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History & Historic Places to Visit

Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, and the surrounding Lowcountry have a rich history. Local historical documentation begins at the time of Spanish and French settlement in the early 1500s and continues through the time of Native Americans, the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and the Gullah culture.

Did you know Hilton Head Island is the home to the first self-governed, freed-slave community?

Be sure to check out the links below and the historic trails throughout Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Beaufort. Many of the local historic sites are on the National Register of Historic Places and make for a great outing!


Heritage Library
History & Ancestry Research; classes, programs, and resources


Hilton Head History References

Island History Pathway Map

Town of Hilton Head Historic Neighborhoods

History from HHI Chamber of Commerce

History from

Gullah History 

Mitchelville Freedom Park

The Gullah Museum of Hilton Head

Gullah Heritage History Tours

  Coastal Discovery Museum
Lectures, history forum, historical buildings, and events


Bluffton History References

Historic Bluffton Foundation

Town of Bluffton History

Bluffton Garvin-Garvy House

History of Bluffton, SC:
Selected Links & Materials

Bluffton Walking Tour Map


Beaufort History References

Historic Beaufort Foundation

History of Beaufort

Tour of Historic Beaufort Homes