There’s no shortage of fun to be had in the Lowcountry, but Lowcountry attractions and their popularity have shifted through the years.
Comparing the TripAdvisor pages for the Lowcountry of ten years ago to the ones today reveals that much has changed, and some intriguing things have stayed the same.
Hilton Head Island
Always a huge draw for tourists, the Hilton Head Island of 2007 offered as much variety for people looking to hit the links as it does today. Over half of the top 10 attractions on TripAdvisor were golf related. Today, the golf courses have been consolidated into one item on the list, which ranks at number 32.
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Ahead of them you will find such activities as helicopter tours, ziplining, and spas, which is appropriate, because TripAdvisor’s number one Hilton Head attraction in 2007 was also a spa, All About Me. The number one spot has since been usurped by Hilton Head Island’s numerous bike trails.
The Coastal Discovery Museum has only gotten more popular over the years, moving from seventh to fourth in the last decade, while the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge moved from ninth to fifth.
Hunting Island State Park is the most recommended attraction for those visiting Beaufort today. The same was true 10 years ago. The Hunting Island Lighthouse’s star has risen though, as it moved from fourteenth on TripAdvisor’s list of recommendations all the way to third.
Conversely, the John Mark Verdier house fell from seventh to twentieth. This created some room, though, for St. Helena’s Anglican Church to jump a spot, from eighth in 2007 to seventh today. Bay Street also ticked up a spot over the last decade, from fifth to fourth.
Other places, like the Beaufort Museum, Milton Maxey House, Auldbrass Plantation, and the Thomas Hepworth and Edgar Fripp houses, have fallen significantly or even off the list entirely. The Hepworth house dropped from ninth to number 42, while the Fripp house, which appeared in “The Big Chill” and “The Great Santini”, was folded into a subcategory of movie and TV tours and dropped from tenth to fifteenth. That is in stark contrast to an article published recently by Country Living, which said the home was the most famous in the state.
TripAdvisor only had seven recommendations for Bluffton in 2007. Every one of them was a golf course. In the intervening years those seven courses have been consolidated and added to, and currently rank eighth on the website’s list of things to do in Bluffton.
Boat tours and wildlife tours are on the list as well, with dolphin and whale watching tours combining the two. There are also fishing tours and walking tours offered, and a variety of art galleries, theaters, restaurants and shopping opportunities available.
From just seven golf courses 10 years ago, the TripAdvisor listing on Bluffton now has over 40 entries, with over 75 listings between them.
Top ten attractions throughout the Lowcountry
Hilton Head Island
▪ 1. Bike Trails
▪ 2. Boat tours
▪ 3. Coligny Beach
▪ 4. Coastal Discovery Museum
▪ 5. Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
▪ 6. Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina
▪ 7. Sea Pines Forest Preserve
▪ 8. Hilton Head Distillery
▪ 9. Folly Field Beach Park
▪ 10. Shelter Cove Towne Centre
▪ 1. Hunting Island State Park
▪ 2. Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park
▪ 3. Hunting Island Lighthouse
▪ 4. Bay Street
▪ 5.Historical and Heritage Tours
▪ 6. Factory Tours
▪ 7. St. Helena's Anglican Church
▪ 8. Beaufort National Cemetery
▪ 9. Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours
▪ 10. Port Royal Sound Foundation Maritime Center
▪ 1. The Church of the Cross
▪ 2. Rose Hill Mansion
▪ 3. Old Town Bluffton
▪ 4. Tanger Outlets
▪ 5. Nature and Wildlife Tours
▪ 6. Boat Tours
▪ 7. Bluffton Farmers Market
▪ 8. Golf Courses
▪ 9. Eco Tours
▪ 10. Dolphin and Whale Watching