Beaufort, South Carolina’s “Most Romantic City,” is brimming with enchantment. However, you don’t have to be part of a traveling pair to enjoy the sights and sounds of this wonderful city located outside of Hilton Head. This South Carolina gem is brimming with Southern charm and is ideal for a girls’ weekend, a family vacation, or a solitary journey.
Take in the views of the gorgeous mansions and gardens built in the 1700s, when the town was created, with Antebellum architecture. Tourists may take a trip back in time as they stroll through the centuries-old alleyways adorned with huge live oaks, thanks to a protecting historical association. To avoid the intense Southern heat, the large green area welcomes leisurely strolls under the Spanish moss.
A visit to Beaufort will welcome you with Southern kindness and charm. Whether travelers are looking for romance, history, or adventure, they will find it here. Discover the greatest places to visit in Beaufort, South Carolina, with our list of the best attractions and activities to do.
Here’s a list of free things to do in Beaufort to help you traverse the town while keeping your wallet and budget in control. There are many alternatives with so much history and being surrounded by water.
1. Visit the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park
The waterfront is the jewel of downtown Beaufort, and Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park allows you to enjoy it all. It’s pet friendly, always open, and has bench swings; you can go fishing, let the kids burn off some energy in the playground, or relax at a table; you may utilize the jogging/walking trail, use the bathrooms as needed, and then go along the seawall looking for dolphins. During a quiet Beaufort afternoon, Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park provides a range of activities.
2. The Spanish Moss Trail
Along the 5-mile-long paved Spanish Moss Trail, you may cycle, run, stroll, and even fish while marveling at a diverse array of animal, bird, and plant species. The Spanish Moss Trail connects the towns of Port Royal, Beaufort, Burton, and Grays Hill to the Whale Branch Pier, with a few phases open for residents and visitors to enjoy. When all phases are completed, the Spanish Moss Trail will connect the towns of Port Royal, Beaufort, Burton, and Grays Hill to the Whale Branch Pier.
The Spanish Moss Track promotes a healthy lifestyle by connecting communities, parks, and businesses with a paved, dedicated pedestrian and cycling trail.
3. Go for a picnic in the downtown
Take a picnic beneath one of the huge live oak trees on the cliff along Bay Street overlooking the Beaufort River with a blanket, a few favorite picnic items, and someone special. You’ll discover tranquilly, relative silence, and a stunning vista. The action is completed by a pleasant wind and the shadow of the oaks.
4. Take a stroll around the neighborhood of Beaufort’s Point.
Downtown’s Point area, which is home to some of the most exquisite mansions in the south, dates back to Beaufort’s earliest days and was formerly the site of an ancient shipyard in the early 1700s. Along your stroll, you’ll pass by local and national landmarks such as Tidalholm (the Edgar Fripp House), the B.B. Sams House, and The Castle, all of which are surrounded by lovely live oak trees wrapped in rustic Spanish moss. Downtown’s Point district, home to some of the most exquisite mansions in the south, dates back to Beaufort’s early days.
5. Take a tour of the Cypress Wetlands in Port Royal.
Enjoy a magnificent piece of coastal environment at the Cypress Wetlands in Port Royal, which has egrets, ducks, great blue herons, and a variety of other migratory shorebirds along meandering pathways and boardwalks amid lush greenery including willow and water oak trees.
The Cypress Wetlands region in Port Royal is home to gators, turtles, birds, and more. Arastasia Rolain took the photo. The Cypress Wetlands region in Port Royal is home to gators, turtles, birds, and more. Arastasia Rolain took the photo.
6. Take a look at the Parris Island Museum.
Inside the Parris Island Museum, the Marine Corps exhibitions include relics dating from the turn of the century to the current day. From 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., every day. Explore the Marine Corps’ long and illustrious history, as well as the fascinating history of the Port Royal location. The event is free to attend.
7. Visit the Parris Island Museum
Inside the Parris Island Museum, you’ll find an extraordinary collection of history and artefacts. You will be able to get yourself lost among the most outstanding exhibits that are available for display at the museum.
8. Enjoy a day at The Sands and the Port Royal Boardwalk.
For years, people from all over the Beaufort region have flocked to a local favorite site along the ocean in Port Royal. The Sands at Port Royal has a long boardwalk with a four-story tower where you can go fishing or for a pleasant stroll, and you can bring a picnic and spend a day combing the beach and sifting through the sand for sharks’ teeth; it’s a shark-tooth hotspot down there.
The Sands at Port Royal has a lengthy boardwalk with a four-story tower where you can go fishing, promenade, or get a good exercise. Arastasia Rolain took the photo. The Sands at Port Royal has a lengthy boardwalk with a four-story tower where you can go fishing, promenade, or get a good exercise. Arastasia Rolain took the photo.
9. Take a look at the art scene in downtown Beaufort.
With a booming art scene, the city has been designated #14 on American Style Magazine’s list of ‘Top 25 Small City Arts Destinations,’ as well as a ‘Top 100 Art Town,’ so there’s something to be thrilled about. In the downtown area, there are around 20 art galleries, the majority of which invite walk-ins and browsing. While observing a local artist at work, you’re bound to fall in love with our lovely Lowcountry-inspired art.
10. Visit Thibault Ballery
While observing a local artist at work, you’re bound to fall in love with our lovely Lowcountry-inspired art. You can uncover the hidden artist in you while you are at Thibault Ballery. Hence, you will not have to worry too much about anything.
11. St. Helena Island’s Land’s End Beach is a must-see.
The locals love this little tract of calm, off-the-beaten-path beach. Land’s End Beach is a few miles off the main route on St. Helena Island, next to historic Fort Fremont, where you could (or might not) locate it. Swimming, fishing, and gathering in the Beaufort sun… It always gives a lot of tranquilly. Land’s End Beach is a peaceful, out-of-the-way area to soak up some Beaufort sunshine.
12. Historic Fort Fremont is awe-inspiring.
Fort Fremont is a Spanish American War fort erected in 1899 and abandoned in 1921 on St. Helena Island, all the way to Land’s End. The fort is available to the public and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Historic Resources of St. Helena Island. Its lovely shell remains for everyone to marvel at, situated directly along the shore of Port Royal Sound.
Some other activities to do
Here are some other activities that you will be able to do while you are spending your time at the region. However, these are not free activities, but quite affordable.
- Parris Island
Parris Island has been the home of a military installation for almost a century, where 20,000 recruits go through weeks of training to become a marine. Parris Island is a fun area to visit as well. You may play a round of golf at The Legends Golf Course (but watch out for the gators!) or learn about the Marine Corps and Parris Island’s history at the Parris Island Museum.
If you’re visiting Parris Island, make a point of stopping at the neighboring Chocolate Tree to pick up one of the legendary “boxes of chocolates” made famous by Forrest Gump, which was shot right here in Beaufort.
The Parris Island Lighthouse and grounds, which consists of a 45-foot-tall front range light and a 131-foot tower that served as the back-range light, are located near the point of Parris Island. An elevated walkway joined the two of them. This is Parris Island’s oldest building, and it has a fascinating history. The rear light is the very first of its sort. It is still a sight to behold and worth the journey to get here, despite the fact that it no longer leads ships away from the port due to current technology.
- The National Cemetery of Beaufort
The Beaufort National Cemetery is probably one of the most beautiful in the United States, despite being one of several. The cemetery is the burial place for Confederate and Union troops slain during the Civil War, and the area’s 33 acres have been included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Over 18,500 servicemen and women, as well as some of their families, were put to rest amid the brick walls, tall live oaks, and Spanish Moss, with stark white crosses marking their graves. History and Civil War fans, as well as those who wish to respect men and women who served our country, will enjoy a visit to the national cemetery. As you approach the main gate, you are greeted with a 20-foot granite monolith etched with historical figures. Look for Colonel Donald Conroy, dubbed “The Great Santini,” and Master Sergeant Joseph Simmons, a Légion d’honneur recipient who served in both World Wars I and II.
- Historic Cuthbert House in Beaufort
Beaufort is rich in history, and one aspect of that past is the area’s well-preserved architecture. Visiting Antebellum houses or a plantation will provide travelers with insight into the city’s many layers of history. The National Register of Historic Places has listed several of them.
A good example is the Cuthbert House. This structure, which is now a bed & breakfast inn, was erected in 1811 and has a fascinating background that is part of local legend. The district is made up of a collection of structures within a 12-block radius of the downtown center, making it an excellent walking tour. The main street has a broad range of architectural styles, including Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, and Queen Anne-influenced buildings. Both the Gibbs House and the Jacob Henry House are worth seeing.
Taking a horse-and-carriage history trip is another excellent way to explore Beaufort’s unique charm. On an hour-long trip through the heart of Beaufort, certified guides transport clients on these eye-popping red horse-drawn carriages. You’ll visit Antebellum houses, churches, and famous movie locales along the road.
- Kayaking and paddle boarding at the marshlands of Beaufort
A visitor’s viewpoint of a site is always altered by the view from the sea. It’s not uncommon to see the 300-year-old Beaufort, one of the greatest natural ports on the East Coast, from a kayak. Several firms provide trips and the chance to explore the area by boat.
Among the marshes and long grasses, where birds and other creatures make their homes, tourists will discover some of the most interesting portions of the ecosystem. Fiddler crabs, herons, mullet, terrapins, and osprey may all be found within striking distance of the city. Oystercatchers will be busy cracking up shellfish with their bills. Paddling through these picturesque tidal channels in a kayak or SUP allows you to appreciate the rookery’s natural beauty as well as the sensitive ecosystem’s intricacy.
Now you have a solid understanding on the list of things that you can do at the Beaufort SC. While keeping this list in mind, you can plan your tours accordingly. Then you will be able to end up with securing the most outstanding opportunities that you can possibly grab in the region as well.