Because this blog is named Talk of the House, I always try to make the posts about our travels fit with discussions about houses and rooms, but that won’t be the case today. I’m afraid you are going to have to be Joe Tourist here as I wrap up the South Carolina series with our last day adventures..and they didn’t include visiting pretty neighborhoods, but I hope you will enjoy it just the same.
It was an overcast morning that threatened rain as we left Beaufort and traveled over to Hunting Island State Park. I was hoping for a beautiful day like the one pictured in the photo at the top of the post, but it wasn’t quite the same sky, was it? The park entrance had a cute little building where we bought our island pass.
Are any of you fans of Lost? I have to admit that as we made our way down this road my husband and I said that it looked like a scene out of the show, and we were expecting the big black “smoke monster” to come out of the trees!
But thankfully no smoke monster appeared,and we arrived safely at Hunting Island’s lighthouse. This was the second lighthouse built there. The first one, made entirely of brick in 1859 and used to help ships navigate the waters between Savannah and Charleston, was destroyed by the Confederate army to hinder navigation by the Union soldiers.
The lighthouse was rebuilt with smartly designed interchangeable panels so that it could be moved if erosion made is necessary. And it did become necessary. The lighthouse was moved 1/4 mile in 1889.
Some of the outbuildings still stand in the compound, but unfortunately the lightkeepers’ home and 2/3 of the maritime forest were destoyed in a fire that took three days to put out in 1938. (They even had to call in the marines to contain it.) It is rumored that the fire started from an oil lamp being knocked over in a card game in the house.
We took the path from the lighthouse down to the beach even though it was beginning to rain some. I couldn’t be that close to the ocean without actually walking down to it and hearing the waves!
After seeing the beach, we drove back into Beaufort and headed over to Bluffton.
Goodbye, Beaufort. We enjoyed our visit and will be back again.
Bluffton was about a 45 minute drive from Beaufort. While we had breakfast that morning at the inn, one of the ladies there said that Bluffton had grown tremendously in the last decade. It had been a very small town, but as Hilton Head had grown, it had taken Bluffton in – much like Atlanta has taken in so many of its surrounding small towns.
The addition of the Tanger Outlet centers between Bluffton and Hilton Head had really spurred the growth there. And of course, I had to make my husband stop at the outlets. I went in only two stores (pretty good considering all that I could have gone in,) and I bought only one thing: a black and white gingham shirt from J Crew (priced waaaaay below the normal retail price.)
The town of Bluffton has managed to keep a section with the original feel of the place before Hilton Head’s influence. It reminds me of the feel of Grayton Beach outside of Destin, Florida. This section of Bluffton is called Old Town Bluffton and has some cute and unusual stores. So we left the outlets and drove into town.
It was getting late, and the recommended dining spot was The Cottage.
As you can see from the sign, they are a cafe, bakery, and tea room all in one. (I couldn’t believe how many people were purchasing tea pots while we were there!) And oh my goodness at all the desserts to choose from! (This is not all of them..there was a rotating cake carousel on the other side that I did not even photograph.)
Here is the view from our table where we dined. It had been packed when we started our lunch at 2:00, but because we leisurely enjoyed our meal, the restaurant was pretty much cleared out by the time we finished.
My husband had the regional favorite, shrimp and grits. It was loaded with pieces of bacon. After mixing it all together he really liked the dish. (Just don’t try to eat it from the top layer down. It needs to be mixed.)
Being allergic to shellfish really stinks – especially when you are in a coastal area with such fine seafood dishes.But I did have a very delicious roasted chicken pot pie (not nearly as good as a shrimp dish, but yummy nonetheless with its creme fraiche topping.)
We were quite full from our meals, so we grabbed a dessert to go, said goodbye to the nice folks at The Cottage…
and hit the road home. It was a short visit, but I think we really saw a lot of the area.
And that wraps up all that I have to share with you. It will be back to normal “house” posts this week. Thank you so much for traveling along with us in the low country of beautiful South Carolina. I really hope you also have the opportunity to share in the good things of that area one day soon.
until next time…