Beaufort & Port Royal

Because of the deep, safe harbor, two of the first European settlements in what would become the Colony of South Carolina were established in the mid-1500s. Beaufort, and sister-city, Port Royal occupy the lower half of Port Royal Island, and offer visitors a glimpse of historic sites and homes of the antebellum South.

Beaufort and Port Royal have quiet neighborhood streets, overhung by giant live oaks and Spanish moss it is perfect for walking tours or a narrated, horse-drawn carriage ride. Read our blogs on the Historic Homes of Beaufort’s Bay Street and More Architectural Treasures in Historic Beaufort.  Visitors can also take a self guided tour of the Historic Churches of Beaufort.

If you love seafood, Beaufort and Port Royal boast some of the best seafood restaurants in the State. Several festivals and events are held during the year that celebrate the heritage, food, culture, and environment that these two communities share.

One of the area’s two public beaches is located in Port Royal, The Sands is just across the Beaufort River from Parris Island and is a favorite place to view 4th of July fireworks. The ocean beach at Hunting Island State Park is a 17 mile drive east of Beaufort.

Full service marinas assist boaters and fishermen who enjoy the protected waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, or easy access to the open ocean for deep sea fishing and diving.

From antique shops to unique gift items to hand made chocolates are found in the quaint shopping districts of the two towns, along with waterfront dining and bed & breakfast inns in lovingly restored historic homes.
Nature lovers can take kayak tours, walk the long, marsh-front board walk and climb the tower overlooking the waterfront in Port Royal. Read our Cypress Wetlands Rookery, Henry Robinson Boardwalk and Sands Beach blog.

Be warned however, many visitors fall in love with our friendly towns and mild temperatures and find it hard to leave. In fact many return to make Beaufort, Port Royal and surrounding communities their new home.

For other nearby attractions, see: Sights to see in Beaufort / Port Royal; and see Tours.

 

cannon park
Port Royal Landing Marina July dawn

Beaufort/Port Royal Area

Click on the name of the attraction for more information.

Beaufort Arsenal Museum
713 Craven Street, (843)525-8500, Built in 1798 & expanded in 1852. As a result of the secessionist movement. Contains Civil War artifacts and exhibits on local history. 

Beaufort National Cemetery
1601 Boundary Street, (843)524-3925. One of the first cemeteries established during the Civil War, it is one of the few that contains the remains of both Confederate and Union soldiers.

Chapel of Ease
Land’s End Road, St. Helena’s Island
Built between 1742 and 1747 to serve the planters on St. Helena Island. In 1886, a forest fire destroyed part of the brick and tabby chapel. The ruins and a small graveyard remain.
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Charlesfort-Santa Elena National Historic Landmark
Parris Island. Visit the site of the early French and Spanish settlements. There is a small exhibit at the site; full exhibit at the Parris Island Museum.

Cypress Wetlands Trail
1700 Paris Ave, Port Royal
Cypress Wetlands Rookery Loop is a 0.8 mile loop trail located in Port Royal, that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The wetlands support abundant populations of native wildlife.  The trail around the wetland is a combination of boardwalk, paved trail, and roadside pedestrian and bike trail.
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Fort Frederick
601 Old Fort Rd, Port Royal
Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve is a 6-acre property owned by the SC Department of Natural Resources and Beaufort County. Fort Frederick is the oldest surviving tabby fort in South Carolina and the oldest known tabby structure in Beaufort County. Built by the British colonial government between 1733 and 1735, its most important contribution to history was over one hundred years later on Jan. 1, 1863, when people walked across a dock over the top of Fort Frederick to hear the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in the Southern states.  Visitors can enjoy lunch under a covered pavilion and read historical details on the interpretive signs. The property is open from dawn to dusk every day.
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Fort Fremont Preserve
Land’s End Road, St. Helena Island
unique example of a Spanish American War Endicott Era fortification built to protect the U.S. Naval Station in Port Royal.
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Located 17 miles from Beaufort, 2555 Sea Island Pkwy.
(843)838-2011. Lighthouse, cabins, camping, picnic shelters, lagoon fishing, boat ramp, nature programs, park store, gift shop, nature center, marsh boardwalk, admission fee.
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John Mark Verdier House
801 Bay Street, (843)379-6335. Operated by the Historic
Beaufort Foundation. Circa 1800. Built in the Federal style by one of Beaufort’s most successful merchants, it is an excellent example of an early Lowcountry home. Museum gift shop open.
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The Mather Museum & Interpretive Center
921 Ribaut Rd, Building #1, Beaufort, 843-379-2787
Located on the campus of the Technical College of the Lowcountry, this museum depicts the history of the Mather School and its founder Rachel Crane Mather. The school was founded in 1868, shortly after the civil war, to teach the daughters of the newly freed slaves how to read and write and become homemakers. The School remained open for 100 years, closing it’s doors in 1968 and becoming a state trade school and eventually the Technical College of the Lowcountry. Hours of operation: Tues-Fri 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins
Located at the junction of Highways 21 & 235.
1.7 miles north of the junction of Highways 21 & 17 near Gardens Corner. Sheldon Church has laid in ruin for more than 140 years. Its gable roof, pediment, windows & interior have disappeared, but the classic simplicity of its design still remains. Burned by Prevost’s British troops in 1779, and again during the Civil War it still serves as a religious center for special observances. Admission – Free.
DRIVING TOUR BLOG POST
OLD SHELDON RUINS GAIN PROTECTION BLOG POST
OLD SHELDON, THEN AND NOW BLOG POST

Parris Island Museum
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, 111 Panama St
(843)228-2951, Housed in the War Memorial Building, it is devoted to the portrayal of the history &  development of Parris Island and the Port Royal area along with the Marine Corps & recruit training facilities.

Pat Conroy Literary Center
601 Bladen St, (843)-379-7025
The Pat Conroy Literary Center cultivates a passionate and inclusive reading and writing community in honor of Pat Conroy, who dedicated his life to spreading his love for literature and writing to future generations.

Penn Center
16 Penn Center Circle, West, St. Helena Island, (843)838-2432. The 50-acre Penn School National Historic Landmark District features the York W. Bailey Museum as well as 18 other structures related to the education of African Americans, Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights Era. Enjoy a permanent exhibit, “Education for Freedom: the Penn School Experiment,” as well as temporary exhibits. The museum, housed in the newly renovated Historic Cope Industrial Building, includes four galleries and a gift shop.
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Port Royal Museum
1634 Paris Ave, (843)524-4333
Take a trip back in time when lowcountry living was centered around the harvesting of seafood from the local creeks and rivers.  Find out how the deepest natural port provided opportunities and inspired local craftsmen to build boats and trawlers and market their bounties to the world.

Port Royal Sound Foundation
310 Okatie Highway, (843)645-7774
The Port Royal Sound Foundation features exhibits, classrooms, hands-on learning spaces and other areas where you can learn about and celebrate Port Royal Sound. Enjoy diverse and fun opportunities to experience and connect with the Port Royal Sound Area. Come by the Maritime Center to see the animals in action every Saturday at 2pm! A naturalist will feed and discuss the critters in various tanks. Fun for kids and adults alike! Other activities include Saturdays on the Sound, Tuesday Talks, Eco Boat Tours, story times and art contests.

Spanish Moss Trail 
Lowcountry’s Rails to Trail located in the heart of Northern Beaufort County, SC. This 10 mile long hiking and biking trail is open for public enjoyment.  The trail is open dawn to dusk. The path is open for pedestrians and non-motorized transportation (Exception: motorized wheelchairs). There are six parking trail heads available. The trail is open to pets on a leash; pet-waste stations are available. The trail offers beautiful water and marsh views and coastal wildlife viewing. It is also open for recreational fishing on various trestles. There are two restroom facilities (Broome Lane and Parker’s Convenience Store.
Trail head access located at Clarendon Road, Depot Road, Westvine Drive, Broome Lane Access, Beaufort Plaza, Roseida Road, & Clarendon Road.
PART 1 BLOG POST
PART 2 BLOG POST

St. Helena’s Episcopal Church
505 Church Road, Beaufort, (843)522-1712
Established in 1712 as a colonial parish of the Church of England, St. Helena’s Episcopal Church is one of the oldest churches in America. The original church was built on the present site in 1724 and appears today as it did in 1842 following its final enlargement.
Brief History and Map
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Tabernacle Baptist Church/Robert Smalls Grave
901 Craven Street, Beaufort
Tabernacle Church was formed by African-American members of Beaufort Baptist Church after Federal Occupation of the town in 1861. Robert Smalls, a slave who during the Civil War became a Union Naval Captain and later a US Congressman is buried in the churchyard.
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huntingb-209Hunting Island Lighthouse

John Mark Verdier House

parrisisland1Parris Island

Mather School Museum & Interpretive Center

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SOUTH CAROLINA LOWCOUNTRY

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The Lowcountry & Resort Islands Region of South Carolina includes the four, southern-most counties in the state, Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, and Colleton, which are bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Savannah River and the state of Georgia.

simplysoutherncottage keeps us in awe with each her projects. This bed swing refresh is one of our favorites!
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📸: simplysoutherncottage⠀
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#bedswing #prettyinpink #backporchliving #backporch #porchdecor #cottagestyle #bhgprojectjoy #bhghome #slhomes #southernstyle #bohostyle #bohodecor #bohochic #lowcountryliving #summervillesc #realestate #summervillerealestate #visitsummerville #sclowcountry #explorechs #mysouthernliving #charlestonrealtor #charlestonsc #summervillerealtor #72soldsc #jimbrantleyrealtor ⠀
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Beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry
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Headed down the road....Edisto Island.  #edisto #sclowcountry #trees #endofday  #beauty #islandsofsc
#southcarolinaliving #southcarolina #edistobeach #edistosc #southcarolinanature #bestofthepalmettostate #onlyinsouthcarolina #treesofinstagram #treeporn #lowcountry #lowcountryliving #sclowcountry #southcarolinabeaches #charleston #charlestonsc #ig_naturelovers #ig_southcarolina #viewsofthesouth #charlestonlife
The shore gently recedes beneath the stunning Pawleys Island Pier. The unique island town, located about 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach and 70 miles north of Charleston, exudes laid-back, beachy vibes. Locals have definitely adopted an island state of mind and encourage visitors to as well. When you go, make sure to relax on the beach, explore the famous sand dunes, or fish in one of the many adjacent creeks.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: We guarantee that you’re going to want to spend a whole day here. We recommend getting to the beach at around 10am.🗓️ Best time of the year: Pawleys Island has the best weather during the spring and early summer months.🏖️ Things to do while there: Pawleys Island Nature Park, Pawleys Island Chapel, Hopsewee Plantation.🐠 Things to visit in the area: Brookgreen Gardens (brookgreen_gardens), take a walking ghost tour, Myrtle Beach (mymyrtlebeach), Harborwalk Marina, South Carolina Maritime Museum (southcarolinamaritimemuseum).🏨 Where to stay: The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn (oceanfrontlitchfieldinn), Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort (litchfieldbeachandgolf), Sea View Inn (seaviewinn), 620 Prince (620prince).Photo by qcphotographer
At the beach…lock.latch#lockandlatch #lockandlatchinstalls #windowinstallation #doorinstallation #customhome #newbuild #southcarolina #sclowcountry #architecture #craftmanshipdetail
Built in 1790, The Cuthbert House is a historic mansion turned Bed and Breakfast with stunning water views  in Beaufort, SC
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#beaufortcounty #beaufortcountysc #beaufortsc #explorebeaufortsc #explorebeaufortcounty #explorebeaufort #landscapescapture #beautifulscenery #boatsatsunset #marinabeauty #sclowcountry #sclowcountryliving #beautifulsouthcarolina  #discover_carolinas #explorebft  #bestofthepalmettostate #onlyinsouthcarolina #onlyinsouthcarolina❤️#scnaturelovers #southcarolinabest #bestofsouthcarolina #southcarolinacollectives #viewsofthesouth #carolinacollectives #historicmansion #historicbedandbreakfast #bedandbreakfasts #oldsouth #cuthbert #cuthbertmansion
Lowcountry EgretAnalog collage on 5x7 inch watercolor paperI'm back. I enjoyed my winter vacation at the beach on Isle of Palms, SC. It was great spending some quality time with my husband relaxing, reading and walking on the beach. Taking time off from social media was nice, too. I didn't spend much time making art, but did create this collage.Unfortunately, my creative mojo seems to have taken an extended vacation. I have struggled with my art making for the past 4 or 5 days. To those of you who are exchanging art with me, I haven't forgotten, I'm just in a creative dry spell. I hope to get collages made and on their way to you before too much longer.While stuck in this creative mire, I'm switching gears and focusing on some other things. For example, I'm working on my first Studio newsletter - welcoming my email subscribers and sharing news of some of the creative challenges and collaborations I'm planning for 2023. If you want to get all the news sent directly to your inbox, sign up with the link in my bio. Studio News is coming at the end of January.
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#greategret #sclowcountry #isleofpalms #wilderness #beachtherapy #analogcollage  #gluetogether #collage #cutandpasteart #paperart #collageaddict #paperscissorsglue #pariscollagecollective #brooklyncollagecollective #edinburghcollagecollective #redcollagevenezuela #arizonacollagecollective #loveanalogcollage1 #worldcollagecommunity #contemporarycollagemagazine #kolajmagazine #nationalcollagesociety #internationalcollageguild #collageartist #collagist #multidisciplinaryartist #creativereusegoddess #communitybuilder #bigjuicycreativelife #outsidetheboxstudio
My favorite sunrise ever......no filter.... #cottoncandysky #cottoncandysunrise #cottoncandycolors #sunrise #softpastels #lowcountrysunrise #lowcountry #hammockcoast #waves #naturespallet #art #seafoam #beachwalks #morningmotivation #getupandshowup #pawleysisland #locallife #shoplocal #supportlocalbusiness #onlyleavefootprints #bestofthepalmettostate #yes_busa #yeshammockcoast #sclowcountry
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
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How we love a Beaufort sunset!
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#beaufortcounty #beaufortcountysc #beaufortsc #explorebeaufortsc #explorebeaufortcounty #explorebeaufort #boardwalk #boardwalkbeauty #landscapescapture #beautifulscenery #boatsatsunset #marinabeauty #sclowcountry #sclowcountryliving #beautifulsouthcarolina  #discover_carolinas #explorebft  #bestofthepalmettostate #onlyinsouthcarolina #onlyinsouthcarolina❤️#scnaturelovers #southcarolinabest #bestofsouthcarolina #southcarolinacollectives #viewsofthesouth #carolinacollectives #bestoftheusa_sunrisesunset2 #raw_sunset #sunsets #sunsetphotography
#atalayacastle #huntingtonbeachstatepark #murrellsinlet #murrellsinletsc#letsmakeplans #discoversc #southcarolina #discover_carolinas #hunningtonbeach #photography #beautiful #moody #history #takemeback #gorgeous #explore #adventure #castle #corridor#huntingtonbeachstateparksc#scstateparks #southcarolinabeaches #optoutside #castles #lowcountrysc #myrtlebeach #sclowcountry #atalaya #coastalstyle #shesellsseashells
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#beaufortcounty #beaufortcountysc #beaufortsc #explorebeaufortsc #explorebeaufortcounty #explorebeaufort #boardwalk #boardwalkbeauty #landscapescapture #beautifulscenery #boatsatsunset #marinabeauty #sclowcountry #sclowcountryliving #beautifulsouthcarolina  #discover_carolinas #explorebft  #bestofthepalmettostate #onlyinsouthcarolina #onlyinsouthcarolina❤️#scnaturelovers #southcarolinabest #bestofsouthcarolina #southcarolinacollectives #viewsofthesouth #carolinacollectives #bestoftheusa_sunrisesunset2 #raw_sunset #sunsets #sunsetphotography
Fort Fremont was built in 1899 by the Army Corps of Engineers using local labor on condemned private property on St. Helena Island, across the Beaufort River from the Naval Station. It was designed to play a vital role in the protection of the strategic dry dock and coaling station which remained critical to the Atlantic Fleet during the Spanish American War period. For more information on this and other Beaufort attractions visit  https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/beaufort-port-royal-area/
📸 Carmen Pinckney
#thatsmylowcountry #naturallyamazing #sclowcountry
"The Beach in Winter Is Still the Beach"
-Melinda MorgensternAt the bottom of this post are the top 6 reasons why we love the beach in winter.*My husband and I love a winter beach getaway! We both needed this time away to press pause and to unwind from the last twelve months and to prepare for a major home project that we have coming up.
We boarded our kitty and drove from central North Carolina to our favorite getaway spot in the lowcountry of South Carolina, at Isle of Palms. We are staying in Wild Dunes (at IOP) for five nights to rest and rejuvenate. Yay!Starting tomorrow (Saturday) until we return on Thursday, we are unplugging and unwinding. No working, no business and no social media. I may even delete my social media apps from my phone so I won't be tempted. When I return home, I will ease back into things and be more mindful of my time and how I use it (in all areas of my life). I hope this time away will help me recenter and come home refreshed and ready for the next steps in my personal art practice and for the new collaborative things I'm planning to share with the collage community at large. I plan to send out my first Studio News email to my subscribers near the end of January. If you would like to receive occasional updates directly in your inbox, and you are not already a subscriber, you can signup with the link in my bio.*Why we love getting away to the beach in winter:
1. There are no crowds anywhere
2. It is so much quieter (and more romantic)
3. You almost have the beach to yourself (which is great for long walks or sitting and reading as you listen to the waves)
4. The local year-round restaurants and shops are uncrowded, so you can mingle with the locals who are more relaxed and friendlier in the off-season
5. It feels way more relaxing
6. The rates for accommodations are WAY less expensive than during the peak summer season (so you can spring for a much nicer place located even closer to the beach).Ten-four. Signing off...
Sunrays in the sky at Blue Hour on 1/20/23...such a beautiful sight!
#sunrays #bluehour #sunrise #murrellsinlet #murrellsinletsc #marshview #marsh #waterview #watercolorsky #coastalscapes #SC #southcarolina #treebranches #onlypawleys #yeshammockcoast #discover_carolinas #sclowcountry
Seed Bed​​​​​​​​
18x24​​​​​​​​
Acrylic on canvas​​​​​​​​
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Available graymangallery in Pawleys Island ​​​​​​​​
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#shanagruganstudio
Discover at your own leisure at the coastaldiscoverymuseum 🌳  From century-old buildings with storied pasts, to wooden boardwalks that stretch into the Jarvis Creek salt marsh, there's always something to explore!
South Carolina lowcountry
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📸jonpuckett
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#southcarolina #southcarolinacoast #lowcountry #lowcountryliving #sclowcountry #lifeonthecoast #coastliving #coastalsouthcarolina #saltyair #saltlife #wildlife #wildlifephotography #spanishmoss #sunrisesunset #charleston
Quietly, peacefully...sunrise creeps into the inlet!
#murrellsinlet #murrellsinletsc #SC #southcarolina #palmettotrees #SClowcountry #morselanding #sunrisesofinstagram #waterview #marshview #waterreflections #water #bestofthepalmettostate #southcarolinasbest #discover_carolinas #yeshammockcoast #park #naturephotography #ilovesouthcarolina #ilovemurrellsinlet
The Boynton House (12"x12" in oil on canvas) in the Donnelley Wildlife Management area in the ACE (Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto) Basin in South Carolina.... not to be confused with the Boynton house in Rochester,New York, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright !!The Boynton house in Donnelley is a Victorian style home, built in the beginning of the twentieth century by the Boyntons who raised cattle on their property.#boyntonhouse #donnelleywma #acebasin #plantation #southcarolina #sclowcountry #oilpainting #acebasinnationalwildliferefuge #bearisland #tranquility #silence #atmosphere #rustic #andywesselspaintings #luckydutchart #naturephotography #olieverfschilderij #andywesselsphotography #charlestonartistguild #charlestonartistguildgallery

The South Carolina Lowcountry Guidebook is filled with many things to see and do in the beautiful Lowcountry of South Carolina. Please fill out the information and we will send you a FREE GUIDE BOOK.

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