Beaufort County got a lot of love in Southern Living’s The South’s Best 2019 awards.
Although Hilton Head Island was the only town in the county to be crowned champion of its category, other nearby cities were highly ranked.
Beaufort and Bluffton both made top 10 for The South’s Best Small Towns 2019.
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The article said the “dreamy” town continues to raise the bar, adding new reasons to come for visitors and transplants alike.
It credited the downtown Waterfront Park with being one of the main attractions with its restaurants and shops that are accessible by car or boat. It also listed the Reconstruction Era National Monument, the Pat Conroy Literary Center, the Spanish Moss Trail — which is expanding, vintage plane tours 1,500 feet over Beaufort and its Sea Islands, and a new waterfront park coming to Lady’s Island.
Bluffton came in eighth, and Southern Living says you’ll fall in love with the town.
The “moss-draped village” on the May River grew from 3,000 people to 15,000 in less than 20 years. Locals credit the town’s appeal to the “Bluffton State of Mind,” the article said.
Bluffon is to South Carolina as Austin is to Texas: “A little funky and quirky, laid-back, and dedicated to staying that way,” Charlie Clark, vice president of communications for the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and Visitors and Convention Bureau, told the magazine.
Clark said Bluffton offers so many amenities — like culture, art, proximity to beaches, small-town way of life, restaurants, shopping, and outdoor activities — that can’t usually be found in towns of similar size, including its town-wide oyster roasts.
The article specifically mentioned the Church of the Cross, which it called one of the most beautiful churches in the South, Calhoun Street and The Promenade’s eclectic shops and galleries such as the Bluffton General Store and Jacob Preston Pottery, and a slew of restaurants including The Cottage, Bluffton BBQ, The Bluffton Room, Old Town Dispensary, and the Bluffton Oyster Factory.
Other categories Beaufort County ranked in included:
The April issue featuring all the South’s Best 2019 winners hits newsstands on March 22, and a full list of categories and winners can be found online.