When visiting Beaufort, you can’t help but be curious about its history. Why are all these beautiful antebellum homes still here? Who were the people who built them, what did they do, and what was it like to live that lifestyle?
Guided carriage rides and walking tours will take you past numerous historic sites. Guides will tell you about the old city in detail, including gossip about the plantation owners and Hollywood stars (movies filmed in Beaufort include The Big Chill, Forrest Gump, The Great Santini, and The Prince of Tides).
Bay Street, Beaufort’s shopping district, has dozens of eclectic boutiques, gift shops, and antique stores in a compact area. Beaufort’s abundant art galleries have helped earn the town a spot on America’s ‘100 Best Small Towns for the Arts.’
To unwind sit a spell in one of the swings overlooking the Beaufort River in the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, the location of a lovely riverfront walk and the Downtown Marina. There are many charming restaurants, coffee shops and ice cream parlors fronting the river or along Bay Street.
One trick can optimize your sightseeing and shopping time. When entering Beaufort on US Hwy. 21 (Boundary Street), a right turn onto Newcastle Street will take you straight to a public parking area on Bay Street, thus avoiding possible traffic delays on Carteret that may occur when the draw bridge to Lady’s Island is open.