Beaufort, South Carolina
Known for its beautiful antebellum mansions, Beaufort is the second oldest city in South Carolina. Beaufort (pronounced BEW-fert, not Bow-fort), is located on Port Royal Island near Hilton Head Island, about 40 miles north of Savannah. The city is also near Marine Corps bases Parris Island and Marine Corp Air Station Beaufort.
Beaufort is a small, historically minded city in the middle of one of America’s premier recreation and leisure regions, Hilton Head – Port Royal. Beaufort is home to abundant shopping, arts and culture, civic festivals, and more. American Style magazine counts Beaufort one of the top 25 Small City Art Destinations in America.
Downtown Beaufort is dotted with beautiful mansions built before the Civil War and has nearly 70 properties on the National Register. In 1973, downtown Beaufort was declared a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can stroll down Beaufort’s well shaded streets looking at some of the most well preserved examples of southern architecture in the nation.
Beaufort has always held a special relationship with the military. It is the home of Marine Training Station Parris Island and a Marine major air station. Beaufort is also the home of the Beaufort National Cemetery which is managed and maintained by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. Over 19,000 American service personnel from every major conflict the United States has fought in since the Civil War are interned on the cemetery’s 33 acres.
Beaufort was the home of popular author Pat Conroy who set many of his novels in the area including The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, and The Lords of Discipline each of which was made into a motion picture. Other books or films set in or around Beaufort include The Big Chill, The Book of Negros, G.I. Jane, and Forrest Gump.
Nearly a million people visit Beaufort and Port Royal each year. Golf, beaches, history, and arts are the greatest draws for tourists. There are ample accommodations ranging from up-scale B&Bs and hotels to smaller motels and Inns throughout downtown and along Boundary St.
For more information about Beaufort, visit BeaufortSC.org.
Getting to Beaufort
From Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport:
Take I-95 to Route 278. Drive east until just past Okatie where you need to turn north on Route 170 and drive across the Edward Burton Rodgers Bridge to Beaufort.