Beaufort History Museum

6. Beaufort History Museum

“All American History Begins In Beaufort,” Lawrence S. Rowland, Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina Beaufort.

Relive this area’s rich history by visiting Beaufort History Museum at the historic Arsenal in downtown Beaufort. One of our knowledgeable docents will guide you through more than 450 years of Beaufort’s past, bringing to life the events that shaped the development of America.

Before Jamestown and Plymouth, French explorers built a fort on nearby Parris Island in 1562. Then the Spanish founded Santa Elena, the first colonial capital in what’s now the United States, on the same site in 1566.

The seeds of Civil War were planted in Beaufort when prominent residents secretly met to plan secession. Union troops occupied Beaufort in the early months of the war and Reconstruction began here first, while the war continued to rage. Northern missionaries educated newly freed slaves at Penn School and Mather School as part of the Port Royal Experiment. A century later, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent time at Penn Center during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s.

Come to Beaufort to experience the place where this country began… Visit the Beaufort History Museum to learn how Beaufort changed the course of America’s history!

You might also enjoy these things to do in Beaufort...

Resting Place of Robert Smalls/ Tabernacle Baptist Church

11. Resting Place of Robert Smalls/ Tabernacle Baptist Church

Built in 1840, Tabernacle Baptist Church is the resting place of one of Beaufort’s most beloved icons, Robert Smalls, who was born into slavery in 1839.

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Port Royal Sound Maritime Center

27. Port Royal Sound Maritime Center

A visit to the Port Royal Sound Foundation’s Maritime Center is a must!  The Maritime Center is the “go to” place for discovering the Port Royal Sound.

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Fort Fremont

5. Fort Fremont

Travel back in time to the 1890’s and the Spanish American War with a docent led tour at Fort Fremont on the fourth Saturday of every month.

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The Big List!

Here's what others enjoy

B.L. says:

"We love to go crabbing or either to buy some blue craabs"

Meta Mercer says:

"Water sports, boating, carriage rides, shopping, touring old homes, antiquing, eating, visiting historic sites, sunbathing"

Sandra Loving says:


Shelly Clemmer says:

"Relaxing Fishing Kayaking"

Cynthia Stansberry says:

"I would love to share this list with my clients planning to visit the Hilton Head/Beaufort area this August."

Faye says:

"Things to do with small children "

Gary says:

"Adventure,walk the beach and see historic sites"

jan dean says:

"We love the outdoors, swimming, fishing, hunting. We would like to see some of South Carolina mountains, monuments, some history of South Carolina. We have one daughter that just loves to shop the thrifty shops. Love the opportunity to see South Carolina finest. Thank you. "

candy lafreniere says:

"Fishing, Sightseeing"

Marti says:

"Beautiful city "

Jim Broden says:

"Fort Fremont"

Suzann Whiteley says:

"Dancing in the Waterfront Pavilion, carriage rides through the beautiful streets, visiting the lovely Bookstore on main street, enjoying a afternoon sitting on the swings on the waterfront, I would love to come to your Tour of Homes sometime. and Dream about the way live was there years ago!!!"

Lisa Haigler says:


William Wester says:

"Interested in Fishing and the local Resturants."