Charming, elegant and oh-so-inviting, South Carolina’s bed and breakfasts are known for being destinations in and of themselves. While you may be tempted to simply bask in all that Southern comfort and hospitality (and who could blame you?), taking time out to explore the surrounding area should be a part of your getaway plan. Dining discoveries, outdoor adventures, exciting attractions, natural beauty and cultural points of interest will deepen your South Carolina experience and ensure a treasure trove of memories to take with you when you go.
When you book a bed and breakfast vacay along the state’s storied shoreline, prepare to fall in love with the region as well as your appealing accommodations. Here are three suggestions for coastal B&B stays along with a snapshot of things to see and do when you venture beyond the veranda.
Crooked Tree Cottage, Pawleys Island
The locale: Pawleys Island is a small barrier island with a hauntingly beautiful historic area and bustling commercial district The inn: Crooked Tree Cottage is a lovingly renovated 1940s cottage embodying the Pawleys Island “shabby chic” sense of style; the beach is just a few blocks away Rooms: Three cozy rooms featuring vintage furnishings, comfy quilts and beachy appointments Amenities: Home-cooked breakfast, terrycloth robes, private baths, fluffy towels, gazebo and garden areas with seating
Where to go and things to do: Hammock Shops Village - Enjoy shopping, dining, live music, wine tastings and weaving demos of the famous Pawleys Island rope hammocks.
Huntington Beach State Park - Walk inside the shell of the Moorish-style Atalaya Castle, once the winter residence of industrialist and philanthropist Archer M. Huntington and his wife, sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. Prime viewing for alligators and other wildlife in the salt marshes.
Brookgreen Gardens - See the stunning sculpture garden created by Anna Hyatt Huntington. Grounds also feature a botanical garden, historical points of interest, the Lowcountry Zoo, dining options and more.
Lighthouse/Shell Island Tour - Book a spot with Lowcountry Boat Tours for a 1½-hour boat tour and shelling excursion on an unspoiled barrier island. See the state’s oldest lighthouse still in operation, listen to narrations about local history, and enjoy marine and wildlife sightings.
Landolfi’s - Brick oven pizza, paninis, homemade soups and a swoon-worthy pastry case
Frank’s and Frank’s Outback – Nationally acclaimed dining (inside or out back in the courtyard) featuring inspired cuisine that runs the gamut from Lowcountry to Pacific Rim
Water's Edge Inn, Folly Beach
The locale: Folly Beach is a laid-back beach town between the Folly River and the Atlantic Ocean, just minutes from historic Charleston The inn: Water’s Edge Inn is a luxury, multi-story inn with gorgeous marsh views The rooms: Nine tastefully appointed guest rooms with Heavenly beds, Egyptian cotton sheets and robes; most rooms feature fireplaces and balconies Amenities: Outdoor hot tub, golf cart shuttle service, continental breakfast, robes, coffee makers
Where to go and things to do: Paddleboard adventures - Charleston SUP Safaris offers paddleboard lessons on the flat waters of the Folly River. Seasoned paddle boarders may opt for lessons on surfing ocean waves on a paddleboard.
Lighthouse Heritage Preserve - View the Morris Island Lighthouse, go surf fishing, and whip out the camera to capture stunning wildlife shots. A popular site for birdwatching and organized bird walks.
Shop Mr. John’s Beach Store - An old-school souvenir shop and the oldest business operating on the island, it's known for Folly beachwear and a comprehensive shell collection.
Bike the beach - Cool Breeze rents cruisers, fat-wheel bikes and baby seats and trailers. Hop on and take a ride.
Where to eat: Bert’s Market - Folly Beach institution with an eclectic market stocking everything from fishing supplies to guitar picks; gourmet cheeses, olive bar, organic produce and a sandwich shop proffering tasty subs, paninis, wraps and more make perfect picnic provisions
Chico Feo - Casual, just-off-the-beach eatery serving tacos on homemade tortillas and other casual dishes with fresh ingredients and West Indies/Caribbean flavors
Jack of Cups Saloon - Laid-back and legendary hotspot for vegetarian dishes, curries and noodle bowls
Cuthbert House Inn, Beaufort
The locale: Beaufort is an historic waterfront town on the Intracoastal Waterway; second oldest city in the state and known for its historic downtown The inn: Cuthbert House Inn is a 200-year-old Federal-style mansion on the National Register of Historic Places and just two blocks from downtown restaurants and shops Rooms: Nine luxury suites with water or garden views and private baths; some rooms feature fireplaces and whirlpool tubs Amenities: Full homemade gourmet breakfast, sunset hors d’oeuvres, complimentary bicycles
Where to go and things to do: SouthurnRose Buggy Tours - Enjoy a narrated horse-drawn carriage tour of Historic Beaufort. Learn about its antebellum and Victorian-style architecture and war history, and see famous film sites from movies like “Forrest Gump,” “The Big Chill” and more.
Santa Elena History Center - Learn about Santa Elena, the Spanish capital of Florida from 1569 to 1587 which was excavated on nearby Parris Island. The self-paced museum tour tells the little-known, fascinating story of the town and fort founded more than 40 years before the English settled at Jamestown.
Lowcountry Photo Safaris - Professional wildlife photographer and master naturalist Eric Horan leads this tour that meanders the surrounding barrier island and salt marshes. The photo opportunities are unparalleled—capture the rich array of wildlife and pristine scenery on this highly acclaimed, unforgettable excursion.
Nevermore Bookstore - Peruse a trove of limited editions, signed editions and other rare finds in this eclectic bookstore with an irresistible Edgar Alan Poe theme.
Where to eat: Lowcountry Produce - Nationally acclaimed eatery housed in Beaufort’s former City Hall serving expertly prepared Southern classics with a farm-fresh focus; favorites include tomato pie, biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits
Old Bull Tavern - A bustling gastropub and Beaufort staple serving American and European-inspired comfort foods, innovative cocktails and craft beers
Saltus River Grille - Seafood grill offering gorgeous waterfront views, a sophisticated bar and fine cuisine centered around local seafood