The Top 4 Reasons to Visit Moreland Village this Summer

Part bucolic getaway, part master-planned homage to the classic Southern village, this could be the most exciting getaway in the South.

On the seemingly endless road between Savannah and Hilton Head, long after you’ve left the pocked blacktop of U.S. 17 behind but a few miles of oak-covered road before you roll onto the small-town streets of Bluffton, you’ll see a sign for Palmetto Bluff.

If you’ve never taken the time to explore what’s behind that sign, you’re missing out. Conceived in the cradle of conservation and raised on a steady diet of sophistication, Palmetto Bluff typifies that upscale New South enclave that has folks pouring into the southeast at a record pace looking to relocate to the good life. Boating? Check. Exploring? Check. Shooting? Take your pick – skeet or golf.

But you, you’re already well versed in the South’s many charms. What surprises could possibly await you through those gates? Plenty, it turns out. Take that winding road past the guard gate and you’ll discover what happens when you build a place from the ground up with an eye on leaving as few footprints as possible. The original village here, Wilson, has proven itself iconic with its tiny chapel, its row of shops along crisply manicured village greens, and its towering ruins of an old hunting plantation front and center. Think what Charleston used to look like before it was Charleston.

What Palmetto Bluff did at Wilson it’s now done on a slightly quieter yet even more impactful scale at Moreland Village. Here are four reasons why it’s worth taking the trip.


Photo courtesy of Crescent Communities, Palmetto Bluff.


1. The water

Lake Bales, which serves as the centerpiece of the village, is open to the public and rife with fish (just ask the many birds who can regularly be found doing their own angling. Helping you land that prize catch are the folks at the Outfitters Center, where you can also inquire about getting out in the deeper waters of Cauley’s Creek and the May River beyond.

And it won’t be hard to find the water. Just as they’ve done with Wilson, Palmetto Bluff purposefully and thoughtfully left some of the finest river views open to the public, letting the green spaces guide your line of sight through winding oaks and down to the pristine waters of the creek.


Photo courtesy of Crescent Communities, Palmetto Bluff.


2. The history

While Wilson definitely draws influence from the earliest days of Charleston’s growth, Moreland is by its nature the more bucolic village. As such, its character seems to have its roots in Old Town Bluffton just up the road.

Which, of course, makes sense. Moreland plantation, which formerly occupied the spot where Moreland Landing now sites, once shared owners with Bluffton’s Heyward House. The Heyward House, for those not up on their history, is one of just 15 that survived the “Burning of Bluffton” by Union troops.

Today, Moreland Village looks a lot like what Old Town Bluffton must have looked like before it was set to Yankee torches, but with just a few tasteful touches of modern opulence. This is still Palmetto Bluff, after all.


Photo courtesy of Crescent Communities, Palmetto Bluff.


3. The tranquility

Do yourself a favor while you’re there and follow Old Moreland Road past where it winds around an old antebellum cemetery to its terminus at Moreland Landing. Here at what’s known as Cauley’s Cut, where the creek meets the May River, is where Moreland Plantation once stood.

Today, it’s host to a different kind of history. Moreland Landing was the very first thing built at Palmetto Bluff, just a pavilion, a firepit, an elevated gazebo and a hammock. Most of the original contracts that built Palmetto Bluff were signed here. For our purposes, it’s that hammock you’ll want to put your signature on. If there’s a nicer spot to unwind and watch a whole lot of nothing happen, we haven’t found it.


Photo courtesy of Crescent Communities, Palmetto Bluff.

4. The art

One notable structure beside the relatively towering outbuildings of the outfitters center is a small cottage built right by the water and surrounding by a low-lying fence. Set apart from the other homes in the village, this cottage has been reserved for an intriguing program being rolled out at Moreland Village.

This would be the residence for the artist in residence, launched as a joint venture with Garden & Gun. In the opening months of the program, this cottage hosted all manner of artists from Bill Oyster and his handmade bamboo fishing rods to chefs and mixologists.

To read more about the greatest places to eat, stay, play and shop in the South, subscribe now or pick up the June/July issue of South magazine.