Culture // 5 min Read

Spend the Day in Beaufort, South Carolina

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Feb 27, 2023

A Guide for Exciting Things To Do in Beaufort

Beautiful Beaufort, renowned as ‘The Best Small Town in the South’ is the perfect day-trip destination for visitors to South Carolina's coast. For decades, this seaside resort town has been a must-see place for those wanting to experience the excitement of the Lowcountry lifestyle. With a fascinating historic district, opportunities for exploring the outdoors, and delectable cuisine — there is no doubt you'll find many things to do in Beaufort!

If you want to plan an unforgettable day, continue reading to learn how to spend the day in Beaufort, South Carolina.

1. Culture & Arts

Historic and Cultural Experiences

Beaufort is brimming with historical significance. While you walk around town, you may get a close-up look at some of Beaufort's older buildings, such as the John Mark Verdier House and St. Helena's Episcopal Church. Both locations are off Bay Street in downtown Beaufort and are less than a 10-minute walk from one another. Take a tour of both and feel yourself drift back in time in these historically striking structures.

To further explore the Lowcountry's culture, visit the outstanding Sea Island and Gullah civilizations centered on St. Helena Island. Make sure to stop by Penn Center to learn more about how the African-American diaspora has impacted the Lowcountry and the overall nation.

Suggested: History Explained: Why It's Called the Lowcountry

The Arts

While visiting Beaufort, take in the city's vibrant art culture. Local artwork is on display throughout the area, especially in places like St. Helena Island, the Old Village of Port Royal, and the downtown vicinity. Feel free to wander around the various galleries on Bay and Charles Streets in Beaufort, and make sure to check out the resident artists at ARTworks. This community-based organization promotes both visual and performing arts. In each of these locations, tourists may find a wide variety of folktales, paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and other artistic creations.


There are several shops in Beaufort and Port Royal, so there's always a chance to pick up a unique keepsake. From St. Helena to downtown Beaufort and everywhere in between, you may find an assortment of shops with a wide selection of goods. Choose a homemade item from a soap or body business nearby, or an antique piece of home décor from Bay Street. Local stores are eager to display an array of products, including fashion apparel and gifts made from recycled materials.

2. Restaurants

The culinary scene in Beaufort offers everything from Lowcountry staples to international cuisine — ensuring the satisfaction of every taste bud. In addition to the more than a dozen eateries in the downtown area, you'll also want to explore dining along Boundary Street or in the close communities of Port Royal, Lady's Island, and St. Helena Island.

3. Farmers’ Markets

Depending on which day of the week you decide to visit, check out the local farmers' markets! Visiting the local farmers' markets has become a tradition for residents who enjoy supporting small hometown businesses. You’ll find fresh produce, seasonal favorites, and even fabulous prepared food by vendors that is sure to satiate your palette. Live like a local by supporting the following local farmers' markets.

Port Royal Farmer’s Markets

Visit the Port Royal Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 12 pm! This local Beaufort market takes place year-round in Heritage Park! Pick up fresh produce, houseplants, and taste test the various food vendors.

The St. Helena Community Market

From April through December, the St. Helena Community Market takes place at The Penn Center on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 2 pm. Take a piece of the Lowcountry home with you by purchasing local artisans' crafts, fresh pastries, and classic seafood dishes!

Lowcountry Flea Market

On both days of the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, every week from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, you may attend the Lowcountry Flea Market! Enjoy Southern classics, New Orleans-style shaved ice, and many other vendors at this market that exudes the Lowcountry culture.

4. Movie Locations

Film enthusiasts can enjoy touring some of Beaufort's most famous movie spots. With cinematic classics like Forrest Gump, G.I. Jane, and The Great Santini, there are many spots around Beaufort that you'll likely recognize! You may stumble upon some locations; however, if you want to ensure you see them all, you can also take a guided tour.

Here are some spots you’ll definitely want to see:

  • University of South Carolina, Beaufort — Forrest Gump

  • Fripp Island — Forrest Gump

  • Hunting Island State Park — G.I. Jane

  • Marine Corps Air Station — The Great Santini

  • Tidalholm Mansion —The Great Santini

If you're visiting Beaufort in February, plan to attend the annual International Film Festival!

5. Outdoor Activities

Beaufort is packed with sunshine, salty ocean air, and many opportunities for outdoor excursions! There are multiple ways to get around to see what Beaufort has to offer. You may take a leisurely bike ride and see the beautiful terrain, or walk on the numerous hiking trails. On Hunting Island, pathways of varying length and difficulty can be encountered in the dunes and maritime forests. Get out on the water and discover the stunning coastline, river, and salt marshes surrounding the town on kayak trips or boat tours. Either way you choose to explore the Port Royal Island city, there is no doubt your trip will be worth the visit.

Love Beaufort? Consider Moving to Palmetto Bluff

If you love your day in the quaint town of Beaufort and wish to be closer, consider moving to Palmetto Bluff! Considering Beaufort is only 45 minutes away with so many things to do, you can easily make the day trip from the Bluff!

Want to learn more about what it's like living at Palmetto Bluff and becoming a member? Click the button below to contact us and schedule a visit or real estate tour!