low country charm

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here!

I am a Gulf Coast person, through and through… a 30A kind of gal, but there are two other areas of the country that seem to call to me on a regular basis:
1.    New England – specifically that Atlantic Ocean coast line
2.   The low country of the South Carolina coast.
I actually feel guilty at times for not being loyal to my Gulf Coast love… but a girl can have more than one love in her life, right?

Now one of the best, and I mean BEST, areas of South Carolina is an enchanting community in its Low country and one of Coastal Living’s 20 Best Places to Live in 2017, Palmetto Bluff. This little community includes some of the best places to eat, drink, play, and stay in the country. Why the breathtaking architecture alone makes me swoon! I am a sucker for the style seen there… you just wait. Plus, bonus points, my all-time favorite architect abounds here, Historical Concepts. I admit it, I am in love.

The romance begins, in this Low country community near the Georgia border, with those emblematic live oaks and Spanish moss. They grace the winding avenues here, where life combines a passion for nature with Southern civility, plus a sweet dose of sports (golf, fishing, equestrian, and shooting); yachting on the May River and beyond; and culinary pleasures (including the annual Music festival). Along with the charming commerce of food, drink, and shopping, the Montage Inn at Palmetto Bluff (which opened in 2016) has added a shimmering new center to this best-kept secret on the Southern coast.

Palmetto Bluff by the Numbers

Population: 200
 - I mean, com’on, how quaint, right?
Average July temperature high: 90
 - absolute perfection
Average January low: 39
 – I can live with that (but probably won’t winter there)
Median home price: $1.2 million
 – a girl can dream, right?
Average commute time: 24 minutes
 – that’s nothing compared to an Atlanta commute
Number of sunny days: 217
 – duh!

Palmetto Bluff offers everyone a beach gift twice a day, at low tide. That’s when the May River Sandbar emerges, smooth and silky, from the water and becomes a slender beach playground for locals and visitors alike. And if you are a shell or drift wood collection, hold onto your hats… it’s a treasure trove!

One of Palmetto Bluff’s most distinctive offerings is its sporting life, particularly for the hard-core competitor, the Wilson Lawn and Racquet Club (above) features two pristine croquet lawns (do not scoff—croquet players are among the most fiercely competitive. I grew up playing croquet in my back yard and my father was the cut throat player of all time!). Finally, locals will tell you that this community is the best trifecta at Palmetto Bluff: sitting on the chapel dock and swinging your feet over the May River, hanging out at summer concerts under the live oaks on the Village Green, and grabbing a drink at the Octagon Bar.

Where to Eat and Drink

If you ever get a chance to visit this beautiful utopia, Palmetto Bluff pours an excellent locally roasted King Bean coffee at all its restaurants, so good coffee is to be found everywhere in the community! You had me at ‘coffee’. Hit Buffalo’s corner café (above) in Wilson Village for a cup with breakfast, or grab it with your morning paper at RT’s Market.

Where to Stay

Surrounded by Low country rivers and marshes, and blending seamlessly with the community edged with a nature preserve and webbed with hiking trails, the Montage Palmetto Bluff (above & below) enchants with charming lagoon- and river-view cottages and a spa. The resort is awash in activities — hitting the links on the May River Golf Course, shooting clays at the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club, tennis, yachting, and trail rides on horseback, to name but a few.

And if you are not a ‘resort’ kind of person, there are plenty of VRBO Palmetto Bluff SC or Air BnB choices in this beautiful and charming village.

What to Do

Upon arrival at Palmetto Bluff, you are greeted by century-old live oaks and hiking trails, lazy winding rivers, spectacular sunny skies, and 20,000 acres of natural splendor. So, if you fancy yourself an outdoor enthusiast, you have come to the right place. Palmetto Bluff’s waterways are teeming with memorable experiences just waiting to be had. Grab a kayak, paddleboard, or canoe and take in the native wildlife and serene, verdant landscape as you meander along the May River. Or journey to the May River Sandbar, a location that is usually kept hidden by Mother Nature, except for twice a day when the tide recedes to reveal a beautiful silky beach. Now, personally I am not an outdoor type of person, but when it comes to sitting in a beautiful setting in an Adirondack chair, enjoying the peace and quiet of the day, count me in!

Interested in dropping a line or just an anchor and enjoying a beautiful summer day? Head to one of Palmetto Bluff’s ponds or lakes for a chance to catch largemouth bass and bream. Or stick with the saltwater May or Cooper rivers for tarpon, cobia, redfish, and sea trout. Either way, your day will be filled with quiet relaxation the way nature intended.

For those who have a passion for other outdoor activities like golf, bocce, and tennis, Palmetto Bluff will more than meet your expectations. The May River Golf Course has an acclaimed 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, and the Wilson Lawn and Racquet Club is ladened with bocce and tennis courts, courtside respites, and croquet lawns. And if you want to get out and test your aim, there is the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club, which features 13 sporting clays stations, spread out through an expansive 40 verdant acres.

Another way to experience Palmetto Bluff is to bike around the Low country and its preserve paths, take a nature hike through maritime forest trails, or follow a guide who will be able to tell you the storied history of Palmetto Bluff and its dedication to conservation versus development.

The downtown area offers wonderful boutiques and shops for the avid shopper. You can find just about anything and everything you would every want within just a few steps of each other. It is the best way to spend a lazy afternoon there.

And at the end of the day, unwind from your adventures at Montage Palmetto Bluff, the centerpiece of Palmetto Bluff hospitality. It is an elegant collection of 220 rooms, suites, cottages, and vacation homes designed with the sophisticated charm of Southern style. Vaulted ceilings, cozy fireplaces, sumptuous baths, verandas with breathtaking views, and refined decor offer an authentic glimpse at Low country living.

And just to tease you a bit more, check out some of these amazing home exteriors...

What did I tell you, swoon, right?

Now, I know this may seem like a ‘paid advertisement’ for the Palmetto Bluff Welcome Center and maybe they should pay me! I love this area of the country and could/would easily ‘sell’ the charm right out of Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina, but trust me, one visit and you will be hooked too. 


Are you ready for a beautiful get-away (and Fall is totally breathtaking there, trust me!)?