This week we are going to be taking a break from our series on using the lean process to build a better business. Today, I wanted to have an opportunity to share a bit about Bluffton, SC. It is one of the two main cities (Bluffton and Greenville, SC) that TownCrafter is based out of. It’s actually where we started. My family moved there when I was in high school, and I grew to love the area. Later, I decided that it would be a great place to start my company. Last week, I spent some time there talking with some business owners about how TownCrafter can help them. During this I took some time to take some pictures to share with you.
Introduction to Bluffton
The area really is special. If you have ever been to Hilton Head, SC, you’ve probably been through Bluffton. You may not have ever made it into Old Town Bluffton, the original coastal town. The whole city is an amazing blend of nature and modern convenience. Its a city with little something for everyone. They have experienced a lot of growth over the years. The growth has only made the area better and is continuing to do so. When you make it into Old Town though, it’s like entering a different time. It’s a quirky little town with unique shops, beautiful historic homes, amazing restaurants, and some of the friendliest people you’ll meet. It’s all situated on a bluff overlooking the May River, where you can see the oyster beds and marshgrass. Standing out there on warm sunny days and feeling the breeze off the water is one of the best feelings you can have. There are old churches and antebellum homes, with some more modern buildings scattered about. Right on the edge of the town is the Promenade, with newer buildings and stores, that somehow still have that small town feel. I love being there and there’s always such great sights, I had to take some pictures.
The Heyward House Historic Center is at 70 Boundary Street in Old Town and serves as the welcome center and a house museum. It is the perfect place to learn about the history of the area, from the town’s start as the summer home for plantation owners in the 1800’s, to the secessionist Bluffton Movement, to the Burning of Bluffton, and much more. You can even hear the stories from the people who lived in the home through the Living Portrait Tour that I worked with them to design and implement. There’s so much more to see there though. There are still eight of the original antebellum homes in the town, as well as two churches. The Heyward House has a great guided walking tour that you can take, or you can take the Virtual Docent Walking Tour (which I also created, off of their tour information).
The Church of the Cross is always a great place to see as well. They are located at the end of Calhoun Street, the main street of the town, right on the river. The church has an amazing history and they often have a docent there on the weekdays to talk to visitors. It is a great place to see and no visit would be complete without it. Right beside the church is the Calhoun Street Dock, which is a great way to get a closer look at the May River. You can see the Oyster Factory and their boat, Daddy’s Girls.
If you want to go out and see the May River, Spartina Charters and May River Excursions are great options. Seeing Bluffton and all the life in the waters around it is an amazing experience, you don’t want to miss. Taking a walk down Calhoun Street is always worth it. There are a ton of unique shops and art galleries that have something for everyone. Eggs ‘n’ Tricities and the Filling Station Art Gallery are both landmark stores in the town. The Store is another great one to check out, especially since it’s in a historic building. Spartina 449 is a great regional store that keeps with the small town feel, located in the historic Daniel Hassel Heyward Sr. Home.
There’s some great landmark restaurants in Bluffton too. Sippin Cow and the Squat and Gobble are great casual lunch spots. The Cottage on Calhoun Street is in a historic home and a favorite for light lunches and dinner on weekends. For fresh May River seafood, there’s the Bluffton Family Seafood House and Captain Woodys. Finally, Cahills Market is great for any meal. Located just outside of Old Town, they have a market with items from local farms, including their own. It’s always great southern food and some of the best fried chicken.