Beaufort County & Sea Islands
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.
Visit Beaufort’s Arsenal Museum and Santa Elena History Center and the Mather Museum to learn about the history of the area. Walk to St. Helena’s Episcopal and Tabernacle Baptist Church. Bike or walk the Spanish Moss Trail.
Head over to Port Royal and stroll the Cypress Wetlands Trail and the Sands Boardwalk.
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.
Antique shops, unique gift items, and 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.