About Historic Beaufort SC
Beaufort SC was chartered in 1711, making it the 2nd oldest town in South Carolina. Beaufort has endured hurricanes, indian attacks, occupation during both the American Revolution and the Civil War. Beaufort is home to one of the largest historic districts in the nation. Antebellum homes line many of the streets within the downtown area.
Beaufort faces a large bay on the Beaufort River. This bay is part of one of the largest natural harbors on the east coast, and was the site of the second landing by the Spanish explorers in 1514. It is also part of the intracoastal waterway system, a water route consisting of rivers and inlets interweaving throughout the east coast that protects smaller vessels from rough sea conditions. One can sit on the area waterfront and watch an endless variety of boats cruising by. The Woods Memorial Bridge links historic Beaufort to Lady's Island and opens for boat traffic by swinging it's span on a rotating center column.
Beaufort Waterfront Park Area
When visitors think or hear about Beaufort, they are often referring to the Beaufort downtown waterfront area, on Bay Street. This area is lined with small shops, taverns, art galleries and dining spots. The Chambers Waterfront Park provides a casual place to relax, walk or to just enjoy "wasting time" or to "refresh one's soul". Many of the dining spots and pub style taverns have open or covered porches that offer views of the park and the waterfront, providing a very relaxing and unique experience. Many taverns and dining establishments are in historic buildings. The waterfront park also is home to many of the city's festivals and events.
The Rest of Beaufort
The uptown Beaufort is home to many new shops, hotels and dining spots, as well as the government complex. The Beaufort County courthouse and government offices are also near the uptown area.