My family has been going to Beaufort for several years now. Our first trip was a family vacation to Hunting Island State Park in 2019, just about 20 minutes from downtown Beaufort. We fell in love with the area as soon as we arrived. Fast forward close to three years later and we now own waterfront property in a nearby historic area.
Its been years and we still find something new to do every time we visit, but I feel like I have a good running list of places to visit now if you’ve never been to Beaufort, SC and surrounding areas.
I wish I could describe the joy I feel when I am in Beaufort. There is so much to do, yet it doesn’t feel like a tourist attraction. It still has that lovely, small town feeling.
Loaded in history, Beaufort is the second oldest town in SC, Charleston being the first. You can spend an entire day just walking the streets of downtown taking in all the architecture and history. You can also rent bikes at the Best Western on Bay Street if you don’t want to walk. The Spanish Moss trail is close by and a nice bike trail if you want other places to bike around. The homes are STUNNING and the cemeteries have veterans from every major US conflict in history. Downtown you’ll find numerous shops and restaurants, as well as a waterfront park and ice cream shops for the kiddos. Make sure to swing by Scouts Southern Market if you’ve never had a Sweet Tea Float.
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 (a very popular waterfront restaurant. We recommend scheduling a call ahead), Fishcamp in Port Royal (Also waterfront and close to a adorable historic Port Royal neighborhood), and Johnson Creek Tavern (great food and very casual.). There are tons of other places to eat and we haven’t even scratched the surface when it comes to all of the local eateries. These are just a few favorites we’ve found.
Over in Port Royal, make sure to stop by the Cypress Wetlands and/or 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 AM or at dusk and its completely FREE. The Port Royal boardwalk and observation tower are stunning at dusk. The sunsets from the top of the tower are beautiful. The kids can get in the water here and play in the sand or you can just walk the boardwalk.
If you want to plan a beach day, head over to Hunting Island State Park. You’ll have to pay for a parking pass to get in, but its worth it for a day trip. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse, which we highly recommend. We usually pack a lunch and stay the whole day. They have a nature center, gift shop, restrooms/showers and picnic tables.
These are some things we plan to try on our next visits.
I hope this was helpful and that you enjoy your trip to Beaufort, SC as much as we do.