Hardeeville is a city in Jasper and Beaufort counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 2,952 as of the 2010 census and was estimated to be 6,515 in 2018. Hardeeville is included within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.
For many years, Hardeeville billed itself as the "Lowcountry Host" due to the prevalence of lodging and traveler-oriented facilities along U.S. Highway 17 and later Interstate 95. In recent years, the city has expanded its economic focus due to high population growth. According to Census estimates, Hardeeville posted the highest population growth rate of any municipality in South Carolina, growing 53.4 percent from 2010 to 2014.
The earliest European settlement in the region was Purrysburg, a former Swiss Huguenot settlement founded in 1732 on the banks of the Savannah River, about 2 miles (3 km) northwest of the current city's center. The settlement ultimately failed, as disease and competition from growing Savannah proved too much for the local settlers to overcome. Many left the immediate area, moving elsewhere in the Lowcountry region (including a new hamlet called Switzerland) or upriver to the new communities of Augusta, Georgia, and Hamburg, South Carolina, though some remained.
The area saw some skirmishes between Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. The Charleston and Savannah Railway (today's CSX Transportation) was considered a prized possession and major strategic goal for Union forces.