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Bluffton, SC — Almost a Homecoming

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I grew up in Bluffton, Ohio. A burgeoning Midwestern metropolis of about 3000 people, Bluffton is the kind of place where something wild is always going on. Friday night football, the Blaze of Lights, cruising up and down Main Street in an endless loop, looking for something, anything to do… ah, the memories.

Vintage Madhouse

So visiting Bluffton, South Carolina, was amusing to me. It’s about ten times the size of my hometown, and a lot more interesting. Located on the May River, close to Hilton Head, it’s a funny little city filled with strange characters. We spent the day and on the way home, found ourselves in total agreement on one thing: Bluffton is bizarre.

Our unofficial guide for the day was a local, which definitely helped our appreciation. We met Nancy inside her store called Eggs N Tricities, which is packed from wall to wall with exactly the kinds of things you’d expect to find in a store called Eggs N Tricities. The most random stuff, all cool in its own way, from vintage clothes to old books, to paintings, knick-knacks, shells and other curiosities which defy description. Nancy visits flea markets and thrift shops to discover her treasures, cleans them up and sells them. We visited her house, which has a beautiful view of the river, and were unsurprised to discover that it looks exactly like her store. Appealing, random madness.

Nancy was a perfect guide to Bluffton — she knew a lot of stories about the locals, and we had a blast driving around the old houses. We had a delicious lunch at The Cottage, which even at 2pm was busy. Afterwards, we visited a few of the shops; it’s a very artsy town, packed with knick-knack stores and local painters. We went down to the Oyster Factory and checked out the Church of the Cross, an impressive wooden structure which dates from 1857.

There are actually two side to Bluffton, and the one most people know is the “new city”, built up and around the highway. We were told that some people who live in that part of Bluffton don’t even know about the old town. That’s shocking, because the old Bluffton is awesome — definitely worth a trip from Savannah.

Location on our Day Trip Map

Bed and Breakfast in Bluffton, SC

Blufton Church
Cross Handles
Religion America
Blufton Bibles
Blufton Gas Lamp
Pink Church
Mystical Forrest
Blufton SC
Pier Blufton
Rare Jungle Monster
Tree USA
Modern Architecture Blufton
Orchard Green House
Orchard Wall
Blufton Orchard
Oyster Pile
Blufton Marsh
Artist is Out
Pierce Giltner
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January 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm Comments (5)

Skidaway Island

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Skidaway Island Book

Skidaway Island is one of Savannah’s larger coastal islands, found just past the Isle of Hope. Home to a State Park popular with campers, it provides yet another great escape from the city.

Savannah Day Trip

The campgrounds at Skidaway State Park are secluded and peaceful. But we don’t have a tent, so just spent a few sunny hours exploring the woods. There are a couple trails to choose from, and we went with the 3-mile Big Ferry Trail. The nature was beautiful; live oaks covered in Spanish moss, marshes, shell middens and views of the intercoastal waterways.

The trail was almost too simple and the three miles passed by in a flash. We came upon a Prohibition-era bootlegging spot with barrels still rotting in place, and earthworks from the Civil War where Confederates prepared for a Union assault that never came. Near the water, there’s an observation deck from where people more patient than us might spot a bird or two. We gave it a couple seconds, “Bah! Stupid hiding birds”, and left.

Perhaps the most fun we had on Skidaway Island was driving further east past the State Park. Well… as far east as we could manage. All around are gated communities with names like The Landings and Deer Run. SUV after SUV pulled up to and through the gates. Fluffy-coifed soccer moms and weary red-nosed business guys. It was Sunday, so there was also a lot of church traffic. And there are a lot of churches! Sheesh, besides its park, Skidaway is 90% churches and gated communities. American Dream, y’all.

Location on our Savannah Map

Savannah Hiking
Tree Wall
Tarzan Paradise
Haunted Island
Marsh Walk
Skidaway Island
Savannah Island
Moss Carpet
Bowing Tree
Flying Over Savannah

Savannah Tours

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January 13, 2011 at 9:28 am Comment (1)

Wormsloe Plantation

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Located on the Isle of Hope, about 20 minutes away from the center of Savannah, Wormsloe Plantation is a historic site mostly owned by the state which welcomes visitors to explore an oak-lined drive, museum and walking trails.

Wormsloe Gate

Pulling into the plantation, the scene is breathtaking, particularly on a sunny day. Hundreds of towering live oaks line a road which leads straight as an arrow a mile and a half into the coastal forest. Speed along the path is limited to 15 mph, but most visitors will want to proceed even slower. The oaks, evenly spaced apart and draped with Spanish moss, are amazing — alone worth the $5 price of entry.

Wormsloe offers even more, though. Established by Noble Jones, who came to Georgia with Oglethorpe and the original settlers (and likely had the coolest name of any of them), the plantation has been home to the same family throughout the generations. The mansion visible from the road is still in private hands; it’s opened often to fundraising events and private parties… when we visited, they were preparing for a wedding reception.

There’s a museum dedicated to the site, with artifacts found at Wormsloe and a description of colonial life in Georgia. To be honest, we skipped out on the museum to spend more time outdoors — it was a beautiful day, and we wanted to explore the walking trails. We saw the tabby ruins of Noble Jones’ original residence, and the shell middens left by the Isle of Hope’s Native American inhabitants, mostly of the Yuchi and Creek Tribes. We came upon a makeshift “Colonial Village”, complete with a wooden house and big tools used by the settlers.

Given its proximity to the city, Wormsloe is an excellent place to spend a few hours during a quick and easy day trip. Consult their website to find special events, and make sure to bring your camera… you’ll want to have it nearby.

Wormsloe Historic Site
7601 Skidaway Rd
Location on our Day Trips Map
912 353 3023

Wormsloe Library
Wormsloe Georgia
Wormsloe Chimney
Wormsloe Knecht
Fake Flowers
Wormsloe Lady
Antique Inbox
Secret Gardens
Deer Statue
Relax in Savannah
Spanish Moss House
Plantation Ruin
Wormsloe Grave
Savannah Nature
Wormsloe Palms
Wormsloe Root
Tree Skin
Travel Blogger
Lost Bird
Wormsloe Bridge
Fuzzy Moss
Mogli Jungle Book
Savannah Fall

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January 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm Comments (5)