Historic Beaufort, Port Royal, and The Sea Islands
Located between Savannah and Charleston, and slightly inland from the Atlantic Ocean on the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW), the area is ideal for an amazing coastal getaway. Indisputably the queen Belle of the Lowcountry, historic Beaufort features stately period architecture, including the W. J. Thomas House, also known as 607 Bay, fantastic shopping, delicious cuisine, and is encased by hundreds of miles of pristine sun-drenched marshlands and neighboring regions offering additional unique escapes.
Since the first visitors set foot on our captivating coastline in 1514, the Lowcountry has had a uniquely transformative effect. Maybe it’s something in the magnetic pull of the tide, the sun-warmed salt air or jasmine filled gardens. A slower, (Slowcountry) sweeter pace where moss-draped live oaks dance with the breeze and centuries-old mansions look out over the historic streets. Where Gullah descendants weave artwork from sweetgrass as fishing boats dot a glimmering harbor and evening brings a spectacular watercolor sunset.
Come discover for yourself why Southern Living named Beaufort “The South’s Best Small Town,” or why Garden and Gun calls us a “Southern Dream Town.” – Welcome to Beaufort Visitors Guide, page 10.
In many ways, Beaufort is the nexus for surrounding areas including Parris Island, Port Royal, Lady’s Island, and St. Helena Island, yet is also important to holiday hotspots such as Fripp Island, Harbor Island, and even Hilton Head Island and Bluffton. Many future residents use it as a launch pad to explore retirement options such as Sun City, the Margaritaville community of Hardeeville, as well as Harbersham, Dataw, and Coosaw Point.
Additionally, with golf, tennis and the amazing Beaufort county beaches, there are many great reasons to come to this paradise for a stay.
Why not come and find your inner coastal at 607 Bay?
Within Walking Distance
- Start at the Beaufort Visitor Center located in the Beaufort Arsenal below the Beaufort History Museum. This is the beautiful old yellow structure located off Carteret and Craven Streets that is also next door to a defunct Carnegie Library. This is approximately 2 blocks from 607 Bay.
- Shop, dine, and stroll downtown Beaufort’s beautiful waterfront off Bay Street.
- Catch one of several carriage tours at the Marina parking lot and learn about ‘The Point’ neighborhood’s magnificent dwellings and famous folklore, including Beaufort’s own Pirate Tree, where it’s rumored 42 pirates were hanged.
- Visit ‘The Point’ neighborhood of historic, intriguing, and unique homes. This makes a great walk and there is plenty of interesting things to look at along the way. Don’t miss the Castle, one of Beaufort’s most famous and iconic structures. It is close by on Craven Street; you’ll want a picture. Also, Beaufort Garden Club has a walking garden tour through this area.
- Close to Bay Street is the Maxcy Rhett House, also known as the Secession House. Originally a school for boys, later the first meeting for secession from the Union took place here. It’s a spectacular structure. Located on Craven and Church Streets.
- Parish Church of St. Helena on Church and North Street offers an impressive look at historic Beaufort and is still thriving today. Services and actives occur throughout the week and are a delightful Sunday morning event. Service times are available on their website.
- The Tabernacle Baptist Church features an active church body in addition to a statue of Robert Smalls and is next to the new Reconstruction Era National Historic Park located on Craven Street.
- Down on Bay Street you can stop in the John Mark Verdier House Museum. Apparently, Lafayette gave a speech outside this location.
- Visit the Pat Conroy Literary Center. His books The Water is Wide, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, and The Great Santini were made into films, the latter two nominated for Oscars. He is recognized as a leading figure of late-20th century Southern literature.
- Discover the remains of the Old Sheldon Church, ca. 1753.
- Visit the Museum at the Historic Penn Center, where Dr. Martin Luther King is said to have worked on his famous ‘I Have A Dream Speech’.
- A short distance away from Penn Center is the Old Chapel of Ease ruins, a tabby structure which includes a small graveyard.
- Fort Fremont, a defense position for the Port Royal Naval Station during the Spanish American War period, is also a fun trip. It’s on St. Helena Island and borders Port Royal Sound.
- Visit the most popular State park in South Carolina, Hunting Island State Park. Offering a spectacular beach and a first-rate historic lighthouse and grounds, Hunting Island is a great day trip for families or romantics. Additionally, its interior jungle has been featured in many films, including Forest Gump and the Outer Banks series.
- Walk the Boardwalk at the Sands Beach in Port Royal, and stop by the Community Beer Garden for a local brew.
- Beaufort National Cemetery off of Boundary (HWY 21) is ideal for an outdoor stroll and can fill one’s heart with gratitude.
- Explore the Parris Island Marine Corps Recruitment Depot Visitors Center.
- Help celebrate the graduation of another newly minted US. Marine.
- See the Parris Island Museum
- Parris Island is home to the Jean Ribaut Monument
- Visit the United States Marine Corps War Memorial onsite.