Explore Small-Town South Carolina at the Bluffton May River Shrimp Festival

By:Staff Writer


There’s always a reason to celebrate the South Carolina coast — thanks to year-round seafood festivals that boast live music, local vendors and some of the nation’s freshest catches.

Each year, the Palmetto State’s coastal towns celebrate South Carolina seafood at dozens of festivals from hot spots like Murrells Inlet, the Seafood Capital of South Carolina, to the smaller Lowcountry towns like beautiful Bluffton. The annual May River Shrimp Festival, held in July, is one of the most charming small-town seafood festivals you’ll find.

Get a taste of Bluffton

The May River Shrimp Festival offers the opportunity to come together for an evening of food, fun and festivities while sampling fresh South Carolina seafood. Try authentic local dishes like Frogmore Stew or Lowcountry shrimp and grits, or dine on specialties from area restaurants.

For the beer lovers in the crowd, the festival offers a diverse craft beer garden complete with local South Carolina brews and popular beers from around the world.

Explore small-town South Carolina

While famous tourist destinations like Hilton Head Island and the Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach play host to some of the best seafood festivals on the East Coast, many of South Carolina’s most-prized festivals, including the May River Shrimp Festival, kick off in small coastal and Lowcountry towns.

Aside from the fresh catch at Bluffton’s annual seafood festival, this small South Carolina town offers beautiful historical inns, charming shops, quaint cafes and friendly folks around every corner — so be sure to enjoy the local flavor of more than just the seafood while you’re here.

Spend the day at Bluffton’s antique shops and art galleries for a shopping experience you’ll never forget, or relax on the front porch of the many wine and cigar bars and bistros throughout the historic Old Town neighborhood. Or take a stroll or bike ride around Bluffton’s Spanish moss-lined streets to discover hidden gems and the many plantation-style homes tucked all around downtown.

The May River Shrimp Festival isn’t just for seafood lovers!

Although the focus of the festival is on South Carolina seafood, there’s more on deck than just shrimp. You’ll find local artists selling their wares, handmade arts and crafts, specialty food vendors, a children’s area with bounce houses, live music and gorgeous waterfront views. Even if seafood isn’t your thing, there’s something on the menu for children and adults of all ages to enjoy. Put simply, you’ll never leave the Bluffton seafood festival hungry!

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