If you’re one of those travelers who enjoys discovering those out-of-the-ordinary, maybe even quirky, spots that make a trip truly special, Beaufort delivers with its many hidden gems. Here are just a few you won’t want to miss.
Tabby – Created by mixing oyster shells, sand, lime and water, tabby was the go-to building material in South Carolina’s Lowcountry in the 1700s. You can find remnants of tabby all around Beaufort. One of the finest examples is Tabby Manse at 1211 Bay Street. One of the earliest surviving houses in Beaufort, its exterior walls are made entirely of tabby.
First African Baptist Church – This historic church boasts 150 years of history, dating back to 1865 when former slaves bought the land and built the two-story wood-frame building on what is now 601 New St. It also claims African American Civil War hero Robert Smalls as one of its earliest members. A monument to the first African American U.S. congressman can be found on the church grounds.
Fort Freemont – Located on nearby St. Helena Island overlooking the Beaufort River, this military defense fortification was built in 1899 to protect the southeastern coast of the United States during the Spanish-American War. Now a 15-acre historic site and beach preserve, it features two reinforced concrete batteries with three 10-inch rifled cannons mounted on one and two rapid-fire guns on the other.
Beaufort Tours’ History and Movie Tour – Learn about Beaufort’s rich history—and its place in the Hollywood spotlight—on this fun, one-hour van tour. You’ll see the National Cemetery where The Great Santini was buried, the “Mississippi” bridge Forrest Gump crossed on his cross-country run, the funeral procession route from “The Big Chill” and much more.
Kazoobie Kazoo Museum and Factory Tour – America’s only kazoo manufacturer, this Beaufort factory offers tours of the production process and a museum showcasing the many variations of this quirky instrument.
The Gullah Grub Restaurant – If you want to try authentic Gullah cuisine, head to this St. Helena Island restaurant run by Bill Green and his family. Here they follow two simple rules—eat in-season and eat locally. The menu features seafood gumbo, shrimp and grits, collard greens, barbecue ribs, cornbread mac and cheese and more—all made from family recipes.