When Dickens wrote of the best and worst of times, he was setting the stage for his tale of societal transformation amid the French Revolution—but he may well have been speaking of the paradox of this year. A confluence of extraordinary events in 2020 have rapidly altered our routines and preferences, our lives and livelihoods, in profound and lasting ways. In this pivotal year, we’ve found respite in reexamining what matters most, and in redetermining where we truly wish to be. And for many families and outdoor lovers, that picture-perfect place is South Carolina’s unrivaled Lowcountry.
Palmetto Bluff, the region’s stunning centerpiece, has been called a perfect paradox of past and present: steeped in history, and seemingly suspended in a less complicated, more genteel time—yet imbuing those who wander its shores with an unmistakable sense of being truly present, right here and now. Located just a 30-minute drive from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, it packs convenience with a sense of seclusion—a draw for social distancers and solitude seekers who still need access to major metro amenities at times. But there’s more to love about this coastal paradise than its enviable location; Palmetto Bluff boasts a biodiverse landscape of carefully protected tidal creeks, marshland and forest that serves as the backdrop to world-class recreational facilities, close-knit community diversions and a selection of stunning real estate offerings for you to call home. With just one look, it’s easy to see why visitors-in-the-know flock to this eco-destination each year—and why increasingly more people are planting roots to stay for a lifetime.
Unmistakable Call of the Wild
Among the many reasons people choose to live in the vibrant resort community of Palmetto Bluff are its many outdoor pursuits. Set amid three prominent waterways—the Cooper, May and New rivers—Palmetto Bluff offers an expansive trail system that transverses the 20,000-acre property, connecting the residential neighborhoods with various parks and recreational areas. There’s simply no shortage of places to explore by bicycle, on horseback or on foot. (And with its temperate climate and an average of 217 days of sunshine each year, you’ll have abundant opportunities to saunter through the vast property year-round.) Imagine the possibilities, beginning each day with a stroll through residential streets lined with stately plantation-style homes set beneath a canopy of wild oaks, or wandering through the majestic forests that fringe myriad waterways, teeming with fish and wildlife. With over 32 miles of riverfront edge, residents are spoiled for choice with waterfront trails, affording an idyllic start to every morning or the perfect end cap to each night. There are also plenty of waterborne diversions for the weekends, from boating and kayaking to stand-up paddling and even floating.
Back on land, golfers can tee off every day of the week at the spectacular May River course, a challenging Jack Nicklaus Signature track that unfurls over nearly 7,200 yards of shoreline, while those who prefer rackets to rounds of golf can head to the Wilson Lawn and Racquet Club where there are eight Har-Tru courts, as well as facilities for bocce, croquet, swimming, and a top-notch fitness center. Saddle up for a trail ride at the state-of-the-art Longfield Stables, or test your aim on a guided hunt at the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club. You’ll run out of sunlight before you run out of things to do here.
Your Own Slice of Paradise
It's said that a house is where you live, while a home is what makes you come alive. At Palmetto Bluff, this philosophy holds true in every far corner of the carefully protected eco-destination, whether your residential preferences tend more toward the conveniences of Town or the secluded comforts of the Country. In the neighborhoods comprising the “Town” here, you’ll find all the spoils of urban living, with close proximity to shopping, dining and abundant recreation options; “Country” properties place privacy at the fore, affording solitude and sweeping natural vistas while still being just a short drive from those same amenities.
Architecturally speaking, the homes that punctuate this lush landscape are as unique as the biodiverse flora and fauna that reign here, fusing cultural influences that span English, French, German and classic antebellum South—yet they are bound by a common inspiration from the land. A celebration of both Lowcountry luxury and contemporary living, each residence is built in harmony with its specific location, harnessing the natural beauty of the land rather than imposing upon it. Open porches spill onto verdant lawns, welcoming waterfront breezes from miles upon miles of shoreline; timeliness appointments like gas lanterns flicker their delicate salutations to the setting sun. In every residence, from the historic Wilson Village (the first neighborhood of Palmetto Bluff) to the natural beauty of Moreland Village, living here is a relaxed affair with Mother Nature in a true coastal treasure of the American South.
Montage Palmetto Bluff, arguably the grande dame of Palmetto Bluff hospitality, features 200 rooms, suites, cottage-style accommodations and vacation homes that comprise the true heart and highlight of the sprawling eco-destination. Tucked amid peaceful lapping waters and verdant forestland, the property combines the height of Lowcountry luxury with untamed nature at its loveliest. For visitors and first-timers, there’s no better entry point to experiencing all that Palmetto Bluff has to offer than a long weekend stay at Montage Palmetto Bluff. From elegant rooms framed by grand verandas (there are simply no undesirable views), to sumptuous restaurants and the blissful Spa Montage, guests will experience the pinnacle of Southern hospitality.
Beyond the many facilities and amenities, Palmetto Bluff residents enjoy an enviable array of close-knit community benefits, thanks in part to a kindred appreciation for life well lived. Here, families and individuals alike share a true fondness for connection, as in the afternoon tradition of “porching,” essentially sitting down with close friends and neighbors to enjoy a southern sweet tea or lemonade al fresco. It’s a frequent invitation to slow down and soak up the loveliness of the natural surroundings—a cool afternoon breeze gently tickling the Spanish moss that envelops sun-dappled trees—and it is a pastime so roundly beloved in these parts that you’re likely to hear “porch” used as a verb. Come dinner time, set out on foot and pay a visit to Big Carol, the community’s own specialty food truck that serves up delectable home-cooked meals to residents and friends of Palmetto Bluff; then, for a sweet après dinner treat, head to River House where you can share stories and s’mores around the grand fire pit.