Living

Heritage Bonus Round: Looking to get away? Branch out to Bluffton, Beaufort

The play doesn't have to end on the golf course during Heritage week. There's plenty of fun to be had all over the Lowcountry. Branch out and head to Bluffton or Beaufort, two of Hilton Head Island's closest surrounding communities, for some refreshing recreation.

BLUFFTON

How far of a drive from Hilton Head?: 15-30 minutes

A few good bets:

  • Stroll Calhoun Street: Antebellum structures, art galleries, specialty shops and a beautiful view of the May River make up Calhoun Street in the town's historic district. Cross May River Road and check out the Calhoun Street Promenade, a growing hot spot with a wine bar, martini lounge, barbecue joint, watering hole, comic book shop and children's bookstore.
  • Shop for deals: Shopaholics will go wild at Tanger Outlet Centers 1 and 2, located about a mile apart along U.S. 278 (you'll hit Tanger 2 first coming from the island). Tanger Outlet Center 1 reopened March 31 after a yearlong, $43 million redevelopment. Details: www.tangeroutlet.com/hiltonhead
  • Explore Palmetto Bluff: If you're looking for a quintessentially Southern scene complete with live oaks, rocking chairs, a village square and sprawling river views, poke around Palmetto Bluff. The residential community and conservation preserve offers dining, water activities and more to the public. Details: www.palmetto-bluff.com, 800-501-7405
  • BEAUFORT

    How far of a drive from Hilton Head?: About an hour

    A few good bets:

  • Watch a movie under the stars: There aren't many drive-in movie theaters left these days, so take the opportunity to snuggle up to your sweetie at the Highway 21 Drive In. It's a bit of a haul from Hilton Head, so make sure you leave enough time to catch the first movie at 8 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.). Admission is $6 for adults, $2 for children 5-12 and $5 for seniors -- and that's for a double feature. Details and movie listings: www.hwy21drivein.com, 843-846-4500
  • Ride in style: To take a step back in time and feel like a true Southern belle or gentleman, consider taking a horse-drawn carriage tour of Beaufort (pronounced "byoo-fort," not "boh-fort"). Details: Southern Rose Buggy Tours, 843-524-2900; Sea Island Carriage Co., 843-476-7789
  • Cruise the art galleries: There's about a dozen art galleries within walking distance of each other in the heart of Beaufort's downtown (between Bay and Boundary streets). Details: www.guildofbeaufortgalleries.com
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