Real Estate News, South Carolina

Top 7 Reasons to Love Bluffton

Hampton Lake new homes in Bluffton SC
Published on April 20, 2017

One of the “hottest” retirement locations in the entire U.S. of A., which boasts rich history, culture, pristine naturally preserved beaches accompanied with a vibrant lifestyle that exemplifies the warmth of Lowcountry living can be found at “the last true coastal village of the South” in the town of Bluffton, South Carolina.  This historically preserved city was founded in 1852 and provides an eclectic and orchestral blend of antebellum architecture alongside modern developments which house art galleries, first-class restaurants, theatre and musical performances, and antique shops alongside farm to fresh markets that are featured weekly.  Annual festivals and nearby beach resort towns complete the formula for a gratifying, fulfilling and active lifestyle that make retiring here the ultimate choice when shopping for homes for sale in Bluffton, SC.  It is truly considered the best place to live in South Carolina

 In 2014, Nerdwallet voted this township as “One of the Top 10 Cities on the Rise in SC”. Now is the prime time to search for new homes in Bluffton SC because Bluffton is “by far” one of the fastest growing cities in South Carolina.  According to U.S. Census Bureau numbers, Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the Beaufort metropolitan area was the 12th fastest-growing community in the nation from 2014 to 2015.  Baby Boomers who have never been to Bluffton need to take the time to experience the adventures of living in this piece of paradise found.  With favorable year round weather and the beaches of Hilton Head and the Atlantic Ocean “in the backyard” along with all the luxuries of “urban living” offered in Bluffton, this quaint and historic coastal town is drawing new residents from all over the world.  Forbes Magazine named Bluffton one of the top “25 Places in the U.S. to Retire.”  

REASON #1 - Location, Location, Location

The first reason why folks are choosing Bluffton is “location, location, location”.   Conveniently situated on US Route 278 between Hilton Head Island and Interstate 95, the Old Town District, which is Bluffton’s original one -square -mile downtown dates back to the 1700’s and has some spectacular views of the May River which runs through center city.   Kayaking and canoeing provide the perfect way to explore the region by boat and adds to the overall appeal of living in this charming Southern town.  Moss-draped oaks accent the preserved antebellum architecture taking visitors back in time. Access to Savannah is only 20 minutes and Charleston is about two hours north convenient easily accessed from Highway 278 and Interstate 95. 

Nearby Hilton Head Island has been a vacation destination since the 1950’s when Hilton Head’s Sea Pines Plantation opened its doors. Fripp Island, Seabrook Island, Kiawah Island and the Wild Dunes portion of the Isle of Palms offer the wonderful places to escape and enjoy a beach vacation.  Golf, tennis, spas, and beach activities ranging from windsurfing, fishing, boating to leisurely strolls on white sandy beaches are some of the top reasons Boomers are drawn to shop for homes for sale in Bluffton, SC.  

REASON #2 - Mild Four Season Weather

A favorable climate provides the second reason why Boomers are flocking to the region.  Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities year round due the favorable quad season subtropical weather.  The average annual high temperature is 76 degrees and the winter low’s average 52 degrees.  There are an abundance of outdoor happenings that enable retirees to get out and exercise while exploring the lush landscaping, marshland and scenic natural wildlife scattered throughout the area.  The city of Bluffton offers some fabulous walkways and trails throughout downtown and surrounding areas.  Enjoying an active lifestyle after retirement is a top priority for seniors and this climate provides the opportunity to be one with nature throughout the seasons.  Here are some of the parks and family friendly recreational activities offered in Bluffton:

  • Buckwalter Trail
  • Beaufort County Parks and Recreation – Bluffton Pool
  • Buckwalter Regional Park for the kids with soccer fields and skateboard park
  • DuBois Park is also kid friendly with a playground and swings
  • New River Trailhead Park is a nature trail
  • MC Riley Sports Complex is great for teens with basketball and baseball 
  • Oscar Frazier Park provides a playground, soccer fields and baseball parks
  • Oyster Factory Park
  •       Bluffton Recreation Center – tennis, soccer, youth football and playground

Boating is also a popular annual past time here with several launching spots available to satisfy seafaring souls:

  • Oyster Factory Boat Landing - Access to the May River
  • H.E. Trask Boat Landing - Access to the Colleton River
  • Calhoun St. Boat Dock - Access to the May River
  • Alljoy Boat Landing - Access to the May River

REASON #3 - The Beach

Beach time is anytime and is yet another reason to shop for new homes in Bluffton SC.  Hilton Head and surrounding islands provide the perfect day trip for residents of Bluffton which is simply a 10 to 15 minute drive away.  Sampling local fresh seafood, sipping a glass of wine at sunset and simply “people watching” are great ways to spend those lazy days living in the Lowcountry.  Hilton Head Island encompasses 42 square miles and has twelve miles of public beaches that surround the five mile wide island, and its beaches are pet friendly. Bicycles are the favored mode of transportation and provide a great way to stay fit while exploring the islands.  There are over 100 miles of biking trails available for avid cyclists.  Watersports abound.   Sailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, surfing, fishing, crabbing, shrimping or leisurely watching the dolphins frolic are all activities offered here.    Hilton Head has over 250 restaurants and 29 shopping venues to choose from.  With over 2.5 million visitors annually, many who experience the lifestyle and the majestic scenery decide that this is indeed the ideal place to shop for homes for sale in Bluffton, SC.   

REASON #4 - Arts, Culture and Lifelong Learning

Yet another reason why discerning Boomers are drawn here is “Lowcountry living with sophistication”. There is a highly active art and cultural community blending young spirited students with seasoned regional artists that occupy Bluffton keeping the city’s heart beating with a diverse population which adds broad appeal for residents.  There is a wide variety of artistic expressions throughout this quaint coastal town.  Strolling along the serene May River, the combination of historical structures with modern day developments of the region make art, music and theatre thriving components of the lifestyle associated with living in this happening Southern town.  The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina is a multi-million dollar venue that showcases prestigious artists from all over the country adding a rich component for residents.  The Elizabeth Wallace Theatre is the place to enjoy regional talent, Broadway style shows, concerts, art exhibits and children’s events.  The Art League of Hilton Head is highly regarded with over 500 local members and offers 2 theatres; The Walton Green Gallery and the Art Academy on Cordillo Parkway.  Each facility offers art classes, annual shows plus an impressive gallery featuring over 150 local artists.  The Gallery Row in the Old Town District sponsored by The Society of Bluffton showcases the works of over 170 artists and is located in the heart of downtown.  The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and the Hilton Head Choral Society offer musical genres to stimulate folks who prefer classical entertainment.  The Ulmer Auditorium hosts the May River Theatre which offers a diverse schedule of performances throughout the year. With endless entertainment options, there are plenty of activities to embellish living in Bluffton.  

REASON #5 - Amazing Foodie Scene

Perhaps a 5-star dinner at one of the local eateries will complement the evening.  Dining options are endless and provide residents the choice of regional dishes, fine dining, barbeque, fresh seafood with the option to eat outdoors year round.  With over 250 restaurants on Hilton Head Island alone, Bluffton is also quite infamous for its own unique and charismatic dining experiences.  For food enthusiasts and seafood lovers, Lowcountry cuisine offers a blend of New Orleans and Cajun style due to the strong Caribbean and African culture which is seeded in the history of the region.  There are over 130 restaurants (according to Trip Advisor) listed in or around Bluffton which give residents a wide array of palate pleasing experiences to choose from.  This is yet another reason why Bluffton is one of the best places to live in South Carolina.  Southern hospitality brings neighbors out to socialize and share great stories from a day well spent while enjoying an exquisite lunch or dinner downtown .  After enjoying a stroll through the art district, here are a top 10 locally owned dining suggestions from Culture Trip:

  • R&D Wine Boutique is a wine-lovers paradise with over 400 different wines to choose from and an exquisitely crafted menu serving dishes that include crispy seared duck and coffee-rubbed filet mignon is the perfect choice for a superb evening out.
  • Sigler’s Rotisserie & Seafood offers traditional southern comfort food blended with locally caught fresh seafood.  Try the crab cakes or fried green tomatoes before sampling their mouth-watering rotisserie meats, rosemary chicken or seafood creations.
  • Claude & Uli’s offers a cozy French bistro menu featuring classics like cheese soufflé or garlic and parsley accented escargot.  Fresh Atlantic salmon topped with garlic and Provencal sauce and crispy butter infused duck breast are local favorites.  This is located on the way to Hilton Head Island and is the ideal romantic dinner. 
  • The Cottage provides a true Lowcountry dining experience.  This quaint café, bakery and tea room is a house that dates back to the late 1800’s.  Located in the heart of Old Town, breakfast and lunch are served daily with regional dinners offered Thursday through Saturday.  A spectacular brunch is highly popular on Sundays which keeps locals coming back.  Try the shrimp with cheddar stone ground grits or the crab omelet which are amazing.
  • Bluffton BBQ is a casual eatery awarded the “Best Barbecue of Bluffton” title.  The smell of slow-smoked pork, baby back ribs and rotisserie chicken fill this laidback venue with both indoor and outdoor seating.  Add mac and cheese, coleslaw and classic Lowcountry Brunswick stew for a meal that is both satisfying and a great way to kick back in southern style. 
  • The Bluffton Room offers an intimate dining experience at this award-winning restaurant.  The impressive menu focusses on American dishes with favorites like Hudson Valley Roasted Duck and the exquisitely prepared ‘Trilogy’ featuring prime cut steaks.  With well-crafted cocktails and gracious table-side preparations the experience is beyond classic. 
  • Old Town Dispensary is located in a cozy and quaint cottage in the heart of Old Town.  Lunch and dinner are served daily along with a spectacular brunch on Sundays.  Some local favorites include the house burger loaded with blue cheese, caramelized onion, bacon and chipotle mayo, pan roasted grouper on grits and shrimp and corn au gratin.  The spot is hot as the weekly Bluffton Farmers Market takes place directly in front of the eatery on Thursdays.
  • Cahill’s Market is family-owned and offers both a country store and farm all-in-one.  The barn setting adds the ultimate southern appeal with a menu that radiates Lowcountry living.  Blackened catfish, shrimp creole and their infamous fried chicken are local favorites.  Peach cobbler is a must to complete this dining experience.
  • May River Grill blends classic American dishes with regional fresh seafood.  Oysters, seafood curry, crispy flounder or shrimp stuffed with Daufuskie crab are featured alongside landlubbers choices of baby back ribs, filet mignon au poivre’ and sautéed calf’s liver.  

REASON #6 - Farm and Sea to Table Food

Another big draw for foodies in Bluffton is the abundance of fresh produce and prepared regional cuisine offered at the weekly Bluffton Farmers Market which is held every Thursdays year round at 1pm (times vary by season so be sure to check ahead before visiting).  Located in the hub of the historic downtown district at Calhoun Street, locals and tourists love to shop the wide selection of healthy veggies, fruits, flowers, herbs, fresh seafood and homemade Lowcountry dishes.  There are live cooking demos, musical performances and over 40 vendors offering; organic produce, cheese, eggs, grass fed beef, pork, and lamb along with fresh catches of the day.  Seasoned barbecue, she crab soup, gumbo, beer-can shrimp and brick oven pizza offer instant gratification for attendees.  Homemade peanut brittle or kettle corn add “a state fair” flair and completes the experience for the estimated 2,000 people that attend the market weekly in season.  Residents love this heart-warming visit with neighbors and the opportunity to shop for home grown goodies.  There is never a dull moment living in Bluffton which is yet another reason folks are flocking here, Thursdays are “fun days”.  In addition, there are endless events that happen throughout the year in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island which draws thousands to vacation here.   While visiting, many retirees decide to shop for new homes in Bluffton SC.  Here are a few of the happenings that residents look forward to:

  • Bluffton Sunset Party Summer Kick Off April 21, 2017 5:00 pm at the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park.  Held once a month on Friday nights during summer this pet and kid friendly event features food and fun for the entire family from 5 to 9pm.
  • Festival For Heroes April 30, 2017 12:00 pm is an event to support wounded military heroes at a fundraiser at Hampton Hall from noon to 5pm.
  • The 39th Annual MayFest/Bluffton Village Festival May 13, 2017 10:00am to 5pm is held in Old Town on Mother’s Day at Calhoun Street.  Live music and food vendors are featured along with an impressive array of local and regional arts and crafts.  The “Ugly Dog” contest and pie eating contest add a fun twist to this family friendly event
  • Pizza & Pasta Palooza May 19, 2017 5:00 to 9:00 pm at the Oyster Factory Park will feature live music and a superb offering of Italian favorites welcoming the community to celebrate southern hospitality in the Lowcountry with a European flair.
  • Blues & Brews on the Bluff June 16, 2017 5:00 to 9:00 pm will feature live local musicians, great regional food booths under the starlit skies at this outdoor “Bluffton Sunset Party Series” that bonds the community each month.  This event is kid and pet friendly and will be held at Oyster Factory Park.
  • May River Shrimp Festival July 20thand 21st, 2017 is the next in the series of family fun events in the sunset party series.  Live music, incredible seafood and regional food vendors, with arts and crafts from local artists make this yet another reason while folks flock to the luxury of Lowcountry living.
  • Blufftemberfest September 16, 2017 5:00 to 9:00 pm will be a great place to “Ooom-pah-pah” the night away with live music, face painting for the kids, water sports, spectacular cuisine and arts and crafts.  
  • Annual Tiger Bass 5K/12K Race held on September 17, 2017. Funds are raised for local not-for-profit organizations through the event held each September in Hampton Lake.
  • The 13th Annual Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival will take place the week of October 14th through the 22nd which features locally harvested seafood, Lowcountry favorites, Gullah history and regional artists showcasing their wares.  Live music and entertainment will round out the event.
  • Taste of Bluffton - held the second Saturday of April, a southern celebration of Lowcountry food.

This series of community enriching activities makes Bluffton the ideal place to settle down and experience the ultimate in retirement living.  Hilton Head Island also offers annual festivals and provides endless beach front activities throughout the seasons making Bluffton the best place to live in South Carolina.  

REASON #7 - Stunning Lowcountry Homes

The last reason (and perhaps should be the first) to explore Bluffton is that it is a tremendous real estate investment for retirement and beyond.  Listed as one of the “Top 10 SC Cities for Home Ownership” by Nerdwallet, and the “Southern Dream Town” by Garden & Guns Magazine in 2015, Bluffton experienced a population growth of 882.7% between the 2000 and 2010 census.  Tourism and real estate dominate the economy and have provided a solid and sustainable foundation for building new homes in Bluffton SC.  Property has consistently appreciated beyond the national average and with a median home price below $250,000, this highly sought after destination is putting Bluffton on the map.  Low taxes and crime rate add overall appeal of moving to Bluffton.  With all the resources of “big city living” in this charming waterfront town, cultural amenities, amazing restaurants, world class shopping, favorable weather and the impeccable white sandy beaches nearby make this the all-inclusive resort living choice for Boomers.  It is the oasis of the South.  There is a wide selection of communities located in and nearby Bluffton, but one in particular stands out as a great place to shop for homes for sale in Bluffton South Carolina, the award winning community called Hampton Lake.

For exemplary Lowcountry waterfront living in a strategically designed master planned community, Hampton Lake is picturesque. The development spreads across a 906-acre piece of real estate in Bluffton and has 340 acres preserved as a hardwood forest specifically designed to provide the perfect backdrop for the amazing architecture and amenities that fulfill every home shopper’s dream.   The central attraction is the 182-acre Hampton Lake with 15 miles of shoreline that set these neighborhoods apart from other communities in the area. 

John Reed is the developer and his expertise of over 30 years is apparent with the creation of the aesthetics that make this signature location unique yet consistent with the peaceful and harmonious lifestyle associated with Lowcountry living. Freshwater fishing lakes stocked with Tiger Bass, Copper-Nose Gill and Shellcracker make this destination “angler’s paradise”.  This award winning property is well-known and has drawn home buyers country-wide to experience the rich and fulfilling activities offered here.  Hampton Lake has won numerous Best in America Living Awards (BALA) including Best Community in 2008 and Best Community Facility in 2007. The amenities provide the ultimate in pre and post retirement living and keep residents and their families happy and healthy knowing that life is indeed sublime at Hampton Lake.  Residents here are highly social and activities are offered daily.   Besides boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, bird watching and barbecuing, home owners also share:

  • 24 Hour Manned Gated Entrance
  • Lakeside Amenity Village Campus featuring:
  • Backwater Bill’s Grill & Tower Bar
  • Swimming pool options:  Adventure Lagoon – family resort style pool with a lazy river; The Cool Pool – an adults only pool with private cabanas; and The Shrimp Puddle – a children's water play area.
  • Sandi Point Beach – white sand beach with fire pits
  • Shrimp’s Place – trendsetting state-of-the-art playground
  • Lakehouse with indoor and outdoor spaces and 2 grand stone fireplaces
  • Palatial Lodge Room for special events
  • Screened Porch with rocking chairs overlooking the lake
  • Doc’s Boathouse with Tackle Box – supply store
  • Boat Slips
  • Fish Tales – a game room for kids of all ages
  • Mother Nature’s – nature museum designed by naturalist Todd Ballantine to inform and educate on the area’s native habitats and ecosystem
  • Variety of environmentally friendly quiet watercraft for members use available including kayaks, canoes, Duffy boats, Carolina skiffs and a Suntracker
  • Boat Launch for personal water crafts up to 22 feet in length with a maximum motor size of 25 hp
  • Fully Staffed State of the Art Fitness Center featuring Yoga and Pilates Classes ; Cardio Room; Hydrotherapy Pool and a Full Service Spa
  • 3 Har-Tru Tennis Courts
  • 340 acres of Protected Hardwood Forest 
  • 9 miles of Greenway Trails that preserve the natural beauty of the topography of the low country
  • The Outpost Campsite – a specially outfitted island in the middle of Lake Hampton provides:  Open Fire Rings; Covered campsites for 4 to 8 person tents; Picnic Pavilion; Bathhouses and Fishing rod stands 
  • Launch and Storage for kayaks and canoes
  • Dogpaddle Park

Affordable homes feature fantastic custom home builders and meticulous construction with a wide selection of options.  Single family homes, condos, townhomes and villas are still available providing the ideal choice in retirement living or second home vacation getaways.  Whether it is a home design with a European influence, Modern architecture, or a traditional Lowcountry cottage, Hampton Lake offers perfection in quality craftsmanship. There are 900 home sites planned with over 400 already built.  Property values have risen significantly since the original construction and continue to appreciate.  There are still building sites available throughout the community that are highly affordable and well worth the investment,  Home sites can still be bought in the low $100’s and embellished estates can be found over a million.  The collection of homes range in size from 2,400 to 3,500+ square feet and are priced from the upper $500k's.  

Take the time to plan a trip to the beautiful city of Bluffton, South Carolina to discover why this city has become one of the best places to live in South Carolina.  Explore the region, the beaches, imbibe the culture and understand the reason why it’ time to buy a new home in Bluffton SC.  One visit and vacationers decide to become permanent residents.  Now is the time to take advantage of the season, visit Bluffton and experience nirvana firsthand.  

Call Hampton Lake directly at 866.875.5253 to schedule a tour!