Accolades

The Town of Bluffton and its residents strive to excel in areas of quality government management/services, environmental protection, historic distinctions and a tourist destination.

Nearly two decades ago, the Town of Bluffton grew from a one-square mile Town, now referred to as “Old Town,” to the fifth-largest town in the state, in regards to land-mass.

The town is proud of its diverse populations as it ranges from lifelong residents to newcomers.

Among the crown-jewels of this coastal-village town is Palmetto Bluff, a residential/resort community that is about the size of Hilton Head Island. This upscale residential community consistently receives top honors for its resort and its residential homes.

Town of Bluffton

The Town, as a governmental body, also strives for excellence in categories ranging from financial reporting, historical designations, environmental protection and creative projects which enhance the living experience for its citizens. As a result, the Town has received numerous accolades throughout the years including:

  • National Register of Historic Places Designation for the Bluffton Historic District by the National Park Service (1996)
  • Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) Achievement Award , 1,000-5,000 Population Category for the Small Home Series (2003)
  • Preserve America Community Designation for the Bluffton Historic District by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (2005)
  • Inaugural Sustainable Communities Building Block Program Participant selected by the Environmental Protection Agency (2010)
  • Tree City USA Designation from the Arbor Day Foundation (2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Palmetto Forum Affordable Housing Achievement Award for the Wharf Street Redevelopment Project (2012)
  • Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) 2003 Achievement Award, 10,001-20,000 Population Category, for the Wharf Street Redevelopment Project (2013)
  • Best Planned Community Award from Southern Living for the Wharf Street Redevelopment Project (2014)
  • Continued recognition of high professional standards and ranking as one of the top-tier law enforcement departments
  • Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) Accreditation for the Bluffton Police Department (2009)
  • Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) Re-Accreditation for the Bluffton Police Department (2012)
  • Recognition of significant accomplishments by the Town, financial staff and management and signify the highest standards for preparation of budget and financial reports
  • Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (2012, 2013, 2014)
  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting (PAFR) from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • AA- Municipal Bond Rating issued by Standard’s & Poor (2010)
  • AA+ Municipal Bond Rating issued by Standard’s & Poor (2014)
  • 25 Top 25 U.S. Cities for Retirement by Forbes (2014)
  • Best Community Revitalization Award for the Wharf Street Redevelopment Project by Southern Living Magazine (2014)
  • Named a “Southern Dream Town” by Garden & Gun Magazine (June/July 2015).
  • Top 20 Best Places to Retire and the Best Place for Waterfront Living by Money Magazine (2015)
  • Niche.com named Bluffton #3, Best Towns to Raise a Family in South Carolina (2015)
  • Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), Accreditation with Excellence, the highest level of recognition of the reaccreditation process (2015)

Palmetto Bluff

Bluffton is also home to Palmetto Bluff, a 19,217 acre world-renowned residential community and resort which consistently receives top awards and accolades:

  • Best Hotels in the USA by U.S. News & World Report; No. 1 Hotel in South Carolina; Rated No. 2 Top 10 Hotels in the U.S. (2014)
  • The Coolest Hotel in Every State for South Carolina by Yahoo Travel News (2014)
  • Condé Nast Traveler; No. 1 Resort in the U.S.; No. 11 Resort in the World (2013)
  • World's Best Awards by Travel + Leisure; Rated No. 96 Top 100 Hotels Overall and No. 11 Resort in the Continental U.S. (2013)
  • Travelers Choice Award by Trip Advisor; Rated No. 8 Top 25 Hotels in the United States (2013)
  • Readers’ Choice Award by Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report; Rated No. 9 Top U.S. Hideaway, No. 5 Top Family Resorts (2012)
  • Top 100 Golf Courses by Golf Magazine; Rated No. 51 (2012)
  • World’s Best Hotels for Families by Travel + Leisure; Rated No. 4 in Continental U.S. and Canada (2012)
  • Five-Diamond Award by AAA; Most Luxurious Accommodations in North America (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • World’s Best Award by Travel + Leisure ; Rated No. 6 Top Resort in Continental U.S., No. 79 Top 100 Hotels Overall (2012)
  • Best Hotels in the USA by US News & World Report; Rated No. 1 U.S. Hotel (2012)
  • Top Golf Resorts in the World by Condé Nast Traveler; Rated No. Southern U.S. Resort (2012)
  • Top 270 Spas by Condé Nast Traveler; Rated No. 15 (2012)
  • TENNIS Magazine Top 50 Tennis Resorts; Rated No. 3 South Carolina Tennis Resort (2012)
  • Readers’ Choice Platinum List by Celebrated Living(2012)
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