In early June, after months of being in covid-19 lockdown, we took a road trip down to the see the low country's best kept secret and visited Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, SC. It was a day's drive from Greenwich, and on the way down we stopped to see my husband's family in Virginia. We did the full drive in one day on the way back and it wasn't so bad! I spent the majority of my youth in coastal NC in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, and I have felt the pull recently back to the low country. The hot, humid days and the sea breezes of the coastal Carolinas really get under your skin and stay with you. As I sat in lockdown in Connecticut after a long, cold winter, there was nothing more inviting than the thought of venturing down to South Carolina. I had been curious about Palmetto Bluff for a while and felt that it would be a good time to enjoy the sporting life -- outside time with my husband and kids - there were plenty of outdoor activities and bike trails to keep us busy. We went the first week in June when the resort amenities were finally reopening after months of being closed due to the pandemic and we rented our own house right in the little town of Wilson within the resort. I wasn't ready at that point to venture to a hotel, so we were very happy with our rental and being one street over from the main town green. My kids could walk over to the piers to watch the dolphins each night. We enjoyed kayaking, swimming, lots of bike rides and long walks. We went boating in the waterways, did some fishing, and we did a driving trip one day when the weather wasn't great through Savannah. Savannah is a 20 minute drive from Palmetto Bluff. We also ventured over to nearby Dafuskie Island for an afternoon. There was plenty to keep us busy while still allowing plenty of time for rocking chairs and porch swings! The perfect vacation balance!

The house we rented was a stone's throw to the Village Green (so charming), Boat House Row, the Canoe Club with it's fabulous pool, RT's market, Treehouse park and the Montage hotel. Since we weren't yet comfortable eating out in restaurants in June, we would cook at home and take our golf cart over to the Montage Hotel and get cocktails to go and then drive around and enjoy the long summer nights looking for alligators with our kids. It was such fun! There are huge alligators in the ponds around Palmetto Bluff, dangerous no doubt, so it's important not to get close. But I got some great photos! I had the best week in Palmetto Bluff and can't wait to go back. We have vacationed for years in Kiawah Island and Sea Island and I'm thrilled to add Palmetto Bluff to my list of favorite spots. With its nonstop charm, gas lanterns, historically inspired Southern bridges across alligator infused ponds, gingerbread cottages with welcoming front-porches that all look like they are straight off the cover of Southern Living magazine, with preppy families enjoying s'mores in front of the River House Lounge and having ice cream cones every night at Melt - it's hard not to love the Palmetto! While I was there I called it the Nantucket of the South! The resort has golf and tennis too, so we can look forward to that the next time we go! Did I mention there are armadillos at Palmetto Bluff?!

All photos Copyright Melissa Hawks:

Melissa Hawks with kids Lauren, Katie and William

There is also a community garden for homeowners at Palmetto Bluff - it's fabulous! They have thought of everything!

Stay | Palmetto Bluff
MONTAGE PALMETTO BLUFF - Updated 2020 Prices & Resort Reviews ...
Montage Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, South Carolina
Tennis Resorts Online: Montage Palmetto Bluff
Relive your favorite childhood days in... - Montage Palmetto Bluff ...

It was the perfect family vacation! There is no beach at Palmetto Bluff- you should get a map and familiarize yourself with the geography of the area if you are thinking of visiting. Hilton Head is on the ocean and Palmetto Bluff is inland on the intercostal waterways. You won't get any beach at PB but I highly recommend it! There is plenty to keep you occupied and a lot that we missed because of the pandemic closures that we will hopefully get to do at some point in the future like oyster roasts, live music on the green and other larger gatherings that were cancelled while we were there. There is a lot to look forward to for the next trip!