South Carolina Picture Project

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.

Bay Street Beaufort

Josh Whiteside of Beaufort, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

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.

Beaufort Bay Street Oak

Robin Seabury of Goose Creek, 2008 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

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.

Beaufort Historic

Contributed by Mrs. John F. Maag, 1970s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

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

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you enjoy this page? Do you have any information we should add? Send us your comments below — we can't wait to hear from you!

3 Comments about Downtown Beaufort

MarleneNo Gravatar says:
February 21st, 2016 at 1:24 pm

What was the name of the “dime store” in town?

MarleneNo Gravatar says:
February 21st, 2016 at 1:22 pm

I lived in Port Royal in 1970-1971 while my husband was stationed at the MC Air Station. I taught school on Parris Island. I loved Beaufort and would love to see more photos of the town and area from 1970. My little house is still there. Saw it on Google!

Steve DavisNo Gravatar says:
December 11th, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Such wonderful memories of growing up in Beaufort in the 1950s and 60s. Although I officially left in January, 1970, to join the Navy, I returned many times to visit family and friends. Beaufort will always be home and holds a special place in my heart.


Join Us on Facebook
Search for Landmarks


Abbeville ACE Basin Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Fort Mill Fountain Inn Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Honea Path Hopkins Huger Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Jamestown Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinopolis Plantations Pomaria Port Royal Post Offices Ravenel Restaurants Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Waterfalls Water Towers West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Yemassee York