This tiny town in South Carolina knows how to celebrate the simple life. Located just 2 miles off U.S. 278, it's compact enough to explore in an afternoon, but if you're like us, you'll want to linger a little longer.
The Church of the Cross
A wooden Gothic cruciform building on the banks of the May River, spared during the Civil War. Services are held at the Episcopal church on Sundays, but you can wander the grounds anytime. Plan your visit for sunset (around 6:30 p.m. in April), one of the best on the East Coast. 110 Calhoun Street; www.thechurch ofthecross.net or (843) 757-2661. Services: 5:28 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday.
Jacob Preston Studio
At 6'5", he's known as Bluffton's Tallest Potter. His collection of moderately priced, utilitarian wares in blues, greens, and browns offers inspired interpretations of the surrounding country-side. For a splurge, order one of his custom-made sinks. 10 Church Street; (843) 757-3084.
An eclectic clothing, jewelry, and gift shop, with everything from Mud Pie baby clothes to sequined shift dresses. 71 Calhoun Street; (843) 757-3446.
Old Town Vintage Posters
Original and reproduction European advertising posters from the 1890s to the 1960s, including much-coveted works by artist Leonetto Cappiello. Look for his increasingly rare poster Cremant du Roi, which shows a festooned king in tights, daintily sipping Veuve Amiot bubbly. 49 Boundary Street; www.oldtownvintageposters.com or (843) 837-3311.
A former barn turned lively eatery, with outdoor tables and a smoldering fire pit, under strings of white lights. Try the steamed oysters-a whole cluster of creamy May River oysters served in a tin washtub. 1255 May River Road; www.peppersporch.org or (843) 757-2295. Lunch or dinner for two is about $25.
"Picture-Perfect Bluffton" is from the March 2008 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.