In 2004, South Carolina was one of the last states to legalize tattooing, and it took regulators more than two years to establish rules and allow the first tattoo shops to open.

Today, there are multiple shops on Hilton Head and in Bluffton, Beaufort and Hardeeville that draw local customers and vacationers as well as clientele from Savannah and beyond.

HERITAGE FINE JEWELRY PUTS ITS HEART — AND FAMILY — INTO CRAFTING PERFECT PIECES.

Since the beginning of time, ancient civilizations have been using shells, stones and other items like bones to carefully craft meaningful jewelry and decorative accessories. With the development of metal-working, jewelry became an art form that speaks to the heart, delighting wearers.

A few years back, Huntley Tarleton was looking for a way to add some flair to the Motoring Midway at the annual Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival. The theme was “The Quest for Speed and Style,” and Tarleton needed to find additional exhibits that would capture patrons’ attention and interest as they passed between class car exhibits on the first and 18th holes at Port Royal Golf Club.

PINNACLE COLLECTORS PETER AND MERLE MULLIN’S CARS HEARKEN BACK TO AN ARTISTIC ERA WHEN FRANCE WAS THE TOP OF THE AUTOMOTIVE WORLD.

It was 37 years ago, but Peter Mullin can still tell you everything about the moment his love of art deco cars began. Mullin’s Paul Williams-designed home in Oxnard, California, had made the perfect backdrop for a friend’s photoshoot centered around classic cars, and when Mullin saw the 1948 Delahaye 135MS, it sparked an admiration for France’s pre-war fame for automotive elegance.

BUMPER-TO-BUMPER EXCITEMENT FILLS THE CALENDAR OF EVENTS DURING THIS YEAR’S EVENT.

Odds are good that if you’re local, you just refer to it as “Concours.” As in, “You going to Concours?” (The correct response to which is, of course, yes).

But there’s a reason why the event we so casually shorten has a mouthful of a title: Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival. That’s because the Concours itself, a parade of stunningly elegant vehicles before a panel of judges, is just a small part of the weeklong celebration of automotive refinement and excitement.

ISLAND LIFE

Just a couple miles across Calibogue Sound from Harbour Town lies Daufuskie Island, a small, largely undeveloped barrier island begging to be explored. As the weather cools in October, it’s the perfect time for a day trip to the island.

A 45-minute ferry ride up the Intracoastal Waterway whisks visitors back in time when, depositing them on Daufuskie — accessible only by boat — and a world away from from the trappings of modern-day life.

If you live in the Lowcountry year-round, chances are your friends who live elsewhere are jealous. This area’s beautiful beaches, worldclass resorts and wide selection of restaurants, shopping and activities make Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie Island and Bluffton a top vacation destination and a great place to call home. For those who decide to stay year-round, the Lowcountry’s many planned communities offer beautiful homes and unparalleled amenities. 

COALITIONS AIM TO CONVINCE BUSINESSES, CONSUMERS TO SKIP THE STRAW

This summer, two campaigns in Beaufort County have targeted a common enemy: the plastic straw.

And though both local initiatives are focusing on convincing area businesses and residents to voluntarily ditch the straws, the movement to ban the drinking devices and other plastics has gained momentum recently: A Facebook video showing researchers removing a plastic straw from the nostril of a sea turtle in Costa Rica went viral; Seattle recently became the first U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and cutlery; and California and Hawaii are contemplating statewide regulations. The national movement is using the hashtag #stopsucking.

ARTS RENAISSANCE ENLIVENS THIS S.C. TOWN

Recently awarded USA Today’s “Best Small Town Cultural Scene,” this Southern gem is well worth a visit. From its Main Street boutiques, exhibits of works by nationally recognized artists, and secret gardens tucked into hidden spots, it’s clear this is a town undergoing a remarkable renaissance. 

TAKE A STROLL THROUGH BLUFFTON’S HISTORY

Bluffton is the last remaining example of a Lowcountry antebellum planters summer colony. And since cultural tourism is a growing trend and studies show those who are interested in history spend more money on their vacations than traditional tourists, local leaders are happy to woo them.

But it wouldn’t hurt locals to learn about where they live, either.