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Wedding & Event Venue Near Bluffton, SC.

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Your Magic Moment Awaits

Your wedding day. Without a doubt, it's one of the most significant events you will ever experience - when you and the love of your life officially seal the deal and get married. On this day, your friends and family will gather to celebrate the next step in your life. Photographers will be running around snapping photos, catering plates delicious food for guests to enjoy, and the DJ sets the mood for a night of fun and libation. You've worked extra hard to make everything look perfect and run smoothly. You have examined every moving part down to the tiniest detail. At the center of all your effort is your wedding venue in Bluffton, SC.

Your event space can mean the difference between an unforgettable event and an average occasion. Capturing your uniqueness as a couple is paramount to a memorable wedding. But, without the right venue location and staff, your unforgettable event can turn into a painfully average occasion. Fortunately, at Abney Hall, you won't ever have to worry about dingy reception spaces and crummy chow halls.

Constructed in Bluffton, SC, in 1962, Abney Hall is 15,000 square feet and sits on 500 acres of land, making it a large wedding venue unlike any other. Abney Hall was originally the home of Mrs. Josephine Abney, a Bluffton native who was a lifelong philanthropist. Mrs. Abney devoted much of her time and effort towards supporting charities, educational institutions, hospitals, and other noble efforts. Today, Abney Hall stands tall as a symbol of love, both in our community and for the couples who choose to get married here.

Abney Hall is an exclusive event experience unlike any other, surrounded by verdant forests and sparkling ponds. Our venue is a natural fit for several occasions, including:

Special Event Space Bluffton, SC


 Event Venue Bluffton, SC

Bridal Showers

 Event Space Bluffton, SC

Bridal Portraits

 Rehearsal Dinner Venue Bluffton, SC

Rehearsal Dinners

 Bridal Shower Venue Bluffton, SC

Corporate Events

 Business Event Space Bluffton, SC

Much More!

 Wedding Space Bluffton, SC

The Top Wedding Venue in Bluffton, SC

The beginning of your life starts at Abney Hall. With our team by your side, we can create the fairy tale wedding you have dreamed about since childhood. Whether you have 100 guests or 1,000, our waterfront ceremony locations and French-inspired courtyard are perfect for your big day. Celebrate in luxurious style surrounded by shady magnolia trees, a private forest, large ponds, and the beauty of Mother Nature. While our venue location and aesthetic have been praised far and wide, so too have the practical aspects of Abney Hall. Looking for a relaxing, comfortable spot for your bridal party to get ready in? We offer an entire floor in the Abney Hall residence to get the bridal party ready. Want to make your groomsman feel extra-special too? We've got a private, plush house just feet from a sparkling pond that is a proper hangout spot for the guys in your group.

To make life easier on you, we also offer Abney Hall as your go-to spot for rehearsal dinners. Why book an expensive restaurant or travel to another location when unmatched beauty and convenience are right at your fingertips? Abney Hall is just the place for that very important dinner the night before your big day. We are also happy to host your bridal shower at Abney Hall. Our venue makes for one of Bluffton's most unique bridal shower settings, where your family and friends can gather to give gifts and be merry before you walk down the aisle.

With such a large, magnificent house and a vast property, Abney Hall also makes for an unforgettable location for your bridal portraits and other wedding-related photography needs. Don't take our word for it - book a tour and see for yourself why so many new brides and grooms choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Bluffton.

 Wedding Venue Bluffton, SC

What Sets Abney Hall Apart from Other Wedding Venues in Bluffton?

You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life beside. The next step? Finding the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony, reception, and celebration of your lifelong commitment to one another. Remember, the backdrop for photos, dancing, eating, and all other activities will be at your wedding venue. That's why we work so hard to set Abney Hall apart from our competitors - so you and your guests can focus on love and living your new life while we work with your vendors and photographers to make your magic night a reality.

Here are just a few reasons why guests choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Bluffton, SC, along with some helpful tips from our experienced wedding venue staff:

Venue Size

Choosing the appropriate-sied venue for your desired guest count is a critical decision. A venue's capacity affects the number of people you need to consider having at your ceremony and reception. As you're first starting out, we recommend having a guest count in mind as you're searching for the right venue. Try to stick with that number. You may fall in love with a particular venue, but if its max capacity can't accommodate your guest count, it may be time to cross them off your list.

 Corporate Conference Hall Bluffton, SC
Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

Keep in mind that this is your big day. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite the college roommate you shared a dorm with for one semester. At the end of the day, your wedding venue should be one that can accommodate those closest to you. Abney Hall is equipped for both small and large weddings, consisting of 500 acres of forest, ponds, and lush natural beauty. Whether you want an intimate wedding with only your best friends or a grand ceremony with hundreds of people, we have the right amount of room to make you comfortable.

Location and Nearby Lodging

On your big day, you're likely to have friends and family traveling in from other parts of the state or country. These folks will need a place to stay during and even after your wedding. Accessibility and ease are important factors when it comes to choosing your wedding venue for both you and your guests.

Located in Bluffton, SC, Abney Hall is situated in a memorable, natural setting, giving your wedding a private vibe in the midst of Mother Nature. While we pride ourselves on having a secluded wedding event space, our venue is within an easy driving distance of hotels and vacation rentals.

Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

When you contact us for a tour, make sure to speak with our experienced venue manager about nearby hotels and shuttle service options. We understand that your guest's comfort and convenience are important, and we're happy to work with you to figure out the best way to get your guests to Abney Hall.

Venue Staff

At Abney Hall, our staff has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most friendly, accessible teams. We will provide you with a purpose-minded point of contact that can help answer questions relating to timelines, preferred vendors, and every aspect of your wedding. When you tour our wedding venue in Bluffton, SC, for the first time, we want you to feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

We would be happy to go over:
  • Venue Pricing
  • Ceremony Specifics
  • Reception Specifics
  • Catering Possibilities
  • Decorating Possibilities
  • Entertainment Options
  • Photography and Photo Opportunities
  • Venue Amenities
  • Bridal Party Needs
  • Groomsman Needs

At Abney Hall, our goal is to be your first resource when it comes to setting up and coordinating the details of your wedding day.


When it comes to your wedding's decor, you probably already have a few ideas in mind. We love it when our brides and grooms have a vision in mind because one of our greatest joys is turning that vision into a reality. At Abney Hall, our team is available to help you and your decorator fit, accent, and accommodate your fairy-tale wedding - whatever that may be.

Are you looking to dress up your wedding with decorations galore? Just want to add a few accents that tie into your preferred color palette? Abney Hall is versatile and ready to help however we are able.

 Reception Hall Bluffton, SC

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

If you're thinking about bringing in your own greenery, lighting, floral pieces, and more, we recommend discussing your vision with us on your initial tour of our event space. That way, we can get a head start on making your big day exactly how you envision it.

Photo Opportunities

10 years from now, when you and your spouse are celebrating your anniversary, you will pull out photographs from your wedding and will reminisce about the unforgettable time you spent at Abney Hall. Your wedding photos will be with you forever, and as such, we work closely with you and your photographer to suggest extra-special photo op spots that you can only find on Abney Hall grounds.

From the grand staircase and French-inspired courtyard to our manicured gardens and lovely pond, there is no shortage of photo-op locations for your photographer to choose from. As one of the most popular wedding venues in Bluffton, SC, we have worked with dozens of photographers over the years.

Our experience has allowed us to cultivate a list of preferred photographers - all of whom have the talent to take your pictures to the next level in a setting they're familiar with. We encourage you to check out our gallery to get a sense of the scope of our wedding venue and gain inspiration from other happy couples.


Abney Hall Pro Tip

The gallery on our website is extensive but be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages as well. We keep our social pages updated with recent wedding photographs, giving you an incredible resource that you can use for your own photography purposes.

Special Event Space Bluffton, SC

The Premier Corporate Event Venue in Bluffton, SC

Abney Hall is known across the United States for our stunning weddings, but we also play host to some of the largest corporate events in South Carolina. Why choose a bland, lifeless meeting space when you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature coupled with a professional atmosphere? If you have an important team-building event or corporate conference that you have to coordinate, look no further than Abney Hall.

The epitome of class and style, our corporate event space is large, lavish, and chock-full of onsite amenities for you and your co-workers to enjoy. If your team needs a morale boost, don't bring them to the local Olive Garden for a cheap lunch. Treat them to a refreshing experience in our main dining room, where we can work with you to incorporate your catering options with the goals of your event.

When the hard work is done, and your team needs a breather, what better way to relax than with a quick dip in our pool? To burn off a little steam, head over to our brand-new tennis court - the perfect place to get some exercise in an ultra-private setting while you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Don't forget to bring your fishing poles for a couple of hours of fishing. There's even an opportunity to go hunting if you wish.

 Event Venue Bluffton, SC

Elegance at Its Finest - Only
a Phone Call Away

If you're ready to learn more about Abney Hall as your wedding venue, don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear more about your plans, your vision, and your needs. We know that planning a wedding isn't easy. It takes time, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Our goal is to help provide you with all the info you need to learn more about our venue. Once you decide on a date, we'll work closely with you and your vendors to craft a wedding experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Our available dates for your big day are going quick, especially during peak seasons like spring and fall. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
 Event Space Bluffton, SC

Latest News in Bluffton, SC

3 restaurants in Beaufort Co. (and one nearby) fell short in September health inspections

Three Beaufort County food businesses were cited with “B” and “C” grades in September health inspections by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control:Lowcountry Produce Market and Cafe, 302 Carteret St. in Beaufort, scored an 85% (B) on Sept. 20 in a routine inspection.Issues noted by the inspector included: Person in charge does not have a food handlers certif...

Three Beaufort County food businesses were cited with “B” and “C” grades in September health inspections by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control:

Lowcountry Produce Market and Cafe, 302 Carteret St. in Beaufort, scored an 85% (B) on Sept. 20 in a routine inspection.

Issues noted by the inspector included: Person in charge does not have a food handlers certificate; food employees drinking from open cups while working on the cook line; paper towels not supplied at the kitchen hand sink; issues with proper cold food holding temperatures and the walk-in cooler unable to hold food at the required minimum temperature; walk-in cooler condenser frozen over with ice; thawed salmon with warning label to remove from package upon thawing in intact packaging; fan in kitchen with heavy accumulation of dust on; shelving in walk-in cooler with rust and organic matter build-up; light fixture in kitchen without protective shielding; and light fixture in back kitchen storage room broken.

Okatie Ale House, 25 William Pope Court in Bluffton, scored an 80% (B) on Sept. 27 in a routine inspection that was the result of a public complaint.

Issues noted by the inspector included: Outside bar hand-washing sink used as storage; prep area hand-washing sink with soiled wiping towels covering the faucet; employee washing utensils in a hand-washing sink; all kitchen hand-washing sinks and both bar hand sinks without ways to dry hands; bar soda nozzles with buildup of black organic matter; knives used to cut raw chicken washed with only water and then wiped with a dry wiping cloth before being placed on knife rack without sanitizing; issues with proper cold food holding temperatures and refrigerators in poor repair; heavy presence of flies in dish-washing area; soiled and wet wiping cloths on cutting boards and prep surfaces throughout the kitchen; and cups without handles in dressings being used as scoops.

Wayback Burgers, 4 Bluffton Road in Bluffton (inside Walmart), scored an 83% (B) on Sept. 26 in a routine inspection.

Issues noted by the inspector included: Hand-washing sink inaccessible because of several buckets in it; issues with cold-food storage temperatures and the low-boy prep cooler in poor repair; working spray bottles without labels to identify the contents; residential pesticide spray stored in the kitchen area; a container of food without a label to identify the contents; a bucket of pickles stored directly on the walk-in cooler floor; three-compartment sink without sanitizing test strips; walk-in cooler and freezer with debris and grime all over the floors; walk-in cooler storage racks with a heavy accumulation of black organic matter and dust; and ceiling vent cover with a accumulation of dust.

The following restaurant is located in Jasper County but is frequented by many Beaufort County residents because of its location near the county line. During September, DHEC inspectors conducted 22 checks of Jasper County businesses; all others were given A grades.

Rio Chico Mexican Restaurant, 468D Mark Cummings Road, Suite 107, in Hardeeville, scored a 71% (C) on Sept. 21 in a routine inspection that was the result of a public complaint.

Issues noted by the inspector included: Employee standing and eating in food prep area; access to the bar hand-washing sink blocked by large buckets and the kitchen hand-washing sink had miscellaneous items in the basin; raw chicken and raw ground beef defrosting in standing water together; beef thawing in sink basin at ambient temperature; ready-to-eat lettuce being handled in the same sink basin as raw beef; lack of chlorine in the chemical dish machine; issues with hot food and cold food holding temperatures and cooling appliances in need of repair; paint, primer and other chemicals stored with food; both back doors propped open; flies throughout the kitchen; wet, soiled wiping cloths on counters and prep tables; utensils with no handles or stored handle down in liquid salsas and sauces; and the three-compartment sink held together with duct tape and spray foam and leaking.

Inspectors hand out a grade of A, B or C, depending on the conditions found at the time. Points are docked for a variety of infractions, and restaurants have a chance to correct the problems and improve their score.

During September, DHEC recorded 206 inspections of restaurants, schools, stores and other food establishments in Beaufort County. The agency publishes the results of these health inspections on its website.

Newer food grade decals include a QR code that customers can scan with their phones to see a food establishment’s latest report.

Below are the SC DHEC restaurant grades in Beaufort County from Sept. 1-30, 2023.

At the top left of the chart, there is a space to search for the name of a restaurant. Please note that this month’s inspections take up three pages. Switch to page 3 at the top right.

4 teens, 1 adult OK following massive fire in Bluffton

BLUFFTON, S.C. (WTOC) - Neighbors say they are coming together for a Bluffton family left without a home.That’s after a fire started in the house on Behr Mills Lane around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.“They got rid of the fire so quickly but it was blazing.”Bluffton Township firefighters responding to this home in about three minutes. Bluffton fire official Stephen Combs says the fire took them about 30 minutes to put out.“They could see what they call the crown of the fire probably close to 50 to 1...

BLUFFTON, S.C. (WTOC) - Neighbors say they are coming together for a Bluffton family left without a home.

That’s after a fire started in the house on Behr Mills Lane around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“They got rid of the fire so quickly but it was blazing.”

Bluffton Township firefighters responding to this home in about three minutes. Bluffton fire official Stephen Combs says the fire took them about 30 minutes to put out.

“They could see what they call the crown of the fire probably close to 50 to 100 feet in the air,” Stephen Comb said.

There were four teenagers and a woman in the home when the fire started. They all made it out safely.

And just taking a look at the damage this fire caused, it’s clear that a family is now without a home. People living around them say they’re coming together to make sure they have clothes on their back and toiletries during this time.

Linda McDonnell lives just up the street from the home and says the woman inside is 76-years-old. She was taken to the hospital and is now recovering and staying with a neighbor, according to McDonnell.

“I’m so happy that she’s alive and anything she wants, we’ll provide it for her, if she needs it. That’s the kind of neighborhood we are here,” Neighbor Linda McDonnell said.

A parent of one of the four teens who made it out of home safe tells WTOC, all the teens are recent graduates of May River High School. They say they were having a sleepover when the fire started.

The woman and one teen living in the home will be getting help from the American Red Cross,

“They have been in contact with us. In fact, I received a contact from them a bit ago and they’re working with the family to provide them with temporary shelter, clothing and whatever they might need to get through a short period of time.”

The cause of the fire is unclear right now, according to Combs. They are investigating and hope to know within a few days.

Copyright 2023 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Riverfront Luxury in South Carolina’s Lowcountry

For two years a surprising front-runner has emerged in the luxury real estate market: Buyers still want to be on the water but are choosing to settle along the rivers of South Carolina’s Lowcountry and the small inland communities built around them, a Street Journal ranking has found.Franklin Newell, an agent at the Broadhurst Group, a real es...

For two years a surprising front-runner has emerged in the luxury real estate market: Buyers still want to be on the water but are choosing to settle along the rivers of South Carolina’s Lowcountry and the small inland communities built around them, a Street Journal ranking has found.

Franklin Newell, an agent at the Broadhurst Group, a real estate firm on Hilton Head Island, S.C., said a combination of “great weather, low taxes and a beautiful natural setting” contributed to the area’s growth.

While Hilton Head and Charleston have long been sought-after South Carolina locales, smaller inland river towns like Bluffton and Beaufort are seeing a surge in homeownership, even surpassing cities like Tampa, Fla., and Nashville in popularity. With their sense of community and less-hectic lifestyle, these towns are attracting young families.

Palmetto Bluff, a luxury resort community in Bluffton, once was largely filled with retirees and second-home owners who found their way to the area through the five-star resort hotel on the property, the Montage Palmetto Bluff. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, families with young children were changing the demographics of Palmetto Bluff, but the pandemic accelerated that trend.

Mike Broadhurst of the Broadhurst Group attributed this change to work-from-home flexibility and people leaving high-tax states. (South Carolina ranks toward the middle of the 50 states in overall taxes.) He said that before the pandemic, he and Mr. Newell “had never sold a home to someone from California, and we’ve now sold half a dozen.”

Bryan Byrne, broker-in-charge for Palmetto Bluff Real Estate, said the community had always done well with residents from traditional cold weather locations like Detroit and Cleveland, as well as affluent northeast areas. “The surprise has been Florida,” he said, estimating 15 to 20 sales to families from Florida in the last two years.

Mr. Byrne said he also sees an exodus from high-tax states like California and New York to the area, including at Palmetto Bluff, where residents enjoy an array of amenities as part of their club experience. (The top tax bracket on income for South Carolina residents is 6.5 percent, while property taxes in Beaufort county, where Bluffton is located, average 0.45 percent.)

Palmetto Bluff has golf, of course, but it also features a conservancy on site with walking trails and hunting. The May River borders the property, and a newly constructed marina allows residents to store their boats and get out on the water, for fishing or water skiing.

Jeff and Michelle Solomon were visiting the resort for 10 years before they finally bought a vacation home in 2018. They were there at the onset of the pandemic and have never left. “We were talking to our friends and family in Michigan and up north in lockdown, and it was cold and nasty,” Michelle Solomon said. “They were stuck in their houses and here we are living our best life.”

The variety of outdoor activities available year-round, and the opportunity to be part of a community with young children — something their life in Michigan had lacked — made it easy for the Solomons to stay.

“We just flourished,” Ms. Solomon said. “In Michigan, we didn’t live in a neighborhood, and this was the first time that kids were knocking on our door at all hours of the day and night. Our daughter was outside from morning till night. No TV, no electronics. It was like this old-fashioned lifestyle.”

At Berkeley Hall, 25 minutes north by car, a similar narrative is developing. The community is situated on the Okatee River and, like Palmetto Bluff, is gated. Though more golf-centric, its club offers a number of other outdoor pursuits as well, like boating and fishing.

Alex Madeiros, director of sales and marketing for Berkeley Hall, said that, while there was a lot of interest in homes and relocation, “I think it’s the amenities and lifestyle that people are becoming most interested in.”

Those offerings were a factor in Lindsey and Chris DeSalvo’s decision to relocate from Western New York. They purchased land at Berkeley Hall and are waiting for their home to be built.

With one child in college and another finishing high school, the couple was looking for a location with an affordable cost of living and quality health care, according to Lindsey DeSalvo, a pharmacist. What appealed to them about the community was its proximity to Old Town Bluffton with its mix of entertainment and retail.

In both developments, club life is meant to offer residents a pace and ease of lifestyle, not to mention an instant community. All of this comes with a price tag, though. In addition to the cost of homes, which are averaging $697 per square foot at Palmetto Bluff, club membership fees are an added and required expense ($40,000 initially, then annual dues of $12,000; sporting, boating, club and golf fees are separate and optional). The membership fees, however, cover the amenities that many residents look for at luxury communities, like pools and spa facilities, as well as 24-hour security services.

At Berkeley Hall, which has an average home price of $463 per square foot, each homeowner is also a club member. At Palmetto Bluff, however, there is a menu of options that come with club membership. Homeowners can choose from additional golf, boating or shooting club memberships and may opt in for all, none or some.

Josh Bischoff, who works in financial services, and has lived in Palmetto Bluff since May 2019 but had a vacation home there since 2014, said the largest piece of the puzzle when he and his family made the move from New Jersey was finding a school for his children. He and his wife, Megan, send their children to school in Savannah, Ga., about 35 minutes away, to a school comparable to the one they had attended in New Jersey. He said he had seen firsthand the changing demographics of Palmetto Bluff from retirees to families like his, and they’ve benefited from a variety of programming the club offers, including summer camps.

Like other homeowners in both communities, he feels a sense of security and even nostalgia. “It kind of gives the kids the same experience a lot of us had growing up,” he said, “where you had a little more freedom and go hang out with your friends and be home for dinner, and where your parents kind of felt like every parent looks out for every kid.”

Mr. Bischoff said that, Covid aside, the hustle and bustle of living in the northeast increasingly made his family’s lifestyle more difficult. “The density of the place just kind of grinds on you after a while,” he said, and on each visit to the Lowcountry, “it became harder and harder to leave.”

He pointed out some trade-offs, though. “It’s a phenomenal community and phenomenal people, but there isn’t a decent Chinese restaurant in the area,” he joked. “But I’ll give up decent Chinese food for a much nicer climate, a real community to live in and the amenities Palmetto Bluff has.”

How to Buy a Home

A look at Bluffton after Idalia’s impact. Fallen debris, detached docks & more

As Bluffton residents woke to a sunny morning, clean up efforts began to clear the various debris littering the streets. Amid the pine straw, tree limbs, Spanish moss and Palmetto fronds littering local yards and roadways, coastal tides also remained high.There were multiple clean-up efforts around the town.Community members came together to clean up after Idalia impacted the county with strong winds and flooding. ...

As Bluffton residents woke to a sunny morning, clean up efforts began to clear the various debris littering the streets. Amid the pine straw, tree limbs, Spanish moss and Palmetto fronds littering local yards and roadways, coastal tides also remained high.

There were multiple clean-up efforts around the town.

Community members came together to clean up after Idalia impacted the county with strong winds and flooding. They helped clean around local churches and neighbors were helping neighbors.

“I think they love the day,” said Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka. “It’s not hot, so there’s no reason to get in a bad mood.”

Of those who were not cleaning up fallen debris, many individuals around Old Town Bluffton were spotted enjoying the cooler than normal weather out on their golf carts and walking their dogs.

Christie McKenzie and 8-year-old Harrison McKenzie helped clean up fallen debris and palmetto fronds around Alljoy Road and the “Chisholm Cottage” as tree work was occurring behind the residence to clear and remove trees.

During his cleanup efforts, Harrison didn’t hesitate to talk to nearby community members as he continued to drag along various branches, moss and other fallen debris. His opinion on the matter, “I did not like that hurricane,” he said as he carried a “Harrison-sized” palmetto frond above his head and heaved it into the pile of other collected debris.

Luckily, there wasn’t too much damage from Idalia in Bluffton. The Bluffton Township Fire District were only called 10 times between 1 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Wednesday about fallen trees or debris, according to the Fire District’s spokesperson Stephen Combs.

“Overall we dodged a bullet and thankfully everyone escaped rather unscathed,” said Combs.

As of noon on Thursday, all trees that were blocking roads were cleared, said Combs. However, Combs noted that the fire department does not have authority in gated communities and trees may still be blocking roads in them.

“We’re blessed, but I just always feel we got to be prepared,” said Sulka. “We take the steps, thinking it’s going to be a hit.”

The Best Things To Do In Bluffton, South Carolina

Claiming the moniker “Heart of the Lowcountry,” Bluffton is a small town chock-full of character, history, and hospitality. Whether...

Claiming the moniker “Heart of the Lowcountry,” Bluffton is a small town chock-full of character, history, and hospitality. Whether you're visiting for a day or a weekend, you'll find plenty to do. Here are some of our top picks.

What To Do In Bluffton

When you arrive in town, make a stop at the Cole-Heyward House, which is the official Welcome Center. The Heyward House Museum and Welcome Center is owned and operated by the Historic Bluffton Foundation, a nonprofit that is dedicated to the preservation of the culture and history of the town. You can tour the House Museum, which was built in 1841 by enslaved people. It is one of only eight antebellum homes that remain in the Lowcountry.

Three blocks from the Welcome Center, admire the 1857 Anglican church, The Church of the Cross. Federal troops burned Bluffton during the Civil War, but spared this building.

Walk along Calhoun Street, the center of the town's arts and cultural district, which is filled with eclectic galleries and specialty shops. The Society of Bluffton Artists (SOBA), showcases more than 100 local artists, and offers workshops and exhibits. Next door is Bluffton General Store, where you can purchase unique gifts and coastal collectibles.

Afternoon is the ideal time to get out on the water with a guided adventure with May River Excursions. Be on the lookout for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, or set sail at dusk underneath the cotton candy pink South Carolina sunset.

Where To Stay

Staying in Old Town gives you easy access to explore the area by foot. The first and only boutique hotel in the neighborhood is Old Town Bluffton Inn. Owned by husband-and-wife team Vince and Danielle Harrison, the elegantly designed hotel has 14 rooms, custom-made furnishings and original art, plus a lovely pale pink parlor and breezy front porch.

If you're looking for a stay with lots of on-site activities and amenities, the luxury resort Montage Palmetto Bluff consumes 20,000-acres along the May River. From pro shops to a Paris market, paddle boarding to golfing, Montage crafts luxury experiences specific to each guest. For a romantic outdoor adventure, try the "Veuve Clicquot Picnic + Pedal," which includes bike rentals, your choice of five picnic basket menus (the "Day Date" includes canapés, tea sandwiches, and a variety of sweets to please every palate), plus a bottle of bubbly, of course.

Where To Eat And Drink

Fuel up for a day of fun at The Cottage Café where chef Leslie Rohland dishes out Southern cuisine with a twist. Begin with a mimosa (there are three types to choose from), then tuck into a Crabby Southerner—a fried green tomato, crab cake, and poached egg perched on an English muffin.

Another option is Corner Perk Brunch Café and Coffee Roasters where the hot coffee is freshly roasted and the Huevos Rancheros are nice and spicy. Order a Tiramisu Whipped Cold Brew to go as you stroll through Old Town.

No visit to Bluffton is complete without a visit to Bluffton Oyster Company. Since 1899, the family-owned business has been harvesting fresh Bluffton oysters, the star of the May River from September through May. Take home an order of oysters, shrimp, blue crab, or fresh fish, or devour the fresh catch at the family’s Bluffton Oyster Company Seafood Restaurant. Seafood doesn't get any fresher than this.

FARM serves dinner with an ever-changing menu celebrating the fishers, farmers, and other local producers behind its food. Sample roasted oysters with horseradish souffle, chives, and saltines; grilled snapper with butterbeans; or pickled shrimp. Whatever you choose, don't miss the brown butter cornbread. Although the menu has global influences, chef Brandon Carter says the region inspires his cooking. “It’s the way the salt air smells. It’s the oyster beds that you can see from the banks of the May River," he says. "There’s a real sense of place and community here that you don’t find very often these days.”

Likewise, the Waterson brothers at Burnt Church Distillery craft spirits to honor South Carolina’s history. Every bottle has a story, like the Sin Eater Cinnamon Smoky Whiskey. Dating back to the 1600s, Sin Eaters were social outcasts who took sins of others upon themselves.

Chefs and Lowcountry farmers come together to make one great dining experience at Nectar Farm Kitchen in Old Town. The fried bologna sandwich will take you back to your childhood, and the butter bean burger is like nothing you've ever tasted. The restaurant has a complete cocktail and wine list, and Nectar Brewing Company, a craft brewery located in the kitchen.


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