If you’re a traveler at heart, the pandemic has undoubtedly caused some heartache + major wanderlust – and we’re right there with you. For those ready to travel, one of the safest ways to get away while following social distancing protocols is a weekend road trip to a nearby destination.
One such destination is Beaufort, SC, the second oldest city in SC (just a ~1.5 hour drive away). Beaufort was recently named one of the “11 Best Small Towns in America” by Travel + Leisure and has been voted the “South’s Best Small Town” by Southern Living, and for good reason — the historic downtown is coastal, scenic, and easily walkable, ft. small streets lined with oak trees dripping in Spanish Moss. (Read: Your Instagram aesthetic will thank you.) 📸
Check out these 13 socially-distant activities in Beaufort to start planning your next road trip:
○ Cool off at Hunting Island State Park, a pristine sandy beach with 5+ miles of uncrowded beaches, nature trails, access to the state’s only public lighthouse + more.
○ If having a picnic in the car is more of your idea of “outdoorsy,” see what’s playing at the Highway 21 Drive-in Theater
○ Walk along Henry C. Chamber Waterfront park – a.k.a. Beaufort’s front porch – and enjoy the city’s beautiful views while watching boats sail by.
○ Bike the Spanish Moss Trail, a 10-mile paved greenway that was once the Magnolia Rail Line, ft. Lowcountry water + marsh views, coastal wildlife viewing + historic points of interest.
○ Drive to Sands Beach at the southern tip of Port Royal to catch the sunset, plus views of the river + estuaries. (If you go during the day, keep your eyes peeled for shark teeth.)
Dining + shopping:
Downtown Beaufort has tons of unique, locally-owned businesses for any kind of shopper – from the antique-hunter to the sweet tooth. Plus, all of Beaufort’s restaurants and businesses have taken a local Safe Commitment Pledge during the pandemic.
Some top local spots for outdoor dining (with waterfront views):
○ Plum’s | Oyster bar that serves breakfast + lunch daily
○ Saltus River Grill | Urban seafood grill + bar
○ Panini’s on the Waterfront | Paninis, hoagies, pastas, and stone-baked pizza with a Mediterranean flare
○ Q on Bay | Slow-smoked lowcountry BBQ
Sightseeing + history:
○ Stop at the Visitors Center + The Beaufort Arsenal Museum on your way into town.
○ Sign up for one of the many guided tour options in Beaufort. Learn about the local ecology or history on a walking tour, zip around the city on a golf cart tour, or relax on the water on a kayak tour.
○ Tour the Reconstruction Era National Monument.
Where to stay:
If you’re staying for the weekend, rest your head at one of Beaufort’s historic downtown accommodations, like:
Bonus: Most of the hotels offer complimentary bike access to help you explore the city. Ⓟ