If your interests include American history, antebellum architecture, gourmet dining, shopping, gallery browsing or water activities, there will plenty of things to do for you in Beaufort, SC. Named one of the country’s top 10 small and happiest towns, Beaufort is a safe, vibrant place to spend a vacation.
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Set between Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC, Beaufort retains small town charm with several things to do. There’s something to do for any vacationer in Beaufort.
Adventure lovers might enjoy historic tours, boating or kayaking eco-tours. Those who love the finer things in life might enjoy shopping and perusing art galleries. Some guests of Cuthbert House Inn 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.
Annual area events include The Beaufort International Film Festival, The Beaufort Water Festival, and the Beaufort Shrimp Festival.
The history of the Civil War has played an impressive role in our city’s survival and legacy. There are several exciting things to do for history buffs. Travel back in time by taking a self-guided history walk through our National Historic District. A short horse and buggy tour clops down our hallowed streets on an hour long tour. Take an early evening graveyard tour visiting many historical and beautiful churches around the downtown area, such as Saint Helena’s Episcopal Church.
Other area attractions include the Penn Center with its Gullah cultural history museum dedicated to the preservation of the Sea Island story. A trip up Route 21 takes you to the ruins of the Old Sheldon Church whose massive brick columns still stand after British destruction in 1779, and again by Union troops under General Sherman’s command in 1865.
Spend your afternoon exploring the shops and several art 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 South Carolina low country to life. Don’t miss their extensive Civil War Room where many collector pieces are available for purchase.
Activities In and Around the Water
Beaufort is one of 200 islands on the Intracoastal Waterway. Our geographic location is at the mouth of the Port Royal Sound. The sound is the source of our high salty tides, picturesque marshes and beaches, and hurricane-free weather. A trip across the islands to Hunting Island State Park, on the Atlantic coast, is a great day of sand, surf, long walks on the South Carolina shoreline or a tour of its historic lighthouse. Head over to the fishing pier where you can rent a rod and reel. For more a more in-depth eco tour, try the Ace Basin Tours on Coosaw Island for a two-hour pontoon boat tour on the rivers and marshes. A shorter eco tour leaves just across the street at The Downtown Marina with Captain Dick on a dolphin cruise that features a wonderful view of Beaufort from the water. Kayaking and paddle boarding are also available just across the street at the Downtown Marina
Golf Courses and Tennis Courts
Golf courses and tennis courts are minutes away from the inn and open to the public. The Parris Island Golf Course is one of our finest public golf courses.
U.S Marine Corps Recruit Depot
Parris Island is only six miles away and is the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Parris Island also features a museum and frequent graduation ceremonies when new recruits become Marines. Parris Island, its museum, a restaurant and the graduation ceremonies are open to the public.
Check out the Beaufort area nightlife along the waterfront. The party begins at about 9 p.m. with live music Thursday through Sunday at a number of restaurants and bars along the waterfront park. It spans from the swing bridge to the Sea Islands at Carteret Street to the Downtown Marina. The park features a number of adult swings to relax and appreciate our swift rolling river, ten-foot tidal changes and passing boats.
Filmmaker and Author’s Paradise
Beaufort is a filmmaker and author’s paradise. Several movies and best-selling books capture the ambiance of Beaufort, SC. Beaufort’s antebellum charm shines through in these popular productions: The Big Chill, 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 for our small town. 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.
Whether you’re exploring the waterways of South Carolina, or shopping downtown, you’ll never be at a loss of what to do in Beaufort, SC. Our variety of things to do in the area will keep you coming back every year.