Montage Palmetto Bluff / May River, GOLF's Top 100 Resorts
Montage Palmetto Bluff
  • Location: Bluffton, SC
  • Rooms: 200
  • Courses: One
  • Amenities: Eight restaurants / spa / tennis / shooting club / equestrian center / walking trails
  • Also good for: Best for Luxury

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6 things you need to know

  • Best time to go: Spring and fall are the prime golf seasons.
  • Daily stay-and-plays start at: $350
  • Golf experience: May River, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design.
  • Best non-golf amenity: The actual May River, which is a dream for standup paddleboarders and kayakers.
  • While you're there: Seek out the oysters, which are in season October and November.
  • Insider tip: The May River course is private, with access for resort guests only.


The quaint Lowcountry town of Bluffton — named for its perch on the “bluffs” along the languid May River — has emerged as a hotspot for retirement and relocation. Just minutes from downtown, 20,000-acre Palmetto Bluff (almost twice the size of Manhattan) is a visionary, master-planned community that embraces the environment and Lowcountry lifestyle. Its centerpiece hotel, Montage Palmetto Bluff, exudes Southern charm and beckons guests to “come and stay a little while.” Resort guests have access to the otherwise private May River Golf Course, a Jack Nicklaus Signature design that opened in 2004. Nicklaus returned in 2017 to completely restore the layout to its original form. The Golden Bear’s deft delineation between formal and native bunkers adds a unique design element architecture geeks will appreciate. Any pain inflicted by the ever-challenging May River can be eased by the nightly s’mores sessions around the firepits (featuring gourmet marshmallows!) outside of the River House. Hunting is a centuries-old tradition around Bluffton. Guests have access to the Shooting Club, with 13 sporting clay stations winding through an expansive 40-acre forest.

Nicklaus Companies and are affiliates of 8AM Golf.