Bluffton : South carolina


What It Is Like to Retire in Bluffton

Bluffton is a small town with a population of about 13,000 (but 37,000 in the area), on the coast of South Carolina just off of Hilton Head Island and near the Georgia border.  Home to many retirement communities (see link at top right), the town is located on a bluff overlooking the May River in an area long known for tourism. In the old town near the river, residents will discover art and antique galleries and the Riverfront Pocket Park and Garden. The area is famous for its Bluffton oysters, and in town the oldest continuous oyster-shucking facility in South Carolina is a local attraction. Originally the town was confined to 1 square mile, but it has since then annexed over 32,000 acres for future development. The University of South Carolina Beaufort-New River campus was a welcome new addition to this area. Savannah is 18 miles away. Bluffton is located in Bluffton County. Photo of Rose Hill Plantation House courtesy of Wikipedia and Jack Boucher (public domain)   Photo of Calhoun St Boat Dock courtesy of Wikipedia and Townofbluffton, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/ a review of the retirement situation in the entire "low country" in this region of SC, go to our article, "Low Country is High on Boomer Retirements"

Watch this short Youtube video presented by Where Next Boomers:

Where to Retire in Bluffton and Home Prices

The area is developing rapidly with many upscale communities aimed at retiring baby boomers and active adults 55+. Many of these new planned communities are strategically located off the new Buckwalter Parkway. reports the median home value to be $296,432 in early 2020.


What Is Special about Bluffton

• Charming old town on the river • Proximity to Hilton Head Island, Savannah, Beaufort and a short ride to the beautiful city of Charleston • Luxurious golf course communities • A new and rapidly developing area • Milder winters  •


What Is Not Special about Bluffton

It’s a very small town; hot, humid summers; tourists: traffic is horrific in summer.


Who Will Like Retirement in Bluffton

Bluffton attracts a community of people who either want to live in a charming, walkable, old river town or expensive new golfing communities.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism and real estate are important to the economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

Bluffton is located on the May River near Calibogue Sound near Hilton Head Island and the coast. The area has many wetlands and rivers.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are  antique stores, art galleries, and museums in Bluffton (such as the Heyward House Historic Center). Nearby Hilton Head Island and Beaufort have cultural opportunities, as does nearby Savannah. The University of South Carolina-Beaufort offers part-time and continuing education opportunities.


The crime rate is average.


Medical Facilities

Hilton Head Hospital is 7 miles away and Costal Carolina is 2 miles away. Beaufort Memorial is 25 miles away and Savannah Hospital is 20 miles away.  Bluffton has a new Medical Park in Bluffton also.



Savannah/Hilton Head International airport (22 Miles); When compared to other communities, Bluffton is very walkable.



Valuable Links

Town of Bluffton

What people are saying about Bluffton

Correction to name of county
Bluffton is located in Beaufort County, not Duval county as stated above. [b:517fb96e74]Editor's note:[/b:517fb96e74] Thank you very much for this correction, now reflected in the review. We appreciate it!
Posted by scsharks on September 11, 2018
We plan a visit soon to Bluffton and would appreciate some suggestions on areas that are pet friendly and would be good for seniors . In particular newer homes/villas for sale. Thanks,Lee
Posted by Leehsm on July 04, 2015
My 1st year as Bluffton resident
Many of you read my comments of August 2014. It has been 14 months since we moved here and I have to say there has never been a day that we regret our move. The people here in the area are the friendliest I have ever met. People go out of their way to help each other. Traffic is bad IF you are visiting Hilton Head Island during the summer months and trying to eat at a restaurant on the Island during tourist season will test your patience. The great part is there are fabulous places to eat in Bluffton. The prices tend to be a little better and at many places no wait time. Food is one of the BEST things about the area. You can find something for everybody. There is always something to do in the area and many places to go for a day trip. The only complaint we would have is the medical care here, one would think that with the growing population and many seniors better health care would be available. In the year I do see an improvement but many specialist you have to go to Savannah however many doctors are now coming to this area a few days a week. I suspect in the future this will be a great place for medical care also. So I would say come on down and enjoy the slow pace and beautiful area...It will be the best move you will ever make..
Posted by pschmidt on July 03, 2015

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