottages and award-winning resorts.

For those keen to stay in the heart of it all, the Old Town Bluffton Inn puts you just a short stroll away from some of the town’s best shopping, dining, and attractions. Elegant yet unpretentious, this 14-room boutique property on May River Road captures the essence of Southern hospitality with its classic haint blue ceilings, graceful palmettos, and authentic heirloom furnishings. Though it fits in perfectly with the heritage-forward streetscape of Old Town, the building itself is quite new, letting you immerse yourself in historic charm without sacrificing contemporary comfort.

For dedicated road warriors in search of the perfect place to post up with your rig, the Hilton Head National RV Resort is always a great choice. The 97-acre RV park offers spectacular lagoon and fairway views along with a host of elevated, resort-style amenities like a large private pool, pickleball courts, and an inviting clubhouse. It’s even pet friendly with an on-site dog park so you can travel in comfort with the whole crew in tow — four-legged family members included!

Old Town Bluffton Inn

Explore Arts, Culture, and History

An artful enclave of vibrant culture, deep history, and Southern charm, Bluffton is affectionately referred to as South Carolina’s best-kept secret. From independent boutiques and artisan markets to stunningly preserved historic sites, there is just so much to experience here! 

For first-time visitors looking to get the lay of the land, the Heyward House Museum and Welcome Center is a great place to start. Located at 70 Boundary Street, Bluffton’s official welcome center is housed within the historic Cole-Heyward House, which dates to 1841 and is one of only eight antebellum homes remaining in the town. Here, you can pick up maps, brochures, menus, and helpful information to make the most of your stay. The Welcome Center also offers guided walking or golf-cart tours of Historic Bluffton, where you can learn all about the fascinating history behind our quaint corner of the Lowcountry.

For those who prefer to explore independently, a stroll through the moss-draped streets of Old Town is all you’ll need to slip into a quintessentially Bluffton state of mind. Here, charming, century-old cottages house intimate galleries, celebrated restaurants, and independent boutiques like Marsh on the May, a home goods shop offering a curated selection of fair trade, handcrafted, and one-of-a-kind goods that evoke Bluffton’s signature coastal-casual elegance. You can even get up close and personal with talented local artisans at one of the town’s many open-air markets like Lowcountry Made and The Root and Bloom Market — the ideal place to hunt for that perfect road-trip memento.

heyward house aerial photo

Discover Bluffton’s Playful Side

The Lowcountry has earned a reputation as one of the best golf destinations in the country for good reason—you’ll find some of the prettiest courses in the southeast right here in Bluffton. Book a tee time at Old South Golf Links, where you can perfect your swing against a backdrop of towering live oaks, or play a round next to the majestic May River at the Jack Nicklaus-designed May River Golf Club, a challenging 18-hole course known for its inviting fairways and strategic bunkers.

Golf isn’t the only way that Bluffton likes to play. Satisfy your need for speed with a spin around the track at Indy Karting & Amusement, soak up the sunshine and fresh air in one of the town’s picturesque public parks, or earn your bragging rights with that perfect bulls-eye throw at Palmetto Axes. 

golf course with sunset background

Feast on Lowcountry Fare

Cozy cafés, downhome dishes, elegant fine dining, and fresh-caught seafood — when it comes to dining, you’ll find that Bluffton’s culinary scene is truly food for the soul. Here, you can dine like a local at the Bluffton Family Seafood House, a must-visit destination for coastal fare like clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, and the freshest hand-shucked oysters around. For elevated dining, head to River House, where Chef Daniel Vesey’s curated menu of premium steaks and seafood is a true culinary celebration of the land and its bounty. Sweeping views of the May River make for the perfect accompaniment to tasty dishes like oysters, caviar, or dry-aged tomahawk steak.

And if you’re looking to raise a glass to an unforgettable Bluffton adventure, Burnt Church Distillery is the place to go. The local craft distillery specializes in authentic Lowcountry spirits, with curated tasting flights, expert mixology classes, and immersive distillery tours that offer a glimpse into the area’s fascinating history. Cheers!

Hilton Head Island Seafood Fest

Set Your GPS for Bluffton

Feeling the call of an adventure on the open road? Treat yourself to Southern hospitality at its finest with a getaway to beautiful Bluffton. Whether you want to golf, shop, dine, or simply kick back and relax in charming accommodations, start writing your next great road trip story here in the Heart of the Lowcountry. Request your free vacation planning guide today. 

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