contentsHilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamberads



Rich in history and heritage, the quaint hamlet of Bluffton is becoming one of the most favored places to live in the Lowcountry. Bluffton is situated on the mainland on a high bluff overlooking the pristine May River. Abundant wildlife, scenic marsh views and idyllic boating conditions are carefully protected as integral to the quality of life.

The residents of Bluffton are dedicated to creating a legacy of creative and cultural appreciation. Social, cultural and economic diversity and inclusiveness are a part of Bluffton’s covenant. That inclusiveness is making it one of the fastest-growing communities in South Carolina.

This historic riverfront community still welcomes visitors and newcomers with as much charm and vibrancy as it did in its antebellum heyday. The Bluffton Old Town Merchants Society offers many delightful retail shops, art, antique galleries and restaurants with Southern regional cuisine along Calhoun Street, the Promenade area, and the surrounding Old Town.

Buckwalter Place, a 94-acre, mixed-use development in Bluffton, points to the dynamic growth in Bluffton, and is home to the Don Ryan Center for Innovation. A public-private partnership, with the support of Clemson University, the center offers an incubator program that provides the resources entrepreneurs, inventors and small business people need to assist them in their quest for success. As Bluffton evolves to include business growth and newer developments, community leaders remain focused on suitable land use and aesthetics.


A fierce independence still lives in the community that is striving to protect its roots and personality. A hotbed for political rhetoric in the 1840s and '50s, cries of secession were first given serious voice and debate in Bluffton. Union troops shelled and burned Bluffton during the Civil War. The Heyward House, Campbell Chapel AME Church and the Episcopal Church of the Cross were among 17 structures to escape destruction. These three historic buildings and seven other houses can be seen today in the town's historic district.

As a testament to the resilient spirit, Bluffton regained its footing around the turn of the century. Local business began to flourish in a variety of industries including the production of what was to become one of the area’s claims to fame – oysters. Beginning around 1900, the Bluffton Oyster Factory opened its doors and is currently the last working oyster factory in South Carolina. While periods in its history have focused on commerce and trade, Bluffton has never been solely about business. It is the beauty and charm of the narrow streets, salty air and mossy walkways that continue to draw both the young and old to this little town set upon a bluff.

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