If your interests include American history, antebellum architecture, gourmet eating, shopping and gallery browsing or water activities, then Beaufort, South Carolina may be for you! Named one of the top 10 small cities, Beaufort is safe and walkable, historic and vibrant.
Beaufort, South Carolina is a coveted jewel set between the two larger historical cities; Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC. While once richer than and as sophisticated as its bigger neighbors, today Beaufort retains much of its small town charm and soothing pace. It’s a small town with big selections; during your Beaufort, SC vacation your may enjoy top-niche restaurants, history touring, eco-tour boating and kayaking, as well as shopping and a treasure trove of art galleries. Additionally, some guests use Beaufort as an unhurried base to enjoy the surrounding areas including day trips to Savannah, the Ashley River Plantations or the city of Charleston. Area events include The Gullah Festival, The Annual Beaufort Water Festival, art exhibits, film festivals, theatrical performances, historical home tours and more.
American and Civil War histories have played an impressive role in our cities survival and legacy. Wander back in time by taking a highly recommended leisurely history stroll through our National Historic District amongst some of the finest antebellum homes in America. A shorter horse and buggy tour clops down our hallowed streets on a 45 to 55 minute tour or take a early evening graveyard tour visiting many historical and beautiful churches found around the downtown area, such as Saint Helena’s Episcopal Church (1724) just a half block from the Cuthbert House Inn. Follow these experiences with a light lunch or a light outdoor snack at Nippy’s Fish, a petite restaurant with outdoor seating and a great fish sandwich or shrimp and grits at Blackstone’s Café
. Also downtown on the water are Kathleen's and Luthers.
A short drive up town you will find Uptown Grill serving fresh, seasonal, contemporary American cuisine.
Spend your afternoon strolling the shops and twenty-seven galleries along Bay Street. They begin just steps from our front door. Don’t miss the Rhett Gallery where four generations of family artists bring the low country to life, and don’t miss their extensive Civil War Room where many fine collector pieces are available for purchase.
Beaufort is on the inter-coastal waterway where we are one of 200 barrier islands along the Carolina coast. Our geographic location, at the mouth of the Port Royal Sound is partly responsible for our long history of hurricane-free weather. That sound is also the source of our high salty tides and picturesque marshes and beaches. A trip across the islands to Hunting Island State Park on the Atlantic is a great day of sand, surf, long walks and primitive South Carolina shoreline. Go to the fishing pier where you can rent a rod and reel and try your luck in the noonday sun. For more in-depth eco-touring try the Ace Basin Tours, Inc on Coosaw Island for a two-hour pontoon boat tour on our rivers and marshes. For a shorter tour leaving just across the street at The Downtown Marina with Captain Dick on a dolphin cruise and a wonderful view of Beaufort from the water side.
Dinner options are varied and many. However, we have our favorites, and they may become yours! After your fun-packed day, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments with us then venture out for a wonderful dinner where most establishments overlook our waterways. For the freshest of local seafood, 11th Street Dockside Restaurant is a must. Just a few blocks away we have a number of great quality dining choices. Saltus River Grill, Panini’s Cafe, Breakwater, Emily’s, Plum's or a new restaurant called Wren(843-524-9463) are all great choices for your vacation dining. A short drive will take you Bistro Patois , specializing in approachable food prepared with the elegance of old French style or Maggie's Pub and Eatery If you are staying long enough or have a particular taste, we have many more options to suggest.
Other short trips of interest include the Penn Center, a Gullah Cultural History Museum dedicated to the preservation of the Sea Island culture and history. A trip up route 21 to the ruins of the Old Sheldon Church whose massive brick columns still stand after destruction by the British in 1779 and Union troops under General Sherman’s command in 1865, a favorite wedding location in the Low Country.
If you’re still not ready for bed, nightlife along the waterfront begins about 9 p.m. with live music Thursday through Sunday at a number of restaurants and bars along our beautiful waterfront park on the inter-coastal waterway. The park spans from the swing bridge to the Sea Islands at Carteret Street down to the Downtown Marina where many of our guests tie up and walk a short block to the Cuthbert House. The park is safe day and night with a number of adult swing sets to relax and appreciate our swift rolling river, our six-foot tidal changes and a number of passing watercraft. I think you're getting sleepy. See you in the morning for a hot southern breakfast!
Movies and Best Sellers - Film Maker's Paradise. Beginning with the 1983 classic The Big Chill, Beaufort's ante-bellum and tropical charms shine through in the popular Hollywood Productions: The Prince of Tides, White Squall, Forest Gump, GI Jane, Something to Talk About, Forces of Nature and Rules of Engagement. The list of credits just keeps growing.
Best selling author, Pat Conroy's books and characters come alive as you walk, or better yet ride a bike through the legendary streets of The Water is Wide, Prince of Tides, The Great Santini and Beach Music.