Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, one of the largest Sea Islands along the southeast Atlantic coast of the United States. It is one of only a handful of U.S. towns that has had its entire downtown designated a historic district by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Filled with mansions built by the wealthy plantation owners before the Civil War, Beaufort was one of the only Southern towns chosen to be occupied by Union troops, rather than destroyed. More than 50 historic structures have been identified in Beaufort, including many lovely private homes that have been beautifully restored and are now available to view via professionally guided walking, bus, or horse-drawn carriage tours. Special spring and fall events offer locals and visitors the opportunity to tour several private homes and gardens.
Art galleries, antique shops, and modern boutiques dot the entire downtown and uptown walking districts, along with fine dining restaurants and quick eateries. The moderate climate allows for enjoyable outdoor meals and/or park enjoyment almost year-round.
50 Things To Do In Beaufort, SC
We compiled this "bucket list" from suggestions we have received on Facebook!
Do you have something you love to do when visiting Beaufort, Port Royal and the Sea Islands? We would love to hear from you!
1. Stay in an historic, cozy downtown bed and breakfast
2. Enjoy all the fresh local seafood available at all our great local restaurants
3. Sit on a park bench or swing and drink in the beauty and tranquility
4. Shop and stroll along historic Bay Street
5. Soak in the abundance of history
6. Climb The Lighthouse at Hunting Island
7. Build and customize your own Kazoobie Kazoo
8. Visit Parris Island for a Friday Marine graduation
9. Sail with the dolphins with a river tour on the Prince of Tides
10. Take the haunted ghost tours through Beaufort during Halloween
11. Take Wood’s Bridge down into Beaufort and enjoy the one-of-a-kind view
12. Walk the Marsh Boardwalk/Fishing Pier at Hunting Island
13. See “The Big Chill House” and other famous film locations
14. Catching reds on the fly in the Beaufort marsh
15. Visit Beaufort in July for the Water Festival
16. Learn the culture of Penn Center
17. Kayak through the rivers and marshes
18. Take a carriage ride through historic Beaufort
19. Watch the Marine/Navy aircrafts fly over the city
20. Go to a drive in movie
21. Get something yummy from Southern Sweets.
22. Enjoy a Shrimp Burger at the famous Shrimp Shack
23. Visit The Old Fort Ruins on St. Helena Island
24. Have lunch and/or dinner on the Waterfront
25. Visit the Sheldon Church Ruins
26. Admire our majestic live oak trees or take the Beaufort Tree Walk
27. Walk the Pointe and check out all the old homes
28. Enjoy the Shrimp Festival every October
29. Vacation with the family on Fripp Island
30. Buy a sweet grass basket in St. Helena
31. Visit the museum on Parris Island
32. Embrace the Gullah culture
33. Enjoy the abundant wildlife or bird watch out at Cypress Wetlands
34. Visit The Arsenal (location of the Beaufort Visitor Center!)
35. Enjoy the view of the Spanish moss-covered tree canopies
36. Visit Beaufort National Cemetery
37. Swing on the bench swings in the Waterfront Park
38. Buy fresh seafood to take home and cook
39. Shop the stores and galleries in downtown Frogmore on St. Helena Island
40. Eat dinner in Port Royal.
41. Be a "snowbird" on Harbor Island
42. Visit Port Royal on The 4th of July featuring fireworks and the Marine Band
43. Visit Moon Doggies Cafe in Port Royal for some fried pickles
44. Stand on Hunting Island beach and watch the shrimp boats come and go
45. Buy fresh produce from one of the many farmers markets in the area.
46. Take time to talk to the locals. It's amazing how nice the people are!
47. Come enjoy the Beaufort International Film Festival
48. Go to Sands Beach in Port Royal
49. Relax on the beach at Harbor Island
50. Take the kids to the play place in Waterfront Park