Downtown Beaufort — Beaufort, South Carolina
SC Picture Project | Beaufort County | Downtown Beaufort
If you had to name the oldest cities in South Carolina, would you guess that Beaufort is the second oldest, just behind Charleston and just ahead of Georgetown? Chartered in 1711, Beaufort has earned the epithet Queen of the Sea Islands, and it takes only one visit to its historic downtown to see why.
Strolling along Bay Street, people not only have the benefit of shopping and dining in the vibrant business district, but they can view some of the most exquisite antebellum homes in the South. Visitors even have the option of staying in an historic bed-and-breakfast and feeling transported to a bygone era.
In this seaside hamlet, history is everywhere you look. Even the live oak (Quercus virginiana) that line the main downtown roads are a few hundred years old. Where the downtown areas of most cities lead people away from the surrounding nature, in Beaufort the deep-rooted trees guide them through it, buffering the harbor’s salt breezes and reminding people that life has been thriving here for many, many generations.
Reflections on Downtown Beaufort
Robin Seabury, a SC Picture Project contributor who shared one of the photos above, describes the scene she found on Bay Street: “While driving down the main street of Beaufort, I saw this fabulous live oak with the Spanish moss hanging so beautifully. This is so ‘Old South’ to me and it brings back some of my fantasies of being a little girl playing under this fabulous tree.”
Mrs. John F. Magg tells us about her above photo of Beaufort taken in the 1970s: “This was taken on Christmas vacation. We visited with friends and lived in Beaufort until 1966. John was in the Marine Corps and worked as photographer at Parris Island.”
Downtown Beaufort Info
Address: Bay Street, Beaufort, SC 29902
GPS Coordinates: 32.431022,-80.672610
Downtown Beaufort Map