Historical Inn with Victorian Mansion and Restored Cottages
Set amid Beaufort’s National Landmark Historic District, Beaufort Inn offers the conveniences of modern hotels with plenty of historic touches to give guests a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Old South. The inn offers accommodations within its bright, Victorian mansion, as well as in the inn’s historical and preserved cottages that take up a full city block. The South Carolina inn, constructed as a summer retreat for a US congressman in 1897, is one of the jewels of the neighborhood, with its wide, whitewashed verandas and green-and-white striped awnings. Over the years, the property near the coast has attracted other esteemed guests, including Julia Roberts and Jimmy Buffett.
The onsite Southern Graces Bistro serves a chef-prepared breakfast daily. The bistro also offers lunch and dinner in the dining room, which is accented with dark wood and plush taupe sofas. Outside in one of five courtyards, wrought-iron patio furniture rests beneath leafy trees strung with twinkling lights.
With more than 30 in total, no two rooms at the Beaufort Inn are exactly alike; most rooms reflect a modern sensibility, with hardwood floors and earthy hues. Most also include a private porch and separate sitting area, where you can toast with a glass of red or white wine (a bottle is included with most options).
Beaufort, South Carolina: Historic Seaport with Coastal Beauty
A historic Lowcountry seaport just north of Hilton Head, Beaufort imbues classic Southern charm so well that it served as a backdrop for such films as Forrest Gump and The Prince of Tides. Home to well-preserved antebellum mansions and pristine beachfront, this photogenic town topped Coastal Living’s list of the happiest US seaside cities. Downtown, you can browse knickknacks at antique stores and munch on fresh-caught shrimp at dockside restaurants.
One of the area’s most photographed sites is at the end of a long country road about 17 miles north of town. Take Old Sheldon Road off of Route 17 to find the faded red-brick ruins of the pre-revolutionary Old Sheldon Church. Built in the late 1740s, the church was destroyed during the Revolutionary War, rebuilt in 1826, and then destroyed again (local lore states that it was set on fire during Sherman’s March to the Sea in 1865, but this has not been confirmed). It’s shaded by large, old growth oaks draped in spanish moss, making it a popular spot for wedding and graduation pictures.
South of Beaufort lies a barrier island occupied by Hunting Island State Park, which includes a 5-mile stretch of beach and thousands of acres of marsh and tidal creeks. Climb to the top of the park’s 133-foot black-and-white lighthouse to look out on panoramic views of the ocean. Those visiting during the summer might also spot the loggerhead turtles nesting on the beach.