Beaufort SC, Voted The South’s Best Small Town by Southern Living

By Cassandra King

Photo: Robbie Caponetto

No matter where you’re from, where you’ve been or where you’re going, Beaufort feels like home.

Even the name is pretty: Beaufort. Contrary to the spelling, it's pronounced "BEW-fert," with the lips pursed as though blowing a kiss. Just hearing it, you can picture the quaint little town that’s been racking up accolades in recent years. It just sounds nice. Beww-fert, beckoning you to come hither, and see what all the fuss is about.

And because of those accolades, you know what to expect from the Lowcountry gem: a storied history and rich heritage, splendid mansions framed by moss-hung oaks, and stunning views of rivers and marshes. Locals are much too polite to brag, but we’ve made a lot of "pretty places" lists, even in The New York Times.

We’ve become a tourist destination, a must-see spot on any trip to the Coastal South. Set foot here, and you’ll see why. This place lives up to its billing. Everything about Beaufort is flat-out charming. As a matter of fact, you can’t turn a corner without swooning. Enchantment is in the air, along with the intoxicating perfume of Confederate jasmine. It could be said that Beaufort has it all. Beauty, check; scenery, check; heritage/history, check; charm, check and double-check. There are some bonus points, too cultural events, water activities, unique festivals, and fine eating joints featuring local seafood. All well and good, but the question is, what makes Beaufort so special? Besides the obvious, why do we continue to make the lists of great little towns, year after year? Is there something in the water that casts a spell on the list-makers? One visit to Beaufort and zap—you’re in love. It’s such a great place that you want everyone to know about it. You want to spread the love.

All well and good, but the question remains: What about Beaufort makes it so irresistible? Besides the obvious, why do we continue to make the lists of great little towns year after year? Is there, perhaps, something in the water that casts a spell on the list makers? One visit to Beaufort, and zap—you’re in love. It’s such a great place that you’ll want everyone to know about it. You’ll want to spread the love.

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