Travel In The Lowcountry: Bluffton South Carolina (B-Town)

Tucked along the bend of the majestic May River is a small town that has gained national attention for its homespun charm and lush Southern scenery. Join South for an insiders’ guide to the best places in B-Town to truly experience the Bluffton State of Mind.

Photo camera free icon BLAKE CROSBY

lot 9 brewing co.


Location isn’t everything. Tucked away behind a light industrial strip mall and sharing parking space with a seafood wholesaler, lot 9 brewing co. is a little hidden, but has quickly emerged as Bluffton’s hottest new hangout spot. There’s good reason for its surging popularity, starting with the beer. Brewmaster Walter Trifari is famous for his wizardry with hops, yeast and malt, and he is on top of his game with the rotating brews that flow from the taps at lot 9. Couple that with the ever-changing array of food trucks and you have a place you can visit over and over and never have the same pairing twice. Don’t miss trivia night every Thursday!

Specializes in: 
Crafted beer pairings/ fun atmosphere

Why we love this place:
Perfectly brewed beer, great pairings and cool apparel and swag for those that want a souvenir.

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Owners, l-r: Walt Trifari, & Dana Briggs sampling lot 9’s famous lotoberfest

258 Red Cedar St #14 | Bluffton, SC | 843.757.5689 |

Old Town Bluffton Inn

Bluffton Inn

The family-run Old Town Bluffton Inn owners, Vincent and Danielle Harrison with their son McLean and their resident pooch, Camo.

Immerse yourself in the blissful charm of Old Town Bluffton with a stay at a magnificent property right in its heart. Just beyond its welcoming front porch, the unparalleled charm of Old Town reveals itself with every step, whether you find it at the posh storefronts of the Promenade or among the eclectic art galleries of Calhoun Street. But the true charm of this beautiful property lies within.

Each guest room at Old Town Bluffton Inn carries its own variation on the theme of Southern sophistication, with several enjoying sprawling balconies overlooking winding live oaks and blissful old town scenery. The utmost care has been taken to infuse each suite with its own distinctive personality, making every visit a new experience in comfort and luxury.

But with so much to do, who has time to sleep? The spacious lobby has become a gathering spot for locals, making it the perfect place to get the inside scoop. If the locals can’t point you in the right direction, proprietors Vincent and Danielle Harrison will be more than happy to share a few of their favorite experiences, cultivated from a deep love and knowledge of Old Town Bluffton.

As the only hotel in Old Town, the inn perfectly reflects both the charm and the unique homespun sophistication that makes Bluffton special.

Fourteen different suites each offer a unique spin on luxury and style.

Special Events: 
The lobby has become a prime meeting spot for local groups like the Bluffton Bourbon Club

Why we love this place:
It blends the best of Bluffton’s past and future under one roof

1321 May River Rd | Bluffton, SC | 843.707.4045 |

Bluffton Inn 3

Old Town Bluffton Inn is a luxury 14-room boutique inn and event space located in the heart of historical Bluffton, South Carolina

Blufftoninn 2


May River Excursions

Captain Chris opened may river excursions in spring 2011 conducting tours along the may river in the six-passenger “marsh donkey.” Over the years their operation has grown into an eight-boat fleet with a brand-new retail store operated by family and friends.

The soul of Bluffton flows on the tides of the May River. In point of fact, the name of the town itself comes from the high bluffs that flank this majestic waterway. This little slice of aquatic heaven on earth meanders through creeks and shallows, concealing and revealing wide sandbars on its surface, and plentiful sea life in its depths. Generations of Blufftonians have worked its waters, filling their tables with fish, crab, shrimp and the singularly iconic May River oyster.

There isn’t a family in town who knows these waters like the Shoemakers, and they’ve been sharing that knowledge with visitors and guests at May River Excursions since 2011. Quickly growing to a fleet of ships piloted by experienced captains, they have introduced countless visitors to the wonderment that awaits around each bend in the river.

Join one of their voyages and you’ll find the best places to spy dolphins, reel in fish, cast a net for shrimp and coax out a few crabs. You’ll also venture beyond the mouth of the May and discover in-shore fishing along the waters of Hilton Head Island and Daufuskie, reeling in red fish and sharks.

If you simply want to soak in the scenery, take an excursion that explores the fascinating ecology and history that make the May River unlike any other river in the world. Book your trip at

Excursions include: 
Shark Tooth Hunts/ Fishing/ River Tours
Dolphins/ Water Taxi/ Sunsets

Plan your excursion: 
The people have spoken: May River Excursions is the #1 TripAdvisor Tour in Bluffton.

Learn something new: 
The May River is a flood of fascinating stories, from its historic role as Bluffton’s main connection to the outside world, to its unique ecological niche as a brackish haven for all manner of sea creatures.

Why we love this pace:
The May River might be as close to heaven on earth as it gets, and this is the best way to experience its magic.

81 Calhoun Street | Bluffton, SC |



The Pearl Kitchen & Bar

The Pearl

Calhoun Street has long been the nerve center for Old Town Bluffton, since the days when the packet ships brought news from the outside world to the dock at its southern end. It’s still the best place to explore what makes Bluffton special, and at its center you’ll find The Pearl. Old Town’s favorite spot for elevated cuisine, The Pearl offers a full sensory experience, with a menu of inspired steak and seafood dishes complemented by an expertly curated wine list, served amid contemporary Lowcountry splendor that is a feast for the eyes. Between the intimate dining room, the stylish bar and the wide front porch, home to some of the best people watching in the world, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Enjoying a spot at the heart of Calhoun Street’s historic charm, The Pearl exemplifies Bluffton’s rustic refinement.

The food: 
New Executive Chef Michael Hill is putting his mark on the famed menu of upscale favorites.

The drinks: 
The Bluffton experience isn’t complete without craft cocktails at The Pearl’s intimate bar.

Why we love this place:
The Pearl offers Southern sophistication at its finest.

Lot9 3

55 Calhoun St. | Bluffton, SC | 843.757.5511 |

Peaceful Henry’s


The largest humidor and smoking lounge in the Lowcountry. A place for everyone to unwind in style. This Old Town Bluffton hotspot is your place to explore the largest selection of cigars and enjoy craft draft, bottled beers, and a fully stocked bar. You can also enjoy some of the best food in Bluffton  Explore the Humidor then sit yourself down in one of the cushy leather chairs with a cigar in one hand and a drink in the other, and you’re instantly immersed in the old school cool that has become Peaceful Henry’s claim to fame.

Why we love this place:
There’s no better place to enjoy a cigar, a drink of your choice, and dine Inside or on the wraparound porch.

Open 7 Days a week (We ship anywhere in the 48 states)
181 Bluffton Road | Bluffton, SC | 843.757.0557 | 

The Bluffton Room

Bluffton Room2

Thoroughly established as Bluffton’s place to see-and-be-seen, The Bluffton Room is nearly as famous for the jaw-dropping luxury vehicles that regularly pull up to the valet stand as it is for its exquisite upscale cuisine and craft cocktails. Curated with the utmost culinary expertise and presented with tableside flair, the menu of steak and seafood dishes fuels a dinner part atmosphere par excellence. Enjoy the finest drinks in town at the unique indoor- outdoor bar, patio or take them topside at the only rooftop bar in Bluffton debuting later this fall.

Why we love this place:
They basically invented the notion of an upscale Bluffton experience. They also perfected it.

Bluffton Room

15 Promenade St | Bluffton, SC | 843.757.3525 |

Bricco Ristorante

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Despite its small-town stature, Bluffton has a culinary scene that could rival any big city in the South. As such, any new restaurant really needs to make a statement. Bricco Ristorante, on the strength of a refined menu of inspired Italian dishes crafted from authentic ingredients, made one of the loudest statements this town has seen in years. Quickly becoming the darling of Bluffton’s epicurean crowd, Bricco Ristorante offers the true authentic Italian experience, born of the culinary brilliance of owners Nino and Pam Catuogno. 

Why we love this place:
Bricco owner, Nino Catuogno serves up Authentic Italian with Southern Hospitality.

Bricco Bricco

27 Dr. Mellichamp Drive #105 | Bluffton, SC | 843.707.1419 |

Sippin Cow

Sippin Cowjpg
Photo camera free icon D. PAUL GRAHAM

Set just off the village green  in the Bluffton Promenade is this sleepy river town’s favorite spot for breakfast and lunch. If you’re looking for a spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and a plateful of fresh delicious food, this is it. Plus, if you’re looking to eat healthy, you’ll find a slew of options endorsed by the local Eat Smart, Live Longer Club.

36 Promenade St | Bluffton, SC | 843.757.5051 |

Alvin Ord’s

Alvinords Rbc 2367 Final

Sandwich lovers, your salvation is at hand. Quite literally, if you order the signature Salvation Sandwich at Bluffton’s favorite sandwich shop, Alvin Ord’s. Boasting a mountain of meat, cheese and toppings, the Salvation is just one of the inspired creations on offer, but what they all share is that inimitable Alvin Ord’s bread. Baked fresh daily, their heavenly sandwich buns are an experience unto themselves.


1230 May River Rd Suite A | Bluffton, SC | 843.757.1300 |

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