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Jun 7th, 2011, 01:36 PM
  #1
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bluffton SC Arts and Seafood festival

We'll be doing a trip in October, four nights in Charleston and two in Savannah. I saw that there is an arts and seafood fest in Bluffton, SC during the time we'll be there. I thought it might be fun to stop there on our way down to Savannah, visit the festival, check out the area and spend the night there.

Is it worth doing or would we be better going straight to Savannah and spending three nights there.

Thank you for your help.
KathyH
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Jun 7th, 2011, 01:49 PM
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It's just a typical "street fair" so I wouldn't spend the night in Bluffton. Just time your trip from Charleston so you arrive Bluffton (it's about a 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive) around noon. You can spend a few hours during the afternoon in Bluffton then go on to Savannah (about 45 minute drive) and check into your hotel in time for dinner.
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Jun 7th, 2011, 02:01 PM
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I agree with RoamsAround. Bluffton's a cute little town. Also, on your way down 17, just past the turn-off to Beaufort, you'll see a signage for Sheldon Church Ruins. I highly recommend a stop there. It's beautiful. The light there is great for pictures.
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Jun 8th, 2011, 06:35 AM
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Thanks, you convinced me not worth the stop.

We are flying into Myrtle Beach, airfare is the cheapest.

Decided that maybe we'll drive straight to Savannah, we'll be there by lunch. Spend two nights there and then drive up the coast and spend a night in Beaufort before finishing up with 4 nights in Charleston.

We wanted to spend a day in a low country town and maybe Beaufort would fit the bill.

What are your thoughts on that revised plan?
KathyH
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Jun 8th, 2011, 07:06 AM
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Beaufort is a great lowcounry town. Be sure to drive out to Hunting Island while you are there.

Unless you drive all the way out to 95, you'll take Highway 17 through Charleston. It goes through several towns and you'll have stoplights, with some heavier traffic in Mt pleasant as you approach Charleston. There's construction down by Garden Corner and the speed limit is 45. So plan it the trip taking longer.

You can't really drive up the coast. Some of the route is scenic, some of it isn't. But October is a great month to visit. Have a great trip.
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Jun 8th, 2011, 07:13 AM
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Beaufort is a nice quaint town, like Bluffton it's worth a stop for lunch and a stroll along the main street to visit the shops. At the edge of town the road takes you past stately houses (a few were featured in movies such as The Great Santini and The Big Chill) along the marsh/river.

Depending on how fast you browse through the stores you can see all there is to see in a couple hours. I wouldn't spend the night in Beaufort (not much at all to do/see in the evening) - besides it's close enough to Savannah and Charleston that you'd be better just planning your trip so you spend a few hours there around mid-day (have lunch and sightsee) than drive to Charleston.
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Jun 13th, 2011, 08:21 AM
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Isecond the stop at Old Sheldon Church ruins. About a mile off Hwy 17, on the right just after you pass the intersection of Hwy 17 and Hwy 21 which leads to Beaufort. It is well marked. A bit of background: Built about 1750, it was used by the Colonials to store arms during the Revolutionary War so the British burned it. It was rebuilt in the 1820's and used by the Confederates to store arms so the Union destroyed it.

Since was now 0-2 as an armory, it was never rebuilt but the massive columns and some of the structure remains today. It sits in a lush wooded site and is indeed worth a visit.

Incidentally, if yu continue past the church about a mile on the road off Hwy 17 that you came in on, you will see a fork to nleft named "Cotton Hall Road". Take that fork, go about 1/4 mile and on your left will be on of the prettiest "oak alleys" anywhere. Its over 1/4 mile long. The trees were planted about 1810. You can then just stay on Cotton Hall Road and it will lead you back Hwy 17 and on to Savannah.

BTW: It seems to me that Beaufort is getting a bit of a short shrift here. It is rather unique in that it was not burned by Sherman but rather used as a hospital town by the Union so all the old buildings are still in tact. I'd time it for lunch at least and visit the Old Point historic district - the finest "small town" collection of old mansions anywhere. Visit St Helena Church [docents will be on hand]. Built in 1740 it is magnificent. Consistently ranked in the top three of best small southern waterfront towns.
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Jun 13th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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I think Savannah could be at least a 4 hour drive, and there is really some good things to do along the way. Why hurry hurry. A cute place to stop for lunch is the SeeWee on Highway 17 justnorth of MT. Pleasant. It is in an old country store, has great local seafood, and fried dill pickles.
DO not speed on 17 between Georgetown and Charleston--it looks like a great open road, but you'll get pulled.
I'd try the Bluffton festival--I love those kinds of local things.
Georgetown is even a nice town to just take a run through the historic distict--homes date from Revolutionary War time.
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Jun 13th, 2011, 01:45 PM
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Thanks everyone for your input. We definitely are in no hurry getting anywhere and don't mind meandering along, taking our time, stopping here or there.

We get in early-ish to Myrtle Beach, 8:30 so we have plenty of time to wind down to Savannah.

The only thing we have booked so far is our four night stay in Charleston. I won a four night stay at a condo there at a fundraiser. Lucky me!

Figure might as well make four nights a whole week and enjoy ourselves. Definitely will take time to stop in Beaufort to wander, probably have lunch. I think a stop at the Old Sheldon Church ruins is a must. And thank you weber6560 for the info on the "oak alleys", that will also be on our list.

When we get closer to the date I'll be putting out more inquires as to restaurants, etc. for both ends of our stops. Any place in particular in the Beaufort area good for lunch. Looking for something classically low country or southern.
KathyH
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Jun 16th, 2011, 07:18 AM
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KathyH:

If you are going to do Sheldon Church and Beaufort, you should visit Sheldon Church and Cotton Hall Road oak alley first. Then retrace your steps back to Hwy 17. Turn north [left] when you get to 17 and in about 1/4 mile, turn right onto Hwy 21 which will take you to Beaufort.

Leaving Beaufort for Savannah, go South on Ribaut Road picking up Hwy 802 then left onto Hwy 170. Stay on 170 [it becomes 170/46] and that will take you right to the new bridge into Savannah. There is no need to go back out to Hwy 17 or I-95.

Lunch in Beaufort: There are several restaurants which front on Bay Street and "back" on a beautiful waterfront park. You can eat inside or be served at tables at the edge of the park. IMO, the hands down choice is "Plum's". Been there 25 years. Local. Great soups, salads, po-boys, and, in season, an oyster bar.

Be sure to visit the Historic Area at the end of Bay street. You can drive thru, walk, or catch a carriage ride. The earliest home in there was built in 1714 and has rifle slits in the foundation to shoot at any attacking Indians. Also note the homes where The Big Chill and Great Santini were filmed. The largest home in the district is "The Castle" and was a Union hospital during the occupation of Beaufort by the Union.

Enjoy!
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Jun 16th, 2011, 07:24 AM
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Second vote for Plums if you want the water view. I tried the Tooting Egret (God only knows what they were thinking when the so named it) and the food was delicious. It is near Divine Shoes, a favorite shop. If you decide on dinner in Beaufort, Breakwater, Wren's or Saltus would be recommended.

The house used for the Big Chill and the Great Santini is very easy to find, but not open to visitors. You will enjoy a walk around the Pointe.

Wonderful town, have fun in Beaufort.
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Nov 23rd, 2012, 09:16 AM
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You may have missed a better show. The Seafood and Art Festival is known up and down the eastern seaboard, by local artists, as a quality show. If you have the opportunity again try to stop and enjoy the local hospitality.
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Nov 23rd, 2012, 09:50 AM
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Are you connected with the Bluffton tourism authority or the arts festival, Bluffton?
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Nov 23rd, 2012, 01:01 PM
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The Palmetto Inn at Bluffton just got named a 2012 Top 100 Hotel by Fodors. I never stayed there myself but am eager to see if it lives up to its international accolades.
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