The Ultimate Weekend Travel Guide: Beaufort South Carolina | Eat, Stay, & Explore
I am still in awe of the beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina. This town has skyrocketed to the top of my list of favorite places to visit. As soon as we left, I was already planning my next trip back. Beaufort is a small and charming southern town with friendly people, endless sites to see, and they have some of the most delicious restaurants with Lowcountry staples. My pants could barely button back up when we left. The scenery in Beaufort is jaw-dropping, especially while riding bikes in the back neighborhoods, where the trees are covered in Spanish moss and the marsh peaks around the big homes with its neon glow. Beaufort isn’t as crowded as its surrounding towns, and that’s why we loved it. It’s nestled right between Charleston and Savannah, places we visit often. We ended each night outside, relaxing on the porch, reading our books, and sipping wine while listening to the cicadas and katydids call out from the trees.
I always love sharing my weekend getaway travels with you all. I snapped some photos (ok, a lot of photos) throughout our trip to help make you feel as if you were traveling with us. I hope you have Beaufort written on your travel list as soon as you finish reading this blog. I promise you’ll love it. There are many places we missed while visiting Beaufort, which is a great reason to come back. I hope the places we visited have given you some inspiration for your feature trip to Beaufort, South Carolina. And there is also a small giveaway at the end of the blog!
Beaufort, SC, is located on Port Royal Island. The historic downtown is filled with popular restaurants, coffee shops, and some huge mansions! The town overlooks the Beaufort River and the Woods Memorial Bridge.
When you’re visiting towns in the south, staying in bed and breakfasts is the way to go. You won’t get the charm or small-town feel of staying outside the city in those chain hotels. It’s definitely worth the experience to stay cuddled up in a bed and breakfast. We like to feel like we’re at home while traveling. What makes the bed and breakfast even better is that they are usually within walking distance of everything.
Beaufort, South Carolina, has many bed and breakfast, and I can’t wait to come back and experience the others. Every time we visit Savannah, we always stay at a new bed and breakfast. It’s our travel tradition and the perfect excuse to always come back to a place we love. Sitting on the porch with the Spanish moss swaying back and forth in the sun’s shadows is something you’ll only get at a bed and breakfast.
We stayed at the Rhett House Inn bed and breakfast. On the first night, we stayed in the main house in a room that leads out to this ginormous porch. The second night, we stayed in their New Castle house, which was gorgeous, and I’ll share more photos towards the end of this post. The Rhett House Inn was such a cozy stay, which I always strive for on trips. The staff was lovely, and their location was just a block away from the downtown area.
The porch outside our bedroom window wrapped around the front of the house. A hammock filled the corner, and it’s where I fell asleep on the first night after too much red wine during Kyle’s birthday dinner. The house was tranquil, and it almost felt like we were the only ones there the entire time. The way the trees sat next to the house was something out of a painting. I kept having the urge to reach out and feel the Spanish moss to make sure it was all real. A fun fact about our room is that Gwyneth Paltrow and Barbra Streisand once stayed there. Many movies have been filmed in Beaufort, which is no surprise as it looks picture-perfect. Some of the celebrities that have stayed at the Rhet House Inn are Sandra Bullock, Ben Affleck, Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Blythe Danner, and many more. Something I love about bed and breakfasts is that they offer the most delicious breakfasts and evening hors d’oeuvres. Homemade sweet tea and lemonade are offered throughout the day, and there’s nothing better than a glass of sweet lemonade to cool you off after walking outside in the southern humidity. Wine and dessert are offered later in the evening, and it’s the perfect time to chat with strangers from all over the country. After settling in, we got ready for Kyle’s birthday dinner.
I heard dinner on the front porch at Anchorage 1770 is something you must experience, and oh boy, were they right.
The Ribaut Social Club at Anchorage 1770 was a block from our bed and breakfast and the perfect way to start our weekend getaway. I made sure to make a reservation a week to ensure we had a spot outside on the porch. You won’t want to miss the sunset over the marsh while eating appetizers and sipping wine. The view is breathtaking; no photo or video could do it justice. It’s something you’ll have to experience with your own eyes.
We chatted with a couple who had been coming to Beaufort for the past twenty years and shared all the hidden gems with us. It pays off to chat with locals and frequent visitors to get the inside scoop on where to visit.
The menu changes seasonally, so what I ordered may not be on the menu when you visit. I do hope it is, though, because it was unbelievable. The chef shops around at local markets to make sure every ingredient is fresh and in season.
I started my meal with a delicious starter salad with farm-fresh vegetables and the blackened snapper for my entre. If licking the plate clean was socially acceptable, I would have done it. Each bite was even better than the first. There were so many flavors hidden all over the plate that I impatiently craved the next bite before finishing the first. I’m dreaming of that meal right now.
They brought out peanut butter tiramisu for Kyle’s birthday, which was incredibly sweet (no pun intended) of them.
Do yourself a favor, and make a reservation at The Ribaut Social Club at Anchorage 1770 for dinner. It’s incredibly romantic, and I believe your trip to Beaufort won’t be completed until you experience it.
I’m an early riser, which means sleeping in consists of waking up at 6:30 am for me. The breakfast and coffee at the inn didn’t start until 9 am, but that’s when I’m usually dressed and ready to start my day, so I headed over to the City Java at City Loft Hotel to grab our coffee each morning. It’s a short walk, and there’s nothing prettier than walking the back streets lined with Spanish moss in the quiet morning before the sun rises.
When you walk into the coffee shop in the morning, prepare yourself for the aroma of fresh cinnamon muffins coming out of the oven and freshly brewed coffee. Kyle loved their iced caramel macchiatos, and I loved their Sumatra roast. I also picked up some fresh bananas, oats, and muffins to have with coffee out on the porch. The City Java definitely saved my coffee-less mornings! I don’t know what I would have done with my hours without it. I wonder if I’ll be like that my entire life, but if I don’t have my morning coffee as soon as I wake up, my day is usually doomed.
Riding Bikes around Beaufort
One of my favorite things to do while traveling is riding bikes. I think it’s the best way to explore and save your feet from unwanted blisters. Our bed and breakfast provided bikes for guests, which was such a nice touch. We biked around the area for several hours in awe of all the houses and waterfront views. We took a map of Beaufort and tried to stop at all the historical spots and read a bit about the area. I know they have tours for that, but it’s more fun to go at your own pace, and the satisfaction when you find a point on the map makes it worth it.
After riding around for several hours, we officially burned off the bottle of wine we shared and our dinner from the night before. That only meant it was time to fill back up with a delicious brunch!
The couple from the night before had told us about Low Country Produce and how it’s a Beaufort staple. I was so excited to check it out, especially with the appetite we worked up from biking around.
We parked our bikes outside and headed in to grab a table. The wait was a little long, but that’s expected on a Saturday morning. We could have sat outside without a wait, but we were craving the air conditioning.
The interior of this place was absolutely adorable, and it reminded me so much of my grandma’s home that it gave me nostalgia. If you remember my trip back home to Iowa, then you saw my grandma’s green kitchen and the exterior of her home, and I couldn’t help but compare the two. This spot was ginormous, and you can grab food to go or dine in. The dishes they used for their meals were such a nice signature touch.
First off, the coffee was wonderful. The flavor and boldness were to my liking, and I had way more than I needed. Kyle and I had split a side of eggs, potatoes, and the eggs benedict over grit cakes with a side of fresh fruit. This breakfast was mouthwatering…
This is another spot I beg of you to add to your Beaufort itinerary.
Right around the corner from Low Country Produce, there is a charming book store called Never More Books. Kyle and I have been going through books so fast lately, so it was the third bookstore we went into during our trip. This store was a lot of fun to explore, and it had such a funky and spooky decor vibe going on. We purchased a new book for the evening and then headed on our bicycles back to the bed and breakfast.
It was about a thirty-minute drive to Hunting Island State Park. If you’re looking for a fun activity or a beach day, this is your spot! It’s a small fee to get into the park, but our bed and breakfast offered complimentary passes (another benefit of staying at the inn)
As I mentioned above, if you’re visiting Beaufort and are craving a beach day, pack your coolers and beach bags and head to Hunting Island. It offers a private beach right next to the lighthouse, and there is a lot of parking. They have fishing areas, biking trails, walking trails, and more. My favorite part was the lighthouse, but also seeing the sea turtle nests. It makes my heart so happy when there are so many nests there.
You can make reservations to climb the lighthouse, but we’ll save that for next time!
On the drive back, you’ll drive by Low Country Cider & Superior Coffee. It’s a cute spot, so you may wonder if you should stop; take it from me, definitely stop! I needed an afternoon pick me up. When I’m traveling, I crave 3x the amount of coffee and sweet treats than when I’m home. Plus, I love trying things while traveling, so I don’t mind the extra cravings.
The little store was adorable. Along with the coffee shop, they had so many gifts, baked goods, and cute tables to sit at. Their baked goods case was filled with anything you could dream of.
I ordered an almond milk cappuccino, and Kyle had a turkey croissant sandwich with potato salad. I certainly helped him eat the potato salad (my fave), and we picked up a blueberry muffin for later in the evening.
Oh, boy, did that hit the spot, and it was enough to keep us satisfied until our pizza picnic.
New Castle Rhett House Bed and Breakfast
We moved our stuff into our second room for the night. This time, we were staying in the New Castle House at the Rhett Bed and Breakfast. The New Castle has its own kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, living room, and private screened porches. It would be the perfect spot to stay with your family or friends on a trip to Beaufort.
On our second night, we spent sunset until midnight outside, reading our books, drinking wine, and having the best time together. I feel I’ll be retiring to a town like this one day because I didn’t want to leave.
We found a quiet spot by the water to lay out a blanket and have dinner together during the sunset. I’ve come to love picnics this past year and will jump to the occasion whenever I get the chance. We picked up wood-fired pizza, a Caprese salad, and chicken wings from Hearth Wood Fired Pizza and Eatery, located in downtown Beaufort.
The weather was cool under the shade tree and breezy from the waterfront winds. I finished my glass of rosé with my Caprese salad while we watched the boats go by and even had a few duck friends stop over to say hello. They were disinterested as soon as we let them know that we couldn’t feed them pizza.
An ice cream cone should accompany every picnic. We stepped into this funky and colorful ice cream parlor that resembled a diner and picked out an ice cream cone to share while walking the waterfront.
Mint chip and sprinkles for the win! 💜
There are many ice cream shops, chocolate chips, candy stores, and coffee places that we are going to try out next time. Two days isn’t enough in Beaufort. After our ice cream cone, we walked back to our bed and breakfast to relax outside on the porch.
We were up bright and early on Sunday morning. We wanted to have breakfast, pack up, and head out to our next adventure. We headed to Bluffton later that day but had a few plans for the morning before taking off.
We stopped at Plums Restaurant for breakfast on Sunday morning. Not many things are open Sunday, but luckily, we found a delicious spot near the water. I had their avocado toast with balsamic, tomatoes, fresh fruit, and two over-medium eggs. Kyle ordered their breakfast tacos.
The food was really fresh and delicious!
Even though Beaufort is charming and quaint, adventure does await. I highly recommend the Beaufort Kayak tours with Teri and Jim. We signed up for the Hunting Island Sandbar tour but can’t wait to come back and do the marsh tour with them as well. Not only is the kayaking fun and great activity, but you’ll learn so much about the islands and the history of Beaufort/Fripp Island along the way.
Jim and Teri were the best tour guides you could as for. Teri has some impressive kayaking skills and took the time to help anyone who needed assistance. Whether it’s your first time kayaking or 100th, you’ll for sure enjoy the ride out to the sandbar. There was even a three-year-old out on the kayak if that makes anyone feel less intimidated!
The BEST thing happened to us while we were out paddling. We encountered so many dolphins that you could practically hear my heart screaming with excitement. I love dolphins so much, and it was such an unexpected gift to have them come up to the kayaks to say hello.
After paddling out to the sandbar, they gave us a quick history lesson about Huntington Island and had us keep a lookout for some native creatures out on the sandbar. We spent a good half hour out there before heading back.
We were starving by the time we made it back to Beaufort. Before making the 45-minute drive to Bluffton, we decided to stop at Wren Bistro and Bar Market for lunch. I ordered the chicken salad with fresh fruit, and WOW, did that hit the spot. The chicken salad was so good, and I think I’ll try to replicate that recipe for lunch this afternoon.
I know we missed so many spots like the Magnolia Bakery (update, I went there!), Herban Market and Cafe, The Beaufort Inn (update, I stayed there!), The Chocolate Tree, Common Ground (update, I went there!), and so much more. If you’ve ever been to Beaufort and you have recommendations, leave them in the comments so I can make sure to stop the next time I’m there, which will hopefully be soon!
We were so sad to leave Beaufort, but I know what to look forward to when returning.
I hope this Beaufort travel guide can inspire you to explore Beaufort soon! & if you do, make sure to tag me in your photos! As soon as the world goes back to normal, I think it would be fun to host girls’ trips/retreats with readers in small towns in the south. I want so many of you to experience this magical place! It may be something I can look into♥️
Questions for you!
- Have you ever been to Beaufort, SC?
- What is your favorite activity to do on small-town weekend getaways?
- Bed and breakfast or Hotel?