Things To Do in Beaufort, South Carolina

July 6, 2023

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We discovered Beaufort several years ago and fell in love with this sweet town! Our first trip was a 2019 family vacation to Hunting Island State Park which is about 20 minutes from downtown. We loved everything about the area that we now own waterfront property in a nearby historic area. You can read all about our property here.

Thorn Cove Abode Beaufort Beach
Hunting Island Beach (when my babies were babies!)

The Joy I feel is Indescribable (but I’ll try for you!)

I wish I could fully describe the joy I feel when I am in Beaufort to you, but you will have to check it out yourself! There is so much to do, yet it doesn’t feel like a tourist attraction. The town and surrounding areas still have that lovely, small town feeling.

Although we’ve been coming for years we still find something new to do every time we visit! Of course we have some tried and true spots which I am sharing with you. If you’ve never been to Beaufort, I’ve compiled a short list of our favorites for you so keep on reading.

Thorn Cove Abode Beaufort
Downtown Beaufort, SC

Beaufort is Full of History and Charm

The town is loaded in history {which I love!} Beaufort is the second oldest town in South Carolina with Charleston being the first. You can spend an entire day just walking the streets of downtown taking in all the beautiful architecture and history. If you don’t feel like walking you can also rent bikes at the Best Western on Bay Street. The Spanish Moss Trail is close by and winds for 20 miles around the beautiful streets.

The homes in this area are truly STUNNING! One of my favorite things to do is go on a slow drive to enjoy the details. There are several large cemeteries that span from literally every major US conflict in history. Downtown you’ll find numerous shops and restaurants, as well as a waterfront park and yummy ice cream shops for the kiddos. If you’ve never had a Sweet Tea Float, you have to swing by Scout Southern Market!

Thorn Cove Abode Beaufort
Sweet Tea Floats from Scout Southern Market

Our Favorite Places to Eat

We love going to Lowcountry Produce for breakfast and brunch. In a converted old post office, you’ll love the atmosphere. A few other favorite restaurants that we visit often are Dockside on the waterfront {I recommend calling ahead!}. Fishcamp in nearby historic Port Royal is another good one and also on the waterfront. One of the best casual restaurants is Johnson Creek Tavern {our kids love looking at all the dollar bills posted everywhere.}

Thorn Cove Abode Beaufort
Johnson Creek Tavern

If you want desserts and coffee {who doesn’t?} we love Lowcountry Cider & Superior Coffee. They actually have two locations, one on Bay Street where you can sip waterside and watch the boats go by in the famous swings of the downtown shopping area of Beaufort. The second location is on St Helena Highway which is a super convenient stop on your way to the amazing beach we discovered this summer. You can grab baked goods or ice cream before or after hunting for sand dollars! Tip: Go early if you want cupcakes because they sell out everyday!

Port Royal Boardwalk and Cypress Wetlands

We enjoy venturing into the nearby town of Port Royal. Some of the best spots to visit are the Cypress Wetlands and the Port Royal Boardwalk and Observation Tower. At the Cypress Wetlands, you’ll see alligators, turtles and a wide variety of birds from a safe distance. The best times to go are in the early morning or at dusk and it’s completely FREE. The Port Royal Boardwalk and Tower are truly stunning at dusk. The sunsets from the top of the tower are some of the most colorful we have seen! The kids can even get in the water and play in the sand or you can just stroll the boardwalk.

Cypress Wetlands

Beaufort Beaches

We accidentally found a really fun FREE beach location this past summer! On July 4th we were heading to visit one of our regular favorite spots, Hunting Island State Park, but when we got there the park was full and there was a line a mile long. So we drove a bit further to find a turnaround and turned into the Hunting Island Nature Center. 

I noticed a few people with swimsuits and carts walking down a trail so Mark pulled up his maps and we discovered there was a beach there too! And there’s no charge here! There’s also access to the Nature Center with animals to view and walking trails. The walk to the beach was about .6 miles long- so if you try it, I suggest a beach cart to pull all of your things. 

Thorn Cove Abode Beaufort

Hunting Island State Park is a really wonderful beach spot too, but not free. You have to pay for a parking pass to get in, but it’s worth it, especially for a day trip. You can even climb to the top of the lighthouse, {which we all highly recommend}. We usually pack our lunches and stay the whole day! They have a nature center, gift shop, restrooms with showers and picnic tables.

Thorn Cove Abode Beaufort
Hunting Island Lighthouse

Tours and Excursions

These are some things we plan to try on our next visits.

I hope you enjoy your trip to Beaufort as much as we do!

XOXO, Brittany

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  1. Tammy says:

    Where would you recommend staying in Beaufort? I do not have an RV.

  2. Denise says:

    It looks gorgeous, never been there but would love too.

  3. Deanna Smith says:

    Where heading there next week for a last minute trip before school starts! So excited to try the sweet tea floats and take our little to the waterfront park! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Melinda says:

    So looking forward to heading to Beaufort in March. Thank you for sharing all your favorite places.

  5. Rebecca says:

    We did the Beaufort Dolphin and History Cruise this year, and it was so good. The amount of history and ecology that the captain shared was amazing, plus we got to see plenty of dolphins along the way. We took the tour out of Downtown Beaufort and are planning to do the St Helena Island location next year since it will explore a totally different area. Definitely recommend.

  6. I am so excited to go. I have watched your feed and fallen in love with this place. My husband and I are going to go for several days in mid October for our anniversary and follow your lead on this so thanks for all the insight!
    If you think of any other spots you’ve found since you wrote this, throw them my way!!