Here's another post from my super talented husband. Take it away, Josh! -Kristen There is a little place in Bluffton, SC where timeless elements converge to create an atmosphere of perfect tranquility. You've read about the Lowcountry in Pat Conroy's novels, you've seen it in films like the Notebook. It's a picture perfect mélange of beaches, tall Spanish oaks, deep water docks, and wrap-around porches.
If you have ever traveled down highway 17 between Charleston and Hilton Head, you have seen most of this picture, except for the beaches. You have seen the beautiful old houses that rest under the tall oaks, where they integrate so well with their surroundings, you would think nature sprung them up herself. You have traversed the bridges that span over deep water marshes and the creeks that give many people access to larger bodies of water. Egrets, alligators, and fish jump so close to the road, you sometimes wonder if they might jump in front of your car.
As you make this drive, you would witness all of these elements on their own in various arrangements. At Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, SC, you find every quintessential, defining element of Lowcountry tranquility and beauty in a single place.
It is, perhaps, one of the best kept secrets of the Lowcountry. Even with many native Lowcountry residents in my family, I was unaware of it until I went to my wife's cousin's wedding in 2009. In fact, I do not think many of my friends even knew about it before we went. I've been back since several times, and it is one of those rare places that I enjoy more and more every time I go.
No matter whether you arrive via the Interstate, Highway 17, or some other route, you enter into a different world once you pass through that front gate. It is roughly a five mile drive between tall, dreamlike Oaks with Spanish Moss to arrive at the central area of Palmetto Bluff.
Here you find the main building of the resort, local shops & restaurants, and a view that rivals the best I've ever seen in the Lowcountry. Remains of an antebellum building rest in the center of the quadrangle. An impeccably cute wedding chapel sits just about 10 yards from the water.
It is noticeably quiet here. The people move at a more relaxed pace. The water view beyond the tall oaks and modern Lowcountry style buildings calm the fire in your soul. There is something to sitting nearly perfectly still at Buffalo’s, sipping on a Bloody Mary, and watching the tide roll in at a very slow pace. Every so often, dolphins swim by in small schools, and next to seeing the occasional boat drive by, that is about all the excitement you could witness in a single afternoon.
After lunch, you could work off the drinks and burger by navigating a canoe either through quiet, wildlife rich tidewater creeks, or you could venture into the May River for some better exercise in working with and against tidal currents. Regardless of whether you choose to exert your energy with a paddle or to lounge in a chair next to the pool to soak a near perfect vista of the May River, you experience something that lifts all preoccupations, stress, and otherworldly concerns out of your mind. Palmetto Bluff takes it all away for you to attain that spiritual quiet to reconnect with your soul.
From the green grass, to the warm earth tones of brick, to lapping waves over a deep water river, with five star service in between, Southern charm pervades through and through at Palmetto Bluff. You see it here in these photos, but you simply cannot understand or feel it unless you go there for yourself. Whether you drop in for the day or stay in one of the houses or cottages, you're in for a great escape.