Beaufort Area

Click on corresponding pictures for additional information.
Option 1 – Military Tour

1. Arsenal Museum and Visitor’s Center (715 Craven St, open M, T, Th, F & Sat 10-5) alt
The Arsenal was built in 1798, and home to the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery, commissioned in 1802. This company was originally organized in 1776 and served in the American Revolutionary War. They were the 5tholdest military unit in the United States. The structure was constructed of brick and tabby; an early form of concrete made from lime, sand and oyster shells. It has taken part in every war fought on native soil. The building was enlarged and renovated in 1934. In the yard visitors will find brass trophy guns which were captured from the British in 1779, seized by Union forces in 1861 and later returned in 1880. The property now serves as Beaufort Visitor’s Center and Museum. Inside visitors will find relics of nature, war and early industry.

alt2. National Cemetery (1601 Boundary St, open 8-sunset)
The National Cemetery is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. More than 14,000 veterans lie in rest in the cemetery. It holds a Union Soldier’s Monument, the Confederate Soldier’s Monument and the Massachusetts Monument. The Union Soldier’s Monument was erected in the 1870’s to honor 174 unknown Union soldiers buried in the cemetery. The Confederate Soldier’s Monument was built in 1997 in honor of Confederate soldiers interred at the cemetery. The Massachusetts Monument was built after the remains of the All-Black 55th and 1st North Carolina Infantry were interred in 1989.

3. Lunch at a local restaurantalt
Beaufort has a large array of dining choices. Whether you are looking for a quick
bite or a full meal, we have what you’re looking for. Just consult the Visitors section of this website to find a sandwich shop or a restaurant that has exactly what you are looking for.


alt4. Parris Island Museum,
(111 Panama St, Parris Island, open daily 10-4:30)
The Parris Island Museum contains over 8,000 sq ft of gallery space dedicated to teaching the long and honored history and traditions of the Marine Corps. Visitors to the museum will find inspiration from stories told through artifacts and images of Marines who have served our nation.

Option 2 – Historic Downtown Tour

1. Arsenal Museum and Visitor’s Centeralt
(715 Craven St, open M, T, Th F & Sat 10-5)
This once vital military structure now serves as Beaufort Visitor’s Center and Museum. Inside visitors will find relics of nature, war and early industry. The Arsenal also has local attraction information.

alt2. Carriage Tour
Spend an hour of your day with a local tour guide being driven around our beautiful city in a horse-drawn carriage. You will come away from the experience with knowledge of our rich heritage and interesting tales of local folk lore.

3. Lunch at a local waterfront restaurant (See Visitors – Dining – Beaufort)alt
After your carriage ride, head to Bay Street to pick a lunch destination from the many popular waterfront restaurants. Watch boats drift by on glistening water as you enjoy a meal prepared from fresh local seafood and produce.

alt4. Tabernacle Baptist Church (911 Craven St)
The Tabernacle Baptist Church was built by the African American members of the Beaufort Baptist Church after Federal occupation of Beaufort in 1861. The churchyard cemetery is the final resting place of Robert Smalls. Smalls was a slave who rose to greatness during the Civil War.

5. John Mark Verdier House Museum,
(801 Bay St, open M-S 10:30-3:30)
The John Mark Verdier House is located in Historic Beaufort. The house was built by, and named for a prosperous merchant and planter. The Federal style house was visited by the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825. It also served as headquarters by Union officers during the Civil War. The house is now a museum. Tours are available every hour on the half-hour, Monday thru Saturday.


alt6. St. Helena’s Episcopal Church,
(505 Church St)
St. Helena’s Episcopal Church was built in 1724. It is one of the oldest active churches in North America. It is built of brick that was carried over in the ballast area of ships. The bricks were then smoothed over with stucco to create a smooth surface .St Helena’s most noted parishioner during the Revolutionary era was Thomas Heyward Jr, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The church is still in possession of a Communion set that was a gift in 1734 by Captain John Bull, which was given in memory of his wife, who disappeared during the Yemassee Indian War. The remains of Colonel John Barnwell, better known as “Tuscarora Jack” are buried in the church cemetery. He was a famous Indian fighter and former of Beaufort Town in 1711.

7. Stroll the many art galleries downtownalt
(See Visitors – The Arts – Art Galleries)
Visit the Art Guild of Beaufort ( ) to discover a listing for the 11 premier art galleries of downtown Beaufort. Beaufort has the distinction of being one of the top 20 art towns in America. Come visit our galleries and find out why.


Option 3 – Historic & Boat Tour

alt1. Guided Walking Tour
(See Visitors – Tours – Beaufort)
Soak up the local history with an expert walking tour guide. Stroll the streets and hear the stories of the forefathers of our fair city and the homes they built. Hear about the pirates that plundered off our waters and came ashore to cause mischief. You never know, there may even be a ghost story or two included.

2. Lunch at a local restaurantalt
(See Visitors – Dining – Beaufort)
Stop in one of our local restaurants to sample Lowcountry cooking at its finest.
Beaufort chefs use fresh local seafood and produce to create delicious mouth-watering dishes.

alt3. River tour
(See Visitors – Tours – Beaufort)

Spend the afternoon boating in the pristine water surrounding beautiful Beaufort. View marshes and sea islands of the ACE Basin. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture images of the area along with it’s abundant wildlife.


Option 4 – Islands Tour

1. Penn Center
(See Visitors – Tours – Beaufort), www.penncenter.comalt, (Located off Land’s End Rd at 16 Penn Center Circle West, St Helena Island, open M-Sat 11-4)
As stated in their official website, Penn Center is, “Tucked in the heart of the South Carolina Sea Islands between glimmering marshes and deep water, nestled beneath the silvery moss draped limbs of massive live oaks…” The Penn Center is the site of one of the country’s first schools for freed slaves. The historic campus of Penn Center sits on 50 acres in the heart of Gullah culture on St. Helena Island, off the coast of Beaufort.

alt2. Picnic or eat at a local Gullah restaurant
(See Visitors – Dining – Lady’s Island)
The Gullah style of cooking uses only local and in season ingredients for
cooking their dishes. Food is prepared in a natural and serene setting. Most menu choices are stewed, grilled or roasted. No Gullah meal would be complete without rice and cornbread. Stop by a local Gullah restaurant for what guarantees to be a unique and memorable experience.


alt3. Shop the local arts area
(See Visitors – Shopping – Beaufort – Lady’s Island)
No trip to the Beaufort islands would be complete without a little shopping at Frogmore’s Four Corners on St Helena Island. Local artists display one of a kind artwork that is distinctive to the Beaufort islands.


alt4. Chapel of Ease
(Land’s End Rd, St Helena Island)
Chapels of ease were built during the Colonial Period as houses of worship for plantation owners and their families. One such structure is located on St. Helena’s Island. The Sea Island rice plantations were located too far from the churches of Beaufort. The Chapel of Ease was constructed here of tabby walls between 1742 and 1747. A forest fire destroyed most of it in 1886. All that remains today are tabby walls and a cemetery. Today the Chapel of Ease remains as a peaceful and tranquil reminder of Sea Island life.

5. Ft. Freemont
(Land’s End Rd)alt
Fort Freemont is located on St Helena Island in Beaufort County. Constructed in 1899, its purpose was to defend Port Royal Sound as a modern coastal defense system. Earthen bulwarks are in place to protect the harbor side of the fort, which accommodated many disappearing guns and a rapid fire battery. It has recently been purchased by Beaufort County to be preserved as a historic site and public park. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Option 5 –Hunting Island Day at the Beach,
Hwy 21,, (open 6-6, extended hours open till 9 during daylight savings time)

alt1. Hunting Island State Park Visitor’s Center
The Visitor’s Center is located inside the park gate. Inside visitors will find information on the park and educational programs that are available.

2. Day at the beachalt
Spend the day relaxing in the sun as the tides rise and fall. Watch fiddler crabs and sea gulls forage in the surf. Relax and enjoy the day in one of South Carolina’s most beautiful state beaches. Bath houses are located at each beach access area including restrooms and outdoor showers.

alt3. Picnic
Bring your picnic onto the beach or grill out in one of the many picnic areas located adjacent to the beaches. Grills and picnic tables are available.


4. Lighthouse climb
Constructed in 1859, the historic Hunting Island Lighthouse is the only lighthouse in the state that is open to the public. The 167 step climb offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding marshes and maritime forest. Admission is from 10 am – 4:45 pm daily March – October, and until 3:45 pm November – February.

alt5. Scenic Marshwalk
Extending across the lush marsh tidal flats, the Hunting Island Marshwalk extends across to a small hummock that provides a magnificent platform for viewing area nature and wildlife. The boardwalk can be found on Hwy 21 on the west side of the park. Bring your camera and capture images of ever-present shore birds.

Option 6 – Kayak Tour
Spend the day enjoying nature at its finest on the pristine
waterways around Beaufort.alt

1. Kayak tour of Beaufort waterways
(See Visitors – Water Sports – Kayaking & Paddling)
Nature and history tours by kayak leave daily from downtown Beaufort, Hunting Island and the ACE Basin. No experience is necessary.

alt2. Picnic
Spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic lunch along the bank of the river.



Option 7 – Horseback Riding on the Beach
(See Lowcountry Guidebook for information)

alt1. Horseback riding
(See Visitors – Nature Tourism)
Enjoy the beauty of the Lowcountry with a horse back ride! Trails wander throughout a 60 acre farm, down roads and paths past beautiful old live oak trees and island palms. Trails take visitors on the edge of the marshlands with its wide expanse full of wild life. Other trails venture onto the beach.


alt2. Lunch at Lady’s Island Restaurant
(See Visitors – Dining – Lady’s Island)
Lady’s Island has many fine dining choices.


Option 8 – Plantation Tour & Carriage Ride

1. Tour Pick Pocket Plantation
(See Visitors – Tours – Beaufort)alt
(91 Trask Farm Rd), This plantation dates back to the Mid-19th Century. The owners take great pride in preserving the plantation’s authentic beauty. Spanning 15 acres, the property boasts 9 historical buildings, including a beautifully restored plantation home. Period antiques can be found throughout the home and property.

alt2. Lunch at a local restaurant
(See Visitors – Dining – Beaufort)
You’ll find everything from steak to seafood on Beaufort menus with countless restaurants to chose from. Beaufort restaurants are known for serving up memorable specialties.


alt3. Carriage Tour of Downtown
(See Visitors – Tours – Beaufort)
Hop on in the buggy for a fully narrated horse-drawn carriage tour of downtown Beaufort. Tour guides entertain visitors with stories, local legends and historic facts about this beautiful city.

Option 9 – Gullah Heritage Tour (See Visitors – Tours – Beaufort)

alt1. Gullah Heritage Tour
(See Visitors – Tours – Beaufort)
Gullah is a rich, cultural heritage linking West Africa and America. The Gullah culture is most reticent in those who live along the sea islands. There is no better way to discover the traditions of the island’s rich African-American culture of “Gullah” than with on-site recollections and stories rich in cultural history.

2. Lunch at a local Gullah Restaurantalt
(See Visitors – Dining – Beaufort)
The Gullah style of cooking uses only local and in season ingredients for
cooking their dishes. Food is prepared in a natural and serene setting. Most menu choices are stewed, grilled or roasted. No Gullah meal would be complete without rice and cornbread. Stop by a local Gullah restaurant for what guarantees to be a unique and memorable experience.

alt3. Shop local galleries for Gullah-inspired art
(See Visitors – Shopping – Beaufort & St. Helena Island)
Visit Frogmore’s Four Corners on St Helena Island to select the perfect original Lowcountry art piece to add to your collection. Visit Fragmore’s ?



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