Founded in 1711, Beaufort, the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands” exudes warm southern hospitality, coastal breezes, and a rich cultural environment. Repeatedly named by Southern Living as “Favorite Small Southern Town” and as a Top 100 Small Art Town In The United States, Beaufort is home to the 8th best beach in the US and holds the distinction as a top 20 fishing destination in the US. The Waterfront Park overlooks the Beaufort River and is home to many festivals including Water Festival and Shrimp Festival. Kayak trips, fishing trips and boat excursions are all available. The majority of the Historic District of Beaufort is on the National Register of Historic Places and is perfect for walking, biking and carriage tours.
Hunting Island is South Carolina’s single most popular state park, attracting more than a million human visitors a year.Also attracted to the semi-tropical barrier island is an array of wildlife, ranging from loggerhead sea turtles to painted buntings, barracudas to sea horses, alligators, pelicans, dolphins and deer, raccoons, Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and even the rare coral snake. What they all enjoy is five miles of beach, thousands of acres of marsh, tidal creeks and maritime forest, a saltwater lagoon and ocean inlet. Amenities include a fishing pier and some of the state’s most desirable campsites and cabins. Adding to the natural history of the big park is a piece of man-made history: South Carolina’s only publicly accessible historic lighthouse. Dating from the 1870s, the Hunting Island Lighthouse shoots 170 feet into the air, giving those who scale its heights a breathtaking view of the sweeping Lowcountry marshland and the Atlantic Ocean.
Hunting Island is a 5000acre secluded semitropical barrier island located east of Beaufort, South Carolina, United States. Since 1935, it has been classified as a state park. It is the most-visited state park facility in South Carolina and is a part of the ACE Basin estuarine reserve area. Renowned for its natural beauty, the island remains one of the few remaining undeveloped Sea Islands in the Lowcountry. The park is known for its 19th century lighthouse which bears its name. The park’s unique beach has been featured in several travel publications and was listed in 2013 as a Top 25 beach in the United States by TripAdvisor.
Carriage & Walking Tours are a great way to learn about the history and architecture of Beaufort while winding your way through the street of downtown and the Old Point. To compliment the information garnered on the carriage tour, consider a candlelight walking tour – Ghosts of the South – which usually ends up in the cemetery at St. Helena’s Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity. This cemetery is worth a daylight visit as well to see the grave of two British Revolutionary war soldiers and also to view the above- ground crypt of a gentleman who insisted on being buried with a week’s supply of provisions and tools for digging himself out if the need arose.
Climb aboard one of our horse drawn buggies and let your certified tour guide tell you all about Historic Beaufort, South Carolina’s rich history!
From movie/history tours, to walking history tours and ghosts tours, to Plantation/Gullah tours, Beaufort Tours is a great way to see way to see Beaufort!
THE HISTORIC WALKING TOUR:
The Beaufort Historic District will come alive when guides in period dress sing songs from the past and show 1964 photos. Approx. 1 mile walk ends at the gift shop with refreshments. 1-3/4 hr. 10:30 and 2 o’clock or by appointment.
WHISPERS FROM THE GRAVE LANTERN TOUR
Monday – Saturday evenings guides in period dress tell tales from history; Gullah folklore; ghost stories and visit historic graves. The 1/2 mile walk in the Historic District ends back at the gift shop with refreshments. Approx. 1-1/2 hr. 7pm.
HONOR YOUR PARTNER GROUP DANCE PROGRAM
We will have you dancing back in time. Learn antebellum dances, fashion and etiquette. Hysterical and historical fun for all ages. Great for birthday parties, scout groups, reunions and other group functions. Ask about our other programs.
BUS AND VAN TOURS
History, Houses and Hollywood can be seen in our downtown historic district. See the antebellum houses and hear the stories about the people that shaped our towns history. Enjoy a 1 hour, air conditioned van ride past churches, gardens, and Hollywood sites.
LOW COUNTRY ISLAND AND GULLAH TOUR
We will transport your group back in time in our van to enjoy the Sea Islands of Beaufort County: Parris Island, Hunting Island, St. Helena and more. Visit Penn Center Museum where the Gullah/Geechie heritage still echoes through the live oaks. Hear the plantation stories and sing the songs of the past around the ruins of churches and plantation houses.
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. CALL FOR SEASONAL TOUR TIMES
Join us for a narrated Horse Drawn Carriage Tour of historic Beaufort, SC and re-live the past through the narration of our professional guides and the clippity-clop of our horses.
Parris Island is one of the most visited military facilities in the world, hosting more than 120,000 visitors a year. It is the place where young men and women become Marines. Explore the long and rich history of the Marine Corps as well as the exciting history of the Port Royal region at the Parris Island museum. Thousands of artifacts, images and other materials illustrate the varied stories within the exhibit galleries. Located on Marine Corp Recruit Depot Parris Island, the museum is open daily to the public.
Parris Island has been turning recruits into Marines since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted Marines training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent for females in the Marine Corps.
Penn Center 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, you will find the Penn Center – the site of one of the country’s first schools for freed slaves and one of the most significant African American historical and cultural institutions in existence today.
Penn Center, located on St. Helena Island in the South Carolina Sea Islands, is recognized as one of the nation’s oldest and most significant African American cultural and historic institutions.
Built in the 1790s by a prosperous merchant. In 1825, the Marquis de Lafayette was a house guest here. This Federal-style home was taken over by Union officers as their headquarters during the Civil War. Hours: Mon-Sat, 11 am – 4 pm
The official source for all things Beaufort. Be sure to stop by the Visitor Center located at 713 Craven St. And read their recommendations of how to ‘See Beaufort Like A Local.’ READ MORE: http://www.beaufortsc.org/more/like-a-local/50things.stml
The Beaufort, Port Royal & Sea Islands Tourism Division can help you plan your trip to the Lowcountry. Located in the historic Beaufort Arsenal, built in 1798, we offer information on what to see and do and where to stay, dine and shop. Our Visitor Center provides tour information and ticket sales for the thousands of guests that travel to the area each year. For more information, check us out online or give us a call. We’re here to assist in any way we can. After all, we want to be sure that “a stay with us will stay with you.”