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A Bluffton State of Mind


About a half hour from Savannah, and a few minutes from Hilton Head, sits the gorgeous Low Country town of Bluffton, South Carolina. Right on the banks of the May River, this town is filled with beautiful antebellum homes, rich history, southern hospitality, salty air, and centuries-old oak trees. There's no better place to vacation, adventure, or find yourself at home than Bluffton.

So how did Bluffton come to be? The story of this coastal town started more than 250 years ago, as settlers started to stake their claim on the area… when they were faced by the Yemassee Indians, who were already occupying the land. As a result, the Yamasee War broke out in 1715, fighting continued for several years until the tribe migrated to Florida. European settlement then began, and in the early 1800's the Historic Old Town Bluffton emerged. Early on it became a summer town, as many escaped the hard inland plantation conditions to come to Bluffton, where the breezes helped keep yellow fever and malaria outbreaks at a minimum. The first cries of secession were given voice in Bluffton, and eventually South Carolina was the first state to succeed from the Union. During the Civil War, the town was mostly abandoned, destroyed, and eventually burned in 1863. Only 15 homes and 2 church survived the fire. By the turn of the century, the town experienced commercial growth and residents began making Bluffton their summer home again. Today, Bluffton is one of the fastest growing towns in South Carolina, and tourism here continues to blossom.

For history buffs coming to the area, you should take a tour through Old Town Bluffton. The two must-see places are The Heyward House (which seconds as the Welcome Center) and The Church of the Cross. The Heyward House was built in 1840 by a local plantation owner. The house is a representation of the architecture and lifestyle of that time period, as it has been virtually untouched. The Church of the Cross is one of Bluffton's oldest surviving buildings which overlooks the May River. It has witnessed everything from the Civil War to the burning of the town, and the hurricane of 1898. It remains a place of worship and beauty for the town. 

Winding through the Old Town area, is the May River. Take advantage of its beautiful views and fun adventures. You can go kayaking, take a fishing charter, eat oysters, see the beautiful wildlife (from dolphins to sea birds), and hit the links at the May River Golf Club while you're here.

While the gentlemen adventure away, the ladies will shop! Calhoun Street and The Promenade are the perfect place to start; you'll find eclectic shops and art galleries galore. Boutiques and antique stores aren't the only shops found here, the town is also home to a factory outlet which attracts visitors and locals alike.

The food in Bluffton is out of this world. The Cottage is a Cafe, Bakery, and Tea Room. It's a cozy spot to grab a delicious bite for breakfast, lunch, or casual dinner but they're especially known for their sweet treats. If you're looking for a fancy date night out on the town, The Bluffton Room is perfect with its rooftop bar area. Agave for tacos and margaritas, and fire roasted pizza at Local Pie. The Bluffton Oyster Factory-- four generations owner-- is another crowd favorite, located oceanside and serving up fresh seafood and sandwiches in a casual setting. Every Thursday afternoon, Calhoun Street comes alive as it's transformed into a vibrant Farmers Market with locally grown fruits, veggies, and freshly caught seafood so you can feast like a local.


If you're looking to live in a Bluffton State of Mind, there seems to be no better place to start than Cora Bett Thomas Realty. The homes here offer unique architecture and breathtaking views. From entry-level properties, cottages, family-friendly neighborhoods, to that dream home along the May River. There's truly something for everyone in this rapidly growing Low Country town.

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