Palmetto Bluff Shelter in Place

Palmetto Bluff is a premier community that lines the May River, tucked among the tidal marshes in a hidden corner of Bluffton, SC. As we continue our coverage of the ways Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, and Beaufort are overcoming the challenges of COVID-19, we have found inspiring stories of resilience. 

Today, we feature the many ways Palmetto Bluff pivoted to ensure their dear members continued to, “enjoy the best of classic Lowcountry traditions within a majestic, beautiful, stimulating and protected environment.”

If you’d like to catch up on the rest of our Lowcountry COVID-19 coverage, check out:

Palmetto Bluff Shines During COVID-19

While Palmetto Bluff is a private community for a limited number of members, this hidden gem is not-so-hidden any more thanks to their five-star property, Montage Palmetto Bluff. The 20,000 acre residential and resort development regularly welcomes locals and visitors alike for stay and play activities.

In accordance with advisories recommended by S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and Centers for Disease Control, properties open to the public were closed to ensure member and staff safety.

As the world slowly came to a halt and fought the spread of the novel Coronavirus COVID-19, Palmetto Bluff quickly got creative to ensure their members could safely quarantine without losing touch with their natural paradise and each other.

Experiencing Palmetto Bluff In a New Way

Palmetto Bluff Social DistancingLesley Patterson, Director of Member Relations explains, “We got really creative to accommodate our members during this COVID-19 time”. With a focus on being well while living well, Lesley and her team have curated multiple socially-distant, safe ways for members to maintain physical and mental health. 

Fitness Offerings

  • Though gyms were closed to stop the spread of the virus, the community allowed free rentals of weights and equipment so members could stay active at home.

  • Instructors innovated ways to hold outdoor fitness classes and utilize the incredible open spaces on the property. Attendees could spread out and enjoy a group class from a safe distance, including Fitness4Kids!

  • Utilizing the best sanitization methods, the spacing of bikes, and safety measures, Palmetto Bluff coordinated indoor cycling in the Somerset Chapel.

Palmetto Bluff Easter BunnyHoliday Celebrations

  • The Easter Bunny made an appearance right on time, thanks to Palmetto Bluff’s Drive-Through on Easter morning! Instead of a traditional Easter Egg Hunt, Children received bags of candy safely from their car as they enjoyed seeing the bunny visiting the neighborhoods!

  • Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and members will enjoy live music and a safely-spaced outdoor brunch. For members who prefer to celebrate at home, the special brunch menu is available for pick up as well.

Socially-Distant Events

  • Movie Night was modified to accommodate social distancing. Members were welcomed in their golf carts or on socially-distant blankets for a “Drive-In” movie night featuring Food Trucks.

  • Glow Golf invited the golfers out for a twist on the traditional game. Members enjoyed music and food trucks while sinking putts. 

  • With the beauty surrounding us coming more clearly into focus with each passing day, Palmetto Bluff showcased its talent with a Drive-Around Art Festival. Members stayed in the safety of their cars while enjoying music, food, and gorgeous art.

Digital Innovations

  • Palmetto Bluff created a custom YouTube Channel for “Quarantine with the Club” videos featuring their plethora of staff talent. Members can take at-home culinary classes, indulge in wine tutorials, share storytime with the kids, find shooting instruction, step up their golf game with pro tips, and more!

  • This quickly prompted members with expertise to submit their own videos. Submissions have included cooking videos, a photography tutorial, how to categorize photos, and so on.

The New York Post recently featured Palmetto Bluff in an article where former IMB executive and Palmetto Bluff resident, Steve Sayer described life in the community during social distancing as "still wonderful, and we’re surviving social distancing,” Sayer says. “We’ve been getting together at the end of the day with neighbors for a glass of wine on the porch, staying 6 feet apart but catching up socially.” He went on to say that residents are taking advantage of the many outdoor possibilities with modifications for social distancing. Another Palmetto Bluff resident, Cynthia Willett, states “During this pandemic, you could not live in a better or safer place,” she says. “I felt very protected here and fortunate to live here during this unprecedented time.” 


Charter One Realty is proud to shine a light on the communities who stepped up to help their members through this uncertain time. Palmetto Bluff continues to set the bar for membership-driven communities under the leadership of Lesley Patterson. 

As we all remain vigilant and committed to the health of our beloved Lowcountry community, it is a “breath of fresh air” to see how quickly people adapt to a new normal. We applaud you all!

Has your community pivoted during COVID-19? We’d love to feature how your neighborhood is adapting to life during a Pandemic. 

Share your thoughts in the comments!



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