A South Carolina city with three centuries of history, Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Residents and visitors of any taste can find something to do in this coastal city, with attractions that include historic landmarks, museums, a shopping and dining district and a number of recreational opportunities and parks that can only be found in Beaufort.
History and Sightseeing
For those with an appreciation of history, Beaufort features an entire downtown area that has been designated a historic district by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Among the landmarks that visitors can tour are historic houses, churches and gardens. The John Mark Verdier House is one building open to the public six days a week. With walking tours every hour of this house-turned-museum, guests have many opportunities to explore the historical relics and art pieces of this 1804 dwelling.
The artistically inclined can also find some fun places to spend a day in Beaufort, including ARTworks (beaufortcountyarts.com), a community arts center that provides a multitude of artistic opportunities. The center features a Black Box Theater with regular performances, sponsors concerts with local and traveling musicians and features a gallery housing consistently updated exhibits. Those that are going to be in Beaufort for a while might even consider taking an art class from ARTworks, which features classes for students of all age ranges. For those looking to buy, Beaufort's shopping central of Bay Street features 11 different galleries with artwork for sale from local artists and beyond.
Shopping and Dining
The city's Bay Street in downtown Beaufort offers many possibilities for those that enjoy shopping and dining. One of the city's noteworthy shops is The Chocolate Tree (thechocolatetree.us), which features home-made chocolate and candies. The store has operated since 1980 and visitors can pick up a ticket for a free piece of chocolate at the Beaufort Visitor's Center to give it a try before purchasing. There are also a number of restaurants situated in the Historic Downtown District of Beaufort. Saltus River Grill (saltusrivergrill.org) is one option that features regional fare. Aside from standard American meals like sirloin steak and braised pork, the restaurant also cooks up oysters, shrimp, collard greens and grits, all with a South Carolinian flair.
Recreation and Parks
Beaufort's recreational opportunities include guided boat tours, fishing charters, horseback rides and more, many of which highlight the salt-marsh ecosystem of the area. Beaufort Kayak Tours (beaufortkayaktours.com) is one local business that caters to the more active visitor. During these guided, half-day kayak tours, guests get to hear about the cultural and natural history of Beaufort. The city also features a few parks where visitors can take in the area's natural beauty, including Waterfront Park along the Beaufort River. Amenities include a pavilion, picnic areas and public riverside swings.
- Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images