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Beaufort, SC

Guide to local businesses, historic sites, attractions and entertainment in the town of Beaufort, SC.

Beaufort is a city on Port Royal Island, one of South Carolina's coastal Sea Islands. It's known for its antebellum mansions, especially in the downtown historic district. A notable example is the John Mark Verdier House Museum, an early-1800s Federal-style mansion, with period furniture and exhibits on area history. Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park overlooks the Beaufort River and the Woods Memorial Bridge.

If you get the feeling you've seen Beaufort before, you might be right. Its graceful homes, oak-canopied streets, and well-tended gardens have served as locations for films that include The Great Santini, The Big Chill, The Prince of Tides, and Forest Gump. Yet there's nothing quite like seeing this graceful ante-bellum town firsthand. A trip to the Visitors Center next to the City Marina can help you to get your bearings.

Located 30 miles north of Hilton Head, Beaufort is the second-oldest town in the state (Charleston is the oldest). In its Old Point historic district, lavish homes built during the 18th and 19th centuries hold thrall. Many of the private houses are only open to the public twice a year, during fall and spring tours. A few have been converted to museums.

Popular attractions in Beaufort include Port Royal Boardwalk and Observation Tower, Santa Elena History Center, Cypress Wetlands and Verdier House. Numerous walking and carriage tours are available to see the town at a relaxed pace. Explore the history and Southern charm that is distinctly Beaufort, South Carolina.

Among those are the George Eliot House Museum, built in 1840 and furnished with Victorian antiques. It served as a Union hospital during the Civil War. The John Mark Verdier House Museum, built in 1790, is where the Union army made its headquarters. It's been restored to circa-1825 Federal style. Exhibits at the Gothic-style Beaufort Museum range from pre-historic finds to Civil War memorabilia. Experience real Southern hospitality at lunch, dinner or an overnight stay in the antique-filled Rhett House Inn.

Outdoor attractions include Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, which has a seawall promenade, crafts market, gardens, and a marina on its seven landscaped acres. Mid-July, the Beaufort Water Festival takes place here. Hunting Island State Park boasts three miles of public beach and one of the East Coast's longest fishing piers. Its 140-foot-tall Lighthouse provides sweeping views of the area.
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Beaufort Attractions

Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park

Bay St
Beaufort, SC 29902
(843) 525-7011

Sea Island Carriage Company

930 Bay St, Beaufort, SC 29902 (843) 476-7789

The Kazoobie Kazoo Factory, Museum, and Gift Shop

12 John Galt Rd
Beaufort, SC 29906
(843) 982-6387

Musical Instrument Store.

Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce

701 Craven St
Beaufort, SC 29902
(843) 525-8500

Cypress Wetlands

1700 Paris Ave
Port Royal, SC 29935

Janet's Walking History Tour

1006 Bay St
Beaufort, SC 29907
(843) 226-4412

Verdier House

801 Bay St
Beaufort, SC 29902
(843) 379-6335

Port Royal Boardwalk and Observation Tower

London Ave
Port Royal, SC 29935
(843) 986-2205

Pigeon Point Park

1521 Pigeon Point Rd
Beaufort, SC 29902

Compact neighborhood park featuring a playground, oak trees, flowers, benches, restrooms and more.

Santa Elena History Center

1501 Bay St
Beaufort, SC 29902
(843) 379-1550

Quaint locale with exhibits commemorating the 1st European colonial capital in the New World.

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Map of Beaufort, SC Attractions