South Carolina’s Lowcountry should be on everyone’s bucket list. Sandy, picturesque beaches, historic colorful downtowns, wildlife preserves, and more seafood than you could ever imagine makes for a dreamy getaway. Here are five towns that you absolutely must put on your bucket list.
Centrally located in between Savannah and Charleston, Beaufort is a favorite for travelers wishing to get the most out of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. The idyllic downtown is frequently ranked as one of the most beautiful downtowns in America. Historic Antebellum mansions dot the neighborhood districts and paired with the quaint shops and art galleries make for a perfect setting for a little getaway. You can stay at the Cuthbert House Inn, a historic antebellum mansion with unmatched views on the bay and just steps from downtown. Enjoy complimentary bikes, beach towels, chairs, and state park passes for guests so they can explore all that Beaufort has to offer. History buffs love the rich Civil War history of the town and can visit the local museums, church ruins, and historical markers in the area. When in Beaufort, do as the locals do and indulge in some fresh and delicious seafood. There are so many incredible seafood restaurants that you won’t want to miss. Taste the best of the best with 5 Seafood Restaurants in Beaufort SC. To get the most value for your travel budget, use Beaufort as your home base while you explore all of the sandy beaches, idyllic towns, and charm of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Taking a day trip to Charleston or Savannah will lead you along some of the most scenic roads of the Lowcountry as you drive through marshland and pine forests. Then, return to Beaufort for a peaceful night’s rest.
Just an hour south of Beaufort lies Savannah, Georgia, a coastal city filled with culture that can be found in tasty eateries, alleyway murals, city squares, and historic buildings and museums around every corner. If you don’t know where to begin, start off with a Savannah Trolley Tour around the city. You can hop on and off wherever you like and can ride around as much or as little as you like. Friendly tour guides love giving out insider tips and historical facts to the city to make this a fun experience for everyone on board. If you see a line for Leopold’s Ice Cream, hop off and grab a scoop of decadently smooth and refreshing homemade ice cream. Trust us, this treat is worth the wait. If you’re a history buff, explore the museums and unique architectural charm of the city. Foodie? You’re in luck as the restaurant scene is booming and you can find anything from down-home Southern comfort food to trendy breweries to upscale fine dining restaurants. On your way back to Beaufort, stop by the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and spot dozens of bird species, alligators, turtles, and all sorts of wildlife.
Just an hour north of Beaufort lies Edisto Island, a seemingly quiet and sparse island until you reach Edisto Beach on the southern tip where you’ll find a small beach community. Bring a bicycle or your hiking boots, because you’ll want to spend some time exploring Edisto Beach State Park. Baby turtles, large cranes, and colorful seashells can all be found within this expansive 1,225-acre park. Afterward, take some time to explore the Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Site, a lush park filled with little historical gems. Book a tee time at The Plantation Course at Edisto and play a round on this idyllic golf course. For a quick bite, stop into Dockside Restaurant & Bar where you’ll find smokey BBQ, fried seafood, and marina views for a great dinner with a view. If you have more time, plan a meal at Ella & Ollie’s, a farm-to-table seafood restaurant serving up some of the best food on the island. If you have a boat you can easily cruise from Beaufort over to Edisto for the day.
For those looking for a laid back getaway filled with outdoor adventures, fresh South Carolina oysters, and sweeping beach views, Bluffton is the place to be. Cross over the Pocotaligo River from Beaufort and hop off the main highway to find this riverfront community. Bluffton is a birder’s paradise with Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge and miles upon miles of prime coastal bird habitats just minutes from town. Check out the Church of the Cross, a historic church built in 1857 that has stood tall through hurricanes, fires, and war. For lunch, you could sit down with a view and enjoy some of South Carolina’s finest oysters or you could take it a step further with a tour of the May River Oyster Farm. Spend some time in Old Town shopping the boutiques and wandering through the streets. On Thursdays, the Bluffton Farmers Market takes over the town from 12-5 and is filled with artisanal crafts, fresh produce, and all sorts of goodies.
As one of the larger towns in the Lowcountry, Charleston manages to keep a small-town feel while still offering all of the attractions and excitement of a large city. Cobblestone streets lead you through this village-reminiscent city and it isn’t uncommon to see a horse-drawn carriage riding through. Palmetto Carriage Works is just one of the tour guides that offer educational carriage rides through the city. Hop on and get a front-row seat to Charleston. Learn about the Civil War at Fort Sumter National Monument or visit The Charleston Museum to explore the vast collection of regional artifacts. Bring an appetite when visiting Charleston as there are several restaurants that you won’t want to miss. F.I.G. specializes in elevated takes on Southern classics and is the perfect date night destination. Slightly North of Broad or S.N.O.B creates culinary masterpieces with deep and complex flavors that will impress you after each bite. FIG and SNOB are both well-known establishments that have already been discovered by every tour book and guide magazine, but Chez Nous is our secret hidden gem. Their daily changing menu and intimate setting create one of the most unique dining experiences in the city. After a long day of great food, historic sites, and carriage rides, a scenic drive back on the Savannah Highway brings you back to Beaufort for the night.
Plan a little trip to each of these idyllic coastal towns or stay in Beaufort and take day trips to each of these fun destinations. One day you could be trotting around Charleston on a carriage ride, the next collecting seashells on Edisto Beach. At the end of the day, return to a stunning sunset from the porch of The Cuthbert House Inn and unwind while you prepare for tomorrow’s adventure.
Want to explore South Carolina’s stunning Lowcountry? Book your stay at The Cuthbert House Inn, an upscale B&B in a pre-Civil War mansion with unique Bay views in the heart of Beaufort, SC.