The Southern Culture of Hilton Head and Bluffton
Tradition is strong in the Hilton Head area. Check out the Gullah Heritage Trail.
Jul 1, 2019 at 8:00 AM in Things to Do by
Heading to the South Carolina Low Country? Explore the history, culture, and customs of this this southern coastal region of South Carolina.
The Lowcountry refers to the geographic and cultural region of South Carolina’s coast, including its islands. The area, once known for its slave-based agriculture, now relies primarily on tourism and showcasing its natural environment and customs.
Fortunately many of the wonderful traditions of this culturally-rich land have been preserved. You can learn about them as well as the local history and folklore on a Gullah Heritage Trail tour. The Gullah are African Americans that live in these parts. They speak Gullah, a language similar to Creole, and live a life that weaves African influences with their Southern roots.
For down-home cooking with good Gullah soul, try one of the restaurants or eateries specializing in low country food in Hilton Head and Bluffton. Think crab rice topped with shrimp, fried green tomatoes, beer- and bacon-braised greens, jalapeño cornbread and peach cobbler. And that’s just for starters.
Coastal Discovery Museum
The Honey Horn Plantation at the Coastal Discovery Museum showcases the historic property situated within a 68-acre plantation, punctuated by great old oak trees, salt marshes and open fields. Here, the museum conducts tours where you can learn about those that lived and worked at Honey Horn, including the Hacks, the family that inhabited the property for almost a half century. This is where you may experience the lowcountry up close with guides that will lead you on a journey into the deep South.
You can also embark upon this adventure on your own by visiting one of the many historic buildings on the Honey Horn Plantation used by the Coastal Discovery Museum to showcase permanent and temporary exhibitions that reveal the natural history and cultural heritage of the region.
Photo courtesy of the Coastal Discovery Museum
Old Town Bluffton
Settled in 1807, this quintessential lowcountry town still exudes much of the antebellum charm it possessed back in the day. So named because it sits high on a bluff overlooking the May River, Bluffton is recommended for anyone headed to Hilton Head and a must for those that want to embue themselves with the old fashioned charms of the south. The buildings within Old Town Bluffton have been beautifully preserved and are certainly worth a closer look.
Tours organized by The Heyward House Museum, a historic home built in 1841, also supply lots of local color and fun
in beautiful Bluffton, South Carolina