ALL ABOUT BEAUFORT, SC – “QUEEN OF THE CAROLINA SEA ISLANDS”
Beaufort, S. C. was called the most aristocratic town of its size in America – the “Newport of the South” - before the War between the States. A city of rich history, Southern hospitality and casual seaside charm, the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands” was discovered by the Spanish in 1514, claimed by the French in 1562, and chartered by the British in 1711. Beaufort enjoyed great prosperity in the eighteenth century as indigo and rice plantations thrived, and Sea Island Cotton became one of America’s most profitable exports. As a result, Beaufort became one of the most elite towns on the eastern seaboard, rivaling those in the North. Historic antebellum mansions grace the downtown area, and giant shady live oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss provide an ethereal canopy to the city. Many of these mansions and historic sites have been the sites for films, including “The Prince of Tides”, “Forrest Gump”, ”The Big Chill”, “The Great Santini”, and “White Sqall”.
Today, tabby ruins, historic forts, elegant homes, majestic plantations, Native American relics and names, and Gullah culture and cuisine are reminders of Beaufort, South Carolina’s 500 year history. Horse-drawn carriages make their way slowly through the narrow, shady streets of the historic district, which is one of only three National Historic Landmark Districts in South Carolina, and shrimps boats can often be seen gliding past the award-winning Chambers Waterfront Park, designed by internationally-renowned landscape architect Robert Marvin, with the day’s catch. Depending on the time of year, the marshes change from a brilliant green in summer to shimmering gold in fall, and velvety brown in winter. The beauty of the town and the graciousness of the people that have made Beaufort their home leave an everlasting impression on visitors, many of whom choose to stay. While strolling down Bay Street or in the Waterfront Park, you will always receive a warm and friendly greeting from those you meet.