5 Cool places to visit in Bluffton, SC 29910

Visitors come to Bluffton for its relaxed atmosphere and free-spirited reputation. It’s a place where you can be yourself, no matter what that may be. Here are a few things to do in Bluffton, SC :

  1.  Bluffton’s historic district is a perfect place to spend an afternoon. The town is home to many unique shops, restaurants, and art galleries. The Heyward House was built by slaves in 1841. It now serves as a museum and the town’s official welcome center. Pick up a walking map of the one-square-mile National Historic District, featuring some of Bluffton’s most prominent historical sites, among them the architecturally distinct Church of the Cross. After your tour, grab a bite at the Squat ‘N’ Gobble, a Bluffton institution befitting the town’s unconventional reputation. 

If you prefer farm-to-table fare, try FARM. It gets rave reviews from foodies with a more sophisticated palate. Bluffton’s residents have a reputation for being eccentric, but they’re also known for their hospitality and warmth. Visitors can expect to be greeted by someone eager to share a story about the town or its history at every turn.

  1. Bluffton’s free-spirited reputation has attracted an eclectic group of maverick artists and craftsmen, laying the ground for the highly successful arts district on Calhoun Street. You’ll want to check out Pluff Mud Art, the Maye River Gallery, and the Filling Station Art Gallery among others. Just around the corner on Church Street in Preston Studio where potter Jacob Preston can be found most days sitting at his wheel creating his signature glazed bowls. 

Tucked among the galleries are a fun gift and antique shops, including The Store housed in an old mercantile built-in 1904. When you’re ready for lunch, walk down to The Cottage Café, housed in a home built in 1868. Renowned for its scrumptious brunch and desserts, this charming restaurant offers dining on the porch and in the garden.

  1.  The Bluffton Oyster Company was established in 1899 in Bluffton, SC, making it one of the oldest businesses in Bluffton. It’s also one of the few remaining hand-shucking houses in the state. The family-run business is worth a visit just to stand on the ground created by the discarded shells of oysters shucked over the last 200 years. In the heyday of Bluffton’s oyster business, the town boasted five different oyster gathering operations. 

Among them was the Bluffton Oyster Company, which opened in 1899 at the end of Wharf Street on the banks of the May River. They’re still selling fresh-from-the-trawler seafood, from oysters, clams, and mussels to shrimp, scallops, and blue crabs, harvested from the river, Port Royal Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the nearby Bluffton Oyster Co.’s Family Seafood House to enjoy the catch of the day.

  1. Cruise the May River on a restored 60-foot antique motor yacht and experience the luxurious lifestyle of Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton’s premier residential community. One of the last remaining pre-World War I gas-powered yachts, Grace is docked at the award-winning Inn at Palmetto Bluff. As you drive to the Montage-managed resort, enjoy the stunning Lowcountry landscape that makes this 20,000-acre retreat one of the most distinctive in South Carolina. After your relaxing cruise, have lunch at Buffalo’s on the Village Green overlooking the May River.
  1. Bluffton also lays claim to the area’s largest shopping center. It’s two outdoor malls located a mile apart. The collection of more than 90 stores includes top designer brands like Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, Tommy Bahama, Lucky Brand Jeans, The North Face, and Under Armour. 

It’s easy to spend a day browsing through the assortment of shops offering everything from apparel, jewelry, and accessories to housewares, home furnishings, and specialty items. You’ll find several dining options in both the centers or you could drive across Fording Island Road and indulge in the upscale and innovative dishes at Hogshead Kitchen and Wine Bar, featuring everything from a burger to a five-course tasting menu expertly paired with wine.

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