Yes, you can get there from here (if you know how).
If there is an official vehicle of Old Town Bluffton, it’s easily the humble golf cart. Whether pulling up to the Promenade or taking a leisurely drive down Calhoun street, there’s simply no better way to see the old town than at a slow pace with the wind in your hair.
But the question becomes, how much of Old Town can you venture to via golf cart? How far could you conceivably go beyond the classic one square mile that marks what was once the outer edge of this small fishing village? Turns out, you can actually see a lot more of the town than you thought, if you know where to go.
Before we begin, a brief primer on South Carolina’s laws pertaining to safe golf cart operation. According to charlestonlaw.net, “…you can drive on secondary highways or streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. You can cross a highway or street at an intersection even if the highway or street being crossed has a speed limit of greater than 35 mph.”
That first part is crucial, because thanks to Bluffton’s notorious past as a speed trap, many of the speed limits around town are 35 or less. The second part presents a challenge, but one that is easily overcome if you know where to find the right crossings.
In addition, South Carolina law limits your golf cart ride to a radius of four miles around your home.
We should note the overriding rule here is safety. Just because you can legally drive on a certain road does not necessarily mean you should, particularly if you have a relatively slow golf cart (the author of this piece drives a 6-seater that tops out just under 10 mph fully loaded).
For example, the speed limit on S.C. 46 is 35 below all the way from Old Town north to the Post Office area and west just past Buck Island Road. But the westbound road leading to Savannah is also heavily trafficked, and fairly narrow once you get out of Old Town. As such, we cannot recommend you travel all that way in your golf cart. We can, however, give you a few places you can go (within four miles, of course).
So let’s say you’re in Old Town and you wanted to go to…
Kittie’s Crossing (2.8 miles from Old Town)
A straightforward route to Kittie’s Crossing from Old Town would generally just be a straight shot up for S.C. 46. In a golf cart, that route isn’t possible, due to the fact that S.C. 46 goes to 40 mph just south of the circle. So how do you get there?
From Old Town, head up Pin Oak St. to Red Cedar St. (you can take Goethe up to 8th or 9th, but Pin Oak is wider, more residential and thus safer). Take Red Cedar Street over the Bluffton Parkway, and through the new section that runs behind Wal-Mart. Cross S.C. 46 at the light and you’re in Kittie’s Crossing!
If you’re feeling extra adventurous (and again, if your cart is fast enough that this would be safe), you can even cross U.S. 278 at the Kittie’s Crossing light and enjoy shopping and dining at Gateway Village!
Brighton Beach (1.9 miles from Old Town)
One of Bluffton’s most awe-inspiring hidden gems, Brighton Beach is readily accessible via golf cart by simply following Alljoy Road all the way east out of Old Town. It’s 35 mph all the way. One caveat, in the interest of safety: while you will most likely not be the only golf cart on the road, you will also be sharing Alljoy Rd. with boaters heading down to the nearby Alljoy public dock.
Be aware of other traffic, and be safe.
God’s Goods/Wild Wing Café/Golden Corral (3.5 miles from Old Town)
There isn’t really a name for this plaza, but if you’re heading out for some wings or some thrift store hunting, it is possible to get there from Old Town if you’re willing to take a few side roads and if your cart is fast enough (not only because this is a pretty long drive, but also because you will need to cross one intersection at a decent clip).
From Old Town, take Bridge Street over to Burnt Church for a quick job up to Ulmer Road. As with Alljoy Rd., Ulmer is 35 mph but fairly narrow and well-trafficked so drive with caution. You can follow Ulmer to Foreman Hill Rd., which will eventually become Malphrus Rd. Despite being a fairly major road, Malphrus is 35 mph right up until where it crosses the Bluffton Parkway.
So we’re going to need to turn off first, heading into Heritage Lakes. Take Heritage Lakes Dr. all the way back (you’ll need to turn right at the second stop sign). It eventually lets out at the Bluffton Parkway, which you can cross with extreme caution.