Beaufort Things to Do: Fun Activities to Try During Vacation

As one of the best harbor towns in South Carolina, Beaufort offers a place for visitors to connect with the local community and plan exciting activities. The town has so much charm it has ranked among the South’s Best Small Towns, according to Southern Living. To ensure a fun trip, here are the top Beaufort things to do and places to go.

Beaufort Things to Do and Sites for a Memorable Trip

beaufort things to do history

Historical Tours

Beaufort has a storied history dating to the 1700s, and has welcomed explorers from around the world. Today, the city serves as one of the most diverse in South Carolina and a representation of Lowcountry living.

Take a city tour to see the area from a local’s perspective and make memories. Several companies in Beaufort host daily tours via horse and carriage, golf cart, and boat. To stay active and hear local tales, plan a guided walking tour or ghost tour.

Visit Top Sites

While tours provide a quick way to see the area, some travelers prefer to spend time at each one. For example, Beaufort History Museum has displays and exhibits that showcase the area’s culture and history. Penn Center houses one of the first schools in the U.S., and showcases African American and Gullah culture.

Other noteworthy sites to see include Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Parris Island Museum, churches, plantation homes and Beaufort National Cemetery. View the top Beaufort historic sites.

beaufort sc things to do fishing

Enjoy Water Recreation

The city is located near rivers, inlets and the Atlantic Ocean. This means water activities are a must. For some adventure, book a guided boat or fishing trip. Local guides enjoy showing visitors their secret spots and the best places for wildlife and photos. Those not into fishing may enjoy eco-tours on canoes and kayaks.

Want to simply relax? Head to the beaches near Beaufort. Hunting Island State Park offers public beach access, or visit Sands Beach in Port Royal and Lands End Beach on St. Helena Island.

Shop Downtown Beaufort

Shopping downtown Beaufort offers a special opportunity to support local businesses and meet the people who live here. Visitors enjoy a walkable historic district full of boutiques, dining and services.

Downtown Beaufort has more than 30 retailers selling everything from antiques and fashion to jewelry, souvenirs and home goods. They provide the perfect place to shop for loved ones, too. When it’s time for a break, enjoy local cuisine, Southern flavor and sweets served by local restaurants. Other businesses include art galleries and studios and salons. On the first Friday of the month, the area comes alive with free entertainment and live demonstrations.

beaufort activities golf vacation

Play Golf

With ocean views and lots of green space, it’s no surprise golf ranks among the top Beaufort things to do list. In fact, more than a dozen courses welcome players, spectators and golf’s greatest athletes.

For ocean views, head to Fripp Island Golf and Beach Resort, Ocean Point Golf Links and Ocean Creek Golf Course. Golfers also enjoy diverse scenery and challenging drives at Dataw Island Country Club, TGC at Pleasant Point Plantation, Succession Golf Course and Olde Beaufort Golf Club. In addition, players also enjoy indoor and outdoor mini-golf courses.

downtown waterfront south carolina

Photo: faungg’s photos

Explore Parks

Families with children will find plenty of places to play. Pigeon Point Park has a playground and lots of shade. Burton Wells Park has sports fields, an aquatic center and dog park. Those who want a quiet stroll should stop by Whitehall Park, Southside Park and Cypress Wetlands in Port Royal.

Eat Local Goodies

Dining out also ranks among the top Beaufort activities because it’s the only way to sample Lowcountry cuisine. However, there are plenty of traditional and international flavors, bars, and casual restaurants to try something new.

For local seafood and rich flavor, visit Old Bull Tavern, Dockside, Wren Bistro and Bricks on Boundary. Those looking for waterfront dining should check out City Java, Saltus River Grill and Panini’s on the Waterfront. Other top-rated favorites include Athenian Gardens, Lowcountry Produce Market and Cafe, and Plums. After lunch or dinner, head to Southern Sweets Ice Cream and Sandwich Shop for dessert.

Book a vacation home in Beaufort and start planning a trip for the whole family.