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Nestled along the scenic banks of May River in the Lowcountry of South Carolina sits the charming town of Bluffton. Known for its laidback lifestyle, historical architecture, and picturesque landscapes, Bluffton offers a unique blend of coastal charm and Southern hospitality that is perfect for a family trip. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie, there’s something for everyone in the family in this quaint town. In this travel guide, we’ll take you on a journey to explore the top things to do in Bluffton, South Carolina.
The May River is the heart and soul of Bluffton, and there’s no better way to explore it than by boat. Take a scenic boat tour, kayak, or paddleboard along the river and marvel at the stunning vistas and abundant wildlife around you. Here you and the family may spot bottlenose dolphins, ospreys, crabs, and herons, among other creatures. You can also go fishing, crabbing, and shrimping on the river, or rent a pontoon boat for a fun family outing.
Bluffton’s Historic District is a must-visit for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts. The district boasts a wide array of antebellum homes, churches, and public buildings dating back to the 19th century, all beautifully preserved and restored. Take a self-guided tour with the family to learn about the town’s rich history and unique cultural heritage.
Old Town Bluffton is a commercial hub filled with quaint shops, clothing boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes. Take the family on a stroll through the streets lined with century-old oak trees draped in Spanish moss, and explore the eclectic boutiques and craft shops selling handmade jewelry, pottery, and souvenirs. Stop by a cozy café for a cup of coffee or a light bite, or settle in for a sumptuous meal at one of the town’s award-winning restaurants featuring local seafood, BBQ, and Lowcountry specialties. Parking on the street is free and if you are an RV travel family with a bigger tow vehicle, street parking is no problem!
The Heyward House Historic Center is a must-visit attraction while in Bluffton. The center offers a glimpse into the life of the Heyward family, one of the most prominent families in Bluffton, during the 19th century. The center is also the headquarters for the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society, which provides extensive information about the town's history.
Every Thursday, locals and visitors come together to browse the Bluffton Farmers Market, where they can purchase fresh produce, homemade goodies, and browse local crafts. The market is an excellent opportunity to meet locals, try new foods, and learn more about the town and its culture.
Another family friendly thing to do in Bluffton is to enjoy the numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation and adventure. Rent or ride a bike and explore the scenic trails and paths that crisscross the town, or tee off at one of the premier golf courses in the area. Go on a guided nature hike to explore the lush forests, wetlands, and beaches of the Lowcountry, or take a horseback ride along the trails and beach.
Just a short drive from Bluffton, you will come to Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is home to several species of birds and animals, including alligators, deer, and bald eagles. The refuge also has a network of trails that takes you through wetlands, forests, and meadows. You can explore the trails on foot, by bike, or by car. A visit to the Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge is a great way to enjoy South Carolina's natural beauty.
Bluffton hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating the town’s history, culture, and local produce. From the May River Shrimp Festival, oyster roasts, and farmers markets to Christmas parades, art festivals, and oyster harvesting ceremonies, there’s always something happening in Bluffton. Check the town’s event calendar to plan your visit around your favorite festival or event.
Palmetto Bluff is a nature reserve that offers 8,000 acres of protected land and miles of trails for hiking or biking. With its scenic surroundings, this nature reserve is an ideal spot for birdwatching or just enjoying the natural beauty of South Carolina's Lowcountry. This stop is a great homeschool learning opportunity if you are a full time RV travel family too!
Bluffton, South Carolina is a hidden gem in the Southeast, offering a unique blend of history, culture, nature, and outdoor adventure. From the beautiful May River to the charming Old Town, Bluffton has something for everyone.. Whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple, family trip, or are a RV travel family. Bluffton is the perfect destination for a truly unforgettable vacation. So pack your bags and head to Bluffton to experience the best of Southern hospitality and coastal charm.
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