The drop in mercury has brought a welcome briskness to the famously warm island breezes, and in both Hilton Head and Bluffton this can mean only one thing: it’s time for some seriously fun fall festivals.
As you get ready to rediscover the Lowcountry following another bustling tourist season, we're here to help you get your social calendar set. Here are 4 activities you won’t want to miss on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton this fall.
Burger, Bacon & BBQ, October 7, 2017
Vegans, you might want to skip this one.
The Island Rec Center is putting on a carnivorous carnival at Shelter Cove Community Park, featuring meatier fare from some of the island’s top kitchens, including One Hot Mama’s, Up The Creek Pub, Melly Mel’s, Captain Woody’s and many more.
The grills will be running all day long, cooking up a slew of tasty beef, pork and chicken in an event that combines the former Burgers & Brew and Beer, Bacon and Music festivals.
And what’s a mouthwatering burger or BBQ slider without a tasty beer? The beer garden will be serving up cold pints of craft beer from purveyors all over the world. And of course, the festival will keep younger guests coming back for more thanks to a kids zone.
Topping off the festivities will be musical performances from Daubert & Korbar, Low Country Jam and Groove Town Assault.
Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival, October 14 - 22, 2017
While most folks will come out for the street festival held Oct. 21 and 22, the Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival is actually a week-long event packed with everything from a 5k to a series of boat tours.
One early highlight of the festival is the Chalk The Walk sidewalk art competition, Oct. 14 in the Promenade. Artists will make the concrete squares lining the center green their own, turning them into magnificent works of art for cash prizes.
The next day will see a Blessing of the Fleet at 4 p.m. at Church of the Cross with music by Lavon Stevens, followed by an oyster festival from 5-8 p.m. at Oyster Factory Park.
But the big event will be on Oct. 21 and 22 along Calhoun Street as vendors and artists line up for the type of jubilation only Bluffton could pull off. Sample some of the area’s best food, stroll along the quaint historic downtown and view works from more than 100 local and regional artists. In addition, there will be special art activities for kids in DuBois park from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. each day.
Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance, November 3-5, 2017
This annual salute to the art of the automobile continues to grow in new and exciting ways.
In addition to more than 500 cars on display during the Car Club Showcase and Concours itself, the Motoring Festival incorporates a slew of side activities and can’t miss events.
Start with the Savannah Speed Classic, held at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, which lets you get up close and personal for a high-octane race through special pit access and hot lap rides.
For a more elevated experience, check out the Flights & Fancy Aeroport Gala, pairing automotive excellence with aeronautical inspiration. Held at Hilton Head Island Airport, this black-tie event gets you up close and personal with vintage and state-of-the-art luxury aircraft.
It all culminates with the two-day Car Club Showcase and Concours d’Elegance at Port Royal Golf Club. Here you’ll see representatives from car clubs all over the country – vintage muscle cars, antique automobiles and so much more. There will also be exhibitions throughout the weekend of vintage boats as well as an eye-opening look at the world of 24-hour endurance races.
Pedal Hilton Head Island, November 19, 2017
With routes ranging from the kid-friendly to the experts-only, this celebration of cycling (formerly Pedal Hilton Head) is taking a long-time island favorite event to new heights. Literally.
The largest cycling event in the Lowcountry, this year’s event will take riders over both bridges to Bluffton’s flyovers for the very first time. The 62-mile metric century will be an extremely safe ride thanks to participation from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and will give cyclists some of the most breathtaking views from atop the Cross Island Parkway Bridge as well as both bridges to the mainland.
But it’s not just for the road warriors. Pedal Hilton Head Island also offers a family fun ride that will bring young cyclists and their parents down the hard-packed sands of Hilton Head Island’s beaches and along our famed pathways. Other routes, running 10, 20 and 40 miles, will criss-cross the islands, giving riders from all over the Southeast a chance to experience the pathway system that earned Hilton Head Island a gold-level bike friendly community certification from the League of American Bicyclists.
It all culminates with a massive afterparty at Coligny Plaza featuring food, music and fun. Proceeds from Pedal Hilton Head will benefit the Hilton Head Boys & Girls Club.