Bluffton is situated on the north bluff of the May River, giving the Beaufort County town its name. The river winds through the Old Town area of Bluffton, which locals call “the last true coastal village of the South.”
In the heart of Bluffton’s Old Town, one can experience the mystery of the May River with one of the many outfitters that navigate nature lovers along the waterway to view dolphins, catch shrimp, or just enjoy the rhythm of the tides.
The May River Scenic Byway is an eleven mile historic scenic driving tour that starts at the Jasper/Beaufort county line, on South Carolina Highway 46, and traverses through Bluffton, ending at Brighton Beach. Along the route people can expect to see historic sites such as plantations and churches, oak canopies, marshes, wetlands, and protected scenic areas.
Reflections on the May River
Bluffton’s Russ Greene, who contributed the stunning panorama below, explains why he loves the May River: “The May River is a Bluffton tradition. This picture is taken overlooking the ‘bluff’ from which the town’s name originated. Whether buying fresh seafood from the Bluffton Oyster Company, spending lazy summer afternoons on the sandbar, or fishing off of one of the many docks on its shores, the May River is a local treasure.”
The photo below entitled “Night Music” was contributed by friend of the South Carolina Picture Project Lamar Nix, who hails from nearby Seabrook. Lamar took this photo on a swamp off of the May River and writes, “This is a good example of the kind of bold colors and drama one can get from photographing the night sky after sunset. The reflections in the dark waters served to amplify the drama in the sky, and together suggested the title.”
Kim Holstein, also of Bluffton, submitted this shot and says, “This photo was taken off the Calhoun Street dock facing west down the historic May River. The shrimp boats you see in the distance are docked at the Bluffton Oyster Company, a locally owned family company that still fishes the waters of the May River daily.”