If your interests include American history, antebellum architecture, gourmet dining, shopping, gallery browsing or water activities, there will be plenty of things for you to do 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 ample things to see and do. There’s something for every 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:
-South Carolina Restaurant Week
-The Beaufort Oyster Festival
-The Beaufort International Film Festival,
-The Beaufort Water Festival,
-Annual Garden Club Garden Tours
-The Shrimp Festival,
-The Oyster Festival,
-Beaufort Restaurant Week,
-Homes for the Holidays Decorated Home Tours,
-and the first weekend in December is a three day celebration of the Christmas Holiday Season.
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. A trip across the islands to Hunting Island State Park, on the Atlantic coast, is a great day of sand, surf and 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. Just across the street at The Downtown Marina, Coastal Expeditions South will take you on a dolphin and history 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 (reserve in advance with Beaufort Lands End Paddling 252 259-6227), or for more a more in-depth eco tour, Beaufort Kayak Tours will take you on a kayak tour of the ACE Basin, a fresh water basin slightly to the North of Beaufort.
Golf Courses and Tennis Courts
Golf courses and tennis courts are minutes away from the inn and open to the public.
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 for things to do in Beaufort, SC. The variety of activities and sights in the area will keep you coming back every year.