Conservation // 3 min Read

Local Character: Boo Harrell

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Sep 26, 2016

Take a guided tour on the May River, stop for a spell in the Ship’s Store, or bump into Boo Harrell on a bike, and you’ll discover a fast friend. Boo, whose formal name is Andrew, is a master storyteller. Just ask him about his name, there is indeed a story. In fact, there is no island, creature, historical figure, or Lowcountry tidbit that Boo can’t weave into a tale, in a way that excites anyone aged five to 85.

Born in Savannah, his father’s career in the Army took the family from Hawaii to Germany, returning regularly to the Lowcountry for visits with his grandparents who had settled on Myrtle Island (Bluffton) in the 1940s. Upon retiring from the military in the seventies, Boo’s father made Myrtle Island their homestead as well. And Boo has fond memories reminiscent of a Conroy novel, of a childhood spent exploring the May, from sunup to sundown, on his jon boat.

For a brief while during his college years, Boo again ventured back to Hawaii and gained certification as a wind-surfing instructor but was ultimately lured back to Bluffton, the tides of the May River calling. After graduation from USC with his degree in tourism, he became a wind-surfing instructor with Outside Hilton Head. Over the years he shifted his focus to real estate, but always kept one foot in the water, literally.

When the opportunity arose for Outside Hilton Head to provide services at Palmetto Bluff, Boo enthusiastically stepped up to the plate. At the time, he was living on Myrtle Island and would make the seven-minute commute via kayak. His enthusiasm and joy for life are contagious; it is clear that he found his passion and followed it, and now we are all the benefactors of this gift.%GALLERY%We asked Boo a few questions, and while his tales tend to be grand and detailed, he was surprisingly succinct when asked about himself. Read on …

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being able to wear flip-flops every day and when the river is above 80 degrees.

What goes through your mind as you drive to work each morning?

I feel blessed every day to work at such a beautiful property. Driving in, I am always imagining what the river is going to look like and hoping it is going to be a perfect day with just the right amount of cloud coverage and a slight breeze. I also try to figure out what I am going to do to exceed the expectations of the group that is going out on the river with me.

And, on the way home?

After a long day, I find it nice to just zone out, relax and listen to NPR.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Stopping at RT’s Market and picking up a delicious pastry!

Is there a movie that you’d recommend to friends?

Senna. It is a documentary about Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian F1 driver. I feel anyone who has raced anything will truly appreciate this movie.

If there were a movie about your life, what would it be called? And, which actor would play you?

Huck Finn on the May… and Kevin Costner would play me because I think of Waterworld and the cool catamaran he sailed.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Easy question: my daughters Sydney Leigh, 16 and Drew Covington, 11.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Generosity. I always want to help others in need.

What is the last book you read?

Comeback by Dennis Conner. He lost The America’s Cup in 1983 to the Australians and tells his story of winning it back in 1987.

If you could have one “super power,” what would it be? And, how would you use it at work?

I would like to be able to control the weather. Every day would be 85 degrees with nice breeze in the afternoon.

When you’re not here, what are you doing?

I enjoy windsurfing, however, I haven’t been out much.

What word do you use most?


What makes you laugh?

Any Will Ferrell movie …

Top five songs on your playlist?

Talking Heads – Naïve Melody; Beautiful Day – U2; Jet Airliner – Steve Miller Band; Pride (in the name of love) – U2; Every song on the CD Tropical Update by The Mundahs.

Favorite spot on the Bluff?

The tree house at Moreland. I never get tired of scanning the marsh and creeks from above.

Best Palmetto Bluff Moment?

One evening I was out on the river at sunset, and we could hear the Hallelujah Singers performing on the porch at Canoe Club. Priceless.

Photography by Rob Kaufman

Culture / Day Trips from Palmetto Bluff

Story by Barry Kaufman and Photographs by Lizzy Rollins Just beyond the gates of Palmetto Bluff, at the end of that quiet stretch of trees and sunlight, a solitary strip of pavement beckons. This connective tissue, a tributary, leads off across the great Amer...

Feb 2024
palmetto bluff

Real Estate / Behind the Bluff with Broker-in-Charge W. Bryan Byrne

Bryan’s Journey to Palmetto Bluff Real Estate In this edition of Behind the Bluff, W. Bryan Byrne, the Broker-in-Charge at Palmetto Bluff Real Estate Company, discusses his two-decade journey in the community. His experience has intricately molded the authent...

Jan 2024
real estate in bluffton sc

Real Estate / Lowcountry Housing Trends & Market Updates

Real Estate in Bluffton, SC: Trends, Updates, and Insights Bluffton, South Carolina, nestled within the scenic Lowcountry, is not just a picturesque haven but also a thriving real estate market. As the demand for homes in this charming town continues to grow,...

Jan 2024

Food & Wine / Mocktails from the Palmetto Bluff Club

Rosemary Spice Mocktail Recipe Introducing Buffalos' exquisite Rosemary Spice Mocktail—a meticulously crafted blend that awakens the taste buds with a perfect harmony of bold flavors. Fresh jalapenos are muddled for a subtle spicy kick, while luscious cra...

Jan 2024

Artist in Residence / Painting Wild

Story by Sandy Lang and Photographs by Lawson Builder In early May, The Arts Initiative hosted renowned Lowcountry painter West Fraser as our esteemed Artist In Residence. Throughout his stay, residents were treated to an array of events, including a painting...

Jan 2024
palmetto buff golf course

Sporting Life / Behind the Bluff with the Palmetto Bluff 9-Hole Golf Course Team

All About the New Palmetto Bluff Golf Course Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Palmetto Bluff, a new golfing adventure is taking shape—the Crossroads 9-Hole Golf Course. To delve into the intricacies of this project, we had the opportunity to sit down w...

Dec 2023

Conservation / Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run 2023: A Celebration of Endurance, Nature, and Community

A Recap of the 2034 Buffalo Run The Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sunday, December 11, 2023, drawing in a record-breaking crowd of over 500 runners. The event, nestled in the heart of Palmetto Bluff's 20,000 acres of natural sp...

Dec 2023
places to eat near hilton head

Food & Wine / Ask the Locals: Our Favorite Restaurants Near Hilton Head

The 10 Best Places to Eat Near Hilton Head Island Nestled on the southernmost tip of South Carolina, Hilton Head Island beckons not only with its pristine beaches but also with a culinary scene that rivals its natural beauty. The Lowcountry, known for breatht...

Dec 2023

Artist in Residence / Journey through Creativity: Palmetto Bluff's 2023 Artist in Residence Highlights

As the sun sets over the picturesque landscape of Palmetto Bluff, we are grateful for the creativity that took center stage throughout the year. The 2023 Artist in Residence program has ended, leaving behind a trail of artistic marvels and inspiring stories. F...

Dec 2023

Real Estate / The Builders Behind the Bluff

Meet the Palmetto Bluff Builders Team A home is more than just bricks and mortar; it's where cherished memories are made, and dreams come to life. At Palmetto Bluff, the Palmetto Bluff Builders team designs homes based on your vision.  Allow us to introduc...

Dec 2023
Community Villages
Palmetto Bluff Club
On The Water
The Arts Initiative
About Us