Old Town Bluffton, Highway 46 takes you straight into Downtown Bluffton:
This delightful area along the beautiful May River is compact but loaded with Lowcountry charm. Boutiques, art galleries, upscale and casual eats, coffee spots, restored antebellum and post-Civil War homes and churches make this a place you’ll want to spend some quality time. A lively Farmers’ Market takes place every Thursday and has something for everyone to enjoy. Sunday Brunch is another a big happening in Old Town Bluffton. But note that many shops are only open Monday through Saturday, so plan ahead to get the most out of your time there!
The May River:
The May River drives the character of Bluffton, named for its location on the river’s north bluff. Its lazy sandbars, docks, shrimp boats, sunsets, wildlife, islands, seafood, and breezes all combine to make Bluffton what some residents consider the “last true coastal village of the South.” There are a number of access points around town, including the Bluffton Calhoun Street Public Dock (113 Calhoun Street) and the Alljoy Boat Landing (265 Alljoy Road).
Bluffton Farmers’ Market, 40 Calhoun Street:
Buy local! Find fresh fruits, veggies, baked goods, flowers and more in a family-friendly, community-oriented environment that showcases local farmers and vendors. See what’s happening around town, get information about local events, enjoy live entertainment and bring your pets! Thursdays from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Bluffton Oyster Company, 63 Wharf Street:
Dive into the best of the Lowcountry’s culinary tradition at the only remaining hand-shucked oyster joint in the state. Established in 1899, this restaurant relies on the local crabs, shrimp, mussels and oysters to feed its patrons. When you’ve had your fill, burn off some of the seafood with a stroll up to the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park, and take in the serene waterfront from the wharf.
Church of the Cross, 110 Calhoun Street:
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, this gorgeous Carpenter Gothic-style church features fanned arches, latticed shutters, rose-colored light and exposed pine. Situated atop a bluff of the May River, the Church of the Cross was designed by architect E.B. White and built in 1857. Currently an Episcopal congregation, the church sometimes holds outdoor services at sunrise, and has used the May River itself for baptisms.
Garvin-Garvey Freedman’s Cottage, Wharf Street, Oyster Factory Park:
Sometime around 1878, newly freed Cyrus Garvin built this home on the 54 acres he had purchased in 1870. Sitting atop a high bluff overlooking the May River, it is one of very few Reconstruction-era houses belonging to a freedman in this area. The home passed out of family hands in 1961, but was restored in 2016 and is now open to the public. Tours are available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and by appointment on Fridays.