50 Facts About Bluffton | Everything You Need To Know About Bluffton

Bluffton SC Facts
Bluffton SC

Bluffton is a Lowcountry town in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. It is primarily located around U.S. Route 278, between Hilton Head Island and Interstate 95. The town’s original one square mile area, now known as Old Town, is situated on a bluff along the May River. The population was counted by the 2010 census at 12,893 and was estimated to have swelled to 34,493 in 2022. Additionally, it is the fastest-growing municipality in South Carolina with a population of over 2,500, growing 882.7% between the 2000 and 2010 census. Bluffton is the fifth largest municipality in South Carolina by land area. The town is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Following the Tariff of 1842, Bluffton became a hotbed of separatist sentiment. In 1844, the Bluffton Movement, a protest against federal taxes, gave birth to the secession movement and led South Carolina to be the first state to leave the Union. In the antebellum period, Bluffton became popular with wealthy merchants and plantation owners. During the Civil War, two-thirds of the town was destroyed by fire during the Union’s Bluffton Expedition on June 4, 1863. Wikipedia

Bluffton SC Wright Family Park EntranceBluffton was settled in 1728 and founded in 1852.

Yearly Weather for Bluffton, South Carolina

Average Temperatures in Bluffton

Warm Months: From late May 25 to early September 18, the average daily high temperature is above 84°F. The hottest day of the year usually is July 22, with an average high of 90°F and low of 76°F. The highest temperature on record is 107°F which was recorded in 1985.

Chilly Months: The cool season lasts for roughly three months, from December to March with an average daily high temperature below 65°F. The coldest part of the year is typically the end of January (average low of 42). The coldest temperature on record is 4°F which was recorded in 1986.

Average Rain in Bluffton

Rain: The summer months carry the greatest risk of rain all year (from the end of May to the end of September). August historically generates the most rainfall averaging 5.1 inches. Like most coastal communities on the East coast, a majority of the precipitation comes late afternoon in the summer.

Annual Weather Bluffton

Average Highs Lows Bluffton South CarolinaDaily Chance of Rain In BlufftonAverage Annual Cloud Cover Bluffton

Palmetto Bluff Bluffton SCDemographic Information Bluffton, SC 2017
Bluffton SC Population (2022): 34,493

Fact Bluffton Population Bluffton SC Population: 34.493
Median Age: 37 Over 65: 12.3%
Race: 76.9% White, 2.4% Asian, 0.6% Native American, 14.2% Hispanic/Latino
Income Per capita: $30,929
Median Household: $67,157
Below Poverty Level: 8.4%
Education: Diploma 93.3%, Bachelor’s Degree 39.8%
Housing: Median rent $2,335, Median home value $393,896
New Building Permits Residential: 870
New Building Permits Commercial: 49
Number of Military Veterans: 1,689

Family Living Arrangements: 8,504 Households, 82.6% Lived in House 1 + Year, 2.71 Person Per Household and 12.4% Language other than English Spoken
Sq. Miles: 54

Tourism is the #1 job creator for Beaufort County.


Compared to the rest of the country, Bluffton’s cost of living is 9.20% higher than the U.S. average.

What are the sales tax rates in Bluffton?

The minimum combined 2021 sales tax rate for Bluffton, South Carolina is 7%. This is the total of state, county and city sales tax rates. The South Carolina sales tax rate is currently 6%. The County sales tax rate is 0%. The Bluffton sales tax rate is 0%.

Millage Information

The Beaufort County Millage Card allows citizens to look up the millage by tax district for each agency. The districts each have a different millage rate to help fund their budget. The millage rate is the number of mills levied on taxpayers to meet each district budget. One mill equals 1/1000 of a dollar.

To calculate the taxes due for real and personal property, find the tax district and convert the millage rate to a decimal by moving the decimal three spaces to the left. Then use that number and multiply it by the assessed value of the property. This will give you the taxes due prior to any credits.

You may also use the Beaufort County Tax Calculator to help to determine the taxes due for each property.


The average Commute time is 24 minutes. The National Average is 26 minutes.

Schools in Bluffton

Preschools: 15
Elementary Schools: 7
Middle Schools: 5
High Schools: 2
11 Private Schools

Bluffton High School
May River High School
H.E. McCracken Middle School
River Ridge Academy
Bluffton Middle School
Bluffton Elementary School
M.C. Riley Elementary School
Pritchardville Elementary School
Red Cedar Elementary School

Public Safety

Bluffton Police Department BadgeBluffton was just recently ranked the 4th safest city to live in South Carolina by HomeSnack. Bluffton has the fourth-lowest property crime and the sixth lowest violent crime rates in the state of South Carolina. Click here to see their report.

Fires Stations: 8 (that includes Palmetto Bluff location) The District maintains eight fire stations and provides 24-hour fire and emergency services to the residents within the 246 square miles that make up the Fire District. Emergency services include fire suppression, emergency medical response, specialized and technical rescue response, as well as hazardous materials emergency response. In addition, the Fire District also conducts a comprehensive fire prevention program which includes a strong public education component. The District provides its own vehicle maintenance program, which now includes all Bluffton police and Town vehicles as well.

Police Department:

Address: 101 Progressive Street, Bluffton, SC 29910
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-Emergency: 843-524-2777
Phone: 843-706-4550
Fax: 843-757-2269

Hospital in Bluffton:

Hilton Head Hospital – Bluffton Medical Campus
Address75 Baylor Dr, Bluffton, SC 29910
Phone(843) 836-4262

Latitude and Longitude

Coordinates are: 32.240246, -80.859421

The zip code for Bluffton, SC is 29910.

Town of BlufftonThe Covenant for the Town of Bluffton

As citizens of Bluffton, South Carolina, we hold the following to be true:

That social, cultural and economic diversity and inclusiveness are the essence of our community;

That we bear responsibility for the stewardship of nature’s blessings entrusted to us in

Bluffton and along the May River;

That freedom and civic duty work hand-in-hand to create a culture of individuality and a sense of community;

That our natural, physical and cultural history are worthy of our protection as trustees

in order for us to embrace our future.

Acknowledging these truths, we aspire to the following goals:

To build upon our historic foundation a future that celebrates diversity, nurtures neighborliness and ensures a future of opportunity for generations to come;

To enhance the natural beauty and the quality of the May River and its watershed;

To protect the architectural heritage of Old Town Bluffton;

To enhance the canopy of trees and natural landscape throughout Bluffton;

To engage the creative human spirit and the arts within Bluffton;

To protect and enhance the oyster, shrimping, and fishing opportunities of the May River;

To provide housing opportunities for all citizens that are decent, affordable, and Bluffton beautiful.

To nurture a respect for each citizen.

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades for Bluffton

  • Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) Achievement Award, 10,001-20,000 Population Category, for Bluffton”s Old Town Master Plan & Implementation (2016).

  • Forbes Magazine named Bluffton one of the “Best Places to Retire in 2016” (April 2016). – Huffington Post/Travel Section featured Bluffton in an article, “Visiting Sweet South Carolina.” (May 2016).

  • “Only in Your State,” named Bluffton #1 in its list of “10 Up & Coming Cities in South Carolina Ready to Explode” (May 2016).

  • Topretirements.com website named Bluffton the 4th “Friendliest Places to Retire” in its Top 10 List. (2016).

  • Money Magazine named Bluffton one of the Top 20 Places to Retire in 2015, also naming Bluffton “Top Waterfront Retirement Destination” within the Top 20 list (June 2015).

  • Garden & Gun Magazine named Bluffton a “Southern Dream Town.” (June/July 2015).

  • “Only in Your State” website named Bluffton the 3rd “Safest and Most Beautiful Places to Live in South Carolina.” (2015)

  • Niche”s named Bluffton one of the 2015 Best Places/Safest Towns in South Carolina.

  • Niche.com named Bluffton #3, Best Towns to Raise a Family in South Carolina (2015).

  • Forbes Magazine named Bluffton one of the Top 25 U.S. Cities for Retirement (2014).

  • Family Circle Magazine featured Town Councilman Larry Toomer, his family, and his family business, Bluffton Oyster Company (June 2014).

  • Southern Living Magazine selected Bluffton as the site for its 2014 Idea House.

  • The Huffington Post named Bluffton its #1 destination for its list, “Ten Amazing Non-Beach Alternatives for a Summer Getaway” (2014).

  • Only in Your State, The 18 Wedding Venues in SC Which Are Perfect in Every Way, #10 Rose Hill Mansion; #14 Palmetto Bluff (2015).

  • NerdWallet, a consumer advisory company, named Bluffton one of the ten “Cities on The Rise in South Carolina,” (2014).

  • Bluffton”s Highway 46 designated a “South Carolina Scenic Byway,” by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (2012).

  • Don Ryan Center for Innovation/Clemson Technology Village; Bluffton was the first non-metropolitan town in South Carolina to partner with Clemson University to form a private-public Technology Village (i.e., business incubator).

Tourist/Traver Information

Source/Credit: College of Charleston School of Business Office of Tourism Analysis

A total of 481 thousand visitors came to Bluffton in 2021. The overall economic impact of this tourism for Beaufort County was $187.31 million. This economic impact represents not just the direct expenditure by visitors, but also the secondary ripple effects of such economic activity that occur as tourism businesses spend operating funds and as tourism dollars are re-spent within the region. Bluffton tourism also (directly and indirectly) supported an estimated 2,782 jobs, which represent 2.6% of all jobs in Beaufort County, as per employment data provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.



The top reasons for choosing Bluffton as a destination included visiting beaches, visiting heritage attractions/museums/historic tours, and spending time with family. Other popular motivations included relaxation, boating/sailing/kayaking, and nature-based activities. The activities in which visitors actually  participated are similar to the previously mentioned activities, and also include shopping, culinary, and health/wellness. Amongst Bluffton’s overnight visitors, 75% were first-time visitors, suggesting that the destination continues to appeal to new visitors.


The average group size of those surveyed was 4.5 for overnight visitors and 3.8 for day trip visitors. The  main mode of transportation to town was personal/family car (45.8% overnight; 67.9% day trip). About  40.9% of overnight visitors flew to Bluffton via commercial flights, with just over one-third of them  (34.2%) landing at the Hilton Head Island Airport.

The average length of stay for those overnight visitors surveyed was approximately 4.0 nights. Hotels were the most popular choice of accommodation for overnight visitors (33.1%), followed by resorts  (25.9%), staying with friends/relatives (20.5%), and home/villa rentals (18.1%).


Airbnb was the most popular online booking platform for villas/homes (27.6%), followed by HomeAway (13.8%), local vacation rental companies (10.3%), and the local resorts’ online booking platforms  (10.3%). The top five other destinations visitors considered before choosing Bluffton were the Hawaiian  Islands; the Alabama Golf Trail; Gulf Shores, AL; Isle of Palms, SC; and Orlando, FL.

Top reasons for choosing to visit Bluffton were wanting to visit a beach destination (32.6%), word-of-mouth recommendation (29.0%), previous visit experience (28.0%), and wanting to visit nature-based attractions (23.3%).

Of those surveyed, 85.8% indicated an intention to return to visit Bluffton.


Of those who indicated not to have traveled at all or not to have traveled to the Hilton Head Island / Bluffton area in the past 12 months (N=860), just 38.6% had never visited the Hilton Head Island / Bluffton area before, and 48.8% had visited 1-5 times before.

Of those non-visitors, 37.6% traveled elsewhere, 2.9% found it too expensive, 2.0% mentioned health reasons, 2.0% were hesitant because of unpredictable weather events, 1.5% did not travel at all, and 0.9% did not find what they were looking for. Over 26% stated the COVID-19 pandemic kept them from visiting the Hilton Head Island / Bluffton area. Of those who did not visit the Hilton Head Island / Bluffton area, alternative destinations in the Southeast (26.9%) and Midwest (10.5%) were the most popular. Nonetheless, 49% of the non-visitors indicated they had plans to visit the Hilton Head Island / Bluffton area within one year.

We hope this information on Bluffton is helpful to you. If you would like to contribute to this page, please contact us and let us know what additional information about Bluffton should be added.

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