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Beaufort Area

The quaint towns of Beaufort and Port Royal share a historic berth on Port Royal Island on the deepest natural harbor on the Atlantic coast. 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. One called Santa Elena, which is now present-day Parris Island.

Beaufort and Port Royal occupy the lower half of Port Royal Island and offer visitors a glimpse of historic sites and homes of the antebellum South. Today, reminders of the area’s colorful history abound. Architecture is preserved with loving care. Guided tours let you choose your favorite mode of transportation to discover these sites – walking, air-conditioned vans, horse-drawn carriages, kayaks, and more. Visitors can even take a self guided tour of the Historic Churches of Beaufort.

Explore the rich history by visiting the Arsenal, home to Visit Beaufort, Port Royal, Sea Islands visitor center. Head over to St. Helena Island and learn about Gullah culture and the first school for free salves at Penn Center. Don’t forget about the newest Reconstruction Era National Historical Park. Celebrate the life of Beaufort’s Robert Smalls and Tabernacle Baptist Church.  

On Parris Island learn about the United States Marine Corps. Take a tour of the museum or witness one of their many graduations.

If you love seafood, Beaufort, Port Royal, and the Sea Islands boast some of the best seafood restaurants in the State. With events like the Oyster Festival, Shrimp Festival, and Softshell Crab Festival one can experience lowcountry cuisine and culture at its finest.

From antique shops to unique gift items to hand made chocolates are found in the quaint shopping districts of the area, along with waterfront dining and bed & breakfast inns in lovingly restored historic homes. Or hop over to the Sea Islands and relax in style at one of the resorts.

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 seventeen mile drive east of Beaufort where you can take in the magnificent sights of the Hunting Island Lighthouse or Atlantic Ocean.

Nature enthusiasts will find no shortage of great outdoor activities. Get out and paddle on a kayak tour, stroll along one of the many trails like the Spanish Moss Trail, Cypress Wetlands, or the Henry Robinson Boardwalk.

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.

Be warned, 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 the Sea Islands communities their new home.

Downtown Beaufort
Fort Frederick Boat
Hunting Island Family

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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.

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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