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.