My family history is firmly rooted in the US northeast. I know a lot about city life, having spent 15 years in New York City. I know a little about mountain life, after many lazy summers living in Vermont. Yet, I know virtually nothing about life in the south or the low country. What does the term ‘low country’ even mean, I wonder? Thankfully Wikipedia is just a click away.
The low country is defined as ‘the geographic and cultural region along South Carolina’s coast’. I learn its salt marshes and coastal waterways make it a vital source of biodiversity. The low country is also a prominent part of South Carolina’s tourism industry, with popular vacation spots including Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, and Beaufort.
Montage Palmetto Bluff is a sweeping resort destination. It’s beautifully positioned along the May River, just between Hilton Head Island and Savannah, Georgia. Palmetto Bluff is built with Southern classic charm in mind and prides itself on familial experiences and activities that harken back to simpler times.
Palmetto Bluff offers an extraordinary low country escape for just about any type of traveler, or group of travelers. Whether that be a River Cottage Suite for a romantic couple’s getaway or a multi-bedroom Village Home for an extended family reunion. Palmetto Bluff has traditional hotel rooms and suites in the main house, as well. They are well-appointed, with modern amenities, and an elegant flavor of the region’s rich heritage.
Some of the best months to visit the low country are April, May, September, and October, as they offer the best chances of pleasant weather and lower humidity. Summer can extend well into October which is a boon for both tourism and tourists alike.
Montage Palmetto Bluff has 20,000 low country acres. It’s cleverly created a mini world within its vast grounds. Bikes are available for guests to rent and there are winding pathways to stroll, jog, and picnic. An island bird sanctuary is located near the main hotel and is a lovely place to spot herons and watch for alligators. Yes, alligators—a bonus for wildlife seekers.
The landscape of Palmetto Bluff is filled with flora and fauna to inspire any nature lover. Centuries-old massive live oaks rule the property, many with Spanish moss cascading from the branches. In the late afternoon, the moss glows when touched by the low-angled setting sun.
The property has 200 rooms and 35 private residences, some of which are Victorian-inspired with multiple bedrooms, kitchens, and large open sitting areas, both indoors and out. If a porch swing accompanied by a bottle of white wine and a good book sounds appealing, Palmetto Bluff village homes are ready and waiting.
There are multiple restaurants on-site to accommodate every palette. From formal and elegant options to casual, southern, comfort food. No one will go home hungry at Palmetto Bluff. Outside the hotel’s inviting River House, guests will find a s’mores cart decked with multiple flavored marshmallows, Hershey’s chocolate bars, and long wooden sticks. A few feet away are two oversized stone fire pits on which to toast them. A sweet highlight for kids of all ages.
The adjacent on-property ‘town’ and Main Street offer other places to eat, drink, and shop. All too conveniently paid for with your hotel room’s keycard. Grab homestyle southern biscuits at homey, Buffalo’s, for brunch. Or dinner at the low-lit, nautical-inspired, and clubby Canoe Club. Pop into the tiny riverside chapel, one of two on the property. There are more places to meander than time will allow.
Climb the kid-friendly (but not kid-exclusive) wooden treehouses that rise above the well-kept lawns and inlets. Kayak the ponds to see scaly alligators sunbathing on the grass. Clay pigeon shoot, horseback ride, and take a shot at archery. Tennis and pickle ball courts are on hand with a market next door to pick up a picnic lunch, post-match.
Hire a speed boat and guide for the day and take a family adventure along the property’s 32 miles of unspoiled rivers and salt marshes. Fish, bike, take to the links, or simply enjoy walking over the romantic low-arching bridges connecting the pathways of Palmetto Bluff. A low-country wonderland, indeed.
A week at Palmetto Bluff may not have made me an expert on low-country life, but it certainly helped me realize its inherent allure. While city life has its highs, I can easily see why the slow life of the low country is so appealing.
Y’all, this city girl is ready for another southern adventure.