What Are the Hidden Gems in Beaufort, SC?

Where the ocean waves meet the beachAs one of the oldest towns in the state, there is much to see in Beaufort, South Carolina. Located in Port Royal Island, this coastal city was chartered in the early 18th century. As a growing settlement, many families built homes in the area, including antebellum mansions that were preserved for their historic value.

Historic Antebellum Homes 

During the late 1960s, the town was included in the National Register of Historic Places. By the next decade, it was declared a National Historic Landmark. Many walking tours along the town and residential centers include several of these preserved homes in Beaufort SC. Some tour itineraries focus only on these historic sites and landmarks. 

One of these historic homes is “The Anchorage.” Also known as the William Elliott House, the antebellum home was built in the 18th century and features a mix of early classical and Greek revival architecture. Other historical properties areas include William Barnwell plantation, Laurel Bay Plantation, and the John A. Cuthbert House. 

Those who are relocating in this part of the country consider the historic significance of the residential or commercial property. After all, the NHRP register in Beaufort county alone lists more than 70 historic properties in the area. When looking at homes for sale in Beaufort SC, always ask your realtor for this information. 

Hunting Island State Park 

As a coastal city, Beaufort has several parks that promote nature preservation. Hunting Island State Park is probably the best-known park in the area. Hunting Island State Park’s campgrounds are open to RV and tent campers. Aside from its proximity to the beach, the park has several trails that are open to the public. 

The park’s lagoon is the perfect spot for bird and nature watching. It is the natural habitat for the kingfisher, blue heron, pelican, bald eagle and hundreds of other avian species. It is also a perfect spot for fishing and crabbing. Several scenes from Forrest Gump were filmed within the area. The Historic Hunting Island Lighthouse is also open to the public. The 19th century cast iron lighthouse has over 160 steps that lead to the top which offers a scenic view of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Visitors can also freely explore the area using the Marsh Boardwalk. In the summer, guided tours are organized by the park for visitors. These tours provide information on the natural features of the area as well as the flora and fauna that inhabit the park. 

Southern Culinary Scene 

Aside from the historic houses in Beaufort SC, the region is known for its low country cuisine. As a coastal city, fresh-caught seafood is an important ingredient in many dishes from this area. The recipes from this region are also infused with the traditional Southern and Gullah-Geechee flavors of South Carolina. 

Many restaurants that feature this myriad of culinary flavors use ingredients such as shrimp, crab, okra, corn, beans, pork, and other fresh ingredients. In Beaufort and other South Carolina towns, many restaurants and dining locations now use farm-to-table and sustainably-caught ingredients in their menu. Visitors can buy artisanal products, fresh produce, and baked goods from the local Beaufort farmers’ market. Dessert and pies are also big in Beaufort.

Spanish Moss Trail 

The Spanish Moss Trail was established in the 19th century. After developments made in the area, the trail now covers more than 10 miles of paved explorable walking and cycling pathways that extends from Beaufort and Port Royal. From either side of the trail, visitors are treated to scenic nature and wildlife views. These include views of Battery Creek and Rabbit Island. Expansive marsh views can also be seen along the trail path. 

For those who are looking for recreational fishing opportunities, there are certain spots available within the trail. The master plan for the trail was introduced in 2012 which opened opportunities for projects to further expand and improve the pathways and recreational facilities. Once completed, it would open an additional 16 miles of trail path to visitors. The facilities are currently open from dawn to dusk. It is also a pet-friendly trail where owners can safely walk their leashed pets. 

On the next adventure to South Carolina, includes the historic city of Beaufort in Port Royal Island. As you plan your visit, think of the myriad ways to enjoy its unique attractions. The visit can start with an exploration of the area’s rich history. Explore the city’s seafood joints for a taste of Southern cooking or explore its hiking trails for a chance to see the local flora and fauna.

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