If you haven’t had the chance to visit Beaufort, South Carolina, you should put it on your list as a must-see. Beaufort SC was established in 1771, and its downtown is now designated as a historic district. The downtown area is something out of a movie; its main street called Bay Street is lined with quaint shops and restaurants.

When you’re making plans to journey to Beaufort, don’t leave your boat behind. The Beaufort and surrounding areas are a boater’s dream. Here are some top destinations by boat in greater Beaufort.

Situated in the heart of downtown Beaufort is the Downtown Marina. This dockage space will put you front and center to all of what the historic town has to offer.

Learn local history by visiting these three museums in Beaufort

  1. John Mark Verdier House Museum
  2. Santa Elena History Center
  3. Beaufort History Museum

Shop at some of the boutiques lining the historic streets of Beaufort, SC

  1. Bay Street Jewelers in Beaufort SC
  2.  I. Pinckney Simons Gallery
  3. Beaufort Belle

Dine like a local at these great waterfront restaurants in Beaufort

  1. Q on Bay
  2.  Plums Restaurant
  3. Saltus River Grill

-Local lodging options range from picturesque historic Bed & Breakfasts to all of the familiar chain brands.

Just a short boat ride from downtown Beaufort is Lady’s Island. To get to Lady’s Island from City Marina, drive from the marina, cross the Beaufort River while heading through the swing bridge, enter Factory Creek, and here you will Find Lady’s Island Marina. 

Lady’s Island and its short jaunt from Beaufort makes it an enjoyable trip for lunch or dinner. 

Check out these local restaurants with coastal views and within walking distance from marina dockage.

  1. Fillin Station
  2. Dockside Restaurant

For the nature lover, hop on board and cruise off to Hunters Island State Park. You will likely see bottlenose dolphins playing in the wake or swimming right near the bow along the ride. Gaze at the spectacular maritime forest shorelines. 

Here are some of the things to see and do when visiting Hunters Island State Park

  1. Climb up 167 steps to the top of the historic lighthouse
  2. Get your exercise on its 5 miles of shoreline
  3. Visit the nature center and learn about the island’s wildlife
  4. Stay a couple of nights on one of the 100 campsites
  5. Venture out onto the fishing pier

For the sportsman, Beaufort is known as one of the best fishing destinations in South Carolina. Its creeks, rivers, sounds, and ocean access makes it an angler’s dream.

The local catch in Beaufort consists of . . .

Crustaceans

Blue Crabs

Stone Crabs

Inshore fish

Redfish

Flounder

Sea trout

Sheepshead

Shark

Offshore

Mahi-Mahi

Tuna

Wahoo

Marlin

Sailfish

These waters are teeming with fish mainly because of the limited amount of pressure from avid anglers. The vessel’s size will have an impact on what type of fishing you’re best suited for. Running offshore can turn ugly quickly, so you don’t want to be caught off guard. Check out a local fishing and weather report online before you head out.

While Beaufort may not be a big city like Charleston to the north, it has a lot to offer and may even be more appealing because of its historical preservation and waterfront allure. The area has a great mix of native South Carolina coastal landscapes and city development, which maintains its roots in history. Boaters will have endless opportunities to explore in this region.

The locals are both friendly and informative to provide you with the best experiences the Lowcountry has to offer. When you’re visiting, enjoy these tranquil waters with some of the most pristine shorelines in the south. History, nature, and navigable waters are all in one spot; what more could you ask for.