Looking for the best Beaufort SC Hotels? This lovely little harbor town located on Port Royal Island boasts exquisitely preserved antebellum architecture and a downtown designated in its entirety as an historic district. Here, you will find some of the south’s most unique and gorgeous Bed and Breakfasts, restaurants, and hotels and the setting of many famous movies such as Forrest Gump, The Big Chill, The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides. Beautiful beaches and tons of outdoor adventures to choose from round out a visit to this amazing place. Also, just across Highway 21 is St. Helena, home of the Penn Center, one of the nation’s first schools for formerly enslaved individuals, and an important center of Gullah-Geechee culture. With everything you could wish for in one amazing place, you don’t want to miss Beaufort!
Beaufort SC Weather – When to Visit
The high season runs June through August and holidays year-round being the busiest and most costly. Mid-April, during the annual RBC Heritage Golf Tournament, is when rates tend to be highest. Thanks to the moderate year-round temperatures, tourists are always present. Spring and August are the ideal times to visit Beaufort SC.
You will want to plan ahead. The prime locations can be booked six months to a year in advance, so you’ll want to make your reservations well in advance. Villa-rental companies often offer snowbird rates for monthly stays during the winter season. Parking is always free at the major hotels, with larger hotels having valet service.
Best Beaufort SC Beaches
The Sands Beach in Port Royal is a favorite of the locals and also a sweet spot that more and more visitors are finding every year. A perfect spot to find sharks teeth along the beach, visitors to The Sands can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, fishing, wildlife watching, long walks on the boardwalk and more.
Hunting Island State Beach & Park
A natural, pristine barrier island with no commercial build up, Hunting Island State Park is the single most-visited state park in all of South Carolina. People flock to the park and beach from all over to play in its sand, go camping, see wildlife and just relax and have family fun.
Lands End Beach
If you love an out of the way spot where you won’t see too many other people, try Lands End Beach on St. Helena Island. Lands End is Fort Fremont‘s beach and it lies right in front of the historic fort. It’s off the beaten path and, especially at low tide, offers a fantastic spot to relax, enjoy nature, go fishing, catch some sun or play in the water.
Best Beaufort Area Tours & Activities
Hilton Head Island Dolphin Boat Cruise
Learn about the marine life populating the waters off the coast of Hilton Head Island on this dolphin watching cruise. Up your chances of spotting dolphins and other marine animals with the help of your professional guide, who will also provide information about the ecosystem as you go. Learn more about the Hilton Head Island Dolphin Boat Cruise Here
Beaufort’s #1 Horse & Carriage History Tour
Enjoy South Carolina’s second oldest city from our beautiful RED horse drawn-carriages. Our certificated guides will tell you all about Beaufort’s amazing History, from the Civil War to “Forrest Gump” running around town! Our tours last approximately 50-55 minutes and stroll through the HEART of Historic Beaufort S.C. You’ll see breath taking Antebellum homes, Historic Churches, movie sites and MUCH more! Learn more about the Horse & Carriage History Tour here.
Hilton Head Sunset Dolphin Watching Cruise
Enjoy sunset views and scan the water for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins on this dolphin-watching cruise off the coast of South Carolina. The frequency of dolphin sightings makes this cruise ideal for those hoping to catch photos of the majestic sea creatures. Plus, throughout the cruise, you can learn about dolphins and your surroundings from an on-board naturalist. Learn more about the Hilton Head Sunset Dolphin Watching Cruise here.
Hilton Head Pirate Ship Adventure Sail aboard the Black Dagger
Embark on a nautical adventure aboard the Black Dagger pirate ship, which transforms kids into little pirates for a treasure hunt on the waters of Hilton Head. The crew provides kids with pirate costumes and pirate lessons before setting sail in search of treasure. This family-friendly cruise has a choice of several departures in the morning and afternoon, making it easy to fit into your schedule. Learn more about the Hilton Head Pirate Ship Adventure here.
Beaufort City Tour
Over 24 Hollywood films have been shot in the historic town of Beaufort, South Carolina. Explore Beaufort without the hassle of navigating on a tour of the area’s highlights, from scenic film locations to historic homes. Your small group size ensures the full attention of your guide, who navigates for you and provides little–known stories about Beaufort’s past. Morning and afternoon departure times are available for your convenience. Learn more about the Beaufort City Tour here.
Best Beaufort SC Restaurants
Lady’s Island Dockside $11 – 30
Waterfront restaurant with great views of the Woods Memorial Bridge and downtown. Southern influenced menu with outdoor patio. Dozens of menu items including fresh seafood, steaks, poultry, pastas and more – every guest, even the non-seafood lover, is sure to find something to satisfy their palate. Telephone: 843-379-3288 Web: Lady’s Island Dockside
Breakwater Restaurant & Bar $11 – 30
Younger, lighter and fresher fare where Breakwater cuisine incorporates culinary influences from around the world. The bar at Breakwater offers a lively venue for locals and visitors alike. The fun, friendly atmosphere combined with warm Southern hospitality is a Breakwater signature. Telephone: 843-379-0042 Web: Breakwater Restaurant & Bar
Griffin Market Over $30
Small, intimate restaurant with understated elegance. Superior Northern Italian fare with outstanding wine pairings. Griffin Market brings relaxed elegance and a taste of Italy’s Piedmont region to the lowcountry of South Carolina. Telephone: 843-524-0240 Web: Griffin Market
Q on Bay $11 – 30
Family-style, barbecue restaurant with beautiful views overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. Classic space with old time ceilings. Q is a local favorite, known for gut-busting creative barbecue, ice cold brewed beers, and friendly staff with that hospitable southern charm! Telephone: 843-524-7771 Web: Q on Bay
Foolish Frog $11 – 30
Rustic, casual, family-friendly restaurant with spectacular marsh views. Fresh seafood and local produce. A quick ten minutes over the Woods Memorial Bridge from downtown Beaufort. Telephone: 843-838-9300 Web: Foolish Frog
Best Beaufort SC Bars
They have 55 bottled beers from around the country and proudly offer 7 Draft Beers. In addition, they offer a full Liquor Bar. Telephone: 843-379-7676 Web: Rosie O’Gradys
Local watering hole in the basement of a historic building. They are open every day of the year! Telephone: 843-521-4480 Web: Hemingway’s Bistro
The Fillin’ Station
Beaufort’s Five Star Dive Bar! Where Friendly People Meet to Share The Best View and The Coldest Beers and Best Food around. Telephone: 843-522-0230 Web: The Fillin’ Station
Brody’s Bar & Grill
They are the premier family restaurant where you can have fun on any given night! Stop by today and try one of their amazing fresh/never frozen menu items! Telephone: 843-524-2500 Web: Brody’s Bar & Grill
Cry Babies Tavern
A hole in the wall dive bar where the locals entertain you for free! Telephone: 843-524-5508 Web: Cry Babies Tavern
I would love to go to Beaufort! I know I’ve told you this before but I love places with historically preserved areas. In this case, I would be torn between camping on the beach at Hunting Island State Beach & Park or staying in one of those inns (what would appear to be previously private homes) near the city center. I would definitely take the Horse & Carriage History Tour. Thanks for posting!
You are very welcome Cynthia! Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.
Your detail description of the beaches, area tour of Beaufort makes me want to consider it for my next holiday outing with my family. I know my children will want to see the high land and the beaches as you described each of them. I am sure a place like the hunting Island beach with its wildlife sight will be a good point that will continue to linger in my children’s memory. I will consider it for my next holiday
Great, thanks for taking the time to read my Beaufort SC Hotels guide and leave me some comments!
This sounds like a really fantastic place to visit.
The beaches all sound wonderful, but Hunting Island looks absolutely beautiful.
There are a couple of trips that I certainly want to go on too. They are the dolphin cruise, as I think they are such great and friendly creatures and I would also enjoy the city tour.
Thanks for bringing us this great destination.
You are welcome, I am glad you enjoyed. Thanks for stopping by beach travel destinations.
The Dolphin Boat Cruise and the Sunset Dolphin Watching Cruise at Hilton Head really interest me. It is too bad that the area stays booked up so far in advance. It is close to Atlanta, where my sister lives, though, and it would be fun to plan a Dolphin-watching vacation with her. I think she would really enjoy those cruises too. Plus, you list so many other attractions in the area that we would stay busy and have a wonderful time between Dolphin Cruises.
Thanks for yet another beautiful travel guide to a premium beach destination!
You are welcome Lisa. Yes, it does stay booked up. Booking into the following year is the best way to go for sure. Please let me know if you need any additional information.
I am no longer thinking of this travel destination for me and my husband alone. You have specifically mentioned family but I actually think of them especially my grandson learning about the Black Dagger Pirate Ship.
I will be fond of watching my grandson exploring his treasure hunt within the ship.
While I see my husband being proud of learning and taking moments in historical sites, I will enjoy the beauty of scenic spots, aquatic plants and animals.
Sounds like you have a great vacation planned for everyone Rose! Please let me know if you need any additional information.
Wow, it sounds like Beaufort has everything to enjoy a great getaway. I love the history and how I can look into the horse and carriage era. You’ve listed some lovely places to eat and also some nice places to stay. It looks like the perfect place to get some rest and relaxation for all the family or as a couple.
Thanks for this great review, I’m heading to the beach there soon.
Great Lily, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for visiting my Beaufort SC Hotels guide.
Thank you for the enlightening article about Beaufort SC Hotels. You have provided us with variety that makes making a choice a bit difficult.I guess one needs to know exactly what they want to achieve when they choose a place to stay. One needs to decide if it is for business or for leisure or both then from this beautiful variety, there is certainly something for everybody.
There is something for everybody in Beaufort. Thanks for visiting my Beaufort SC Hotels post!
Beaufort seems like a must to visit if you are interested in historic downtown districts, but it offers so much more than just history. The beaches all look peaceful and perfect for long walks and enjoying the surroundings. You mention fishing on the beach, does one need a licence to do fishing?
Great advise that because of the temperate weather, the hotels are often fully booked 6 months in advance, and some even a year.
Yes, you will need a fishing license, but so worth it. I truly enjoy the water, and fishing off the beach is a lot of fun! Glad you enjoyed my Beaufort SC Hotels guide.
Beaufort seems like an amazing place looks so quiet and peaceful and like a great place for a romantic getaway. Tours and activities seem awesome, I love the idea of the Sunset Dolphin Watching Cruise. the restaurants and bars are plentiful and seem affordable. A true little gem this place, thank you so much for sharing!
It is a gem worth visiting Jean. I hope you get to vacation there soon! Thanks for stopping by!
Hi, I went through your article on Beaufort SC Hotels. I found it very interesting and these pictures look amazing too. I think travelling to a place like this one is a mind refresher and stress reliever. It’s not every day that you wake up to a unique bed and breakfast, a classic restaurant and a hotel. Trips to this place are worth taking. Thanks for sharing this amazing piece of writing with us. I will be sharing it further too.
Thank you and I agree. A great way to relax and enjoy. Thanks for stopping by !
Once again, thank you so much for the awesome post, this time over Beaufort South Carolina! This is a place that I have considered taking my girlfriend because I want to drive by where I went to basic training and show her around! Then go to the beach. I know it’s a little ways away, but I think that the drive would be nice and it would give us time together!
It would be a great drive together which would make for a wonderful road trip! Hope you enjoy 🙂
Boasting a pristine coastline, a rich history dating back to before the war and a charming historic downtown, y book Beaufort is more than just one of South Carolina’s most thriving vacation destinations.
Its leisurely pace of life make for an experience that manages to linger in everyone’s memory even after leaving the region.
I agree Paolo. Sounds like you have been to Beaufort? Thanks for stopping by my Beaufort SC Hotels guide.
Sounds like a very interesting place. The prices are certainly affordable and it looks like there is plenty to do if your into water and history (which I am).
Unfortunately I am an international and there are way to many restrictions and additional cost involved for me to visit anytime soon.
Hopefully when things open up again, I will add Beaufort to my bucket list.
Great Michael. Thanks for visiting and glad you enjoyed your visit to Beaufort SC Hotels! Stop by again!