Hey folks! Let’s face it, Charleston gets all the hype when it comes to South Carolina cities.
But guess what? You can still experience that sweet Southern charm and rich history without breaking the bank by checking out the smaller and equally special towns in the area. If you’re a fan of Forrest Gump or Pat Conroy’s work, you won’t want to miss Beaufort, a charming harbor town in Port Royal. With its picturesque streets, majestic oak trees, and pre-Civil War historic district, it’ll take your breath away. But wait, there’s more! Unlike the jam-packed tourist hotspots in Charleston, Beaufort is a hidden gem with fewer crowds. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to Beaufort and experience the magic for yourself!
In 1969, Beaufort made history.
It became one of the few U.S. cities with an entire downtown designated as a historic district by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. You can explore the neighborhoods filled with Victorian, Greek Revival, Neoclassical, and Federal-style homes – it’s a top attraction for most travelers! Don’t miss Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, where you’ll spot Woods Memorial Bridge, famous from Tom Hanks’ blockbuster. Want to stretch your legs? Take a walk on the Spanish Moss Trail – a beautiful 10-mile greenway that weaves by Beaufort’s marshes and through trees draped in Spanish moss. Oh, and Beaufort’s waterfront location means it should also be experienced by boat! Book a Dolphin & History Boat Cruise with Coastal Expeditions, an ecology tour with Beaufort Kayak Tours, or try paddleboarding with rental equipment available at Higher Ground Outfitters.
Get lost in Beaufort’s vibrant literary scene!
Pay a visit to the Pat Conroy Literary Center, housed in this beloved author’s adopted hometown. And for all our fellow bookworms out there, be sure to check out one (or all!) of the fantastic independent bookstores – NeverMore Books, McIntosh Book Shoppe, and Beaufort Books. But that’s not all Beaufort has to offer! Art lovers, rejoice! The town is home to numerous galleries, such as the Gullah Art Gallery and Museum, Legacy Art Gallery, Rhett Gallery, Thibault Gallery, and Atelier Off Bay. Come explore the creative wonders of Beaufort!
Looking for some fun outside of downtown Beaufort?
Look no further than Hunting Island State Park! With gorgeous beaches, lush forests, and even a historic lighthouse, it’s the perfect escape from the city hustle. Plus, just a quick 13-minute drive away is Saint Helena Island, where you can explore the fascinating history of Penn Center and pick your own fresh fruits and veggies at Dempsey Farms. And don’t forget to stop by the Port Royal Farmers Market on Saturday mornings for more local goodness. Get ready for some unforgettable adventures!