Traveling around South Carolina looking for a retirement spot

Someone mentioned that his parents had just retired to Bluffton, SC. Spurred by that, my wife and I are headed to Bluffton in a couple of weeks to check it out. Her excuse is that they are having a marathon there and mine is that I want to get out of the cold. Retirement is still several years away but we are doing a meandering look at areas that might be potential places to settle down and gum our food.

So, I wanted to ask, is there anything in Bluffton that we should focus on while we visit, with the goal of a potential landing spot? We will check out Hilton Head and Savannah for tourism stuff so if there is something we shouldn’t miss from that respect that would be cool too.

In the retirement vein, next year we probably will look at Wilmington/Leland, and even New Bern in coastal NC. I heard that those places have higher than average crime though. We’ve also looked at Tempe/Mesa which were really nice. But when they said they had 116 last summer I got a bit scared. Also looked at Prescott and Sedona. Sedona was too pricey and touristy for me. I liked Prescott but it falls a little short of my top criteria of close to a medical university hospital and close to an international airport.

Answer 1: I have heard good things about neighboring Hardeeville. I can say you should definitely check out Savannah, a great town. The Olde Pink House is a cool spot, but if you go, try to eat in the bar downstairs. It is a really old bar, and has the same menu as the dining room. Alligator Soul and The Grey are other restaurants I highly recommend in Savannah. It is also one of 3 towns in the US that allows you to carry your drinks around town.

Answer 2: You should spend some time in Beaufort as well. Smaller town than Savanah but closer to Bluffton. Bluffton/Hilton head area has a range of “plantations” – Finding the right community for your circumstances could take some time.

Answer 3: That might have been me as my mom moved to Bluffton three years ago and LOVEs it. When we visit her, we go Savannah and take the trolley tour of the city. You can get on and off as many times as you want to walk around and check stuff out yourself. I also recommend going to Beaufort and taking the tour. Pretty cool little town and a ton of movies were filmed there. The Big Chill, Forrest Gump and Prince of tides are three off the top of my head. Hilton Head is great but better in the summer.

Answer 4: We moved to Summerville, SC and I love it here. I would check out Daniel Island, Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island etc., all around the Charleston area. These keep you in a great position for North travels (Charlotte, Wilmington, Raleigh), South (Hilton Head, Savannah, GA, Jacksonville, Fla, Orlando, Daytona etc.) all within 5/6 hours.

Answer 5: It’s an awesome place. My daughter was in law enforcement there for 6 years, she recently moved back to upstate NY. My other half and I are definitely looking for a place there. There are several reasons.

1)The beaches are awesome, good sand, not crowded, without the touristy crap. You can even ride a bicycle on them.
2)The golf courses are top notch. Plenty to choose from and not that expensive. Do not go into the woods for balls, it ain’t worth it.
3) Bluffton is not on the island so it is less crowded. In my retirement I want quiet serene drama free days, kids being what they are these days….
4) The amenities, shopping, gas, restaurants are all close and easy to get to.

The drawbacks, there really is not an airport that close, Savannah is only a half an hour away, but flying into it is pricey and finding flight is a pain. South Carolina gets hot and humid even in October/November. I know that’s the reason to go, but maybe I’m not ready to retire yet?

Answer 6: A few years ago we vacationed in Isle of Palms. I loved Mt. Pleasant SC and had a realtor send me a ton of stuff. We know people that recently relocated there as well with great reviews. I have heard good things about Bluffton as well. Still many years before retirement but it never hurts to be prepared.

Mt. Pleasant is a frequent destination for retirees from the Carolinas. The Charleston area has a lot of attractive choices.

Bluffton isn’t bad – I really like that area, but if you are looking to travel North by car, the extra 90 minutes you save helps a lot. Plus, Bluffton and Hilton Head are both tucked away a little off the interstate, although with Bluffton you’re about 10 miles closer than in Hilton Head.

You’ll find air travel easier out of Charleston than Savannah, too.

Probably can’t go wrong in either place, but Charleston area living is more appealing to me.

Answer 7: Bill, we checked out all those beachy towns leading up to retirement…..we chose Summerville SC just outside of Charleston. In my opinion Charleston has more to offer than Savannah or Wilmington. We were looking for Restaurants, History, Entertainment and we found it all in Chuck-town. They play a game called “Golf” down here if you’re interested. Oh and there’s the Yankees Minor-League Team, when they play the BoSox farm team from Greenville upstate — it’s a Rumble.

Beaufort has a nice “small town” feel but is still close to things. New Bern is much the same. I have not been to Bluffton, but it seems kind of remote to me. You should make a few trips to these places as you get closer to Retirement. New Bern, NC is also worth a look.

Filed Under: Ask travel questions

Tags: , , , ,

About the Author

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.