Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Low Country of South Carolina. The city is renowned for its scenic location and for maintaining a historic character by preservation of its antebellum architecture. The city is also known for its military establishments, being close to the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island and a U.S. naval hospital, in addition to being home of the Marine Corps Air Station (Beaufort).
The city has been featured in the New York Times, and named "Best Small Southern Town" by Southern Living, a "Top 25 Small City Arts Destination" by American Style, and a "Top 50 Adventure Town" by National Geographic Adventure.
Most scenes of the 1994 film Forrest Gump were shot around Beaufort.
The closest airport to Beaufort is the Hilton Head Airport (HHH IATA), which is 14.3 mi (23.0 km) south of Beaufort (keep in mind you can't go direct). However, the service is sparse. The Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport (SAV IATA) is 37.5 mi (60.4 km) southwest of Beaufort. It has commercial service to all of the major U.S. airline hubs. Charleston International Airport (CHS IATA) is 49 mi (79 km) northeast of Beaufort. It has more commercial service than Savannah and Hilton Head.
Interstate 95 passes right north of Beaufort. Beaufort can easily be accessed via the exits for U.S. Route 278 and U.S. Route 17 on I-95.
The Yemassee Amtrak station is served twice a day-once by the nighttime Silver Meteor, which goes down to Miami and up to New York City, and once by the daytime Palmetto, which goes on the same basic route as the Silver Meteor, except it ends at Savannah.
- Greyhound Lines, 3659 Trask Pkwy. Visitors can travel to and from Beaufort, SC with Greyhound Lines
- Fidelis Coach LLC, 3009 Magnolia St, ☏ . For bus charter and rental.
Historic Beaufort Foundation (HBF) has worked hard to preserve the fabulous architecture you will see, and offers lectures and events throughout the year.
- 1 MCRD Parris Island, ☏ . It is a military base located about 5 mi (8.0 km) south of Beaufort. It is famous for being the place where most Marines are trained. Recruits graduate every Friday, with a Marine Day (a day to learn about the Marine Corps) on Wednesday and Family Day (a day for the families of the recruits to spend time with their recruits) on Thursday. Families are invited to each day, but keep in mind that it is a military base. Families of recruits will need their invitation, a valid driver's license, vehicle registration, and a proof of insurance to be able to enter. Families must also sign in at the Visitor's Center prior to the ceremony. In addition, there is a museum and a golf course, both of which civilians can come to invitation or not.
- 2 Beaufort History Museum, 713 Craven Street. M–Sa 10AM–4PM. In a 1700s arsenal building.
- 3 John Mark Verdier House (Lafayette Building), 801 Bay St, ☏ . M-Sa 10ː30AM-3ː30PM. Tours on half hour..
- [dead link] ARTworks. The arts council of Beaufort, Port Royal, and the Sea Islands This non-profit community arts center has a black box theater, resident artists working in their studios, and an Arts & Travel app guide to the area.
- Taste of Beaufort. This three day festival celebrates Beaufort's culinary treasures. Local restaurants showcase spectacular tasting menus along Beaufort's historic Bay Street. Additional events include an Earth Day celebration, wine tasting, and contests. Musical acts are showcased throughout the festival with free concerts on festival stages and in other venues throughout downtown. The festival takes place in late April and is hosted by Main Street Beaufort, USA.
- Captain Dick’s River Tours. 24-passenger carriage-boat, Prince of Tides, which rides from the Downtown Marina of Beaufort passing through the historic Old Point neighborhood to Pleasant Point Plantation Tour guides provide information for the passengers about the homes, the ecology, and wildlife. Dolphins are usually seen during tour. 1hr 20 min tours for $18, kids under 12 for $12. Daily tours are available, either public or private.
- Magnolia Café, Bakery, and Garden Gift Gallery, 703 Congress St, ☏ . The menu offers deli sandwiches made from the finest deli meat, daily homemade soups, and crab cakes. Dine with a view of the scenic bay. It won “Best Bakery”, 2001 Reader’s Choice Award, The Beaufort Gazette’s Reader’s Choice Award, and featured on Carolina Morning News (1999).
- Emily’s Restaurant and Tapas Bar, 906 Port Republic St, ☏ . Emily’s Restaurant offers over 20 variety of tapas, crab soup, and a different dessert every night. It is a small, quaint restaurant with a cozy atmosphere.
- The Beaufort Inn. In the heart of the historic district. The inn offers activities, fine dining, and close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.
- Comfort Suites Beaufort, 131 Big John Road (Hwy 170 and New Hanover Park), ☏ .
- City Loft Hotel. An upscale boutique hotel that offers 23 guest rooms.
- 1 Quality Inn At Town Center, 2001 Boundary St, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Nestled among live oak trees draped with Spanish moss and offers beautiful marsh views.