A lot of people who visit the state of South Carolina take trips to such historic cities as Charleston and Savannah, stops well worth making! But in between these two cities, in the heart of the Lowcountry, is a charming city called Beaufort. Situated on Port Royal Island, Beaufort is one of the largest Sea Islands in the country. It is renowned for its downtown historic district, complete with gorgeous antebellum mansions built by wealthy plantation owners during the 30 years or so preceding the Civil War. Over 50 historic buildings have been restored and are available for viewing. You can venture out on your own, but the area is best experienced with the help of a professional guide leading the way. Some of the tours offered are walking tours, van tours, and horse-drawn carriage tours – an appropriate way to see the area I would think!
But Beaufort has a lot more to offer than just its fascinating history. There are art galleries, quaint shops, phenomenal restaurants, festivals and events, and the beautiful Waterfront Park, where you can walk along the water or simply relax and take in the spectacular views. These are just a few of the reasons it's been featured in the NY Times, named “Best Small Southern Town” by Southern Living, and this year was hailed as “America’s Happiest Seaside Town” by Coastal Living Magazine!
Beyond downtown Beaufort, there is Hunting Island State Park, a perfect retreat for those seeking a relaxing day at the beach, or some adventure exploring the incredible nature on this barrier island. Make the climb up to the top of a lighthouse built in 1859 for some incredible views of the island and shore.
Beaufort is also a sportsman’s paradise, especially when it comes to water sports such as fishing, kayaking, boating, etc. And for the golfing enthusiast, there are plenty of courses in the area with really beautiful views.
There are so many more things to do and see here, especially for those interested in history, architecture, art, nature, outdoor adventure, relaxing and good eating!