27 Unforgettable Things to Do in Beaufort, South Carolina in 2024

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Beaufort, SC, you’re in the right place. I recently explored this charming and historic destination in South Carolina and absolutely fell in love. I’d go as far as to say it’s my favorite small town in America!

It comes as no surprise to me that multiple publications like Southern Living and Vogue have named it the most charming town in the South.

This coastal city is full of history (founded in 1711!), culture, nature, and adventure. Whether you want to explore the antebellum mansions, visit the military museum, enjoy the scenic views, or indulge in the local cuisine, Beaufort has something for everyone. 

So, let’s get to it! Here are some of the best things to do in Beaufort this year.

1. Enjoy Waterfront Park

One of the best places to relax and enjoy the views in Beaufort is Waterfront Park. This park is located along the Beaufort River and offers a scenic promenade, a playground, a pavilion, and a marina.

The last time we visited, there was a stunning double rainbow. We were eating pizza on the patio at Panini’s On The Waterfront when it emerged across the sky. Naturally, I grabbed my camera and frantically searched for the best spots to capture it before it went away! It was so beautiful!

I don’t know who this couple is, but they made for the perfect focal point of this shot. So romantic!

You can stroll along the water, watch the boats (and try to spot dolphins!), or sit on one of the swings and benches. The park also hosts festivals, concerts, and farmer’s markets throughout the year. If you’re visiting in July, check out the Beaufort Water Festival! Visitors in October will love the Shrimp Festival here, too!

2. Explore the Downtown Historic District

Did you know that Beaufort is the second oldest city in South Carolina after Charleston? As such, Beaufort has a great Downtown Historic District to explore.

If you love history and charm, you’ll want to visit the Downtown Historic District in Beaufort. This charming district boasts many antebellum mansions, quaint shops, and delicious restaurants.

You can stroll along the Waterfront Park (mentioned above), walk along the Spanish moss-covered streets, take a carriage ride, or join a guided tour.

You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you admire the architecture and learn about the rich history of this town. The Downtown Historic District in Beaufort is a must-see for anyone who appreciates culture and beauty.

3. Explore the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park

Here’s something fascinating that we stumbled upon while walking around Beaufort! As you walk around the historic neighborhoods in Beaufort, you’ll notice some plaques talking about the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park.

This park preserves and interprets the sites and stories of the people who lived, worked, and fought for freedom and equality during this pivotal period in American history.

As you walk around Beaufort, explore the historic buildings, monuments, and landscapes that witnessed the struggles and achievements of African Americans, white Southerners, Northern missionaries, and federal officials.

4. Visit Hunting Island State Park

Check out Hunting Island State Park near Beaufort, SC if you want a fun and relaxing getaway. I had no idea this little slice of paradise existed in this part of South Carolina!

This park is on a barrier island with a beautiful beach, salt marshes, and a lighthouse.

You can go swimming, sunbathing, hiking, or fishing. It has something for all nature lovers: beautiful beaches, scenic trails, wildlife viewing, fishing, camping, and more.

You can soak up the sun, relax in the sand, or explore the maritime forest and marshes. 

You can also climb to the top of the historic lighthouse and get a stunning view of the ocean and the island. (It was closed last time we were there, but we hope to go up next time!)

5. Take a Boat Tour of the Beaufort River

How about enjoying the beauty of the Beaufort River on a boat tour? You’ll see fantastic wildlife, historic landmarks, and stunning scenery as you cruise the water.

Whether you choose a narrated tour, a sunset cruise, or a private charter, don’t miss this opportunity to explore one of the most charming and scenic places in South Carolina! It’s a great way to see the city from a different perspective and learn about its history and wildlife. 

6. Visit the Beaufort History Museum

If you love history and culture, you should visit the Beaufort History Museum- it’s one of the best things to do in Beaufort for history lovers. This museum tells the story of Beaufort from its founding to the present day.

Beaufort has such a rich and diverse heritage, from the Native Americans who first inhabited the land to the European settlers who established the town to the African Americans who shaped its culture and economy.

There are exhibits on the Civil War, the Reconstruction Era, and the Gullah culture. You can explore exhibits that feature artifacts, documents, photographs, and stories that tell the fascinating history of Beaufort and its people. You can also enjoy special events and programs that bring history to life!

7. Go Shopping on Bay Street

Shopping is one of the best things to do in Beaufort! Shops selling everything from souvenirs to antiques line Beaufort’s Bay Street. You’ll also find art galleries, restaurants, and cafes.

You can find everything from clothing and accessories to home decor and souvenirs while exploring charming boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops. And my favorite part: all the while, you’re surrounded by beauty thanks to scenic views of the waterfront and Beaufort’s historic architecture. 

Here are some of the best stores we visited on Bay Street:

  • Lulu Burgess: A whimsical and eclectic store that sells jewelry, gifts, home decor, and more. You’ll find everything from handbags to candles to books in this colorful shop!
  • Sweet Bay: A cozy, elegant store specializing in permanent florals along with home decor, furniture, and accessories. Besides flowers, you’ll love their selection of pillows, lamps, rugs, and artwork. 
  • Scout Southern Market: I knew I had to stop here after seeing it in Southern Living Magazine! Scout is a southern-inspired store that offers their iconic sweet tea float, gourmet foods, candles, soaps, and other goodies. You’ll also find beautiful sweetgrass baskets and oyster shell creations made by local artisans.  
  • The Spice and Tea Exchange of Beaufort: A fragrant and flavorful store that sells a variety of spices, teas, sugars, salts, and blends. You can sample their products and even create your own custom mixes!
  • Bay Street Treasures: This is a lovely antique shop that features both old and new items. You’ll find lamps, furniture, planters, books, and more in this treasure trove. 

These are just some of the amazing stores on Bay Street. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, clothing, art, or food, you’ll find something that suits your taste and budget on historic Bay Street.

8. Admire Antebellum Homes in Old Point Neighborhood

Geographically, Old Point Neighborhood is the part of Beaufort east of Carteret Street. This historic neighborhood is home to many antebellum homes and is a great place to wander around and enjoy the coastal Southern vibes.

This area is one of the city’s oldest and most picturesque parts, with beautiful 18th-century homes, moss-draped live oaks, and stunning views of the Beaufort River. You’ll love walking along its scenic streets, admiring the architecture and gardens, and feeling the breeze from the water.

9. Take a Carriage Tour

One of the best ways to explore the charming town of Beaufort, SC, is by taking a carriage tour. Sit back and relax as you enjoy the sights and sounds of this historic place. Learn about the rich history, culture, and architecture of Beaufort, as well as see some of the famous movie locations filmed here.

A carriage tour is a fun activity for couples (hello romance!), families, or friends. Some tour operators let you choose from different routes and themes, such as the Old Point Tour, the Antebellum Tour, or the Sea Island Tour.

Sea Island Carriage Company is a convenient place to book a historic carriage tour, located right downtown. Tickets cost $32 per adult at the time of writing this.

10. Go Kayaking or Canoeing in the Port Royal Sound

If you love water sports, try kayaking or canoeing in the Port Royal Sound in Beaufort, SC. The Sound is a beautiful, diverse ecosystem with stunning views and abundant wildlife.

You can explore the salt marshes, creeks, islands, and sandbars that make up this natural wonder. You might even spot dolphins, sea turtles, pelicans, egrets, and more. Kayaking or canoeing in the Port Royal Sound is a fun and relaxing way to enjoy nature and get some exercise.

You can rent a kayak or canoe from one of the local outfitters or bring your own. It’s a great way to explore the waterways and wildlife of the area. 

11. Go Fishing in the Beaufort River

While I don’t like to fish, we learned that Beaufort is an excellent spot for it! Yup, if you’re looking for a great South Carolina fishing spot, you should check out the Beaufort River. This scenic river is home to fish species like redfish, trout, flounder, and more.

You can fish from the shore, from a boat, or even from a kayak. We’ve been told that the best time to fish is during the incoming or outgoing tide when the water is moving and the fish are active. You’ll also enjoy the beautiful views of the historic downtown, the marshes, and the wildlife.

12. Have a Picnic at Whitehall Park 

Whitehall Park is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the views of the river. You’ll find it just across the Woods Memorial Bridge (which is famous for its cameo in Forrest Gump- it’s the bridge he runs over while running across the US!). We spent a morning here and loved seeing the stunning Spanish moss-covered Live Oaks and the river views.

Also- one of my favorite ways to relax outdoors on a nice day is to go on a picnic, and this spot is perfect for doing just that. You’ll feel the breeze from the river while watching the boats sail by. 

Pack sandwiches, fruits, and drinks, or simply grab food to-go from a local cafe and find a shady spot under a tree or at one of the picnic tables.

13. Explore the Port Royal Cypress Wetlands

If you love nature and wildlife, walking down the boardwalk at the Port Royal Cypress Wetlands is one of the best things to do near Beaufort! The boardwalk trail winds through a cypress swamp, where you can see a variety of wildlife, such as alligators, turtles, herons, egrets, and more. You can also learn about the history and ecology of the wetlands from the interpretive signs along the trail.

The Port Royal Cypress Wetlands are open year-round and free to the public. You can also join guided tours or special events that are offered periodically.

14. Take a Ghost Tour of the City

A ghost tour is a fun and spooky way to learn about Beaufort’s history! Beaufort is one of the oldest and most haunted towns in South Carolina, with a rich history of pirates, wars, fires, and murders.

You’ll get to explore Beaufort’s eerie homes, streets, alleys, and cemeteries and hear stories of the restless spirits that still haunt the living. 

You might even encounter paranormal activity, so be prepared for chills and thrills! 

Whether you choose a walking, a carriage, or a bus tour, you’ll have a blast discovering the secrets and mysteries of Beaufort’s haunted past. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience one of the most haunted towns in the Lowcountry!

15. Beaufort National Cemetery

Beaufort National Cemetery is a great Beaufort attraction for anyone interested in history. It is one of the oldest national cemeteries in the country, dating back to 1863, and was established for Union soldiers and sailors. It’s a beautiful cemetery with dramatic live oaks and Spanish moss adorning its 33 acres. It is the final resting place of over 18,000 veterans dating from the Civil War. The cemetery is open to the public every day from dawn to dusk and offers guided tours on request.

16. Taste the Local Cuisine

Tasting some Lowcountry Cuisine is one of the best things to do in Beaufort. You can find restaurants that serve delicious dishes like shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, barbecue, and more. You can also sample local specialties, like she-crab soup, Frogmore stew, and Benne wafers. Don’t forget to try fresh seafood from the Atlantic Ocean or sweet treats like peach cobbler or pecan pie.

Whether you crave fresh seafood, Southern comfort food, wood-fired pizza, or fine dining, Beaufort has something for everyone. Here are some of the best restaurants in Beaufort:

  • Blacksheep: This cozy and intimate restaurant offers a monthly fixed-price menu featuring dishes cooked in a wood-fired oven.  
  • Fishcamp on 11th Street: Enjoy stunning views of the Beaufort River and Port Royal while savoring seafood specialties like oysters, lobster bisque, Lowcountry boils, and Daufuskie Island blue crab cakes. Bonus: they have live music on weekends!
  • Ribaut Social Club: Located in the historic Anchorage 1770 Inn, this fine dining destination features the cuisine of executive chef Daniel Salazar. The menu offers creative takes on meats, seafood, and fresh vegetables, like its beet “ravioli” with ricotta, goat cheese, carrot ribbons, and pistachio mousse. 
  • Old Bull Tavern: This gastropub serves American and European dishes, such as shrimp risotto, steak frites, lamb burgers, and tiramisu, made with local ingredients. The menu changes daily depending on what’s fresh and available.
  • Dockside Restaurant: This waterfront restaurant offers a casual and family-friendly atmosphere with dishes like swordfish, flounder, scallops piccata, lobster tails, salmon, burgers, and salads.
  • Wren Bistro & Bar: This was our personal favorite! It’s a family-owned and operated restaurant that serves fresh and local cuisine with a Southern twist. Enjoy their signature dishes like shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, chicken, and waffles, or try something new from their seasonal menu.
  • Saltus River Grill: This restaurant offers a variety of dishes, from seafood and sushi to steaks and salads, all made with fresh and local ingredients. You can enjoy the stunning views of the Beaufort River from the outdoor patio, or cozy up inside the elegant dining room.

17. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

We’ve covered restaurants, but what about dessert spots? Whether you’re looking for ice cream, cupcakes, pastries, or chocolates, here are some of the best dessert spots in Beaufort:

  • Southern Sweets Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop: This family-owned shop features an old-time soda counter and a variety of flavors and toppings. You can also enjoy sandwiches, soups, and salads for lunch.
  • Kilwin’s Chocolates and Ice Cream: You know you’re in the South when you find a Kilwin’s! This chain store sells chocolates, fudge, caramel apples, and ice cream.
  • YoYo’s Soft-Serve Ice Cream: This place offers soft-serve ice cream in cones, cups, or waffle bowls. You can also try their frozen yogurt, smoothies, or shaved ice.
  • Stellar Ice Cream: This homemade ice cream shop uses local ingredients and makes its ice cream from scratch. They have classic and seasonal flavors, as well as vegan options.

18. Go Wine Tasting

There are several wineries located near Beaufort that offer tastings and tours. Here are some of the best wineries to visit:

  • Corks on the Vine: About a 16-minute drive away in nearby Habersham, this cozy and elegant wine shop offers a curated selection of wines, cheeses, flowers, and artisanal foods. You can sample different wines by the glass or bottle and pair them with delicious cheese boards or charcuterie platters. They also host wine tastings and events throughout the year.
  • Rotten Little Bastard Distillery: If you’re feeling adventurous, try some craft spirits made by this family-owned distillery. It’s just a short drive away from historic downtown Beaufort. They produce a variety of liquors, such as vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, and moonshine, using local ingredients and traditional methods. You can book a tasting tour that includes a sampling of their spirits, a full distillery tour, and a free shot glass.
  • Carolina Tasting Room: This is actually located on Hilton Head Island, about an hour away, but it’s a fun outing if you’re up for the drive. It’s a great place to discover local wines from South Carolina and Georgia. They offer wine tastings for $3 per person or free if you buy a bottle of wine. You can choose from over 40 wines, ranging from dry to sweet, red to white, and even fruit wines. They also have wine slushies, beer on tap, and snacks to enjoy.

19. Port Royal

If you’re up for exploring other small towns in the area, check out the town of Port Royal!

You can stroll along the scenic boardwalk, visit the historic forts and museums, enjoy the local seafood and cuisine, or join one of the many festivals and events that happcen throughout the year.

Besides its charming Old Village, don’t miss the Port Royal Boardwalk at The Sands and its 4-story Observation Tower!

20. Go Hiking or Biking on the Spanish Moss Trail

Speaking of Port Royal, this trail connects Port Royal to Beaufort and is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the scenery. The Spanish Moss Trail is a 10-mile greenway that follows the former Port Royal Railroad that was built in 1870.

The trail offers beautiful views of marshes, creeks, bridges, and historic landmarks. You can walk, bike, jog, or skate along the trail and enjoy the fresh air and nature. The trail also connects you to attractions such as the Beaufort Plaza Shopping Center, Sands Beach, and Fishcamp Restaurant.

21. Visit the Penn Center

If you are looking for a place to learn about the rich history and culture of the Gullah Geechee people, you should visit the Penn Center near Beaufort, SC. The Penn Center is a national historic landmark founded in 1862 as one of the first schools for freed African-American slaves.

Today, it is a museum and cultural center that preserves and showcases the Gullah Geechee community’s traditions, art, music, and cuisine. You can explore the campus, see exhibits, attend events, and even stay overnight at one of the historic cottages.

The Penn Center is more than just a museum- it’s a living legacy of a people who have endured and thrived in the face of extreme adversity. Tickets start at $15 for adults.

22. Visit the St. Helena Parish Chapel of Ease Ruins

While you’re at the Penn Center, don’t miss this spot- it’s practically next door! One of the most intriguing attractions near Beaufort is the St. Helena Parish Chapel of Ease Ruins. This 18th-century church was built for the planters who lived on St. Helena Island, but Union troops later burned it down during the Civil War. 

Today, you can see the remains of the brick walls and the tabby floor made of oyster shells, lime, and sand. The ruins are surrounded by live oaks and Spanish moss, creating a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere.

And while you’re on Saint Helena Island, it’s worth stopping at Fort Fremont, built in 1898 as part of the US coastal defense system. You can explore the ruins of the fort, located at the entrance to the Beaufort River, and learn about its history and role in the Spanish-American War. It’s also a great place to enjoy nature and wildlife, as it is surrounded by marshes, forests, and beaches (it’s just down the road from Lands End Woodland Beach).

23. Visit the Old Sheldon Church Ruins

For more incredible ruins, here’s one of the most unique things to do around Beaufort. If you are looking for a place to explore the history and beauty of South Carolina, you should definitely visit the Old Sheldon Church Ruins.

This site was once a majestic colonial church that was burned twice by the British and the Union armies during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. 

Today, you can see the remains of the brick walls and columns surrounded by majestic live oaks and Spanish moss. 

There are Revolutionary War graves throughout the area, adding a layer of mystery and a bit of spookiness, too.

The ruins are open to the public and free to see, though there is now a gate around them. So, while you can’t walk directly into the ruins, you can still walk around them and admire the architecture and the scenery.

I highly recommend going early in the day; we went in the morning and the lighting truly made this site feel magical.

24. Explore the Parris Island Museum

The Parris Island Museum is one of Beaufort’s best attractions for those interested in military history. This museum showcases the history and culture of the United States Marine Corps, from its origins in 1775 to the present day. 

You can see exhibits on Marine training, weapons, uniforms, traditions, and artifacts from various wars and conflicts. The museum also offers guided tours and special events throughout the year.

It’s open daily to the public and is free to visit!

25. Visit the South Carolina Maritime Museum

The South Carolina Maritime Museum tells the story of South Carolina’s maritime history. You can explore exhibits that showcase the stories of shipwrecks, pirates, lighthouses, naval battles, and more. 

It’s one of the best things to do in Beaufort with kids, too, as they can also enjoy interactive activities, such as building their own boat, learning how to tie knots, or playing with nautical toys. 

The museum is open from Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm, and admission is free!

26. Explore Beaufort’s Arts Scene

There are plenty of things to do in Beaufort if you’re looking for an arts scene. This charming coastal town is home to artists, musicians, writers, and performers who showcase their talents in galleries, theaters, festivals, and events.

You can explore the historic downtown district, where you’ll find art galleries, antique shops, and museums. You can also enjoy live music, comedy, and drama at the USCB Center for the Arts.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can join one of the many art classes or workshops local artists and organizations offer. You can learn to paint with watercolors, sculpt with clay, and so much more.

27. Enjoy the Sunset Over the Beaufort River

Watching the sunset is truly one of the best things to do in Beaufort because it really showcases the beauty here. After a stormy afternoon, we had the most memorable evening watching the sunset near the marina.

The sky turned into a painting of orange, pink, and purple hues, reflecting on the calm water. It was a perfect way to end the day, surrounded by so much beauty- to this day, one of the dreamiest sunsets I’ve ever witnessed on my travels!

The Best Things to Do Around Beaufort if You Venture Further Out

Visit Bluffton

Bluffton is a great choice if you’re looking for a fun and relaxing day trip. It’s a vibrant, eclectic arts town with a rich history, scenic views, and many activities to enjoy. You’ll love the friendly atmosphere, the quaint charm, and the diverse attractions.

Whether you’re into history, nature, or culture, here are some ideas for what to do on a day trip to Bluffton:

  • Explore the historic district and admire the antebellum homes, churches, and shops. You can take a guided tour or walk around on your own. (Don’t miss the Heyward House Museum and Welcome Center, where you can learn more about the town’s history and culture!)
  • Visit the Bluffton Oyster Company, the last remaining oyster shucking facility in South Carolina! You can watch the oyster shuckers at work, buy fresh seafood, and sample some delicious oyster dishes at the adjacent restaurant.
  • Enjoy the natural beauty of the May River and its surrounding marshes. You can rent a kayak or paddle board or join a boat tour to explore the waterways. You might even spot some dolphins, birds, or other wildlife along the way.
  • Support local businesses and artists while shopping for local goods at the Bluffton Farmers Market, held every Thursday from 1 to 6 pm. You’ll find a variety of vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, honey, jams, jewelry, pottery, and more.
  • Relax and unwind at one of the many spas in Bluffton. You can treat yourself to a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, etc.
  • See the unique Church of the Cross, built in 1857.

Dine or Stay at the Montage Palmetto Bluffs

If you’re looking for a luxurious getaway in the heart of nature, look no further than the Montage Palmetto Bluffs. This stunning resort offers spacious accommodations, world-class amenities, and breathtaking views of the Lowcountry landscape.

Whether you want to relax at the spa, play golf on the championship course, or explore the scenic trails and waterways, you’ll love experiencing the charm and hospitality of the South here.

If you’re like me, and the Montage Palmetto Bluffs isn’t quite in your budget (we’re a long way from that), you can still enjoy the property by dining here. On our way to Beaufort from Savannah, we had lunch here, and the food was delicious, fresh, and local. Yum!

Explore The Charleston Tea Garden

Girl in the tea fields at the Charleston Tea Garden

If you love tea, you will love the Charleston Tea Garden, the only place in North America where tea is grown and produced. You can visit this beautiful plantation on Wadmalaw Island, an hour and a half away from Beaufort, and enjoy a unique and educational experience.

The Charleston Tea Garden offers factory tours that show you how tea is harvested, processed, and packaged. You’ll learn about the history of tea cultivation in America and the different types of tea available. You can also sample some of their delicious teas for free at the gift shop, where you can also buy tea-related souvenirs.

Charleston Tea Garden trolley under live oak trees
Couple kissing under the oak tree tunnel at the Charleston Tea Garden

The plantation is open seven days a week, from 10 am to 4 pm on weekdays and from 12 pm to 4 pm on Sundays. Admission is free, but you can also take the trolley tour of the grounds for $17 per adult and $8 per child. The trolley tour takes you through the 127 acres of tea plants and gives you a closer look at the natural beauty of the island.

Go Wine Tasting at Deep Water Vineyard

Girl at deep water vineyard outside of Charleston

While on Wadmalaw Island for the Charleston Tea Plantation, don’t miss this nearby vineyard. Deep Water Vineyard is the only vineyard and winery in Charleston.

You can enjoy tastings of their delicious wines made from muscadine grapes, a fruit native to the Southeastern United States.

You can also wander around the vineyard- keep an eye out for their friendly miniature cow! 

Deep Water Vineyard is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. The cost of admission is $10 per person, which includes a souvenir wine glass and six tastings. You can also buy bottles of wine, gift baskets, and other souvenirs at their shop. https://deepwatervineyard.com/

See The Angel Oak Tree

Girl at the Angel Oak Tree in South Carolina

One of the most incredible nature sights we’ve seen in South Carolina is the Angel Oak Tree, a majestic live oak estimated to be over 400 years old! It stands 65 feet tall and has a canopy that covers 17,000 square feet. You can walk around the tree, take photos, or just sit and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. And the cherry on top: admission is free!

Check out more of the best nature spots around Charleston here!

Explore Savannah

If you’re looking for a fun and easy day trip from Beaufort, you can’t go wrong with Savannah, GA. About an hour away, Savannah is a charming city with a rich history, beautiful architecture, and endless attractions. It’s full of beauty; check out the most Instagrammable places in Savannah here!

Start your day by strolling through Savannah’s historic district, where you’ll find cobblestone streets, elegant squares, and antebellum mansions. Don’t miss the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the gorgeous Forsyth Park Fountain, and the Mercer Williams House Museum. 

For lunch, enjoy some delicious Lowcountry cuisine at one of the many restaurants in the area, such as Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, Husk, or The Olde Pink House. 

After lunch, continue sightseeing by visiting the Bonaventure Cemetery or Wormsloe State Historic Site.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also join a ghost tour or riverboat cruise before heading back to Beaufort.

Explore Charleston

Charleston is another fun and easy day trip from Beaufort, SC, about 1 hour and 20 minutes away. Here are some ideas on how to spend a day in charming, historic Charleston:

Start your day with a visit to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens- morning is the perfect time to explore before crowds get here! It’s probably the most beautiful garden I’ve ever been to on all of my travels!

You can see other Charleston plantations worth visiting here!

Girl on white bridge photoshoot at Magnolia Plantation

When you return to downtown Charleston, stroll along the Battery, a scenic promenade that overlooks the harbor and the antebellum mansions.

Next, head to the French Quarter, where you can admire this historic district’s architecture, art galleries, and churches.

Don’t miss Charleston’s famous Rainbow Row, a series of colorful houses that date back to the 18th century. (Rainbow Row is on my list of most beautiful places in Charleston… see what else made the list here!)

For lunch, treat yourself to some of the best Southern cuisine in the city. Charleston has so many excellent restaurants, like F.I.G., Husk, Magnolia’s, and Lenoir.

After lunch, explore some museums and landmarks that showcase Charleston’s rich history and culture. You can visit the Charleston Museum (the oldest museum in America!!) or the Old Slave Mart Museum, which tells the story of the slave trade in Charleston.

End your day with a sunset cruise on the harbor, where you can enjoy the views of the city skyline, Fort Sumter, and the Ravenel Bridge.

The Best Time to Visit Beaufort

South Carolina summers are hot and humid — there’s no getting around that. To explore Beaufort in the most comfortable climate, I recommend visiting in the spring or the fall.

April and October are ideal for having plenty to do while simultaneously avoiding the sweltering weather synonymous with the South. As an added bonus, you can also enjoy lower prices and fewer crowds during these months.

Where to Stay in Beaufort, SC

If you are looking for a place to stay in Beaufort, SC, you have plenty of options to choose from. Whether you prefer a luxury hotel, a quaint B&B, or a cozy inn, you can find something that suits your taste and budget.

We stayed at the affordable Best Western Sea Island Inn and loved its location- it’s steps away from the historic downtown and the water. This hotel offers spacious and comfortable rooms, a delicious complimentary breakfast, friendly service, an outdoor pool, and free Wi-Fi.

Here are some more places near downtown that you might want to consider:

  • The Rhett House Inn: This is a historic inn that dates back to the 1820s and features elegant rooms, verandas, and gardens. It is located in the heart of Beaufort’s Historic District and offers easy access to shops, restaurants, and attractions. You can enjoy a complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening hors d’oeuvres during your stay.
  • City Loft Hotel: This is a modern hotel that offers stylish rooms with amenities like flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and espresso machines. It also has a fitness center, a spa, and a coffee shop on site. It is located on Bay Street, close to the waterfront park and the marina.
  • Anchorage 1770: This inn is a beautifully restored waterfront mansion that dates back to the 18th century. You can enjoy the stunning views of the Beaufort River, the cozy rooms with antique furnishings, and the delicious breakfast served every morning.
  • Cuthbert House Inn: This is a charming B&B that occupies a former plantation house built in 1790. It has 10 rooms with antique furnishings, fireplaces, and balconies. It also offers a full breakfast, evening socials, and bike rentals. It is situated on Bay Street, overlooking the Beaufort River.

I’d recommend staying as close to downtown Beaufort as you can. It’s such a walkable town and that way you’ll really get to take advantage of that!

In conclusion…

Beaufort is a charming town with a rich history and a vibrant culture- we loved our stay in Beaufort and I’m certain you will too!

Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, historical attractions, or culinary delights, there are so many things to do in Beaufort. You can explore the scenic waterfront, visit the museums and galleries, or enjoy the local cuisine and festivals.

All in all, Beaufort is a stunning and charming travel destination where you can relax, have fun, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this gem of the Lowcountry!

And if you’re looking to visit more of this area, check out these posts:

Lastly, if you’ve been to Beaufort, South Carolina, let me know if you have a recommendation for something that didn’t make my list! I’d love to check it out on my next visit! Also, feel free to drop any questions you have about Beaufort in the comments as well!

Happy exploring!


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About the author
Picture of Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.
Picture of Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.
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