Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, & The Surrounding SC Lowcountry

SC Lowcountry

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The Lowcountry is a region along the coast of South Carolina known for its uniquely beautiful geography, mild subtropical climate, and rich cultural history. The term “lowcountry” describes the area of South Carolina below the Fall Line of the Sandhills, which runs the width of the state from Aiken County to Chesterfield County. Everything north of this line is known as the “up country” and is very different in terms of geography and culture.


The Lowcountry includes Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper Counties, which are covered by the Lowcountry Council of Governments, a regional governmental entity responsible for regional and transportation planning. These counties are also included in the SC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism’s “Lowcountry and Resort Islands” area, which includes the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

A larger geographic definition for Lowcountry often includes Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Allendale, Georgetown, and Williamsburg counties.

Economy and Tourism

Originally dependent on plantation agriculture based on indigo, rice and cotton, the Lowcountry economy developed other sectors in the 20th century, including manufacturing, transportation, and tourism. Specialty retail, including arts and crafts, souvenirs, and antiques is big in the historic areas of the Lowcountry. Major shopping complexes in the area include the Tanger Factory Outlets in Bluffton, The Mall at Shelter Cove on Hilton Head Island, U.S. Highway 278 in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island, and Boundary Street and Bay Street in Beaufort.

Bluffton, Hilton Head, and Beaufort offer various cultural activities and sightseeing opportunities, attracting thousands of visitors per year. Among popular Lowcountry attractions are oceanfront resorts, historic and cultural sites, and natural features and landmarks, including Hunting Island State Park, Edisto State Park and other preserved lands and wetlands.


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The Lowcountry also offers many wonderful destinations for golf, tennis, and beach vacations on Hilton Head Island, Fripp Island, Seabrook Island, Kiawah Island, and Wild Dunes in Isle of Palms. Sea Pines Plantation in Hilton Head was one of the first resorts back in the 1950s. Oceanfront communities like Edisto Beach, Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms remain popular destinations for visitors and a growing number of permanent residents and second-home owners.

Culture and History

gullah culture south carolinaLowcountry culture is rich with Southern, European, African, Caribbean, and Native American roots. Among the more notable are the Gullah influence on St. Helena Island, the early European settlements near Beaufort and Port Royal, and the Caribbean influence on buildings in Charleston. Beaufort County boasts dozens of antebellum and postbellum homes with unique blends and styles of architecture. The Lowcountry is full of spectacular sites to see, from history museums and ancient churches to wildlife sanctuaries, plantations, and historic monuments.

Carriage rides, festivals, art galleries, historical tours, and theatre performances are regular attractions in the Lowcountry, and visitors and permanent residents alike enjoy the social gatherings and celebrations all year long. Local preservation and conservation organizations take great pride in preserving the heritage and culture of the Lowcountry, and educating others about its wonderful history.

For information on South Carolina Lowcountry homes for sale, contact Hilton Head Island Real Estate Brokers, Inc. We have helped many South Carolina homeowners buy and sell homes in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Call 843-785-8006 today to get started. We can help you find your perfect place in the South Carolina Lowcountry!