Southern Belles

Savannah, Beaufort, and Charleston are historic beauties that beckon to be admired on a walking tour

...Indeed, atmosphere seems naturally occurring not only in Savannah, but also in the nearby South Carolina cities of Charleston and Beaufort, easy car drives apart. Rich history and Southern charm in movie-like settings are unsurpassed in these communities...

Food is a good place to begin in nearby Beaufort.

Located on Port Royal Sound, Beaufort is a small town of antebellum mansions and clapboard churches that probably has made the covers of more Southern novels than you can count and movies, including “The Big Chill,’’ “The Great Santini,’’ and “Prince of Tides.’’
First of all, it’s BYOO-fert. Not that people will mistake you for a local for saying it right. This is a small place with lots of visitors.
Behind its main thoroughfare, Bay Street, Beaufort has created Waterfront Park, where the food competes with the water views at a group of eateries. It’s a relaxing way to pass the time.
Indeed, Beaufort seems rather sleepy compared with Savannah and Charleston, better perhaps as a get-away-from-it-all place than a got-to-see-it-all place.
Inns are a big business here, judging from the number of picturesque establishments dotting the historic area.
Dozens of historic homes, framed by the canopy of oaks and Spanish moss, dot the streets and an enclave called “The Point.’’ Most of the homes are private, and some are difficult to see behind fences and high vegetation. And there are owners who just don’t like the gawking: At the “Tidalholm,’’ a manse with magnificent water views and used in “The Big Chill’’ and “The Great Santini,’’ a sign warns against trespassing.
For shoppers, Bay Street is pretty dull, except for an arcade called the Old Bay Marketplace, where there are some antiques shops, art galleries, Southern Sweets Ice Cream Parlor (with a real lunch counter), and a top-notch store for secondhand books, McIntosh Book Shoppe.

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