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Lowcountry Day Trip

Family Vacations / Coast / 1 Days

South Carolina’s Lowcountry holds an enchanting appeal that few other Southern regions can match. Embraced by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Savannah River on the other, the Lowcountry’s abundant waterways, marshlands and sea islands have influenced everything from the architecture to the region’s culinary traditions.

Perfect for anyone staying in the Hilton Head Island area, this day trip will take you on an unforgettable coastal adventure from picturesque Bluffton to captivating Hunting Island and the scenic riverfront town of Beaufort.

couple standing with bikes on the bank of the May River in Bluffton SC
Known as the heart of the Lowcountry, Bluffton is a small tidewater community noted for its historic homes, artisan shops and Southern hospitality.

Start your day with a morning bike ride through Old Town Bluffton, where you'll have ample opportunity to see dozens of Lowcountry-style homes with their signature front porches. Don't miss the gorgeous views of the May River located at the south end of downtown Bluffton.

Next, make your way up Boundary Street, which runs through the heart of Old Town Bluffton. Stop at the Heyward House Historic Preservation Center for a taste of Bluffton's history, or visit the many shops and art galleries on Calhoun Street, like The Storybook Shoppe and Eggs'n'tricities. Finish up with brunch at The Cottage or Nectar Farm Kitchen.

After brunch, head to Hunting Island State Park, which is located just about an hour's drive from downtown Bluffton. South Carolina’s most popular state park, Hunting Island is home to a vast array of land and marine wildlife thanks to its thousand acres of marsh and maritime forest, saltwater lagoon and ocean inlet. Spend a couple of hours sunbathing or combing the five miles of beach, perfect for collecting seashells and sharks' teeth. While you're there, don't miss the opportunity to climb the Hunting Island Lighthouse, one of the only lighthouses in South Carolina where visitors can get a bird's-eye view of what beaches looked like before commercial development.

If you prefer to make a day of it, catch the ferry to St. Phillips Island from the Hunting Island State Park Nature Center to explore this pristine barrier island once owned by media mogul Ted Turner.

Something about the beach always works up your appetite, and it's only fitting that you dine on the freshest seafood the Lowcountry has to offer. Nearby Beaufort boasts a number of excellent restaurants, including Plums, a local waterfront favorite,  Old Bull Tavern, popular for its innovative cocktails, and Breakwater Restaurant & Bar, which serves up Southern cuisine with international flair.

Travel Tip
Travel Tip:

Beaufort and Port Royal have numerous seafood festivals during the year—especially in the fall—and they're a great way to experience local food, culture and personalities.

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