If you’re looking for a vacation that is truly a vacation and not just a couple of weeks of a packed schedule, fly to Bluffton SC, and see what this quaint town just across the Intracoastal Waterway from Hilton Head Island has to offer. Every day is an adventure waiting to happen, but if you’re looking for a picturesque place to relax and refresh, Bluffton is the right choice.
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The May River is an ideal vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Whether you want to kayak down the placid river or charter a fishing boat through the Lowcountry marshes, you’ll enjoy the spectacular South Carolina views and the diverse wildlife. Dolphin cruises, shrimping or crab excursions, and river tours that explore Southern culture are all available along the May River and depart from Bluffton.
Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island is just 10 minutes from Bluffton, so you can easily plan to spend a day or two exploring everything this incredible destination has to offer. Take a guided kayak tour, cycle along the Hilton Head bike trails, visit the Coastal Discovery Museum, shop at the Shelter Cove Towne Center, or hike through the peaceful Pinckney National Wildlife Refuge. You’ll be surrounded by beauty and charm whatever you decide to do.
Art is the main focus of Bluffton, a town that was named a cultural district by South Carolina in 2016. You’ll find numerous opportunities to explore various types of art throughout historic Old Town, but the museums are a must-visit for any art lover. The Red Piano Art Gallery is a fine art gallery that features paintings, drawings, and sculptures by American artists such as Blair Brown, Michael B. Karas, Jonathan Green, Sandy Scott, and many more.
Preston Studio is home to Bluffton potter Jacob Preston, who has lived and worked in Bluffton for over 40 years. You can watch Preston and other family members form clay bowls, platters, pots, vases, and more by visiting his studio on Church Street. Other art museums and galleries to stop by include the Maye River Gallery, Soba’s Center for Creative Arts, La Petite Gallerie, and the Bluffton Boundary.
Bluffton knows how to throw a party, so if you’re in town when one of the festivals is happening, you’re bound to have a blast. The Historic Arts & Seafood Festival in mid-October is known for its street fest, Supper Soiree, fishing tournament, and 10k Old Town Oyster Run. The MayFest-Bluffton Village Festival is held annually in May and features a street fair, food vendors, live music, an Ugly Dog Contest, and a pie-eating event.
There are also plenty of weekly and monthly events that happen in town as well. For instance, check out the HarbourFest Fireworks from June through August, the Robber’s Row Summer Market, the Root & Bloom Market, live music at the Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar, and Turtle Talks at Celebration Park, and much more.
Even if you choose to schedule an adventure every day of your vacation, you’ll still find Bluffton laid back and relaxing. The gorgeous surroundings and small-town charm will remind you of an easier time; that is just the ticket for refreshing your spirit before returning to the real world.
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