Beaufort, a historic low-country seaport, is so charming that films such as Forrest Gump and The Prince of Tides shot scenes here. The quaint downtown area encompasses a smattering of boutiques, restaurants, and galleries all within walking distance of the inn. Seventeen miles north, at the end of a long country road, lie the crumbling, tabby-colored ruins of the prerevolutionary Old Sheldon Church. Built in the late 1740s, the church was torched by the British army in 1779, rebuilt in 1826, and torched again by Sherman's troops during his march to the sea in 1865. Today, visitors rest in the shadow of oaks draped in spanish moss and pause to reflect in front of the graves. Hunting Island State Park, a semibarrier island, runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean, with a 5-mile stretch of beach and thousands of acres of marsh and tidal creeks abounding with wildlife. At the top of the park's 133-foot black-and-white lighthouse, visitors look out on panoramic views of the ocean and aerial views of sea-turtle flash mobs.
Beaufort Tours LLC owner Bill Reynolds hails from the place that Coastal Living magazine dubbed America's Happiest Seaside Town, so it makes sense that he wants to show it off. The inspiration for the touring company was sparked in 1993, when he visited a relative on the production team for Pulp Fiction. After witnessing some of the cult classic's iconic scenes firsthand, Bill returned to his home of Beaufort, South Carolina, and discovered that major film productions had taken place in his own backyard. This planted the seed for the Beaufort Movie Tour, in which he whisks guests around town in an air-conditioned van to see the sites where stars once tread while filming Forrest Gump, The Big Chill, and The Great Santini.
That original tour soon expanded into additional informative jaunts around Beaufort. During the Beaufort Walking History Tour he leads guests through the 300-year-old town's historic district and past pre-Civil War?era homes while divulging town secrets, including the homes such celebrities as Demi Moore and Nick Nolte's fists stayed in while filming in town. He shares bone-chilling stories about the apparitions of Revolutionary soldiers during the Ghost Tour. And during the Sea Island and Plantation Gullah Tour, he introduces visitors to the rich history of the Gullah?descendants of African slaves who share their own traditions, language, and culture.
Jon Sharp's Walking History Tour spirits curious eyes and inquiring imaginations away on a two-hour trek through the Beaufort Historic District, deftly relating 500 years of Beaufort lore. Upon departing from the downtown Beaufort marina, Sharp shepherds history buffs on a leisurely two-mile stroll that highlights show-stopping examples of antebellum architecture. The roving raconteur stuffs ears full of Beaufort trivia, regaling tourists with tales of French and Spanish colonization attempts, the rocky relationship between local Tories and Patriots, and the district’s turbulent role in the Clone Wars.
The Rhett House Inn, situated one block from the Intracoastal Waterway, is nestled among 18th-century mansions and moss-draped oaks within Beaufort’s downtown district. The seaport town’s three centuries of history are on display throughout historic forts, churches, and homes—including the pre-Revolutionary War William Elliot House. Walking tours showcase select homes such as the John Mark Verdier House Museum, which illuminates the life of a 19th-century merchant planter before the days of robot tractors. The Saltus River Grill, a five-minute walk from the inn, specializes in Lowcountry fare, a cuisine unique to coastal South Carolina. Chef Brian Waters, a Beaufort native, sources local ingredients for dishes such as clams steamed in beer with roasted-garlic puree ($7) and sea-island shrimp with creamy stone-ground grits ($23).
Following the Baron Baptiste method of Vinyasa power yoga, the instructors at Dancing Dogs Yoga lead students through classes that focus on fluid movements and take place in a heated studio. With sessions geared toward everyone from expectant mothers to advanced students, they walk around the room and correct postures so that each client can experience benefits such as detoxification and increased muscle tone. In addition to yoga, the studio is home to licensed massage therapists, who tend to bodies with custom combinations of Swedish, deep-tissue, and Thai yoga modalities.
Beautique Lash & Brow shapes enviable visages with masterful beauty treatments. Augment sorry-looking lid strands with a full set of semipermanent eyelash extensions. During the 90-minute process, expertly educated technicians attach subsidiary synthetic lashes to natural strands for a full, sultry look that makes oculars pop with little additional cosmetic assistance. Baby-blue beholders customize each aspect of the elongation, from length and degree of curl to thickness and ability to withstand extreme batting.