Moving to Bluffton, South Carolina
If you’re considering settling in Bluffton, South Carolina, chances are the city’s historical significance, pristine beaches, and vibrant lifestyle are what attract you. And of course, a move to what’s considered “the last true coastal village in the South” would mean immersing yourself in a locale dripping in antebellum charm. However, there is so much more to Bluffton, South Carolina, than meets the eye.
Bluffton, founded in 1852, is a historically preserved city that seamlessly blends small-town comfort with an exciting assortment of culture and activities sure to please everyone in your family, without excluding yourself! You’ll enjoy being a part of a connected community where your friends and neighbors are also doctors, business owners, and teachers to your children. On the weekends, you can take advantage of all the opportunities the Lowcountry has to offer.
Bluffton has the quaint aesthetic of a picturesque small southern town along with the bustle and resources of a growing city. This laid-back city sits proudly overlooking the May River and is brimming with the history it has worked hard to preserve. Imagine living somewhere with a buzzing city feel, and the Atlantic Ocean in your backyard. That’s what it is to live in Bluffton, South Carolina!
Bluffton’s community is excitingly diverse. While it is a popular destination for retirement, the median age is 35. Residents are friendly and active, and enjoying getting to know each other while engaging in town activities—think classic Southern hospitality. Since there is so much nature surrounding Bluffton, preservation is vital to the people who live there. There is even a ban on plastic bags!
Things to Do
There is no shortage of things to do in Bluffton. If you’re the athlete of the family, you might want to check out one of Bluffton’s exquisite golf courses. Perhaps you’re a foodie, and you want to start compiling a list of the best fine dining spots in Bluffton (of which there are many) for those nights when you want to treat yourself. If you’re going to get your sea legs, there are tons of boating options. There’s a whole lot to do, so let’s break it down a bit.
If you are someone who appreciates the great outdoors, Bluffton, South Carolina, has so much to offer you. From fishing lessons to access to stunning nearby parks and refuges, let’s discuss what outdoor activities you can get up to in Bluffton.
Since Bluffton sits on the north bluff of the May River, residents and visitors alike love jumping aboard the local May River Excursions, which offers patrons several different charter options from which patrons can choose. If you’d like a more relaxing experience, opt for a dolphin excursion. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could decide to take a crabbing, fishing, or shrimping trip.
If you’re looking for a more educational experience on the water, consider taking a couple of hours to hop aboard Spartina Marine Education Charters. Not only will you get a comprehensive tour of the area, but you’ll also be learning about the massive ecosystem that exists within the waters.
Continuing with our aquatic theme, we couldn’t discuss the benefits of living in Bluffton without drawing your attention to the unspoiled beaches. Living in Bluffton puts you within a 15-minute drive of Hilton Head Island (which we’ll dig into more later), and it’s 12 miles of public, pet-friendly beaches. Grab a towel and soak up the sun or bring your bike and enjoy over 100 miles of biking trails.
Of course, there is more to Bluffton than beaches and boating! For example, one of the most popular pastimes in Bluffton is golf. There are almost a dozen courses from which golfers can select, each one featuring world-class greens. Here are are a few of the most exceptional links Bluffton has to offer:
- Crescent Point Golf Club
- Eagle’s Point Golf Club
- Pinecrest Golf Club
- Hilton Head National
If you consider yourself more of an “indoor” person, Bluffton is sure to provide you with the ideal way to spend your free time. Spend a day getting lost in The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina or take a tour of Rose Hill Mansion. Whether you’re a history buff or an art connoisseur, you’ll feel at home in Bluffton.
There is also a booming art scene in Bluffton. The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina is a multi-million dollar venue showcasing artists with national acclaim as well as a strong emphasis on local artists. Alternatively, (or just on a different day out!), you could get lost in The Gallery Row, which features art from close to 200 unique artists.
If you’re more interested in exploring the well-preserved history of Bluffton, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. As we mentioned earlier, a tour of the Rose Hill Mansion is an excellent way to take a look back in time. The mansion, founded in 1850, operated as a plantation before the Civil War. It has been restored to its original glory for tours, weddings, and events.
You could choose to take an hour to immerse yourself in the rich history of the town itself on an Old and New Bluffton tour. You’ll be guided in a small group throughout the town’s history and evolution while you travel around to 60 of Bluffton’s most influential sites.
Perhaps you’re known as “the shopper” of the family. Well, you’ll be in luck in Bluffton! You’ll be astounded at the level of quality and variety in the shops and boutiques that dot the streets of Bluffton. During a shopping day in Bluffton, you’ll be able to find valuable antiques, handmade jewelry, and stunning home pieces.
Can’t Miss Dining
We needed to include a whole section on Bluffton food because there are so many options to discuss! Of course, fans of great seafood will fit in very well in the coastal city of Bluffton. However, the buck in doesn’t stop there. Bluffton restaurants perfectly capture the delicious, home-cooked flavor of Southern cuisine. Many eateries in Bluffton either use local farms or fresh seafood.
If you’re jonesing for some freshly caught crab legs or you want to indulge in some oysters, make sure you stop by the Bluffton Family Seafood House. Since opening in 2010, this mom and pop joint has been serving up some of the most delectable seafood in South Carolina. Almost everything you enjoy came from the May River.
If you head a little further (just a short 15-minute driver, remember?) to Hilton Head Island, head straight to Sea Shack to get in line. You might be waiting for a little while, but it will be worth it when you taste their daily Blackboard special dipped in homemade tartar sauce.
For some good, old fashioned Southern eatin’, Bluffton BBQ is the place to go. You’ll be blown away by the slow-cooked meats, and the barbecue sauce itself is so good you’ll find yourself shamelessly licking your fingers. Finally, for a special evening out, the Bluffton Room is the elegant choice! Diners delight in the classic Southern dishes while enjoying the ambiance of the dining room and the open-air bar.
If you’re looking to wash down all the tasty food you’re enjoying with an ice-cold, locally brewed beer, head to Salt Marsh Brewing. As one of Bluffton’s up-and-coming new establishments, Salt Marsh Brewing keeps people coming back to enjoy their selection of permanent craft beers as well as a variety of seasonal rotating beverages.
Things to do Near Bluffton
As we’ve mentioned a couple of times already, Bluffton is just a quick trip in the car away from Hilton Head Island, an up and coming vacation destination. Living in Bluffton means you have access to all the tourist attractions and activities that Hilton Head has to offer, so let’s take a second to check out some of the highlights.
Hilton Head Island
Taking a trip to Hilton Head Island is one way many residents of Bluffton enjoy spending their weekends. Between the beaches and the wildlife refuges, an escape to Hilton Head is a great way to connect with nature and center yourself after a busy week. Hilton Head is also a great place to eat and shop!
Do you gravitate toward fun in the sun? If you’d consider yourself a professional sunbather, you’ll want to check out Coligny Beach Park. Coligny gives beach-goers the ideal beach experience from the moment they enter to find storage space, outdoor showers, and changing rooms. Take a stroll, and if you get tired, there’s plenty of shaded seating in the form of swing and rocking chairs. This beach is complete with WiFi—what more could you want?
You can also roam the streets of Harbour Town, doing some light shopping or dining at the famous Harbour Town Bakery and Cafe. Harbor town is also home to Harbor Town Golf Links for the golfer in the family.
Jobs in Bluffton
Moving to a new city can often mean getting a new job. Whether you’re looking to stay in your current industry or make a complete career shift in your new city, it’s crucial to have an idea of the economy. Let’s take a look at what the job market is like in Bluffton.
Bluffton is a community that’s centered around supporting local businesses. One of the cool things about living in Bluffton is that your neighbors will often be the ones working the register at that funky boutique or taking orders at your favorite restaurant.
Since Bluffton is such a popular vacation destination, it’s no surprise that the most significant industries in Bluffton support tourism. Most people in Bluffton hold jobs in the Hospitality and Food Services, Healthcare, and Construction industries.
Schools in Bluffton
Another essential factor for any family to keep in mind when they’re considering relocation is the school systems available. Luckily, Bluffton has an array of highly-rated schools that employ the most exceptional teachers from the community.
The Beaufort County School system educates over 22,000 students across their 17 elementary schools, five high schools, five early childhood centers, and seven elementary schools.
Some of the standout schools in the Beaufort County School District include:
- Pritchardville Elementary
- River Ridge Academy
- Bluffton Elementary School
- Hilton Head Island High School
The climate in Bluffton, South Carolina, is one of the most attractive qualities of moving there. Residents can take part in outdoor activities practically year-round thanks to the subtropical weather year-round.
The average annual high temperature in Bluffton is 76 degrees, while the low doesn’t get below 56, even in the winter months. Anything in that range is perfect weather for some of the city’s most popular activities: golf, biking, and hiking.
On average, the amount of rain that Bluffton sees in a year is just that - average. Bluffton accumulates 50.4 inches of precipitation each year, with May being the driest month. August is the wettest month of the year and sees about 7.4 inches of rain.
The warmest month is July - days in the midsummer month reach an average high of 90 degrees. On the other hand, the coldest month is January. The average low temperatures in January are 39.9 degrees.
Final Thoughts on Bluffton
Bluffton is an ideal place to move if you’re looking to settle in a classic, all-American city that perfectly blends young and old, new and ancient, and bustle with relaxation. Bluffton is more than just a tourist town - although tourism is a large part of the economy. Your whole family is sure to find an activity or hobby that they enjoy in Bluffton.
The sense of community in Bluffton is unparalleled. Most of the residents work in the city of Bluffton itself, keeping the wheels turning in the local businesses, from cafes to boutiques.
The Beaufort County School District is more than reliable, which is a huge selling point for families looking to move to Bluffort. Residents enjoy perfect weather year-round, so they can take advantage of all the nearby beaches, hiking trails, and wildlife refuges.
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