10 Things To Do in Beaufort, South Carolina
1. Enjoy a festival
While July's 10-day Water Festival is perhaps the town's biggest annual blowout, fall brings its share of festival fun, too. Beaufort’s annual Shrimp Festival features tricked-out shrimp boats, live entertainment, and, of course, a sampling of the area’s best shrimp. In October, the annual Habersham Harvest Festival draws visitors from all over the southeast with its Ferris wheel, carnival rides, and artisan vendors.
2. Give your wallet a workout
Downtown’s Bay Street is lined with storefronts primed for window-shopping and eateries perfect for a lengthy lunch or a quick grab-and-go meal. Sip on a Sweet Tea Float at Scout Southern Market while you browse the Southern-made décor, gifts, and treats. Head a few blocks north of Bay Street for NeverMore Books, an Edgar Allan Poe-themed bookstore specializing in fiction and first editions. Don’t forget to take a peek upstairs—there are vintage posters for sale!
3. Visit Hunting Island
Hunting Island State Park is home to 5,000 acres of beautiful Lowcountry landscape. Climb up the famous Hunting Island Lighthouse for panoramic views of the Atlantic, stroll along the five miles of beach or one of the nature trails, or fish from the Fripp Inlet pier.
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4. Stay at Anchorage 1770
We named Anchorage 1770 the best seaside inn for good reason—hosts Amy and Frank Lesesne, who renovated the building in 2014, will make you feel right at home. Situated along the waterfront near downtown Beaufort, the Federalist-style mansion, complete with stately white columns and plenty of Lowcountry charm, is made from local lime, sand, and oyster shells.
5. Explore the Habersham community
The vibrant community of Habersham—home to our 2018 Idea House—is just seven miles from Beaufort. Walk the three-mile greenway for serene marshfront views, grab a bite at the Marketplace, and keep an eye out for the upcoming MAKE District, a collection of boutique businesses for artisans—think brewers and jewelers. And of course, tour the Idea House for yourself.
6. Take a boat tour
7. Pound the pavement
Woods Memorial Bridge has become a Beaufort landmark—you might recognize it from a little flick called Forrest Gump. Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, the moveable bridge has both pedestrian- and biker-friendly paths. Still want to reach your 10,000 steps? Head to the Sands in Port Royal to walk along the boardwalk (or beach!), or take a leisurely jaunt through the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.
8. Eat, eat, eat
Munch on pork belly or duck confit at Old Bull Tavern, a hip gastropub on West Street, sample sushi and seafood at the sophisticated Saltus River Grill, or sip on specialty cocktails at the Breakwater. Head to City Java & News to grab a bite for breakfast or lunch—and make sure to try the espresso.
9. Brush up on history
Learn about the area’s storied past at the Beaufort History Museum, then take a self-guided tour of the antebellum estates that line Beaufort’s streets, like the Robert Means House or the Lewis Reeve Sams House. Venture northwest to Yemassee to walk among the ruins of Old Sheldon Church, which was built in the mid-18th century.