Charming Beaufort, South Carolina
The Old South and Its Gracious Living
By: Sandy Katz - Dec 01, 2015
Beaufort is 70 miles from Charleston, South Carolina (1 hr 26 min.) and perfect for an overnight Southern-style adventure. Beautiful Beaufort is the very picture of a genteel Southern town. The oak trees are draped in Spanish moss, antebellum homes are located on narrow streets and you can tour elegantly in a horse-drawn carriage.
There are many antique shops, art galleries and restaurants found in historic buildings along Carteret and Bay streets. Downtown Beaufort is a walking small town where friendly folks are ready to greet you with expressions of Southern hospitality.
Beaufort welcomed many movie companies with blockbuster results: The Big Chill, The Prince of Tides, Forrest Gump and the Great Santini to mention a few which were filmed in Beaufort. The Big Chill mansion still stands as magnificent as ever seeking a new owner.
Downtown Waterfront Park is a special place for residents and visitors. The ever so popular and successful Annual Shrimp Festival takes over the park.
Beaufort was voted one of the “Top Ten Places to Live” by Outside magazine. This beautiful town ranks 23rd among “100 Best Small Towns In America" according to Newsweek magazine and is one of “100 Top Art Towns in America.” Coastal Living magazine has proclaimed Beaufort as “#1 in 2013 America’s Happiest Seaside Town.”
There are many dining opportunities in Beaufort as well as bed & breakfast establishments for every taste and comfort need. The city and surrounding sea islands are rich in African-American heritage. You can learn about the Gullah culture at Penn center, the first school built for former slaves.
The natural surroundings of the Lowcountry are evident everywhere in Beaufort. Beaufort features boating activities as well as golfing.
For gourmands, Beaufort offers wonderful fine dining opportunities such as Breakwater Restaurant & Bar which is fully committed to sourcing ingredients locally. We enjoyed the elegant, contemporary approach to traditional Lowcountry cuisine when we ordered the Southern Sampler Platter. It seemed to have all the significant ingredients to satisfy our quest for Southern cuisine: hummus, fried oysters, fried shrimp, duck pastrami, pimento cheese, and spicy calamari.
Bricks Restaurant provides outdoor eating facilities which is perfect for fun food. The wings came in seven flavors and we had to try each one with several dips. Bricks serves one of my favorites, Brick Wedge salad. There was an assortment of sliders, burgers and sinner specialties. I recommend leaving room for one of their fantastic desserts. If size matters, the large portion of Bourbon Bread Pudding a la mode with caramel could have been a meal in itself.
For breakfast we by-passed the complimentary hotel fare for Burlap Restaurant, a spanking new restaurant located near our hotel. The oh-mazing omelets and sweet starts kept us coming back for more each morning.
Emily’s Restaurant & Tapas Bar gave us the opportunity to sample many dishes since the plates were small as tapas is intended to be. The fried garlic beef was Emily’s signature dish and best seller. It was breaded,deep fried and earned our seal of approval. The fried pickles and lamb chops were a delight.
Capt. Dick’s Original Beaufort River Tour provided us with the opportunity to see Beaufort by water. We cruised where dolphins live and play. We learned about the ecology of salt marshes, saw historic homes of the planters, and where movies were shot. We experienced dozens of species of wading and shore birds.
From the comfort of our horse-drawn carriage, touring Beaufort was exciting and enlightening from the historic and romantic view points. Clippity-clopping through narrow streets with canopies of moss covered oak trees flashed us back in time. The amazing history, architecture and beauty could take your breath away!
On my next visit to Beaufort, I plan to include Beaufort Movie Tour and Beaufort Walking Tour.
Moving to a small town is an appealing option for many because of charming environments. The old south lives in the quaint seaside charm of Beaufort. It indeed deserves her status as “Queen of the Carolina Sea island.”
IF YOU GO
Beaufort Tourism: www.beaufort.com www.beaufort.org
Accommodations: Beaufort Garden Inn 1-877-STAY-HGI 843-379-9800
Attractions: Capt. Dick’s Original Beaufort River Tour & Dolphin Watch
Sea Island Carriage Company www.seaislandcarriage.com 843-476-7789 843-525-1821
Breakwater Restaurant & Bar www.breakwater.com 843-379-0052
Bricks www.eatatbricks.com 843-379-5232
Burlap Beaufort a new restaurant near Hilton Garden Inn
Emily’s Restaurant & Tapas Bar www.emilysrestaurant.com 843-522-1866
Recommended coffee table book: “Beautiful Beaufort Pearl of the South”